God, No! Help! Get That Thing Away From Us, You Darn Canadians!

Hey up there! What are you trying to do to us Americans? Spread mayhem and terror with Kinder Surprise candy? Sure looks that way to us. For years you’ve been blithely manufacturing chocolate eggs filled with toys as if you’ve never even HEARD the word, “Litigation.”

Fortunately, according to this news report, this year United States border patrols are keeping a keen eye out for handheld nuclear devices…oh wait. No. For Kinder Surprise Eggs, which underground cells of aunts, uncles and family friends seem determined to smuggle into our country.

Not so fast, Canada! Do we send our toxic pop culture into YOUR country? Don’t answer that. Just tell us: Why are you doing this to US?

Remember, we’re onto you. If so much as one Kinder Surprise Egg shows up under some kid’s tree, the chocolate is on your hands. — Lenore

87 Responses

  1. No way! Those poor American kids 😦

  2. It’s amazing that the great nanny state, the UK, allows these things.

  3. Mmmmmm…..chocolate…….

  4. Canadian here. My kids (and me too) love KinderToys. IMHO, they are one of the cleverest treats around. Not too much chocolate (but enough) and then the miracle of just what the KinderToy “engineers” could cram inside the egg. Fabulous stuff. No doubt Health Canada will get all squirmy now and follow suit. For now, they’ll be in the Christmas stockings in our family and everyone else I can think of.

  5. I am laughing so hard right now! I am from Kansas but am currently living in the Toronto area. My kids, 7 and 5 love Kinder Surprise Eggs. I had never heard of them until we moved up here four years ago. I am actually surprised they are not banned in Canada knowing how paranoid some Canadians are.

  6. No one I know has much use for these… The toy is too low-quality that the pieces won’t fit together, so the best option is to throw it away and use the case it comes in to shoot the lid at any moving object (especially siblings).
    Plus, the TV ads for it are soooo corny no kid over age 6 wants to be seen in public with one of those. Too baby-ish, you see.
    Also, the chocolate is mixed with some sort of nutritious whitish layer that makes it extremely yucky when melted inside a pocket, so fussy mums prefer to hand their kids a large bar of plain artery-clogging, obesity-causing traditional chocolate. Cheaper, too.

  7. Kinder… I always thought they were German. Only discovered them when I moved here.

  8. My kids love kinder eggs. It is totally ridiculous that they are banned from the U.S. I actually looked into this a few years ago and found that they are banned because the toy poses a choking hazard. Upon further research, I discovered there are no reports of even one American child ever choking on the toy. This is a preventive measure for our safety. Please!! I think I know whether or not my own child can safely eat a kinder egg, and the chances of them not realizing there’s a toy in the middle and choking on it……..seriously?!? This is something I need to worry about?!? I don’t think so!
    And Ian in Hamburg- kinder eggs are German, but they are also made in Canada.

  9. These aren’t allowed in the US?

    There’s a grocery store here in my area (Midwest) that sells them. They shall remain nameless.

  10. I loooooove those eggs. Can’t believe Americans have to be kept “safe” from them. My only complaint is that the quality of the toys seems to have gone down a bit in the last years, but I can’t decide if it really has, or I’ve just gotten older and more critical. Still love them though.

  11. *gasp* It’s a plot. A nasty Canadian plot to kill off Americans a-borning so they can have the rest of North America to themselves! Just think, in another 20 generations, we’ll all be singing Hail To The Queen and playing ice hockey.

  12. I discovered these on a trip to France and then realized they had them in Mexico, too. My kids have never had an egg Kinder Surpris but I still have 80 percent of the toys and they plays with those. Lola is right, though. They mostly throw the case at each other. It’s kind of fun.

    Also, you can find them at many Mexican grocery stores in Chicago. I had no idea they weren’t allowed in the U.S.

  13. I could have sworn KINDER SURPRISE was German. Probably they just make it here in Canada.

  14. Yes we have them here in UK but I expect they have the not suitable for children under 36 months printed on them some where. My children had loads of these when they were small and never came to any harm. Far better than growing up in a culture where guns in houses are considered normal.

  15. I can get a similar product at my local Kroger grocery store, made by Nestle I believe, It’s not an egg, but a ball.

  16. I heart kinder toys. I have a tiny plastic dome I got once that has a basketballesque game where the object is to tiddly a silver ball into a hoop that has kept me occupied during conference calls for the past decade. Best 6 francs I ever spent.

  17. They sell these all over Europe – German in origin I think. I hadn’t HEARD of European children dropping like flies due to choking on their Kinder Egg toys – but perhaps I am just a ill-informed (and probably careless and lazy) mum!

    Gotta go – my kid is about to wake up and demand her Advent calendar which is filled with – you guessed it – Kinder candies. I need to call emergency medics to stand by, just in case….

  18. I’m so grateful to our Border Patrol and our governmental agencies for protecting our kids from these vicious “surprise” eggs. You say “surprise”, I say “heart attack waiting to happen”.

    (disclaimer–I’m GLAD the Border Patrol does a good job with the *real* threats. But chocolate eggs? Please. And that reminds me: I have to make a trip to the local German Konditorei today before they’re sold out of the hanging chocolate ornaments, KinderSurprise, licorice pipes, lebkuchen, and gingerbread. Thanks for the unintended reminder!)

  19. “Far better than growing up in a culture where guns in houses are considered normal.”

    Yeah, wouldn’t it be awful for kids to grow up in a society in which physical force didn’t rule, and evolved people could use tools the defend themselves and their families from those who would do them harm.

    Wouldn’t it be better for kids to grow up in a place where strength and size ruled the day? Where only the criminals and government enforcers had guns?

  20. I think in the USA we should ban all things that are small enough that a child might choke on them.

    No pocket change, no car keys, no gum, dice, rings, microsd cards, nuts, bolts, magnets, nutmeg, peanuts, grapes, etc, etc.

    Since it’s all dangerous obviously.

  21. I used to love these growing up in the UK. I first saw them on a school trip to France. How exotic! The toy was often really poor but that didn’t matter. Eating a chocolate egg to find out what was inside was magic. I must have been a marketing person’s dream kid consumer! They were pretty expensive though, so we didn’t have them often.

    I have seen them in the occasional grocery store on Manhattan. Normally around Easter I think. I didn’t realize they were actually banned.

  22. Odd timing for me on this. I’m reading my RSS feeds on tthe bus, and was planning a trip to Canada for cane-sugar Pepsi and Kinder-Eggs while I walked to the bus stop.

    I actually did some research a while back on this. Kinder-Eggs can be sold in America in ethnic groceries. I’ve bought them in bosnian markets, british markets, etc.

    The law basically says that candies containing non-food items can not be manufactured for sale in the U.S. The nestle ball is all edible, and ethnic groceries sell things that were manufactured for sale elsewhere.

  23. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them here too. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a committee of paranoid fusspots somewhere meeting over decaffienated tea every morning to dream up new horrors that might happen to children. “Oh! Good one Mabel! Let’s see, roman blinds – death draps, obviously. Good catch… Now, hmmm let’s see, we’ve dealt with the Kindersurprise… Today’s agenda: Ring pops and yoyo’s. Anyone? Strangulation is a given. Jeff? Choking. Yes, Marie? Mutilation, good.. BPA! Ah, yes, Daniel, excellent point.”

  24. My husband says: “Maybe we should ban any toy that can be set next to food, or food that can be set next to a toy, because a child under three might be confused and eat the wrong one.”

    Let’s ban the world, shall we?

  25. Our local ethnic grocery store sells them too – had no idea they were banned. My kids love them.

  26. Hah! This is my favorite example of American craziness, and I used it before I’d heard of you. I’ve seen them in every single country I’ve been to, and when I tell whomever I’m visiting there that they’re not allowed in the US, they’re so confused.

  27. And once again I feel blessed to be Canadian, “but secretly fear the loss of American television”. Lol! I am actually quite shocked that there would be anyone concerned about Kinder Eggs. Also, the “nutritional whitish layer” (Lola), is just white chocolate isn’t it? Now I just wish I was eating a Kinder Egg! My cousins have collections of Kinder Egg toys. Lately it does seem like the toys have become a little less fun (i.e. there aren’t as many small pieces and they require less construction which just isn’t as fun), but that doesn’t really change much…they’re great toys and yummy treats!

    I guess it should be reassuring that they can find the Kinder Eggs at the border right? I mean, if they can find an egg, they can find a bomb;-)

    *As for the gun issue mentioned, I don’t think anyone really meant to suggest that it’s terrible that you are allowed guns…mostly that it’s a little ironic that you can have hand guns in every home, but no little chocolate eggs. I mean, that is a little funny don’t you think?

  28. At first, I thought this article was going to be about Nanaimo bars. Those things are so dangerous (to my diet) they ought to be stopped at the border!

  29. *As for the gun issue mentioned, I don’t think anyone really meant to suggest that it’s terrible that you are allowed guns…mostly that it’s a little ironic that you can have hand guns in every home, but no little chocolate eggs. I mean, that is a little funny don’t you think?

    Well I do think its terrible that all and sundry in some countries are allowed to keep guns in their houses and it is ironic that a little plastic toy is banned.

  30. By the way, Joette, its “God save the queen” and just plain “hockey”.
    Once our evil plot to kill off all the Americans with little chocolate eggs is complete, you’ll have to learn it anyway, so might as well start now! :0)

  31. Kinder Eggs are one of the first things I buy when I go to another country, and I really do wish we could get them in the US.

    Also, no one will ever get me to reveal the names of the ethnic groceries I’ve found in the US that carry them ALL THE TIME. Does that make me an abettor?

  32. Wait, seriously, banned? Because I bought these for my kids a couple months ago, right here in Texas. I guess I’d better follow Stephanie’s lead and not name the store — I’d hate to get them into trouble for carrying these nifty things.

  33. Oh NO! I have Christmas KinderEggs all ready to be packed and driven across the border for all my nephews’ stockings next week! I hope no border patrollers are lurking here. Although if they are, maybe they’re FreeRangers and will politely overlook my contraband.

    Now I’m stuck with figuring out whether or not to risk smuggling them across or going out to find a much more boring treat to stuff in their stockings. Any votes one way or the other?

    And as for Lasivian’s idea, maybe it would just be easier to get that paranoid committee to design a muzzle for our kids so we have absolute power over anything that could come in contact with their mouths.

  34. I lived in Europe for a few years as a child, I loved Kinder eggs! They’re so fun and unique.

  35. Don’t worry, Americans, you’re not missing much. The chocolate is crappy and the toys are stupid. And when you step on the toys they hurt AND you teach the kids a few new words they really don’t need to know at that age.

  36. The FDA prohibibts the imbedding of any non-food items in food, actually. But, despite the ban, Kinder Eggs are still available in the U.S.

    And “Kinder Surprise” is a common slang term for a drug mule. THAT’S probably what the border patrol is really watching for…

  37. I buy these at my local (Chicago Suburban) market for my kids all the time. Who knew?

  38. Amazing that my “little” (just turned 49) sister and I managed to survive without choking on the stuff that used to come in American sugar delivery systems (also known as breakfast cereals.) And then the stuff they used to use as prizes in Cracker Jacks…

    Not to go all 2nd Amendment on y’all but I grew up in “gun culture” (northern Ozarks) where unsupervised access to firearms was considered normal by the age of 12 or 13 – as discussed elsewhere on this blog on other topics like curfew, first a big dose of education on things like consequencences and responsibility followed by parental trust. Plus, we had to eat everything we shot, which kinda ruled out that bully in 7th-grade gym… so I just punched him in the nose.

  39. This story was the first I heard about KinderSurprise eggs not being allowed in the US.

    Too funny, but then this year I saw some in a shop here in Portland Oregon.

  40. Its’ all about liability, isn’t it? *sigh* Silly America.

  41. How is life without Ü-Ei (german abbriviation for Kinder Surprise) possible?

  42. So….. the kids whose parents protected them from everything are the ones who are now my stupid managers? Because that’s the only reason I can think of for them to be slightly older than me and not being able to make a rational decision, the most important of which is which hole is the ground and which one is……

  43. If only someone would teach the children the difference between chocolate and toys.

  44. “The FDA prohibibts the imbedding of any non-food items in food, actually. But, despite the ban, Kinder Eggs are still available in the U.S.”

    Really?? That seems a just a tad insane to me!

    Here in Austria Kinder Eggs are much loved, as they are in my native UK, they are often what my two little girls choose to buy with any pennies they happen to come into!

  45. […] God, No! Help! Get That Thing Away From Us, You Darn Canadians! Hey up there! What are you trying to do to us Americans? Spread mayhem and terror with Kinder Surprise candy? Sure […] […]

  46. The sad thing is, it’s mostly *adults* who want those eggs, because they collect the toys inside ‘m.
    I’ve read an article about these collecters a couple of years back. Apparantly, there are series of toys each year, and people (teenagers and adults) are as passionate about collecting them as they might be about collecting stamps or coins (except that stamps and coins don’t come in chocolate)
    Adult Americans who collect these toys go to great lenghts to buy them overseas, and they don’t do this to give them to little kids, but to have them for themselves. You might think what you will about these people, but not that they are endangering children.

    These eggs were not made for kids under three. They are not bought by or for kids under three. The toys inside are, by their nature (small and fiddly) not suitable or even interesting for a kid under three. So why does the US FDA think they are?

  47. WHOA!!! Hang on now… I think that this is a great move toward keeping our children safe! Can you imagine? I mean, what if my 9-year-old got hold of that thing and stuffed it in her mouth on a dare and accidentally swallowed the toy and DIED?!!! Not only that – we need to be working HARDER to ensure child safety… we should move to make marshmallows illegal to anyone under the age of 18 or anyone with children period – chubby bunny anyone! They’re death traps! And really – I know they already tried to dumb-down the toys in Cracker Jacks to just a piece of paper (it’s fun!), but it’s still an inedible object right in with edible food!!! Ban Cracker Jacks too! We need to protect our little ones!

    (Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… this is the biggest load of crap I’ve seen in a while. I mean… really… are Americans [and I’m one of them] honestly this stupid?)

  48. …Has no one on here ever had a Wonder Ball? They’re essentially Kinder Eggs in spherical form. Chocolate with a little page of stickers and a toy inside. There was a song when I was growing up (“Oh I wonder, wonder, wonder what, what’s in a Wonder Ball”) and commercials with kids in bad day-glo acting unnaturally happy.

    I think they may have stopped putting in the toys, last time I had one was at least five years ago, but the idea’s the same and they’re certainly available in the US. Toys R Us sells them, usually next to the Wonka Bars.

  49. The latest European Union toy safety regulations which were enacted in July 2009 ban this product. I’m not sure at what date the ban takes effect, but basically, it rules that you cannot put an inedible toy inside something edible. So, goodbye Kinder Eggs. Unless you live in Canada…

    Oh wait, I know a store less than a mile from my house (USA) where I can buy them. 😉

  50. KinderEggs rock! I wish I could get my Canadian relatives to send them down for my kids, but unfortunately they are too scared about prosecution to take the ‘risk’…

  51. Oh, God, no! Are Cracker Jacks next on the list?

  52. Aaron said: “The latest European Union toy safety regulations which were enacted in July 2009 ban this product.”

    Aaron, do you have a link for that? I knew the Germans had talked about banning it, but I hadn’t heard anything about the European Union doing so.

  53. I heard about this ridiculous rule on a magician’s forum when someone suggested putting the prediction into a Kinder egg instead of a box or envelope.

    Only Americans can be so stupid to consider chocolate eggs with toys dangerous contraband. How is this any different from Happy Meals and fortune cookies?

  54. Gail’s descriptions of Kinder Surprise make them sound like a cross between the overly sweet Creame Eggs sold around Easter and the cheap prizes in Cracker Jacks. I wouldn’t mind banning the Creame Eggs based on their taste.

  55. @Helen All I’m aware about is some talk in 2008 where a committee discussed possible legislations against bundling toys and “Nahrungsmittel”, which is somewhat defensible. Note that “Nahrungsmittel” is a subset of “Lebensmittel” (food), which refers only to food that’s understand to be plain consumption (basic foodstuff/fuel), so to speak, as opposed to “Genußmittel”, which is understood to be a treat, to be consumed mostly because of taste and/or additional effects, like caffeine.

    So a Kinder Suprise would not fall under this. I seem to remember that they reacted specifically to news about proposed bans of suprise eggs, as this would actually get a rise of the voters.:)

  56. @Dot – to give you some idea of how bad the Kinder Surprise chocolate is … I LIKE Cream Eggs! Or, at least, I used to before I had to stop eating sugar entirely.

  57. Lenore, this is such a clever, funny post! Well done! 🙂

  58. Are they available to ship to North Korea and Iran?

    I KNOW personally how dangerous they are. We got some a few years ago and my kids left the little pointy toys in the middle of the floor…..OWWWWWWWW!
    NEVER AGAIN! Please Kinder Surprise, put soft foam toys in your delicious chocolate egg.

  59. ooops….or I could wear slippers…..

  60. Where can I get some of these? Or is it easier to obtain smuggled drugs?

  61. Earlier this year my Italian in-laws tried sending 2 packages of eggs for my children’s birthdays. (my boys have eaten them in Italy and never tried to eat the candy). Customs called us and said we either had to send the package back to Italy or pay $75 for them to open the package and remove the eggs. I guess they saw them in the X-ray? We agreed to them opening it, and it arrived a few days later. However, U.S. customs failed to remove one of the 2 boxes, so we didn’t send them the $75.

    There were legos in the same birthday package. Seems to me that they would be just as much a choking hazard as kinder eggs. And how did they know the package was for someone under 3? One of my sons is 5 (the other, 2).

    We live 100 miles from Canada, and saw a 20-pack in Costco when we were there. Didn’t see any kids on the streets choking, though.

  62. never tried to eat the toys, that is.

  63. Lego candy was banned in the US too because some people thought children would not be able to recognize what was candy and what was plastic. Stupid. With that logic, I’m surprised Legos haven’t been banned!

  64. Maybe they’ll ban the plastic toys that go on kids’ birthday cakes. Or the plastic toys that come with Happy Meals. One never knows, a child might try to eat them.

    PS I just realized how easy it was to leave a reply on this blog… I’ll control myself now! 🙂

  65. Geez, sucks to be you!

  66. Banned? You can buy them near Harvard Square.

  67. I love these things! I bought some when I was in Germany but that was a decade ago. Now that I have children, I wish I could get my hands on some. Most online stores have a big warning saying they will not ship them to US addresses.
    I think Nestle(?) made something similar but they were quickly pulled off the market and the toys inside were replaced with more candy. Oh well. They wouldn’t have been the same without the Kinder chocolate anyway.

  68. My 4-year-old Canadian daughter LOVES these eggs. We even got her a Kinder advent calendar. But don’t worry, I won’t send any your way. It will leave more for us. 😉

  69. I wonder if you’re boosting sales with this post? I was just at the grocery store where I can buy Kinder Eggs anytime I want, and I bought the Christmas ones just because they were on my mind. Lol…Subliminal plus impulse buy…boy oh boy!

  70. I grew up in Germany with those things, still love them and thankfully my parents always remember that :-).
    Concerning a ban of non-food items in a food item, now there is an idea of how to keep the Chinese in check. No more Fortune cookies, that’ll teach them!

  71. Don’t worry, it’s not just the Americans, here in Germany they have also toyed (pun intended) with the idea of banning them for the same reason (http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/wirbel-um-das-ueberraschungs-ei;2020352) – so far they haven’t. I’m sure there would be a revolt, they are so popular!

    Kinder is German (means children) but the eggs are from Ferrero, which is an Italian company.

  72. We have lots of European friends and for many years they sent these to our son in the US. Thank goodness they simply listed chocolate or candy on the customs form…I would have been mortified informing the gift givers if surprise eggs had been confiscated.

    Those capsules containing the small parts are often impossible to open, even by adults.

    Of course, the chocolate that makes these eggs is one of the worst tasting chocolates possible (even worse than Hershey), which would be a better reason to ban them ;-). Thankfully, at 11 yoa, our son has better taste in chocolate now.

  73. I worked for Nestle in the 90’s when we released the Magic ball. It was pulled because you could not have toys in chocolate even though the toy was INSIDE A PLASTIC BALL!! There is no do gooder politition herion like some child safety issue.


  74. I am Canadian, and never realized these were not available in the States. Meh, you don’t have Ketchup chips either…
    But for a previous comment, the white lining in the chocolate is white chocolate. Which is why I think it has a funny taste. But my kids LOVE them.

  75. Julie – but we now have salt and vinegar chips -so things are improving.

  76. Sigh. I promise, we meant nothing nefarious by sending you our kinder-eggs, America. But if you don’t want them, more kinder-eggs for us. And we probably won’t die from them, either.

  77. […] about the toy-in-chocolate Kinder Surprise [CanWest via Free-Range Kids; earlier, […]

  78. Just wanted to let you know about this article I heard about on a nutritional forum. Now, in the UK, parents are being forced to feed their kids junk food.

    Here is the link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1232611/Mother-boy-snatched-social-workers-refusing-doctors-advice-feed-chocolate-crisps.html

  79. Librarymomma, the Daily Mail is usually known for sensationalism rather than accurate reporting. Now there’s probably truth in the story, but I doubt it’s as simple as they reported.

  80. Is it a good or bad sign that my cat went after the white chocolate layer of a KinderEgg? She is not known to eat candy or chocolate–ever. So maybe it has a high enough milk content for her liking? Or it could be it tastes like fish…

  81. I sent the link to my boss (who was traveling in Canada) and she smuggled some back for me! Hurray! Also, this week, my 9 year old was dropped off by our sitter at our church for Christmas Pageant practice. Apparently, it was canceled but we were somehow not told. He spent 45 minutes exploring the church until she came back. Thankfully, I had just read your book. I thought “What are the odds that a pedophile would just happen to stop by a church in a small town on a Thursday at 4pm JUST IN CASE a 9 year old was alone.” I told my husband and he said, “Free range moment?” Yes, indeed.

  82. AB, I’m pretty sure the store in Harvard Square that sold Kinder Eggs (and the always delicious Australian Violet Crumble) closed (Cardullo’s?). Unless there’s another source for Kinder Surprise in Massachusetts?

  83. Canadian here! I can assure you that our candy is very safe 🙂

  84. […] no país de que (é o perfeito exemplo anedótico) os ovos Kinder são banidos por questões de segurança. E por cá, com que idade é que começámos a ir sozinhos à padaria do cimo da rua e com que […]

  85. Hey, I just hopped over to your site via StumbleUpon. Not somthing I would normally read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for making something worth reading.

  86. Kinder… I always thought they were German. Only discovered them when I moved here.

  87. i had no toy in my kinder egg 😦

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