Skip

Kinder Surprise eggs = illegal contraband
January 11, 2011 12:36 PM   Subscribe


 
Good work DHS!

Signed,
Columbian Drug Lords
posted by GuyZero at 12:38 PM on January 11, 2011 [19 favorites]


Shit, I can walk a block from my office right now and pick up all the Kinder eggs I want. Maybe I'll go do that, and then choke myself purposefully on ALL THE PRIZES, just so I can go to the hospital for some sweet, sweet socialized medicine.
posted by the dief at 12:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [72 favorites]


Seriously? DHS seizes egg from Bird?
posted by Babblesort at 12:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [79 favorites]


I can only say I'm glad I wasn't ever caught smuggling Kindereggs into the US, because at $300 a shot, when I was transporting them by the case, it could have been expensive as hell.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:41 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which came first: the choking or the egg?
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 12:42 PM on January 11, 2011 [15 favorites]


What's hilarious about this is, if you buy the egg, break it open, assemble the toy, and then carry THAT across the border, there won't be any problems.
posted by hippybear at 12:43 PM on January 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


So sad, but true! I used to collect Kinder Toys in the 90s and sell the doubles on eBay to Americans. I guess I was just lucky that customs never opened the boxes. Even as an adult I have trouble getting the eggs open. I could never do it as a kid, Mom had to help.
posted by Calzephyr at 12:46 PM on January 11, 2011


What's next? Ban pretzels because some idiot could choke on them?
posted by petrilli at 12:47 PM on January 11, 2011 [25 favorites]


It does happen. Not very often, though.
posted by Devonian at 12:47 PM on January 11, 2011


Why is it that Kinder eggs are banned in the US on the basis that they're food with non-edible toys inside, while the cereal aisle is full of the exact same thing?

Does Count Chocula have diplomatic immunity?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:48 PM on January 11, 2011 [45 favorites]


Nooooooooooooooooooooo...

Kinder Eggs are the best. My sister gets to eat the chocolate (because I don't like chocolate) and then I get the toy.

Why do you hate happiness, America?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:48 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I had no idea Kinder Eggs were banned, I guess that explains why I can't find them in stores that carry other Kinder chocolates. It also mean I know many people who have brought contraband into the US.
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:49 PM on January 11, 2011


When I first read this I thought it was just a yolk.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:49 PM on January 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


Something exciting... and a toy!
posted by Artw at 12:51 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reaction 1: "I am surprised that there is a ban on importation of these things. Maybe Americans might not even know what Kinder Surprises are."

Action: "Hmmm... maybe I can find a commercial or something that illustrates the idea for the curious."

Reaction 2: "The hell?"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:51 PM on January 11, 2011 [27 favorites]


petrilli: "What's next? Ban pretzels because some idiot could choke on them?"

Or marshmallows?
posted by Night_owl at 12:53 PM on January 11, 2011


I received my first ever Kinder Eggs from a MeFite last year. It's in on the global conspiracy.
posted by mrbill at 12:55 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally, I'm amazed they haven't banned them just for the hideous monstrosity surrounding the toy, that someone, clearly making some kind of sick joke, has labelled "chocolate".
posted by ZsigE at 12:57 PM on January 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


So Canadians can't get their eggs over easy?
posted by doublehappy at 12:58 PM on January 11, 2011 [61 favorites]


I guess this means my German grandmother was sending my sister & I contraband all those years she included them in our Christmas packages.
posted by bibliophibianj at 12:58 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kinder Eggs are sold all over the world excluding the United States, where the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits embedding "non-nutritive items" in confections. (Wikipedia)

Oh,my god. Fortune cookies will be next.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:00 PM on January 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


My brother sent this to me in an email:

"That's excellent. She should challenge this, affirming that the Kinder Egg is indeed a deadly item, and that it is therefore protected under her 2nd amendment right to arm herself."
posted by Dreadnought at 1:01 PM on January 11, 2011 [42 favorites]


I... um... brought four Kinder Eggs into the US from France last week.

Oops?

They were delicious.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:01 PM on January 11, 2011


So Canadians can't get their eggs over easy?

Not unless we scramble them over the border.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 1:02 PM on January 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


Kinder Suprise-it's-a-hefty-fine-and-a-seven-page-bureaucratic-letter-from-united-states-customs.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:02 PM on January 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is delightfully arbitrary. American coins? Fine. Lego? No problem. Other small toys that don't come in chocolate eggs? Hell, we've got shops full of them. Be interesting to know which representative or official pushed for the ban and their connection to the chocolate surprise egg industry.
posted by doublehappy at 1:02 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Strangely, in the middle of the third page of the letter sent by the DHS the text goes into a parenthetical digression. As fortune has it, I have a copy of it, from a scan, for all of you to enjoy:

"Notwithstanding paragraph (1), in the case of the seizure of any explosive materials for any offense for which the materials would be subject to forfeiture in which it would be impracticable or unsafe to remove the materials to a place of storage or would be unsafe to store them, the seizing officer may destroy the explosive materials forthwith. Any destruction under this paragraph shall be in the presence of at least 1 credible witness. The seizing officer shall make a report of the seizure and take samples as the Attorney General may by regulation prescribe.

The sample as taken was revealed to be a threat. The item specified is manufactured by Ferrero SpA. The company is headquartered in Alba, Piedmont, Italy. The known weapon manufacturer in the region is home also to my relatives. These repulsive anti-intellectual relatives, whom one cannot always avoid during holidays, often attack me with common provocations like “What can you, as a philosopher, tell me about the cup of coffee I’m drinking?” Once, however, when a thrifty relative of mine gave my son a Kinder Surprise egg and then asked me, with an ironic, patronizing smile:“So what would be your philosophical comment on this egg?,” he got the surprise of his life — a long, detailed answer.

Kinder Surprise, one of the most popular confectionery products on sale in Europe, are empty chocolate eggshells wrapped in brightly colored paper; when you unwrap the egg and crack the chocolate shell open, you find inside a small plastic toy (or small parts from
which a toy can be put together). A child who buys this chocolate egg often unwraps it nervously and just breaks the chocolate, not bothering to eat it, worrying only about the toy in the center — is not such a chocolate-lover a perfect case of Lacan’s motto “I love you, but, inexplicably, I love something in you more than yourself, and, therefore, I destroy you”? And, in effect, is this toy not l’objet petit a at its purest, the small object filling in the central void of our desire, the hidden treasure, agalma, at the center of the thing we desire?

This material (“real”) void at the center, of course, stands for the structural (“formal”) gap on account of which no product is “really that,” no product lives up to its expectations. In other words, the small plastic toy is not simply different from chocolate (the product we bought); while it is materially different, it fills in the gap in chocolate itself — that is to say, it is on the same surface as the chocolate. As we know from Marx, a commodity is a mysterious entity full of theological caprices, a particular object satisfying a particular need, but at the same time the promise of “something more,” of an unfathomable enjoyment whose true location is fantasy — all advertising addresses this fantasmatic space (“If you drink X, it will not be just a drink, but also…”). And the plastic toy is the result of a risky strategy actually to materialize, render visible, this mysterious excess: “If you eat our chocolate, you will not just eat chocolate, but also . . . have a (totally useless) plastic toy.” Thus the Kinder egg provides the formula for all the products which promise “more” (“Buy a DVD player and get five DVDs for free,” or, in an even more direct form, more of the same – “Buy this toothpaste and get a third extra for free”), not to mention the standard trick with the Coca-Cola bottle (“Look on the inside of the metal cover, and you may find that you are the winner of one of our prizes, from another free Coke to a brand-new car”): the function of this “more” is to fill in the lack of a “less,” to compensate for the fact that, by definition, a product never delivers on its (fantasmatic) promise. In other words, the ultimate “true” product would be the one which would not need any supplement, the one which would simply fully deliver what it promises — “you get what you paid for, neither less nor more.”

This reference to the void in the middle of a desert, the void enveloped by a desert, has a long history. In Elizabethan England, with the rise of modern subjectivity, a difference emerged between the “substantial” food (meat) eaten in the great banqueting hall, and the
sweet desserts eaten in a small separate room while the tables were being cleared (“voided”) in the banqueting hall — so the small room in which these desserts were eaten was called the “void.” Consequently, the desserts themselves were referred to as “voids”; furthermore, they imitated the void in their form — sugar cakes in the shape of, usually, an animal, empty in the middle.The emphasis was on the contrast between the “substantial” meal in the large banqueting hall and the insubstantial, ornamental dessert in the “void”: the “void” was a “like-meat,” a fake, a pure appearance — for example, a sugar
peacock which looked like a peacock without being one (the key part of the ritual of consuming it was to crack the surface violently to reveal the void inside). This was the early-modern version of today’s decaffeinated coffee or artificial sweeteners, the first example of a food deprived of its substance, so that, in eating it, one was, in a way, “eating nothing.”And the further key feature is that this “void” was the space of deploying “private” subjectivity as opposed to the “public” space of the banqueting hall: the “void” was consumed in a place where one withdrew after the public ceremony of the official meal; in this separate place, one was allowed to drop official masks and let oneself articipate in the relaxed exchange of gossip, impressions, opinions, and confessions in their entire scope, from the trivial to the most intimate. The opposition between the substantial “real thing” and the trifling ornamental appearance which enveloped only the void thus overlapped with the opposition between substance and subject – no wonder that, in the same period, the “void” also functioned as an allusion to the subject itself, the Void beneath the deceptive appearance of social masks.This, perhaps, is the first, culinary, version of Hegel’s famous motto according to which one should conceive the Absolute “not only as Substance, but also as Subject”: you should eat not only meat and bread, but also good desserts.

Should we not link this use of “void” to the fact that, at exactly the same historical moment, at the dawn of modernity, “zero” as a number was invented — a fact, as Brian Rotman has pointed out, linked to the expansion of commodity exchange, of the production of commodities, into the hegemonic form of production, so that the link between void and commodity is there from the beginning. In his classic analysis of the reek vase in “Das Ding,” to which Lacan refers in his Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Heidegger also emphasizes how the vase as an emblematic Thing is formed around a central void, that is, serves as the container of a void — so it is tempting to read the Greek vase and the Kinder chocolate egg together as designating the two moments of the Thing in the history of the West: the sacred Thing at its dawn, and the ridiculous merchandise at its end: the Kinder egg is our vase today. The greatest threat to America today is this void. And is it not the case that this enjoyment is classified under Title VIII. Section 806 of the USA PATRIOT Act as a material support for child endangerment by a terrorist organization. Therefore, under the power invested in the Department of Homeland Security bestowed by Title VIII. Section 809 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Wherein it is stated that a) Any person who—
(1) violates any of subsections (a) through (i) or (l) through (o) of section 842 shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both;"
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2011 [125 favorites]


It's really crossing a line when they go from imposing safety laws on retailers, importers, and manufacturers to imposing laws on people's personal property. I guess the feds might as well come over and root around in my house and write me up since I KNOW some of my cords and gadgets don't have any UL stickers.
posted by crapmatic at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does Count Chocula have diplomatic immunity?

Well, he did, before what the Department of State calls simply "the incident" in a Wikileaks cable.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:04 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


A local pizza shop used to have these things by the counter. I have always regretted not buying one when I had the chance.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:04 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Land of Personal Responsibility, indeed.

We used to collect these when I was a kid living in Germany. They were great, and we brought them back to the States all the time. In fact, I brought a few home the last time I was over there. The toys I got seemed a lot less cool than what I remember from the mid-90s.

Tangentially, the last time I was there I was getting some coffee out of a vending machine at work and these three German guys were hanging out at a table in the break room.

GERMAN GUY: You are American?
ME, blowing on coffee: That's right.
GERMAN GUY: You'd better be careful with that coffee! There are no warnings on the cup! And you can't sue anyone here if you burn yourself!
ME: I'll take that under advisement.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


If food with toys inside is such a menace to society, what about all the people who bake king cakes for Epiphany and Mardi Gras? Thousands of grandmothers are criminals and they're trying to kill us with their cake-coated baby Jesuses!!!
posted by amyms at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Personally, I'm amazed they haven't banned them just for the hideous monstrosity surrounding the toy, that someone, clearly making some kind of sick joke, has labelled "chocolate".

You wouldn't say that if you'd ever had American "chocolate," which I'm pretty sure is made entirely of compressed earwax.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:06 PM on January 11, 2011 [21 favorites]


I'm starting a smuggling ring. I once got a watch out of Vietnam, a Kinder Egg shouldn't be too uncomfortable. Who's first?
posted by cjorgensen at 1:07 PM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Kinder, gentler nation my ass.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously? DHS seizes egg from Bird?

I smell a... brilliant viral marketing campaign!
posted by formless at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


She should pay the fine to have them keep storing it and then blog about every interaction. She could probably raise more than $250 with ads and make DHS look like complete loons in the process.
posted by gurple at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Strangely, in the middle of the third page of the letter sent by the DHS the text goes into a parenthetical digression.

I didn't know Slavoj Žižek was a DHS agent. That explains a lot.
posted by clarknova at 1:14 PM on January 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


I fell in love with Kinder eggs when I lived in France for a year as a young child, and it is the one thing I always bring back with me when I travel. My family also has an Austrian friend who sends them to us every year. I knew they couldn't be sold in the U.S. but I actually had no idea it was illegal to transport them. Add this to my list of criminal activities, which otherwise consists of jaywalking, occasional recreational drug use, and all those songs I downloaded from Limewire back in college. I feel pretty wild.
posted by naoko at 1:17 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what should be illegal? Kinder Riegel. Oh god, the addictive delicious power...
posted by neushoorn at 1:18 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rumour has it that the small yellow plastic container is commonly used to smuggle mobile phone SIM cards and drugs into British prisons by wily females.

Sort of an In-her Surprise as it were.
posted by longbaugh at 1:19 PM on January 11, 2011


Tangent: there are a lot of awesome videos when you search for "The Incident".
posted by norm at 1:20 PM on January 11, 2011


I'm starting a smuggling ring. I once got a watch out of Vietnam, a Kinder Egg shouldn't be too uncomfortable. Who's first?

That's not German chocolate!

Maybe American.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:21 PM on January 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Babblesort: Seriously? DHS seizes egg from Bird?

Worse than that, they insisted Bird destroy the egg or get fined. Who does that to Bird?

From the article: Officials said they've seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures.

They're just preparing for 2012, with the notion that Ze Germans will be more prepared, and that Kinder Treats will be the new currency. Kind of like the possibility that pez would become currency post Y2k (Daily Show link, sorry ROW).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:21 PM on January 11, 2011




Got it. So, next time I smuggle drugs across the border I'll carry a Kinder egg to distract DHS from the real contraband.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:24 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those DHS are just plain pigs.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:25 PM on January 11, 2011


Angry Bird?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:27 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live in NYC and I see Kinder eggs for sale in bodegas all the time.

They're banned? I had no idea.
posted by ged at 1:28 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, that's why I couldn't find any Kinder Eggs for stocking stuffers last year.

I've been trying to choke my children with these for years and haven't had any success. Looks like I'll have to resort to other, equally subtle methods.
posted by bstreep at 1:28 PM on January 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


You got two hands, bstreep.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:30 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


wtf? i can buy these at a local grocery. in fact i have several toys from kinder eggs that have small parts ... though i do have them out of reach of any small children.
posted by lester at 1:31 PM on January 11, 2011


Seems a hard thing to get worked up about.

The US has a law dating from *looks* 34 years before the Kinder Egg was invented. It bans putting non-food in candy. The obvious purpose of this is to.. prevent candy manufacturers from putting unfood in their candy. It also happens to catch the Kinder Egg.

So... so? Is it supposed to be surprising that you can't bring items into a country that are illegal there? Similarly, Canada seems to prohibit the importation of gag birthday candles that relight themselves, baby walkers, and "yoyo balls," whatever those are.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:32 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


If the toy was one of these I'm sure it would be ok.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:35 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


They'll get my Kinder Surprise when they pry it from my chocolate-coated fingers.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 1:35 PM on January 11, 2011


weapons-grade pandemonium wrote "I'm starting a smuggling ring. I once got a watch out of Vietnam, a Kinder Egg shouldn't be too uncomfortable. Who's first?
"posted by cjorgensen at 3:07 PM on January 11 [1 favorite +] [!]

"Kinder, gentler nation my ass.
"posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:08 PM on January 11 [+] [!]"


Those two comments, in sequence, reposted just so we can all enjoy the serendipity again.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:37 PM on January 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


mr border crossing best story( USA/Mexico)at a produce store in Tijuana , i bought 5 pretty red apples that the clerk had an opened Washington State apple box(American grown and packed).Then at the border the Federal USA Agent confiscated the apples saying they are not allowed from Mexico into the USA. i told him , but they are real Washington State apples straight out of a shipped apple box from the USA. i stated i'm only bringing in our American apples. That ended the conversation, and i let the Agent walk away with my apples, i just hope he and 4 other agents enjoyed them during their afternoon break, yummy!
posted by tustinrick at 1:37 PM on January 11, 2011


You don't understand ROU_Xenophobe. This news story clearly mentions Department of Homeland Security. It doesn't matter whether or not they are being sensible. They are a priori excessive, and any actions connected to them are as well. For instance, just the other day I saw a DHS agent put mustard and ketchup on his hot dog. He probably didn't even eat it!
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do I understand this correctly?
In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?
Because they are so DEADLY?
posted by sour cream at 1:42 PM on January 11, 2011 [21 favorites]


I'm always amused by Canada's Admissible and Prohibited Titles.
posted by electroboy at 1:42 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do I understand this correctly?
In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?
Because they are so DEADLY?


You only think that it doesn't make sense because you aren't thinking of the children.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:43 PM on January 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


People like these things? Terrible chocolate, crap toy. At the least you could follow Bill Bailey's advice and fill them with a creme egg.
posted by roobot at 1:46 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This ridiculous egg business makes me think there is a Killgore Trout story like this:

An alien robot, long prophesied to be savior of their world, comes to Earth seeking the 'true prize', a mythic 'grail-like' object that is supposed to save their space station from destruction. However, after 156 humans are violently dismembered, and a small town destroyed, the humans manage to capture the robot and put it on trial for mass murder. It is discovered during the trial that humans look like alien candy, and it was prophesied that the prize was hidden inside a candy, far, far away. The robot is found guilty, of course, and destroyed. The Earth is then dominated by the alien robots soon afterward, as revenge for killing their savior. The alien space station blows up, and the aliens make a home on Earth, thus fulfilling the prophesy that the alien robot quested for.*

*However, the aliens missed the point entirely, as the 'prize' was a soul, and the whole thing was a big misunderstanding from the beginning, and everyone, including the alien robots, is either dead, soulless, or just as ignorant as they were before the story began, for ever after.

tl: dr; - my mind went on a wild tangent re:the concept of 'free prize inside'
posted by chambers at 1:49 PM on January 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


Kinder eggs, of course, are made by Italian company Ferrero, which is ostensibly the most reputable company in the world, but, as everyone knows in Europe, is essentially run by the Italian Mafia. Not surprisingly, they also produce one of the most addictive substances on the planet - Nutella.
posted by sour cream at 1:49 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does Count Chocula have diplomatic immunity?

Dude's been promoted.
posted by mintcake! at 1:51 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now that I think about it, homeboy is undead, so I don't know if that is going to do anything to stop him.
posted by norm at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2011


Dude's been promoted.

I don't know why but "Archduke Chocula" is the funniest thing I've seen all week.
posted by GuyZero at 1:56 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?

/draws map of congressional candidates covered in chocolate
posted by ryanrs at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


tustinrick: My family was driving back across the border from Quebec. American customs stopped us, and an agent walked up to the car and asked if we had any contraband, especially agricultural products. I gave her a sort of blank look, and she said "Like apples, other fruit, anything like that?" At that precise moment, from the back of the car came a loud "CRUNCH." We all looked back and there's my three year old daughter holding the apple she's just bitten into. "Just that one," I said. "Eat faster honey, we need to cross the border now."
posted by rusty at 2:04 PM on January 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


If they're going after contraband Kinder Eggs, they'll have to raid the bodegas in 2nd Ave in the East Village. That's where I always got mine!
posted by SansPoint at 2:07 PM on January 11, 2011


I saw a place (like an independent convenient store but larger---I don't exactly remember the name of it) six years back that sold KinderEggs in Harvard Square. They were illegal then, but they did get sold here. They had a small cardboard display stand and everything, but I think it was in German.

I don't have an opinion on this matter, after all, I'm the one that ate part of the sticker on the apple this morning. I thought maybe it was just a sour bit and I swallowed it. Then I looked down. Half a sticker. I'm pretty certain I've eaten a number of stickers in the past, because I take huge bites.
posted by anniecat at 2:13 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm always amused by Canada's Admissible and Prohibited Titles.

"Bondage Ahoy!" sounds so sweet and innocent, like an arch Noel Coward farce set at sea.
posted by The Whelk at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Do I understand this correctly?
In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?
Because they are so DEADLY?


We also believe:

- that gays can destroy entire civilizations but can't serve in the military
- no one should have any privacy because only criminals would have something to hide but our government should be opaque unless the terrorists learn too much and destroy us all
- Corporations which have devastated areas and harmed thousands of lives can be trusted to self-regulate, women can't be trusted to make medical decisions for themselves
- A person with a bumper sticker of the other political party needs to be escorted away, a guy showing up to political rallies openly carrying a high powered rifle is a-ok.

Yep. That's my country!
posted by yeloson at 2:24 PM on January 11, 2011 [56 favorites]


No way this is real. I don't believe it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:35 PM on January 11, 2011


I grew up in the US and have never even heard of Kinder eggs, which means I was probably brainwashed.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2011


Does this explain the demise of Cracker Jacks? Are they legal? Have the once-lavish prizes become edible?
posted by Jode at 2:37 PM on January 11, 2011


> Does this explain the demise of Cracker Jacks?

Nah, they just taste assy and the prizes are bunk.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


tustinrick: My family was driving back across the border from Quebec. American customs stopped us, and an agent walked up to the car and asked if we had any contraband, especially agricultural products. I gave her a sort of blank look, and she said "Like apples, other fruit, anything like that?" At that precise moment, from the back of the car came a loud "CRUNCH." We all looked back and there's my three year old daughter holding the apple she's just bitten into. "Just that one," I said. "Eat faster honey, we need to cross the border now."

But what about the pips! Apples are a deathtrap.
posted by dng at 2:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


BIRD PUN

FOOD PUN

EGG PUN

CANADA PUN

900 FAVORITES
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on January 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


So, if she authorizes them to destroy the egg, what do you want to bet it will be destroyed by some Customs agent's mouth and teeth?
posted by Soliloquy at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Columbian Drug Lords

I usually get irrationally angry when people spell Colombia the country like Columbia the river/provence. But in this case I must tip my hat to you. We must build the wall to keep out those evil British Columbian Drug Lords.
posted by birdherder at 3:00 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


We must build the wall to keep out those evil British Columbian Drug Lords.

Heh. Freudian-Canadian slip.
posted by GuyZero at 3:02 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I felt stupid when I bought the kinder egg, because I am an adult. In retrospect, I feel much better.
posted by acrasis at 3:05 PM on January 11, 2011


"Bondage Ahoy!" sounds so sweet and innocent, like an arch Noel Coward farce set at sea.

And for some reason Hot Hairy Studs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 are admissible, but #3 is verboten.
posted by electroboy at 3:10 PM on January 11, 2011


I shipped a laser printer to a guy in New York State a few months ago. It got stopped at the border because I didn't fill out FDA paperwork. See, it has a laser in it, and that is a health risk!!! Of course every laptop shipped across the border has a laser too, often much more powerful, but laptops don't have laser in the description.
posted by Chuckles at 3:18 PM on January 11, 2011


To be fair to US customs, this guy does quite resemble this guy
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 3:19 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lucky she wasn't trying to get into Québec, because in French Canada, one egg is un oeuf.
posted by doublehappy at 3:29 PM on January 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


So... so? Is it supposed to be surprising that you can't bring items into a country that are illegal there?

You're missing the point. It's ridiculous that these items are illegal.

Similarly, Canada seems to prohibit the importation of gag birthday candles that relight themselves, baby walkers, and "yoyo balls," whatever those are.

Pointing out other ridiculous laws doesn't make this one less ridiculous.
posted by ripley_ at 3:29 PM on January 11, 2011


We have Kinder Surprises Eggs in Australia too, but also Cadbury Yowie chocolates. Instead of toys with moving parts, each toy hidden inside a Yowie egg is a plastic rendition of an Australian native animal. Here's a guide to collecting and selling them.

I used to particularly enjoy Frankenstein-ing new animals out of the components of different animals.
posted by robotot at 3:36 PM on January 11, 2011


In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?

Children never choke on firearms.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]




So, if she authorizes them to destroy the egg, what do you want to bet it will be destroyed by some Customs agent's mouth and teeth?

DHS has a budget they need to spend. Look for atomic disintegrator beam destruction after several weeks of round-the-clock security perimeter with NORAD on full alert. Kinder egg makes a move and fighter jets will be scrambled.
posted by telstar at 3:47 PM on January 11, 2011


Oh great. Thanks to this thread y6 has now ordered some eggs via mail and is going through random Kinder egg conspiracy type websites. This should provide hours of dubious fun.
posted by batgrlHG at 3:56 PM on January 11, 2011


And what the hell is this....

"So let us return to the scene of a small kid violently tearing apart and discarding the chocolate egg in order to get at the plastic toy. Is he not the emblem of so-called "totalitarianism" which also wants to get rid of the "inessential" historical contingent coating in order to liberate the "essence" of man?"
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:56 PM on January 11, 2011


y6: "I should never have ordered those eggs! Now they know where we are!"
batgrl: (much eye rolling)
posted by batgrlHG at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2011


A couple of years ago, Nestle was selling Magic Eggs - which were egg shaped capsules with a toy inside. I think that's what they were called. These were sold at the local grocery stores. Haven't seen them for a while.

They were no replacement for Kinder Eggs.
posted by schnee at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2011


And what the hell is this....

That is a large plate of beans. Very very large plate. Encased in plastic and sealed inside a chocolate egg.
posted by hippybear at 4:00 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of my (US) local specialty stores, which I will not name, sells them when they can get them. They say that their supply depends on the mood of the customs officials and that they seem to become a bit more lenient around the holidays. Not that I've ever bought contraband or brought it back from travel, of course.
posted by Morrigan at 4:11 PM on January 11, 2011


Huh. I see these all the time in San Francisco. I didn't even know that they weren't normally sold in the US, let alone that they were illegal.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:19 PM on January 11, 2011


Any company responsible for this deserves to be banned.

Creepy-ass anthropomorphic egg.
posted by electroboy at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


From Original Article: "The U.S. takes catching illegal Kinder candy seriously, judging by the number of them they've confiscated in the last year. Officials said they've seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures."

So that's why my father [in Colorado] didn't send any for my bday or xmas this year! Made for a pretty empty holiday season. I miss my Kinder Eggs!

yeah, I'm a us-military brat missing Europe
posted by MuChao at 4:28 PM on January 11, 2011


We have an embarrassingly large Kinder toy collection. My favourite are the "drug toys"--Kinder toys so absolutely devoid of any semblance of normalcy that they were clearly designed by someone who was way too high at the time. You know, the ones you put together and go "Um...what the HELL is that?". Oh Kinder....how I love your magical eggs and your delightful chocolately coating.
posted by Go Banana at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lucky she wasn't trying to get into Québec, because in French Canada, one egg is un oeuf.

ow ow ow OW OW
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:24 PM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?

To be fair guns aren't a choking hazard are they?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:27 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair, they don't ban my penis from entering the States.
posted by doublehappy at 5:31 PM on January 11, 2011


To be fair, they don't ban my penis from entering the States.

To be fair, this is neither 4chan nor the 7th grade.
posted by katillathehun at 5:50 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be fair, this is neither 4chan nor the 7th grade.

To be fair, this isn't Captain Killjoy's House of Prudish Shaming either.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:00 PM on January 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


To be fair, this isn't Captain Killjoy's House of Prudish Shaming either.

Oh, yeah, sorry about that. It is, actually, but we took the sign down while we were repainting.
posted by katillathehun at 6:08 PM on January 11, 2011 [17 favorites]


CHOCOLATE EGGS FOR SOME, TINY AMERICAN FLAGS FOR OTHERS
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


To be fair, this is neither 4chan nor the 7th grade.

Penis banned from both =(
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:19 PM on January 11, 2011


Don't worry, you're not going to risk choking anyone with that tiny thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:27 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


a bright tought! I linked over to U Tube and behold 1,090 videos
on KINDER EGGS. i watched a few to learn about those eggs until my eyeballs fell out.
posted by tustinrick at 6:33 PM on January 11, 2011


i watched a few to learn about those eggs until my eyeballs fell out.

You should put them in Kinder eggs!
posted by Burhanistan at 6:37 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let me get this straight: American cannot, for the most part, enjoy Tin Tin, Asterix, and now, Kinder Eggs?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:05 PM on January 11, 2011


I am so thrilled to know a secret place in the Chicago burbs that still sells these! I didn't know they were terrorists for doing so!
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:14 PM on January 11, 2011


CHOCOLATE EGGS FOR SOME, TINY AMERICAN FLAGS FOR OTHERS

AND DOUBLEHAPPY'S DOUBLEHAPPY FOR EVERYONE ELSE.

katillathehun, you may find this informative demonstration a bit frightening. (NSFU-S-A!)
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:17 PM on January 11, 2011


y6: "The internet in our apt. and on our phones is down?! This is somehow related to those eggs! I didn't think they could hack into our tv!...Is anyone else online reporting this or is it just us? It's just us, isn't it?"
batgrl: (sigh)

(The net was down for at least an hour for us. I'm sure y6 will find further oddness to blame on the egg thing. Oh well, at least it's not dull, and I might get some vaguely edible chocolate...eventually.)
posted by batgrlHG at 7:22 PM on January 11, 2011


Maybe Chicago is just a lawless dystopian Libertarian Bartertown but I've never had a problem buying Kinder eggs (or hippos) around here. Obviously the full range of Kinder is available at Christkindlmarket but I usually get them at the Indian groceries up on Devon, or at a Polish or Ukrainian deli.

My favorite Kinder egg toy is a tiny plastic figurine of a sort of Polynesian caveman. He is holding a tiny plastic figurine of a sort of Polynesian caveman. That plastic figurine seems to be holding an even tinier plastic Polynesian, but the resolution limits of Kinder plastic come into play here.

It menaces with spikes of a sort of Polynesian caveman

posted by jtron at 7:36 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who runs lawless dystopian Libertarian Bartertown Chicago?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:40 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had no idea Kinder Eggs were banned
Since 1997. Previously - Schockoladespielzeugkombinationseier.
posted by unliteral at 7:40 PM on January 11, 2011


You don't want to know where I had to stash my Kinder Eggs when I crossed the border. There was a Law & Order episode about it, so there's that.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:42 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every ethnic market that I've ever visited in Chicago and the burbs has a stock of Kinder eggs. I buy them by the armful.
posted by sugarfish at 7:47 PM on January 11, 2011


So, you could say you were armed with kinder eggs.

I have some calls to make
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:48 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have seen them all over the East Village--thought most of them were of Polish origin (since most of the bodegas that stocked them also carried other Eastern European chocolates). I've transported them in my luggage numerous times from abroad and have never been hassled.

On a separate note, how much does it suck when you open the egg and inside is a lame jigsaw puzzle?
posted by nikitabot at 8:52 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to buy them at this little Korean market in Brooklyn- I'd splurge once a week or so and buy an egg to amuse myself. One week I wandered in and the eggs were missing. In his broken English Mr. Kim could only tell me that "Some police had arrested the eggs"

This clears that up.
posted by GilloD at 8:54 PM on January 11, 2011 [21 favorites]


I don't know how anyone could choke on the toy in a Kinder Egg. The plastic shell it's inside doesn't even taste very good. Sensible bites, America.
posted by Hoopo at 9:07 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Same thing almost happened to me when I sort of accidentally on-purpose might have tried to accidentally smuggle a mangosteen through the border crossing that leads from Vancouver to Seattle. Difference is, mangosteens aren't all that great, and there's no toy in the middle.

This is stupider.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:41 PM on January 11, 2011


I gave Kinder eggs to my Secret Quonsar last year. Bought in Chicago. Oh, the conspiracy! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by youngergirl44 at 9:44 PM on January 11, 2011


Ambassador, with these Kinder Eggs you are spo...uurrrghgghh!
posted by arcticseal at 9:47 PM on January 11, 2011


Hah! Now I have a retort when some smug American asks me about our chewing gum ban!
posted by destrius at 10:18 PM on January 11, 2011


My favorite Kinder egg toy is a tiny plastic figurine of a sort of Polynesian caveman. He is holding a tiny plastic figurine of a sort of Polynesian caveman. That plastic figurine seems to be holding an even tinier plastic Polynesian, but the resolution limits of Kinder plastic come into play here.

If you hold it in just the right way, do you turn into a Polynesian caveman yourself?
posted by Grangousier at 11:08 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or perhaps you already are a Polynesian caveman. Which would be neat.
posted by Grangousier at 11:09 PM on January 11, 2011


chewing gum is rude at times, the girl from movie proved that
posted by clavdivs at 11:36 PM on January 11, 2011


In America it's unconscionable to prevent an obviously mentally unstable man from owning a weapon that in less than a minute can kill 6 people and severely injure 14, and it's equally unconscionable that a grown mentally stable adult can own a chocolate-covered plastic egg.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:03 AM on January 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this not propaganda to ease canadian acceptance of the impending unified border security legislation? This provide an easily digestable and timely argument for why canada should concede some of its border security.
posted by sleslie at 12:11 AM on January 12, 2011


Wait... Kinder Surprises are illegal in the US? WTF? I know several stores near where I live that sell them in small quantities.
posted by archagon at 1:40 AM on January 12, 2011


Also, am I the only one who earnestly enjoys the chocolate even more than the toy? I mean, I've tasted bad chocolate before (Hershey's, eww), and it tastes nothing like that. It's good.
posted by archagon at 1:46 AM on January 12, 2011


I know several stores near where I live that sell them in small quantities.

SHUT UP DON'T TELL ANYONE
posted by doublehappy at 1:47 AM on January 12, 2011


This pisses me off so much!
EVERYBODY DESERVES KINDER EGGS.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:48 AM on January 12, 2011


I discovered long ago that a box of Kinder eggs is the best way to keep a room of developers from doing any work for an afternoon (as long as they're filled with the more complicated toys, rather than boring solid figures).

Anyway, they may be banned from sale in the US, but that needn't stop you all from making your own (ancient self-link)
posted by malevolent at 1:58 AM on January 12, 2011


There's actually a really interesting section in the book "Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy" about one of the by products of kinder eggs not being kosher in the US - it sparked a fairly fruity cold war between Nestlé and Mars as they both sought to develop a version of the product that would pass US regulations - in case anyone is interested.

Also - the ban is ridiculous: Kinder Eggs are sold across Europe and elsewhere with no apparent epidemic of dead children. It seems an odd niche to implement protectionism, but such is the way of lobbies.

Pick your side on Facebook:

Ban Kinder Surprise Eggs (131 members)
Say No To Kinder Egg Ban (29 members)
posted by MuffinMan at 2:57 AM on January 12, 2011


People! Wake up! Hasn't anyone learned anything at all? The decriminalization of chocolate eggs will stop the cash-flow to organized gangs in Canada; eliminating their ability to acquire toques, hockey sticks, and maple syrup.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:00 AM on January 12, 2011


BIRD PUN

FOOD PUN

EGG PUN

CANADA PUN

900 FAVORITES
BURMA SHAVE!
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on January 11 [9 favorites +] [!]

posted by primer_dimer at 3:12 AM on January 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the US, anyone can legally buy and walk around with a gun, but you'll be fined if you carry a Kinder egg around?

Well, anyone can buy a gun except a person adjudicated as mentally ill, felons, people under 18, anyone with a restraining order, a domestic violence conviction or non-permanent resident aliens. And anyone can carry a gun as long as you meet the above conditions and comply with the concealed carry laws of your state, some of which are pretty onerous.

I'm pretty sure no one has been fined for carrying around a kinder egg. Possession and importation are pretty different things. But that wasn't really your point, was it?
posted by electroboy at 6:27 AM on January 12, 2011


Years ago, I worked in a video store. Said store got a giant Kinder egg display filled with at least 10 layers of egg flats all containing foil wrapped Kinder Eggs.

The advertising on the top spoke of the rarest of the rare "Crystal Duck" that just *might* be inside one of the eggs. One of my coworkers embarked on an epic "Quest for the Crystal Duck". We were able to charge things to our account, for automatic payroll deduction, and man did he ever buy a lot of those eggs.

All of the computers at counter were soon surrounded by the toys assembled from the eggs he bought. It got to the point where when he opened an egg and did not find the fabled duck, he simply left the toy for someone else to assemble... he couldn't be bothered with this non-rare toy.

The man was slowly driven mad by the elusiveness of his quarry. Tens of dollars spent... TENS! The entire front counter littered with little crappy toys. He never did find that duck.

And that is why we should ban Kinder Eggs.
posted by utsutsu at 7:13 AM on January 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


We have Kinder Surprises Eggs in Australia too, but also Cadbury Yowie chocolates. Instead of toys with moving parts, each toy hidden inside a Yowie egg is a plastic rendition of an Australian native animal.

You don't even want to know what's inside the Cadbury Yaoi Chocolate.
posted by rusty at 8:06 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kinder Eggs are sold across Europe and elsewhere with no apparent epidemic of dead children.

Yeah, but we're talking about American children here. Toys that are harmless in Europe are deadly here, just like how those European healthcare systems can't possibly work here, because we're special.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:48 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's hilarious about this is, if you buy the egg, break it open, assemble the toy, and then carry THAT across the border, there won't be any problems.

sweet, sweet irony
posted by lizbunny at 9:04 AM on January 12, 2011


Last summer I was showing a visitor around, and I took her to the world's best candy store. While we were there, I said to her, "In the winter they have Kinder Surprise Eggs. It's the only place I've ever been able to find them in the States." The store owner overheard, and he said to me, sadly, "I don't know if we'll have them this year. Nobody is willing to risk bringing them over any more."

Of course, I of all people should know how deadly Kinder eggs are. When I was in first grade in Germany, I was so obsessed with these eggs that a group of savage sixth graders was able to trick me into smoking a cigar, with only a Kinder egg as my reward. And at the end I felt vindicated, because I only had to try a puff of the cigar and I still got my Kinder egg.

When I find these eggs, I buy them. Nothing makes me happier than to gently pry apart the shell -- which easily comes apart in halves -- pluck out the small plastic egg (inside the bigger egg!) then savor Kinder schokolade while trying to put together a mysterious toy that usually turns out to be something completely improbable, like a pterodactyl on a motorbike.
posted by brina at 9:43 AM on January 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm always amused by Canada's Admissible and Prohibited Titles.

Scanning that list I see that one of the prohibited films is entitled "Dog Wedding". Dog. Wedding. I'm quite sure that the actual film is quite heinous but, for some reason I find the title hilarious.
posted by ob at 10:06 AM on January 12, 2011


Yet, I see that "Dog Sex" is admissible. Oh Canada, you're so progressive.
posted by ob at 10:08 AM on January 12, 2011


Oh no, damn I was reading the wrong line. It isn't.
posted by ob at 10:09 AM on January 12, 2011


In America it's unconscionable to prevent an obviously mentally unstable man from owning a weapon that in less than a minute can kill 6 people and severely injure 14, and it's equally unconscionable that a grown mentally stable adult can own a chocolate-covered plastic egg.

Guns don't kill people. Chocolate-covered plastic eggs kill people.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is my usual tactic, when coming back from Canada with illicit OTC cold medicine or something under the front seat, to declare my chocolate bars.

Maybe I need to rethink that strategy.
posted by QIbHom at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2011


If chocolate eggs are made illegal, then only criminals and The Easter Bunny will have chocolate eggs.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:08 PM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The man was slowly driven mad by the elusiveness of his quarry. Tens of dollars spent... TENS! The entire front counter littered with little crappy toys. He never did find that duck.

Oh the addicting allure of little crappy toys!

I used to work at a video store too (MeFi should start a Former Video Store Employees club) and we had a couple of coin-operated candy/toy dispensers beside the counter. The toy dispenser had the standard trinkets-in-plastic-capsules (rings with giant rhinestones, glittery rubber bracelets, plastic farm animals, miniature cars) and, strangely, it also had some higher-quality little ninja figurines that came in a seemingly infinite variety of designs and poses.

There were several kids (and some adults) who became obsessed with those ninjas, spending handfuls of quarters at a time trying to collect the whole set. Most of them reacted with the usual disappointment when they didn't get what they were hoping for, but one little boy in particular was more dramatic about it. He would do a kind of rending-of-garments pantomime, complete with exaggerated moans and pained facial expressions. His biggest displays of dissatisfaction were reserved for the rings and bracelets, which he always left behind on the counter.

My manager and I ended up with an impressive collection of gaudy jewelry, and I'm pretty sure that kid ended up with either a gambling addiction or an acting career.
posted by amyms at 1:06 PM on January 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


The advertising on the top spoke of the rarest of the rare "Crystal Duck" that just *might* be inside one of the eggs.
Your mentioning of this meant I had to see one - Crystal Duck.
posted by unliteral at 3:29 PM on January 12, 2011


Oh no. I'm so glad I didn't get pulled over last week; I had kinder eggs and I'm already on their list for wearing that feathered headband.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2011


The eggs that y6 ordered arrived, and we immediately opened them to check out the chocolate and toys. The chocolate was ok - but geez the plastic capsule thing that the toy is in is 1) huge and I'd be afraid of the size of the child that could manage to swallow it and 2) took a bit of squeezing and twiddling with to open. The toys inside were completely freaky though.

Flickr links: Sheep with freakishly large hands, and capsule it was inside
The hands are attached with elastic so you can wrap it around something, link the hands together and it will cling. It's deeply weird. Apparently they're called Spring Cuddles. We now have an army of twelve of them.

The Not for sale in US note on the box

Yes, that's us, we're rebels. Woo.
posted by batgrlHG at 11:57 PM on February 2, 2011


Jazz hands! (from batgrlHG's flickr link)

I wonder if the "not for resale" saves you from being a criminal.
posted by amyms at 12:55 AM on February 3, 2011


« Older His name is a +2 Killing Word   |   Data Tools of the Fuuuuture ..... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post