Or, "How I become a transatlantic rule-flouter"
Or, "Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law!.......Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law!"
A while back, on the "off topic" thread that's going on in Ivory Tower Fiber Freaks, the issue of Kindereggs (a European chocolate product - a hollow chocolate egg with a toy inside) came up. People pointed out that they weren't sold in the US (supposedly, the toy is a choking hazard, or there's some issue with a toy INSIDE the candy). I repeated the possibly-apocryphal story of someone being stopped at the border crossing when they were coming back here from Canada, and their having the Kindereggs they had bought in Canada confiscated.
And I remarked that I'd seen a few of the toys (a friend of mine in grad school went to Belgium - I think she had family there? - and got some there, and brought the toys back) and it made me a little sad that there wasn't a comparable product here. (Nestle made something they called "magic eggs' or somesuch but the "magic" was little Swee-Tart like candies inside the hollow egg - not very magic)
(And yes, they still make Cracker Jacks. But the "prize" these days isn't much of a prize, at least it wasn't the last time I ate Crackerjacks - some little paper thing.)
So one of the members offered to send me some. In true form, at first I demurred - I didn't want her to go to the trouble just for them to maybe be confiscated. But then other members declared that she must do it "For Science!" (well, I suppose For Sociology! is closer). And I consented to be the recipient.
She announced a little while back that "the eagle is in flight" (heh)
When I came home yesterday afternoon, there was a box for me. From England. It didn't LOOK like it had been opened, so I had hope.
Yup. Three Kindereggs, cleverly concealed in sockyarn:
I decided to open one after dinner last night, both to sample the chocolate and see what I got as a "prize."
The chocolate isn't outstanding but it's not terrible, either. It's kind of a very sweet milk chocolate (there's a white chocolate inner shell that probably contributes to the sweetness of it). I tend to prefer darker chocolate. But as I said, it was decent chocolate.
What I really wanted, though, was the prize. I didn't take a picture of it when it was in bits (you had to put it together from what are like teeny tiny IKEA instructions but here it is:
It's a little plastic thing that looks like an old-style Mac monitor with an anthropomorphic animal body. There were four different face-and-tummy stickers, and you could choose the one you wanted: a cat, a bear, a dog, and an elephant/mammoth thing. (I chose the cat). The top of the head is hinged and there's a little place where it shows you can store the extra stickers, I suppose in case you ever want to change.
It really is pretty tiny which is why I suppose it's deemed a choking hazard. Then again, Barbie shoes are smaller than this, and some Lego bricks are smaller than this. So I don't know. I suspect shenanigans, and that the ban on Kindereggs is not just "some kid might be dumb enough to try to swallow the toy."
I know if these were widely available in the US, they'd probably be a regular "treat" for me - not so much for the chocolate but for the fun of getting some small surprise toy.
Incidentally, you can see the egg-shaped container the toy comes in here - it's inside the chocolate egg and probably would be too big to choke on itself:
Thus endeth my experience in being a lawbreaker.