Childhood in Britain was fairly dull. I grew up in the early 90s, pre the dawn of the internet age and when the most fun you could have was playing cricket with all your neighbours, friends and family. The nostalgia for the 90s is at an all time high as the minimum age for someone born in the 90s rises every year. Soon nearly all of the kids born in the 90s will be adults, with their own strong sense of nostalgia and opinions about the time. One of the things I loved about growing up, was Kinder Eggs.
It’s both a toy and tasty chocolate, what is not to love here? In my childhood I remember them being fiddly little things you had to piece together with your tiny hands, placing tiny stickers on tiny sticker panels. The toy itself was like a mental work out, they were difficult, but you were filled with a sense of true accomplishment once you had finally snapped it all together.
The usual method for eating a Kinder Egg, in my opinion; is to break the egg in half, eat the first half, build the toy, then eat the second half as a reward. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out with some of the more recent toys in the range. More often than not the toys aren’t something you really build at all, more like a tiny model you put two pieces together and you’re done with. Leaving you to eat the second half of the chocolate, without that sense of accomplishment.
I get why the toys have become less complex, its a choking hazard and its better safe than sorry. I get that entirely. It still kinda sucks though, I don’t recall any children choking specifically on kinder egg toys, but back in the 90s I guess we weren’t so bubble wrapped from danger; anti-bacterial hand-wipes and gels didn’t even really exist until the mid to late 2000s. We were allowed to be kids, allowed to explore, discover and understand new things via playing. Something that I worry is kind of lost on children nowadays.
This post was originally going to be regarding the gendered separation of the eggs – which Kinder vehemently denies is gender related whatsoever, stating:
“We do not advocate or promote our products as gender specific. Instead, Kinder Surprise Pink and Blue offers a range of interesting new toys in coloured eggs which help parents navigate the toy ranges on offer and make purchasing decisions based on what is most relevant for their child.” – source
However although this is clearly damage control after they put all of their eggs into the gender binary basket. It does give a rather neat idea. Instead of making the toys clearly split between genders, and making one pink with toys aimed at girls and one blue with toys aimed at boys. Why not make multiple ranges? You could have a different colour on top of each egg wrapper indicating which range of toy you’re getting. Ranges could be split amongst ages, allowing more fiddly and complex toys to be given to the 10 year olds, leaving the 3 year olds without small choking hazard pieces. This wouldn’t be sexist and would allow for the toys to actually be impactful and fun again.
Ultimately, to fix Kinder Eggs I think that the core ideas of playing and discovering and learning should be at the forefront of the toys, and that doesn’t mean just giving you some lousy couple of pieces you push together to make a dinosaur. Make it educational, make it clever but most importantly make it fun. I will always buy Kinder Eggs for that slice of my childhood to come rushing back, always. I just think that the toys have kind of lost their way a little bit, and need to be pushed back onto the right path. Hopefully by the time I have children myself, the toys will be glorious again.