Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kinder Egg, also known as a Kinder Surprise, is a children's confection in the form of a chocolate egg containing a small toy, often to be assembled by the aforementioned child or possibly a supervising adult.
Kinder Surprise originated in 1974 in Italy. The manufacturer is Ferrero. The toys are primarily designed and manufactured by Produzioni Editoriali Aprile, a small company based in Turin, Italy, run and founded by two brothers, Ruggero and Valerio Aprile.
Kinder Eggs containing toys are not suitable for children under the age of three due to the small parts which may be ingested or inhaled. They are sold all over the world; an exception is the United States where the FDA has banned the toys, due to safety concerns and regulations against non-food products within a food shell. Kinder Eggs are available, but only in a form filled with small candies.
In Europe, their popularity has spread beyond their intended market, becoming a minor cult phenomenon among discerning adults. There is even a thriving collector's market for the toys. This is especially true in Germany, where the manufacturer includes higher-quality toys than those available elsewhere. The main subject of collection are ever-changing series of small hand-painted figures (which don't have to be assembled), which are said to be in every seventh egg (ad slogan: "Jetzt in jedem siebten Ei"). Seasonal eggs are introduced around the holidays, such as the limited-edition creche collections (featuring such characters as the three kings, baby Jesus, and assorted barnyard animals) found around Christmas, and the huge ones found at Easter (extremely popular in Italy).
A relatively new innovation, triggered by the advent of the Internet, is the introduction of 'Internet surprises'. Accompanying the toy is a small slip of paper containing a 'Magicode'. For further details, or to utilise a Magicode, consult the Magic Kinder Website.
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