German Kinder Surprise Egg

What is a Kinder Egg?

I love Kinder Eggs — those chocolate eggs with a small toy enclosed.  My favorite thing about the egg is the small toy inside, although a little chocolate certainly makes the treat sweeter!  I find most of the toys quite ingenious (examples of toys below).  I feel the toys are fascinating because there are wide variety of toys.  You never know what you’re going to get.  Also, they are very small yet creatively designed and they require some assembly, which makes it more interactive.  The design of the Kinder Egg toys must be a challenging job.  There are actually two kinds of Kinder Eggs — Kinder Surprise Eggs and Kinder Joy Eggs.  Kinder Surprise Eggs consist of a chocolate shell with a small plastic yellow egg containing an toy.  Kinder Joy Eggs consist of two egg halves — one half contains creamy white chocolate and two chocolate-covered wafer balls, the other half contains a toy.

My First Kinder Egg

I (Sharon) discovered Kinder Surprise Eggs when I spent a summer in Hong Kong at the age of eight.  To my disappointment, on my return to the United States, I learned that they were illegal.  Ever since, I’ve made an effort to hunt for some whenever I’m abroad.

Hunting for Kinder Eggs in Switzerland and Germany

A few weeks ago, Dave and I vacationed in Switzerland, France, and Germany for two weeks during which I ate three 3-packs of Kinder Eggs.  I managed to get one pack of Kinder Surprise Eggs in Geneva and one pack in Bern.  The Migros grocery store chain in Switzerland seems to carry the cheapest 3-packs at 2.80 CHF (Swiss Francs) a pack.  I didn’t buy any Kinder Eggs in France because one can only eat so many chocolate eggs a day without feeling sick (generally, one a day), and I was still making my way through the first two packs.  By the time we reached Munich, our last city, I was ready to replenish my supply of Kinder Eggs.  I searched every grocery store we passed, but found that they only carried the Kinder Joy Eggs, not the Kinder Surprise Eggs.  I even scoured stores at the Munich airport in vain.  It was at the airport that I learned from an employee at one of these stores that Kinder Surprises are only made during the winter months while Kinder Joys are made during the summer months.  My mystery was solved!  Thus, the Kinder Surprises I purchased in Switzerland, were either left over from an order during the winter months or were stockpiled for later sale.

Inside My Kinder Eggs

The Kinder Eggs I got in Geneva and Bern were the German Eggs.   Here’s what one looks like:

German Kinder Surprise Egg

Here are the toys from my 3-pack in Geneva.  From left to right the toys are:

  • a wind-up car – you drag it back, let go, and the car rolls forward
  • a watercolor set with paintbrush and purple and yellow paints
  • a lion model

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The watercolor set is only one of a collection.  If you manage to collect other watercolor sets of different colors, they can be chained together using the snaps in the front and back.  Here is a view of the watercolor set from the top.

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Here are the toys from the 3-pack I got in Bern.  From left to right, the toys are:

  • a mother and baby lemur model with a tree — the baby is detachable
  • a hopper toy — you put this on a table top, pull the dog away from the rest of the frame and let go
  • a mini low-tech tablet — similar to an etch-and-sketch.  The tablet stand can function as a pen and a stand.

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Finally, here are the toys from the 3-pack Kinder Joy Eggs I got in Munich.  The Kinder Joy packaging is a little different.

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The Kinder Joy toys are from left to right:

  • A Crazy Friend disk shooter
  • A Sid (from the Ice Age movie) charm/ornament — his head can spin 360 degrees
  • A Crazy Friend charm/ornament

Maybe we’ll be able to use some of these on our mini Christmas tree this year.

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From my sample of Kinder Eggs above, albeit a small sample, I prefer the toys in the Kinder Surprise Eggs.  I guess that means I’ll have to travel abroad during the winter months next time!

Save

We recently made a four-day trip (Wednesday night – Sunday night) to Washington, D.C..  During that time we had the chance to experience the following attractions:

  • U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • U.S. Capitol
  • Library of Congress
  • National Zoo
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • National Museum of Natural History

Lines, lines, and lines
Some D.C. attractions, such as the Washington Monument and the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, require tickets.  For these attractions you can acquire free tickets the morning of, but you will need to get in line very early.  What time do you have to start lining up?  Our experiences might give you an idea.  On Thursday, our first day of the trip, Dave and I attempted to get tickets for both the Washington Monument and the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Around 8:15am, we split up and each got into a line in hopes of getting tickets for both attractions.  I got into the line for Bureau of Engraving and Dave got in line for the Monument.  The Bureau starts handing out tickets at 8am, so the line was already moving when I got into it.  By 8:28am, I had 2 tickets in hand!

We were not as fortunate with the Monument line.  Below is what the line looked like from Dave’s spot in line.  The Monument started handing out tickets at 8:30am.  They sold out around 9am, at which point we were still very far back in the line.

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We were determined to see the Monument though, so we tried again on Friday morning.  This time we arrived at 7:45am and were closer to the front of the line than the day before, but still not close enough.  When the tickets sold out again around 9am, we were barely into the roped in section of the line.  After that, we decided it wasn’t worth waking up so early to try to get a ticket.  Given our experience, in the peak season such as during sprint break, my guess for when you have to line up is probably around 7am and if you aren’t in the roped in section of the line, your chance of getting a ticket is very slim.

Cherry Blossoms
We were very lucky to be in D.C. during the peak bloom of the cherry blossoms this year.  We hadn’t planned to see the cherry blossoms during our trip since it’s very difficult to time.  Two years before, we had visited D.C. in hopes of seeing the cherry blossoms but they came later than we predicted.  It’s funny how things happen when you least expect it.

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Pandas
The main motivation for the trip was to see Beibei, the newest baby panda at the National Zoo.  I have a soft spot for pandas.  I find them so cute and furry, and I always wish the zookeepers would let me cuddle up to them :).

It’s quite difficult to catch Beibei in action though.  As he is only seven months old, he likes to sleep a lot, just like seven-month-old human babies.  The National Zoo website indicates that the best time to see the pandas is between 8am and 2pm.  From our experience, visiting at the very beginning or near the end of that time frame might increase your chances of seeing Beibei in action.  The pandas get fed at 1:30pm, so Beibei will probably be awake for food.  We visited the zoo on three different days in hopes of catching him in action.

On Friday, we showed up at the indoor panda viewing pavilion close to 3pm.  It was extremely crowded and via others’ cameras held above their heads, I glimpsed Beibei playing for a short time before he went to his own room to take a nap.  I was disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to see him in action not-through-a-phone-camera, so thinking he was just taking a short nap, we walked around other parts of the zoo and checked on him again after thirty minutes and again after an hour, but to no avail.  Beibei was still fast asleep, so we decided to leave and try again the next day.

On Saturday, we decided to show up earlier, around 9:45am.  All but one of the pandas were in their outdoor areas.  Beibei was outside too, but snoozing away in a tree!  It was impressive he was able to keep his balance while sleeping so high up in the tree.

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On Sunday, our last day in D.C., we showed up a little before 9am and finally managed to catch Beibei awake!  He spent some time climbing over and under the top of his playground made of lumber.  It seems he was simply trying to find a comfortable place to nap because within 15 minutes he was sound asleep!

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