You want to talk about unfair? In Europe, NZ, Australia, Canada and Brazil (and no doubt other places) you can get the most awesome candy/toy combination item ever - the Kinder Suprise egg. A superior grade layer of milk chocolate enrobing an excellent layer of white chocolate enclosing a plastic egg with a toy inside. And not just any toys - generally they are of good quality for theri size, amusing, and require assembly, so they double as puzzles. But guess what? They are illegal in the United States!
Why? Two stupid reasons: 1. The small parts are considered "hazardous" in that they may choke tiny children. Translated: our legal/insurance industry would no doubt be inundated by trillion-dollar lawsuits by parents dumb enough to give a small toddler an obviously labelled little toy which somehow parents in most of the rest of the developed world can keep their kids from ingesting just fine. 2. Some rule about all foods entering the U.S. needing to be approved, but this is just a cover-up for reason 1, as you can get 5 jillion other types of imported chocolates anywhere you go, nowadays. Feh.
Now, I got turned on to Kinder Surpsises some time ago by M, who waxed nostalgic about trying them in Europe. I have been lucky enought to be able to get some Kinder eggs now and then due to the fact that the Polish supermarket near me carries them illegally, and, of course, at an exhorbitant price. Even those these are generally the eggs featuring the lesser-quality toys (generally produced in Italy, rather than Germany), they seriously rock. But I can't believe what we're missing out on over here besides just that.
Special Kinder Surpise toys. Not just the maxis (extra big ones) or theme sets (smurfs and other cartoon characters), but genuine packages including chocolates, toys and games. They have freakin' advent calendars with chocolates for each day of Xmas and toy ornaments, for Chrissakes! And this, this is the one that froze my fat, geeky heart: Lord of The Ring special packages. That's right, you get 7 yummy chocolate eggs with toy LOTR figures in them, a game and booklet. And these are pretty impressive toys for being tiny enough to be shoved into bits of chocolate. Check these mothers out:
And they had sets for each movie!
Okay, so who cares but me? Lots of nerdy, sweet-toothed folks around the world, my friends. These are collectors' items, going for over beacoup buckage on the old ebay and other such sites. But I didn't even know this set existed until several years after the chocolate has turned health-threatening because WHY? Because they are not allowed in the United States!
Remind me why I live here, again?