Chocolate-Covered Contraband

Erin Farwell + Museum of Kinder Egg Prizes, Milford
Nhmag Abo Supercollectors Erinfarwellkindereggs 014

Collector Erin Farwell is mesmerized by the design and creativity of the prizes found inside chocolate Kinder Surprise Eggs, which are banned in the United States.

It is unfathomable to imagine that all of Erin Farwell’s thumb-sized plastic toys came from an illegal source — hollow chocolate eggs that are banned in the United States.

Based on a 1930s law forbidding candy containing non-food objects inside, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow Kinder Surprise Eggs to be sold domestically because of a potential choking risk. Curiously, the confection is sold in nearly every other country in the world to children with similar anatomy as Americans.

Nhmag Abo Supercollectors Erinfarwellkindereggs 002

What if a hippo wanted to dress like Marilyn Monroe? You can stop imagining.

The eggs contain a yellow plastic capsule in the middle — the “yolk” — containing prize pieces for the eater to assemble. Some of the prizes are licensed figurines of cartoon characters, while the more complex ones are engineering marvels with moving parts. (It is not illegal to bring the toys to the U.S., just the wrapped chocolate itself.)

“There’s just so much detail in these little things,” says Erin, who’s a historical mystery novelist when she’s not organizing her miniatures. “I love how the parts cleverly fit together and can all fit in a tiny little egg.”

Erin estimates she has 2,000 Kinder toys in her personal collection, and a reserve of 10,000 she sells to fellow collectors worldwide on Etsy.

“I just appreciate the creativity and charm of these toys,” she says. “I’d love to meet the designer who thought of turning a hippo into Marilyn Monroe, or making crazy little aliens trying to feed the bird inside a cuckoo clock, or a clam who sticks his tongue out. They’re amazing!”

Note from the editor: Supercollectors Square

This profile appeared as part of a larger article in the September 2023 issue of New Hampshire Magazine highlighting some of the fascinating collectors and passionate collectors in the state.

To learn more about the other Granite State Super Collectors, click here.

Categories: Collector’s Collections