The Yowies have arrived!!!
You’re probably asking yourself “What in the hell is a Yowie?”
Based on the Cryptozoological creature of the same-name (Australia’s answer to Bigfoot), Yowies are chocolate candy treat that contain a little prize inside the shell. They harken back to Italian chocolate manufacturer Ferrero’s Kinder Eggs, an egg-shaped chocolate shell that contains a capsule inside with a small toy to assemble, which debuted in 1974.
Kinder Eggs have been illegal in the United States due to two facts – first, the FDA established in 1938 that no confectionary shall contain an of negligible-nutritional value. In other words, not putting toys in lollipops, which was a thing, believe or not. Secondly, because the toys are small to assemble, there is an obvious safety concern that children under three could swallow said-parts and choke. However, Kinder Eggs all carry a warning label stating for ages three and up. But Uncle Sam takes this pretty seriously and people have been caught smuggling Kinder Eggs across the border from Canada to the US, one person getting slapped with $2,550 per Kinder Egg! Oh, and they had a dozen of them.
But let’s get back on track, shall we?
The Yowie is Aussie invention, by created by chocolate manufacturer Cadbury (yes, of the Crème Eggs so popular around Easter). The idea is exactly same, save for that rather than a chocolate egg shell, it’s a chocolate shell of a Yowie creature, a caricature with a silly face on the foil covering the milk chocolate, like my man Squish here:
Look at that Milk Chocolate!
Yowies were discontinued around 2003-2004 in Australia. I had a friend airmail me one from Canberra back in 2001, and while the chocolate shell and wrappings were the same, it contained a plastic capsule inside, similar to a Japanese Gashapon (Gumball, as we call them here in the US). This has changed now as the plastic capsule is now shaped like the Yowie and has flash surrounding it on which the chocolate rests in two separate halves…
You open the capsule by pressing down on a center marked with arrows, which break the seal and allows it to be pulled in two revealing your prize!
I got a beaver!
Perhaps the toy is why the Yowie is allowed to be sold in the United States, as it’s a solid, one-piece figurine – the current theme being wild animals. You get a little insert that actually provides a lot info on the critter in-hand, and the reverse contains a typical advert like you’d expect to find.
The figurines are a really nice quality, comparable to the Safari Ltd. Figures found for sale as toy stores and Zoo gift shops, except that, ironically, the paint apps are far superior. It has a nice weight to it and so far they have all been intact with no bent extremities or chipped or missing paint apps, which tells me they must have some good quality control on their product.
If you were wondering, I also got a Gray Wolf and a Fennec Fox.
I managed to find these guys at Wal-Mart while waiting in line to check out, the price being $2.50. I have also since spotted them at Hobby Lobby at a $4.00 price-point. Why a dollar-fifty more, I couldn’t tell you.
As for the chocolate itself, it’s MUCH better than Hershey’s and it melts fairly quickly when touched, telling me it contains little to no wax (a standard additive in commercial chocolate to keep the product’s shape), which is also a good thing.
If you’re looking for something fun to indulge in that will reward both your taste and desire for a small trinket to sit on your laptop or bookshelf, go out and nab yourself a Yowie before they disappear back into the Australian brush!