In 1997 Nestle released a candy/toy hybrid called "Nestle Magic," taking the idea from a pre-existing European product "Kinder Surprise." They were gold among the schoolgrounds despite the toys being no better than your average 25¢ vending machine and having less chocolate than a Hershey's Miniature. The hollow foil-wrapped chocolate sphere was filled with a small plastic egg that opened up to reveal a small toy inside. If the toy did anything other than look kinda neat sitting on your dresser, you got lucky. Few of the toys were anything more than a Disney version of Homies figures.
It didn't take long for Nestle Magic to be pulled from the shelves due to choking hazards In 2000 they were re-released under the new name "Nestle Wonder Ball," and the toys were replaced with little chalky candy bits in the shape of Simba or Buzz Lightyear.
I obtained a case of Nestle Magic some time ago when my favorite shop in Zern's closed for good. Though it was a sad era due to the closing of my beloved and most favorite place to shop for the absolute most random affairs in pop culture memorabilia, getting a case of old Nestle Magic balls for $10 was a pretty decent consolation prize. Sure, you can buy sets of the toys on eBay for a decent price, but that takes away all the fun of opening them yourself and hoping lady luck might shine on you enough to get a full set from any series. Secretly we all know the harsh reality that there were 600 shitty Dalmatians for every awesome figure of Hades and that lady luck would just as soon pop a squat on any dreams of hitting it big in the Nestle Magic racket.
The case showed minor wear and proudly displayed the Disney features of the time -- Hercules, 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin and The Lion King. Each of the features had their own TV spin-off as well although The Lion King got screwed into a Timon and Pumba show. Even drunk at 6am with nothing on but infomercials and Toon Disney, I still find it hard to watch Timon and Pumba.
My first concern with this purchase was the old food stank, but also the possibility of mold and warping due to melting and resolidifying. Fortunately for myself I encountered none, and frankly it wasn't even that harsh of a process at all aside from the old food stank. The tools needed for a project of this magnitude were fairly ordinary -- a knife, a trash bag, and some air freshener. I exaggerate. The smell of old chocolate was surprisingly mild compared to ancient cereal, canned pasta, juice, etc etc. Candy is usually pretty low on the smell scale, though I'm unsure of why that is. High in preservatives perhaps?
I can't say I was the least bit tempted to eat the chocolate. Well, maybe a least bit. The same least bit of me that wants to say, "fuck it" and fart loudly in public and pretend I'd done nothing more uncouth than breathing. Thankfully all the musty chocolate bits went into the trash with the exception of some crumbs that my cat sniffed at with disinterest. I don't think my vet would buy the excuse that my cat was poisoned by decade old chocolate that I was cutting open to gather the toys inside.
The first box popped open and surprisingly the sphere inside was still spherical and safely contained in the foil. I was expecting chocolate sludge to be spilt all over the inside of the boxes like a mutant cesspool. Amazingly, they even retained somewhat of the original star stamping on the chocolate.
Aladdin came out of capsule #1 appearing with a big douchey grin on his face and ready for a magic carpet ride. As an adult I now realize how wrong you can take the phrase "magic carpet ride." I'm surprised the extremist overly moral stay-at-home moms didn't get up Disney's ass on that one in addition to the whole, "take off your clothes" scandal. Although it's not like the original Aladdin move was ruthlessly innocent, there were quite a few suggestive sayings as well as that whole end scene where Jafar takes Jasmine as a sex slave.
Each toy also came with a paper insert to showcase all the toys available in each series. The defined winner was the Hercules set which is full of various mythological creatures and deities of the Roman variety. Lowest on the list is 101 Dalmatians because aside from Cruelle DeVille, there weren't any particularly memorable characters and it's damn near impossible to distinguish between Dalmatian 6 and dalmatian 58. If they'd have released a Disney classic like
Alice in Wonderland they could have made a killing just from pink haired college girls toting around Cheshire Cat messenger bags full of sketchpads and Pixy Stix.
If there's a holy grail of Nestle Magic toys, it certainly wasn't in my case. The Hades is pretty decent but it lacks any special powers like my original Megavolt figure that shoots sparks out the back. I'll never understand how that figure dodged a massive recall notice unless the bigwigs at the toy safety commission were using them to light joints.
In the end I wound up with a fair Aladdin collection, two of the same dumb dog-in-a-crate figures, but not enough of anything that would sell on eBay. I think I'm going to write this off as a gambling expense. No more dollar scratch-off tickets for me, I'm playing the capsule toy slots from here on out.