In Germany there is something named Kinderueberraschung or “children surprise egg”. Its mainly chocolate plus a surprise inside. For three years shortly before the movie starts, there have been figures of characters from Lord of the Rings in there. These figures are really nice, hand-painted and ideal for using them as fantasy gaming miniatures (well they are slightly larger than the average miniatures many people paint). On of these chocolates goes for around 50 cent. Each year there are about 10 different figures. First year it was the Frodo, Gandalf the Grey, Gimli, Legolas, Aragorn, Sam, Arwen, Boromir …. the second year there was Gandalf the White, another Frodo, Eowyn, Theoden, an Orc, Saruman, Faramir, another Legolas … and this year there is another Arwen, another Aragorn, a troll, Bilbo, Agent Smith (whatshisname?) and some others.
So you would need about ten of the chocolates for around 5 bucks. Well yeah if you knew before opening one what was inside. Too bad you don’t and there are not even lotr figures in each. The figures are in about 15% of all the chocolates. Now can you imagine how many I bought to get them all? The first year I got lucky, the second year it was a sport and this year I am on a no-chocolate-diet so it’s a system.
Today I bought 24 chocolates which is one “pallet”. In the picture you can see all the chocolate that is now left over. I am going to try and feed it to the Thursday gamers or my colleagues. I was really lucky with these 24: I got 2 trolls, 2 Elronds (Agent Smith you know), 2 Gollums and one Snaketongue! Which is a total of 7 of 24 much better than the 15%. This can happen because by listening to the shaking sound of each ‘egg’, you can sort out some of the more obvious “non-figures”. People probably thought me a bit crazy at the store shaking the 24 ‘eggs’.
So in the picture above you can see our collection of lotr figures. Since it’s all guess work we have some of the figures more often than others. To the left you can admire the elves (Elrond, Arwen, Galadriel and Legolas), one of the Legolas’s has fallen and cannot get up. He’s probably down there doing something with Gimli we don’t want to know about. Next to the elves I placed Aragorn. But too bad he is separated from Arwen who is hiding out behind Elrond. In front is a horde of hobbits. You see only one of the three Frodos actually has a ring and there are 4 Sams protecting him while Merry and Pippin aren’t paying attention as always.
We now know how Gandalf can be everywhere in the second movie: there are actually six Gandalf the Whites! Maybe when he fell he broke into six pieces which have to be collected … no wait from each piece a completely new Gandalf spawned. They are like a pest or what was it Snaketongue said? Behind the elves you can see the 2 cave trolls I got today and in front of them there are the two gollums. The poore elves: surrounded by monsters. The two Eowyns are trying to protect Theoden who is sitting in front of my orc army that is controlled by the two Sarumans while two Snaketongues are hiding behind two Faramirs and only one Boromir but hey after all he is dead not everyone gets to be there twice! Gandalf the Grey is dead as well so he’s there only once and female elves don’t count because they … but what’s with Aragorn? Oh uh ….
The really bad thing about all this is that now I have 17 other surprises left over. They’ll be wandering into the big bag of leftovers one day to be sold by the pound on ebay:überraschungseier. Of course didn’t I mention? These figures are sought-after collector’s items. My guess is for a complete set of one movie you’ll get around 30-40 Euros which is quite a lot I think!