It’s been over a year since I wrote about the German Super Mario Bros. figures that came free with Mars Chocolate bars in 1994, and at the end of that post I said that I would probably take a look at more Nintendo promotional toys in the near future. Well, I think the near future has definitely been and gone, but I’m finally going to do it and also bitch again about how unfair it is that the rest of Europe got awesomely cool Nintendo themed freebies with their edible stuff, whilst we just got stuff like ice cube moulds and crappy pencil toppers. I know this isn’t entirely true as we also got stuff like Star Wars Tazos in our crisps and Playstation figures in our Shreddies, so it wasn’t all bad. But my morning munching was woefully devoid of little Nintendo figurines, and I am justifiably peeved about that.
Some lucky French kids did get Nintendo figurines in their cereal in 1997. Donkey Kong Country ones to be exact, and though they aren’t the most exciting, the TV advert to promote them is hugely entertaining, even to someone who doesn’t speak French like myself. If any reader is French or can speak French, please let me know what Donkey Kong is saying near the end, as I couldn’t help but guffaw at his face alone.
I really dig that advert and am pleased that I now know that Coco Pops are called Choco Pops in France. The only issue I have with that advert is that I think Diddy Kong sounds a little bit too girly for my liking. But I suppose you can forgive that of a talking monkey. Anyway, let’s have a look at the figures themselves. There are six in all, and they all measure about 4cm so they aren’t to scale with each other. But they are neat nonetheless.
I actually have no recollection of Kiddy Kong during my experiences of playing Donkey Kong games. I have a vague image of him perhaps standing in front of a giant pile of bananas, but what game he first appeared in and whether he actually ever stood in front of a pile of bananas eludes me. I suppose I could just do a Google search but I don’t really care that much. He’s a nice enough figure anyway, but I probably would appreciate him a whole lot more if I could remember him.
I actually do remember Dixie, Diddy Kong’s girlfriend who you get to play as in Donkey Kong Country 2. Like Kiddy Kong, she is very chunky and is nicely painted and a pretty decent depiction of the character.
I love Cranky Kong and have done ever since his introduction in the original DK Country title screen where he gets pissed off at Donkey Kong and throws a TNT barrel at him. I also like how he is supposedly is the Donkey Kong from the original arcade game. I remember in the Game Boy Color version he moaned about how kids had it easy now in video games now, and how when he was a youngster you only had three lives, or words to that effect. He neglected to mention why he was off kidnapping Mario’s girlfriend Pauline though, but it’s generally accepted that Mario was a bit of a dick in the early days, so maybe he thought he was doing Pauline a favour. Who knows? The figure is nice, but I can’t help but think that he should be holding a stick in his hands. Maybe that would have cost more to sculpt. I dunno, I’m probably expecting too much of a cereal box toy. It’s a cool figure anyway.
I like Diddy Kong and this is probably my favourite figure out of the bunch. I would have been so damn chuffed if I pulled Diddy out of a cereal box as a kid. To be fair, none of these figures are bad so I should probably stop saying “this figure is good. It is detailed etc.” They all look like accurate depictions of who they are meant to be, and considering that the Mars Mario figures were made only three years before, these are far more detailed, perhaps because the DK characters looked like they were clay models instead of just sprites it might have been easier to make a model of that image than just a 2D sprite. I don’t know. But for cheap, ’90s cereal toys they all look awesome, even though Diddy is lacking the Nintendo logo on his hat and star from his shirt.
King K. Rool!
I never felt the dislike for King K. Rool that I did for other video game baddies, probably because in DK Country (his first appearance) all he did was steal Donkey Kong’s banana stash. As heinous acts go, this isn’t too shocking. Dr Robotnik was polluting the world and turning animals into robotic creatures. Kefka destroyed the world entirely. Bowser was kidnapping royalty. A crocodile stole some bananas from a gorilla. Doesn’t really feel like it’s in the same league does it? Admittedly K. Rool does demonstrate that he is capable of being more of a dickhead in later DK games, but I remember those misdeeds far less.
This figure is amusing anyway. He’s wearing a very vacant expression and with his arms at his sides, he looks like he’s a zombie or is under some kind of trance. Maybe an actual decent, real villain is controlling him.
The last figure in the set is obviously the main ape himself. DK looks a bit like a mother who is about to yell at son who is an hour later home than was mutually agreed. Can anyone else see this, or is it just me?
So yeah, it might be a year late but I think that concludes my little trawl through the Kellogg’s Choco Pops Donkey Kong figures. Overall, I think they’re greeeeaat (crappy Kellogg’s joke there) and they display well. They’re also pretty inexpensive, maybe because they aren’t very well known, so if you are absolutely nothing like me and have an abundance of shelf space for little gaming figures, you can find these pretty easily for a good price.
I’ll undoubtedly be doing more posts on obscure promotional gaming merchandise in the future, so if you like to see more stuff like this, give me a like on Facebook or on Twitter.