Yowie (chocolate)

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Yowie was a brand of chocolate encased toy line, manufactured by Cadbury Australia and based on the mythology surrounding the Australian Yowie. Invented by Bryce Courtenay and Geoff Pike, they were similar to Kinder Surprises in that they are basically a chocolate shell around a plastic capsule, with a toy inside. The line was supported by a series of children's tie-in picture books. Unlike Kinder Surprises, the toy is usually an Australian or New Zealand animal.

There have been several series of Yowie toys; the first were animals, with limited edition Yowie pencil toppers in some of them. Later, Grumkin pencil toppers also appeared. In 2001 there was a departure from the usual kind of Yowies. In conjunction with an Australian Museum exhibit called The Lost Kingdoms, new Yowies came out. Instead of endangered animals, these had extinct animals in them, along with the modern koala and platypus. The packaging also got overhauled. The wrappers of the Lost Kingdom Yowies could be distinguished by the sign and shovel being held in their paws.

The Yowies, according to the story, are protectors of the various environments of Gondwana. Their names were Rumble (deserts, resembling a kangaroo), Boof (rainforests and mountains, resembling a bandicoot), Crag (swamps and mangroves, resembling a crocodile), Ditty (bushland, resembling a wombat), Nap (gum forests, resembling a koala), and Squish (rivers and waterways and possibly the ocean as well, resembling a platypus). The Yowies were ruled by Lord Balthizzar the bunyip who lived in a billabong.

The Yowies each had a respective enemy, called a Grumkin, representing the damage being done to it by careless humans. The Grumkins were: Munch (careless building, enemy of Rumble), Blob (pollution, enemy of Crag), Ooz (also pollution, enemy of Squish), Spark (careless firelighting, enemy of Nap), Slob (litter, enemy of Ditty) and Chomp the Tiger Toothed Tree Chomper (deforestation, enemy of Boof).

Series[edit]

Yowie series[edit]

The first series of Yowies was released in 1997 and included 50 animal figurines and six limited edition mini Yowie Men (Rumble, Boof, Crag, Squish, Nap & Ditty). The series was discontinued in late 1998, but resurfaced in 2005 from left-over factory editions.

In 1998, the second series was released, this time featuring 50 new animals. It was discontinued in 1999 when the third series was released.

The third series of Yowies released in early 1999 was composed of 50 figurines and 6 limited edition mini Grumkins (Slob, Munch, Ooz, Spark, Chomp and Blob). This series remained the most common of all the series, extending into 2002, and then scattered releases until the series ended in 2005.

The fourth series of Yowies was released in late 1999. This series featured 50 animals along with 6 limited edition crystal Yowies, 6 "Yowie playmates" and a Lord Balthizzar figurine. It was also the first series to include "Yowie World" animals (animals from countries other than Australia). It remained the second-most popular series, extending until 2005.

After the Yowie line added extinct dinosaurs in 2000, the fifth series of Yowie was released in 2001. The series had 30 figurines, and was often regarded as the rarest series,considering supplies seemed limited. It is the most highly sought-after series of all Yowies.[citation needed]

Lost Kingdoms Series[edit]

The Lost Kingdoms series was launched in 2000, under the name "Yowie And The Lost Kingdoms". Series A, had 50 prehistoric figurines and 6 limited edition skulls. It was later replaced by Series B, released in 2001, which only had 30 figurines and 6 limited edition glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs. In 2002 the third and final series, Series C, was released, with 30 figurines and 6 limited edition dazzling dinosaurs.

This series was based on illustrations by Dr Anne Musser of the Australian Museum and masterminded by the director of the museum Dr Michael Archer. http://australianmuseum.net.au/Australias-extinct-animals The museum presented an exhibition of fossils and reconstructions linking to the series.[1] [2]

Adventure Series[edit]

The Adventure Series saw a turn towards the Kinder Surprise craze in 2001 when Series 1 was released. The series consisted of 6 animals, 6 enemies, 6 "yurts", 6 helpers and 6 transports. The series was updated in 2002 with a second release with 30 figurines, similar to the previous series, except more animals appeared in this series and the Yowie men and helpers were replaced with Grumkins and helpers.

Forgotten Friends[edit]

In 2003, Yowie released their Forgotten Friends Series A, which comprised 30 figurines, with six glow-in-the-dark Yowie men. The series took another step for Yowie with the animals being from the not-too-distant past (the last 400 years).

In 2004, Series B of the Forgotten Friends range was released, this time with five limited edition glow-in-the-dark Grumkins. Spark was left out as it was regarded as a bad message to children.

In mid-2005, the Yowie was removed from sales in Australia and New Zealand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Long, J.A., Archer, M., Flannery, T. and Hand, S. (2002). Prehistoric mammals of Australia and New Guinea: One hundred million years of evolution. University of NSW Press.. ISBN 9780868404356
  2. ^ Archer, M., Hand, S. and Godthelp, H. (2000). Australia's lost world: Prehistoric animals of Riversleigh. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253339140

External links[edit]