Tora & Ding Dang - A Kid's Fun, An Adult's Fond Memory (Part 2)

One part food, one part toy, and a whole box of fun!

I yet again found myself brought back to the seemingly ancient times of my childhood by food products that made me rediscover what it meant to be a kid again. What better way to do this than by getting myself a couple of boxes of Tora and Ding Dang, EACH (because one is just not enough, believe me). Although, of all places, I didn't expect to find them at a 7-Eleven store!

By the way, this is Part 2 of "A Kid's Fun, An Adult's Fond Memory". Check out Part 1 for my insights on "Nyam Nyam Rice Crispy Treat".

Wait, wait, what are you talking about again?
Tora and Ding Dang are products made by Kinos (in Johor, Malaysia) under the "toy box" category. What makes these products unique is that not only do they have a fun and delicious snack inside, there is also a unique and surprisingly unpredictable toy inside that awaits an excited child who had just successfully persuaded his mum to get a box of Tora or Ding Dang for him.

A pencil on wheels and a Doraemon look-alike, hmm...
Since they are two similar products made by the same company, I thought I'd do a quick comparison between them, in my perception anyway.

Tora has a relatively larger box than Ding Dang (by about a third) and features a pencil-on-wheels character on the front as well as a robot globe on the side. Ding Dang on the other hand, has a Doraemon look-alike character (probably because Doraemon himself refused to act as the model of this product's cover, hence they had to find someone that looked like him to play the part). Well, you can't argue with the marketing team for trying to sell their product using cute characters and a happy emotion attached to them.

While the "food" portion of the toy box is exactly the same for both products, the "toy" portion is unpredictable. For Ding Dang, you can roughly guess what you're gonna get because the back of the box tells you that it's either "mini cars" for boys, or "colourful jewelry" for girls. However, for Tora, you'll never guess what you're going to get, which makes it much more exciting and fun. Generally, Tora has better toys than Ding Dang, or at least better quality toys than the latter. But of course, Tora also comes with a higher price tag.

So, what did you get?
For Tora, I got a strawberry eraser (or rubber) and a slingshot top. While I'm not sure if rubbing a bright red-coloured eraser against my school exam paper would be a good idea, the slingshot top is pretty fun though!

As for Ding Dang, luck brings me toy cars for both boxes that I bought. Better luck next time at getting one of those "colourful jewelry".

Have you forgotten about the equally important "food" portion of the toy box?
With all these exciting toys in the picture, I'm afraid I almost forgot to talk about the "food" portion of these toy boxes. It's actually a long tube of extruded corn snack covered with a thin layer of chocolate. Simple in flavour but not lacking it, this is a light and yummy snack to enjoy during your break.

For those who are curious enough to want to know, "extruded" means a semi-solid food that is pushed through a small opening to create the desired shape, much like squeezing cake icing out of a piping bag.

A little info about Kinos
Kinos is a food company currently owned by London Biscuits Berhad (since their acquisition in 2005). Kinos makes products such as corn snacks, potato chips, jellies and toy boxes for those who would appreciate them best (kids and nostalgic adults such as myself). In fact, the whole Kinos website just screams "Kids" and "Fun", what with the cute background song and a toy soldier that moves with you as you scroll down the page.
(Update on 31st October 2023: Unfortunately, the website is no longer available for viewing.)

Check out my Youtube video for more insights on Tora and Ding Dang.

Ps. Please don't tell Doraemon about Ding Dang, otherwise he'll stop taking cool gadgets out of his pocket out of jealousy. Also, buy a whole carton or a dozen boxes at once (which might be cheaper than buying single boxes), hide it from your kids, and take one out every week as a reward for them. Prolong the fun, reduce the cost, right?


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