Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chocolate for Christmas!

I purchased a product today at my local dollar haven (that actually cost a dollar, which is surprisingly rare) that I thought was kind of interesting and unusual, and I thought I’d do a review of it. I was tempted to do a video unboxing of it, but I am way too self-conscious in front of a camera.

The product itself is a milk chocolate bar by Russell Stover Candies Inc. It weighs 57 grams, and its size and shape are meant to be reminiscent of a banknote. Its outer packaging is a simplified version of Canada’s previous generation of banknotes. For obvious reasons it lacks security features, but it has the numerical denomination in both the upper left and lower right corners, and the digits are speckled with the maple leaf.  At the top and slightly right to the center is the word CANADA, beneath which is the note’s value in written form, in both English and French, and below that is the word DOLLARS. The note’s denomination is a billion dollars, which I assume is meant as a joke.

A pre-2012 Canadian $20.00 bill for comparison

There is a full colour illustration of Santa Claus on the left side of the package with his sack slung over his shoulder. His workshop is in the background. In the center on the right hand side, where our currency has the words The Centre Block of Parliament (in alternating English and French), repeating over and over again in an ever receding font, this has the words Solid Milk Chocolate (in alternating English and French as well) repeating about ten times. Unlike our actual currency, it never becomes so small as to become illegible. The signatures beneath the lower denomination are D. (presumably ‘the’) Toymaker and Mrs. S Claus.

As a Canadian, I find the homage to our currency quite endearing, and the illustration is itself festive and visually pleasing.

On the back of the outer package is a space to write To: and From:, and it opens like a little envelop. The interior wrapping is golden, which reminded me at least of Willy Wonka.


In contrast to the outer package, the bar itself is a simplified version of an American Dollar bill. It says Russell Stover Note, In Chocolate We Trust, and Chocolate Money. There are Dollar signs in the corners instead of the denomination, and the portrait is completely blank. You would expect there to be a portrait of Santa there, but there isn’t. I looked around online and apparently in the States this bar is packaged to resemble an American dollar bill. I don’t know why it’s economically viable to redesign the package for the Canadian Market but not the bar itself, but evidently that is the case.


The chocolate itself is unremarkable and of acceptable quality.

 In conclusion, I find this product’s overall design whimsical and charming, and think it would make an excellent stocking stuffer, especially for a child. Next year my nephew should be old enough to eat a chocolate bar, and if these are still available I will certainly give him one.

For now though, they’re mine.

Merry Christmas.    

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