A popular candy brand is helping children imagine their future in space with the help of aspiring astronaut.
Kinder Joy, the sweet treat packaged with a bonus toy, has worked with "future Mars walker" Alyssa Carson to launch its new space collection (opens in new tab) ahead of World Space Week. Designed for young kids, the space toys include astronauts, rocket ships, planetary rovers and more.
"Ever since I was a young girl, I had my heart set on the stars," Carson said in a statement. "That's why I partnered with Kinder Joy to help share my passion for space exploration, so families can be inspired to learn more about our galaxy and raise the next generation of explorers."
Carson introduces kids and their parents to the toys in a series of videos shared on Kinder Joy's social media channels.
"This is the Zero-Gravity Astronaut," Carson said in one of the new "Explore the Galaxy" videos. "Zero gravity is definitely the most exciting part about going to space for astronauts. I have been lucky to experience zero gravity twice now using airplanes."
"Do you think you could open a Kinder Joy egg in zero gravity?" she asks.
A Kinder Joy egg is a plastic shell that splits into halves. One half is filled with two layers of milky sweet creams with two crispy wafer bites filled with cocoa cream. The other half of the egg contains a small plastic toy. Kinder Joy is produced by Ferrero, the confectionery company that also makes Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tac and the hazelnut spread Nutella.
Each of the toys in the new collection appears to be loosely based on real space vehicles and equipment. The "Rocketship" resembles SpaceX's Dragon capsule; the "Moon Racer" evokes the Apollo lunar roving vehicle; and the "Explorer Rover" is similar in design to NASA's "Spirit" and "Opportunity" Mars rovers. Another toy, the "Sojouner," is named after the first wheeled vehicle sent to the Red Planet (opens in new tab) 25 years ago.
All 12 Kinder Joy space toys interact with Applaydu, a free augmented reality app available on the App Store and Google Play. Additional space features can also be accessed through the app.
"Be sure to scan the toy with your kid and bring it to life in the Applaydu app for even more space discoveries," Carson tells parents in the "Kinder Joy" videos.
The collection's release is timed with World Space Week (opens in new tab), an annual celebration that recognizes to dates in history: the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, on Oct. 4, 1957 and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on Oct. 10, 1967.
"Space exploration is more exciting than ever, and we are proud to partner with Alyssa Carson to help inspire kids and parents to explore the galaxy through the new Kinder Joy space toy collection (opens in new tab)," Miguel Zorrilla, vice president of marketing for Kinder Joy, said. "With the excitement and discovery of opening a delicious Kinder Joy, we hope the new space collection sparks the imagination of kids and parents, motivating them to play, learn and dream together."