Adorable Carrot Mascot Ushers Aldi Into Chaos
Two years ago, parents lined up to get their hands on Hatchimals (Furby-like interactive creatures that begin their lives in spotted eggs); last holiday season, toy stores couldn't keep up with the demand for Fingerlings (virtual pet monkeys that sit on your finger and babble at you). And this year's hottest toy is...a stuffed carrot? That just kinda...sits there? From...Aldi?
Yes, the German discount grocery store has a hit on its hands with Kevin the Carrot, the adorable star of its holiday commercials for three years running. Since the newest seasonal ads (and the corresponding toys) were released last week, UK-based fans of the sentient vegetable have been lining up at their local Aldi stores to purchase plush versions of Kevin and his carrot-family. (In 2017, we learned about Kevin's girlfriend, Katie the Carrot, and 2018's commercial features the couple's three kids—Chantenay, Baby Carrot and Jasper.) The latest installment is a tense one—Kevin must rescue his loved ones from the evil Pascal the Parsnip. (Spoiler: our hero hitches a ride on a champagne cork and knocks Pascal into a bowl of walnuts. The line "right in the nuts" is uttered.)
Shoppers have been braving early alarms and chilly temps to snag a toy. "Anyone else queue outside @AldiUK at 7:45am to get a giant #KevinTheCarrot? Just me? OK," one dedicated fan wrote on Twitter, while another tweeted, "Cannot believe the carnage this morning to get a #KevinTheCarrot. Worse than Black Friday! #carrotcarnage #carrotgate."
The influx of people attempting to buy plush Kevins online led to a glitch on Aldi's website, which the company acknowledged via tweet. “The buzz around our Kevin the Carrot soft toys range has been extremely high and briefly impacted the performance of our website,” Aldi wrote. "The website is now fully operational again."
As of right now, all Kevin the Carrot toys—the proceeds from which support of the supermarket’s charity partner Teenage Cancer Trust—are sold out online, but UK shoppers can check Aldi's website to see if a nearby store still has them in stock. You could always try eBay as a last resort, but be prepared to pay up—the $5 toy is currently going for $29, while sets of Kevin, Katie, and the kids are in the $75 range.