I found some Estonian Percy Pigs this weekend called Fred Ferkels, got the packaging, want to see!? (they tasted v similar!) The cleaners threw away my packet, but found a photo! They tasted v similar (from Tallinn, Estonia) he says.
I don't blame those cleaners - check out the photo:
Look familiar? You can imagine my reaction when I saw that. It was similar (but not exactly the same) to:
'WHO THE **** IS FRED FERKEL'
Well I did some digging and I found out who Fred Ferkel is. 'Ferkel' is German for PIG or PIGLET.
It turns out Katjes (Dutch for 'little cat') are not Estonian, but a long running German sweet manufacturer. (Their current advertising campaign seems to feature Jennifer Aniston holding a rabbit for no reason)
After some exhaustive research (I googled them) I uncovered the whole shady business. Check it the low down on Fred Piglet
Now listen, I've always liked the Germans, but enough is enough. EURO '96 was one thing, but stealing the Percy Pig mould, renaming him Fred and forcing him to wear that horrible stripped purple t-shirt with white gloves and stupid hat combo IS NOT ON.
Now read their lies:
"Everyone loves our Fred Ferkel. This is plain to see, since who could resist such a sweet guy? Perhaps it is due to the sweet little fruit gum ears, tasting of cherries, strawberries or raspberries, or because of the softly whipped pink foam. In this regard, everyone seems to have a different view - but this doesn't matter as long as they like the taste!"
1) NO ONE loves Fred Piglet. It is NOT plain to see. He is NOT a sweet guy, he is an IMPOSTOR.
2) There are only two different views there, "little fruit ears" or "softly whipped pink foam" so not everyone has a different view. Roughly 50% of people have the same view. OR LIKE ME THEY HATE FRED FERKEL.
3) "Hmmh tasty swinishness" it says. Definition of swinish: resembling swine; coarsely gluttonous or greedy; eg "the piggy fat-cheeked little boy and his porcine pot-bellied father". So basically "Hmmh tasty pigness" then. Delicious.
But while I was on the Katje website, I happened upon something even more awful than Fred. THIS:
Now, this sort of thing might not be frowned upon in the Euro-Zone, but here we consider "blacking up" to be unacceptable, especially to a national treasure like Percy. That's like asking Joanna Lumley to perform a one-woman Jackson 5 tribute.
Then there's this:
"Tap, tap, tap, here comes Tappsy, and with him the little Tappsy-ritual: you put a Tappsy in your hand, look him at his red nose, and start by biting off his ears! Yummy! We are aware that many of you love the white Tappsy, but they will be very lonely without the black ones. Everything panda?!"
NO EVERYTHING IS NOT PANDA. I'm not even going to go into the many things wrong with that last sentence. Let's just concentrate on the utter nonsense before it.
Oh yeah, we've all got our Tappsy ritual haven't we? Tap tap tap! Here's mine:
1) PUT A TAPPSY IN MY HAND
2) LOOK AT HIS RED NOSE
3) THROW HIM IN THE BIN
I'd heard a rumour about these from Gobble Monkey reader @steffiejayb16, but I thought they couldn't really exist. God knows what they taste like, but what would you expect from Katje, the company that also brings you this:
Also I found this on the site's FAQs:
Can I also take a factory tour around your premises?We know how happy it would make you to come and visit us. That is why we have built you a transparent hard boiled candy factory in Potsdam.
No, I'll leave it, thanks.
Anyway, here's the FINAL (i hope, i'm running out of room) line-up:
EDIT! Since the publication of this article, more information on Fred Ferkel came to light. SEE HERE.
Other fake Percies:
Eric the Elephant and Children's Farm
Mystery fake Percy
Imagine having to apologise to this:
Look at his stupid lemonade drinking smug face. It makes me sick. But I must say it:
I AM SORRY FRED FERKEL I WAS WRONG.
Previously, I had accused Fred Frekel, the pig sweet produced by German confectionary giant Katjes, as being a Percy Pig IMPOSTOR.
Yesterday I found this interesting article from the Independent about the Percy phenomenon which includes the following passage:
The idea for a foamy sweet came from a German manufacturer called Katjes, but it wasn't until the original <Marks and Spencers> product team led by Julia Catton came up with the Percy character that it could be manufactured in the kind of volume that would keep Katjes and Marks & Spencer happy.
Catton, remembers that time well. "It was the mid-1990s, we'd already made a few yoghurt gum and licorice products with Katjes but nothing had really worked in the UK, so a team of us went out to Germany to thrash around some ideas. We sat around a table and drew a blank. Eventually, the Katjes people said, 'We'll leave you here for an hour and see if you can come up with anything.' I looked up and saw a licorice panda sweet with different coloured ears. Next thing I knew, I had drawn Percy Pig on a piece of paper."
TAPPSY. Percy Pig is BASED ON TAPPSY.
BLOODY TAPPSY THE PANDA
I like the idea of the "Katjes people" forcing the poor British M&S people to be locked in an office until they came up with a idea. What would have happened if they hadn't thought of one? (THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED) And in the end, Catton just looked at a panda and drew a picture of pig. Which took her at least ONE HOUR. That's what the pressure of being tortured to death by German sweet manufacturers does to you I guess.
(By the way, Julia, THIS
So anyway it seems that Percy and Fred are twins, born at the same moment, evolving simultaneously out of the same racist liquorish panda.
TAPPSY IS THE ORIGINAL PERCY.
I can't believe it.
Like any good journalist, I went back to Marks and Spencers to challenge them on this new information. This was their response:
Anyway, from now on, I will NEVER buy another Percy Pig again, instead I will be importing all my pig sweet needs from Katjes' see-through candy factory in Potsdam.