Friday, July 17, 2009

Mighty Kids My Ass, It's a Straight Up Happy Meal for Me

This is how my train of thought works. I read an article about Starbucks testing new stores with alcohol to get people away from McDonald's McCafe. I talk about the McCafe with my boss and then bam! I think about Happy Meals.
As you can see from the picture above, this was what I and every other kid my age ate in grade school. It was a simpler time. There were no calorie and saturated fat warnings on the wrappers. Everybody drank soda or apple juice. The boxes had this sweet little handle to make them easily handy. And our favorite incentive was always nestled next to the cheeseburger in plastic wrap, a toy, usually TV or movie themed.
You couldn't have given it a more spot-on name.

This is not a Happy Meal.
Granted, I'm aware that this is the adult version of the meal and that they're trying to follow a similar childlike formula of the box having a handle and what I assume to be a step tracker as the "toy" incentive. Eating something like this, with the box reminding you, "Hey buddy, ya gonna drop those pounds?" is far from a happy experience.
I look back on my childhood which wasn't too long ago as opposed to that of the kids of today and I feel kinda sorry for them. Today, it's all about options. McDonald's offers apple slices, fries, milk, juice, soda, water, parfaits, you name it as a side choice. The toys are nowhere near as good and the boxes have for the most part been converted to bags. Bland, dull, grease stained bags.
But a true child of today won't even go to McDonald's. Instead, they'll head to Panera Bread or Starbucks and order a pesto dried artichoke and gouda cheese panini and drink a Cappuccino or Frappe. All they need now are the notes on the Zergen case and an iPhone.
The latter of which they probably already have.
8 going on 34.

When the boxes were good at McDonald's, they were very good. Activities were all over the box so while you sat there and ate, you could connect the dots and make a Snow White crown or play a crossword puzzle. If you were stumped for an answer to the riddle, the answers were always on the bottom of the box. And sometimes the little folds had activities underneath them! Brilliant!

One cannot forget the gleaming beacon of light if you went inside to order from McDonald's. I even recall some that did not have drive-throughs. The display cases were filled with all of the toys included in that particular set.
I remember the Snow White case. I desperately wanted her and the little green wishing well and forced my parents to go to McDonald's an abnormal amount of times to get it (which was only a sneak preview of what was to come when Beanie Baby mania hit).
I got the witch and the dwarf in the crystal caravan. Snow White was always, always out no matter where we went.
A boy in my class Eric, he got Snow White.
The universe can be quite mocking.

A Ghostbusters happy meal circa '87. This is really cool. Slimey actually looks really cute and happy and a Stay Puft marshmellow man toy as well as stickers?
Bravo, Mickey D's, bravo.

I would not rest until I had the Dot driving the ice cream van racing toy.

McDonald's did alot of miniature Barbie toys. Usually they did them alongside Hot Wheels cars. This was probably due to the fact that Mattel was the corporation behind the two but also, little boys did not want to open their boxes to find a smiling blonde doll inside. Cooties man. Cooties.
This Barbie was one of the very first ones I ever had! Her thing was a little plastic dress that snapped on and off. As I was already highly engrossed in the wardrobe of my regular Barbies, even going so far as to purchase the Fashion Avenue line of clothing, it seemed perfect that this was one of the first ones for me.

I also really liked this one but was highly disgruntled that she was molded to the sleigh. And now that I look at her some more, there's something odd about her eyes.

On a unrelated note, this is a can of RC Cola from Japan starring my favorite superhero, Sailor Moon. Fucking amazing!

Love to you all,


Mila said...

Oh i love that last can of Cola!So cool!
And great blog!

Heather Taylor said...

Why thank you!