Friday, August 11, 2006

Sharing True Life Fast Food Toys Article

I found this article on Chief Marketer at This is exactly what my life is with Fast Food toys so I thought I'd share! This was written by Beth Negus Viveiros on

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?
By Beth Negus Viveiros, from Chief Marketer
Most likely, someplace that sells chicken nuggets.
So how do you choose where you go out to dinner? Maybe you look for a cozy little bistro with a nice wine list? Or you ponder whether to nosh on upscale Italian or sushi?If you're dining with a small child, chances are your criteria runs more along the lines of "What toys do they have this week? Does Burger King still have 'Superman Returns' stuff? Which 'Pirates of the Caribbean' thing does McDonald's have? Is it the sword? He really wants the sword. Wendy's has what? Six Flags toys? What the heck are they, action figures of the bald dancing guy?"We've got oodles and oodles of this crap lying around our house. I shouldn't say crap. Well, some of it is crap. But a lot of the toys are quite nifty.Burger King seems to come up with the most quality swag. Last summer's "Star Wars" movie may have been kind of lame, but the little wind-up toys are still a big hit around our house, particularly the cute little Stormtrooper, who pals around with the wind-up "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" characters we got at BK a few months ago.McDonald's comes in second. Since my toddler is obsessed with the commercials for the movie, the recent "Pirates" toys were a hit (even if the inflatable sword did pop a couple of hours after he got it). The "Cars" vehicles were also enjoyed. He's also keen on a "Power Rangers" motorcycle his grandmother got him when she ate a Happy Meal. (Hey, who says folks over sixty can't be happy too?)Third is Wendy's, even if they do have the best fries and offer kids oranges as a side dish option (very popular in our household). More often than not, when we go to Wendy's the toy being given out doesn't match what's being advertised in the restaurant's display case nor what is featured on the bag.This can cause quite a panic when you're dealing with someone who (literally) has the emotional maturity of a three-year-old. One time at Wendy's, we saw toys from the PBS cartoon "Maya & Miguel" on display. My son doesn't watch the show, but nonetheless quickly picked out which piece of junk he would like to get. We get the meal, and it comes in a "Teen Titans" bag, which is even more exciting, as that's one of his favorite cartoons. The toy inside? A stuffed mouse from a long ago "Stuart Little" promotion. He was not amused.Does this stuff have a marketing impact? Heck yeah. The toys often determine which fast food place we dine at, and you bet your nuggets my kid watches the commercials and knows which place has which toy.And while some might think these toys are disposable, if they don't break, they're around our house to stay. I'll occasionally try to thin the herd and retire a few premiums, but I'm smart enough to store them away in a closet and not throw them out. I can't. My son has them mentally cataloged better than the most anal historian at the Smithsonian.Will he remain a loyal fast food customer over time? Or, will he switch to salads and tofu when he starts elementary school? The former is more likely than the latter. Of course, if the tofu joint had some cool Spider-Man toys…


Maria said...

love this true!!!!

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