Before and After: Happy Meals and what they were yesterday and what they have become today.
Well folks, coming June 16th kids everywhere will be munching upon pounds of greasy burgers and fries to get themselves pokemon happy meal toys, including a pokemon TCG card. Now I am too old to play in this game of shadows, “eat our food you get the prize” gambit.. but you got to admit it gets the kids excited to eat fast food. Once upon a time: we were those kids who were gorging upon those double cheeseburgers to get those damn toys. I remember fondly of one those ultra hot meal ticket promotions: POKEMON THE FIRST MOVIE.
I was a fan, I played the games,the cards,and have just about anything that said Pokemon on the box, hell I still play the game boy games, I’m a fucking nerd. The movie was mindblowing, it had more action, exciting orchestrations, and a deep meaningful plot (though not executed greatly when examining it now as a 21 year old) that would take 3 episodes to cover. It was a helluva time back in 1998. But back to the happy meals, it’s kind of funny that back in 1998 that happy meal promotions were executed with more attention to detail and hype.. in other words: MANIPULATE (due to misinformation and lack of internet.. so parents didn’t had the knowledge back then) Plus there were more toys, and also there separate things to purchase outside of the happy meals (or in this case Big Kids Meals), like there was Pokeballs with “gold karate” blocks with Pokemon on them. Holy shit, overkill! So that in turn would absolutely require kids to go to Burger King multiple times a week to “BUY THEM ALL!”, and I regret it health wise now. But you know what, I don’t care.. life is short and I will enjoy the times that I was a kid, and 1998 was a bitching good time.
Now 14 years later, the world has become more informed about the vile, gross, and health destroying fast food!* *quote from a semi rational health nut. McDonalds is trying to recreate that very successful campaign with doing some ludicrous promotions with other places. But here is the important stuff to know: Starting June 16th, McDonalds Happy Meals will come with a Pokemon toy and a reprinted TCG card. The six toys are Pikachu, Servine, Pignite, Dewott, Woobat, and Axew. That’s what you really need to know. I don’t know if it’s because I am older now, but I am not excited for this. I feel nostalgic, but not excited. There’s just something about being bombarded by ads from televisions with their semi clever tag lines and the announcer telling me that “such and such is now at this and that”. The magic is gone, gone are the overblown commercials with creativity and in with the conservative bastardizations of what we call commercials nowadays, and I don’t see them coming back anytime soon.