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The Rise and Fall of McDonald’s Happy Meals

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Nina Corcoran, writing for Consequence of Sound, about the history of McDonald’s Happy Meal:

    Kids wanted a clear distinction between their food and their parents’ food. Bernstein decided to give them that. Shortly after being assigned the task of bringing the “Menu Ronald” to American audiences, Bernstein took note of his son’s habits at breakfast. Instead of staring at his cereal while eating it, he scanned the cereal box’s illustrations over and over, drawing a line through its mazes and reading the jokes characters told. Bernstein instructed his creative team to set to work on paperboard boxes modeled in the style of lunch pails. The restaurant’s iconic Golden Arches, he told them, had to be handles. The company asked nationally known children’s illustrators to design content for the sides of the boxes, eight items total, that incorporated jokes, games, comics, stories, or anything else that might capture a child’s imagination.

    I remember as a kid when getting to go to McDonalds was treated like an event, a special occasion.

  2. devenstonow


    thanks jason, now I need to get mcdonald's for dinner
    Jason Tate likes this.
  3. KyleK

    Let's get these people moving faster! Supporter

    From a very young age I refused to order from Kids menus and didn't want distinction between my parents' food and my own - in fact, I always wanted more adventurous food than my parents. Probably resulted in going to McDonalds a lot less than most kids, although there was always room for McDonalds breakfast, especially when travelling so much for sports growing up.
  4. devenstonow


    On the note of McD's (which as mentioned, I will be eating for dinner tonight), a big thing for me was that, when I was in the target age of like, 8-12 or whatever, the Mighty Kids Meal was introduced and that was always more enticing than a "happy meal". It also made McD's more of a draw than BK
  5. Kiana

    Goddamn, man child Prestigious

    McDs has the best kids meals. I almost went and got one around Halloween for the Great Pumpkin pails they had. I'm an adult but I'd still like a fun toy with my meal tbh
    chewbacca110, Davjs, emeryk3 and 2 others like this.
  6. Shrek

    can't be made fun of Prestigious

    Athletics after a McDonalds breakfast sounds like hell. The wondrous steel fortitude of a child's digestive system.
  7. devenstonow


    seriously, even at 22 the idea of eating mcdonald's and doing anything but lay on the couch for the rest of the day disgusts me
  8. KyleK

    Let's get these people moving faster! Supporter

    Admittedly, it was probably terrible for me, but when you're a preteen or teenager playing early morning hockey in some random town, mcmuffins or mcgriddles would really satisfy. Plus, unfortunately there weren't a lot of options for a quick bite in places like that. Plus, saying I was eating it more than anything else from McDonalds is all-relative considering I'd go years between having a McDonalds burger.
  9. ARo24


    I just wanted the Beanie Babies dammit. Macdonalds is gross besides breakfast once in a great while.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  10. Michael Schmidt

    Don't recreate the scene, or reinvent the meanings Supporter

    Happy Meals were weird for me. Often times I didn't care much for the toy. Even though there were some health concerns looking back, I was always more interested in the McDonald's play area as a kid. I would rather run around (before and after eating) and jump in the ball pit than play with a toy. And as I got too old for the play area, I would just pitch the toy with my garbage, which led to my parents telling me to find new items to order so we wouldn't waste the toy. I wasn't a huge cartoon kid so the appeal for new movies often wasn't there.
    electro haikus likes this.
  11. josh-

    Twitter: @joshcaraballin

    When I was little my mom and grandma would collect Disney toys in happy meals for me. I still have a full Bugs Life set. I also got a pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards in my happy meal which yielded me the rarest card they had avliable. Needless to say I was a happy meal fan.
    Schooner likes this.
  12. Schooner


    I'm assuming kids having to go everywhere with an iPad these days negates anything interesting on the happy meal box that may have got their attention.

    Loved me a happy meal in the day. Perfect amount of food for a little fella for a special treat after rugby
    Until I thought I was a big boy and started getting the quarter pounder
  13. shawnhyphenray


    But BK had the Big Kids Meal...