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Happy meal and books instead of toys.

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#1 Foogle

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

Kicking off in the UK are the new Happy Meals that come with a book instead of a nasty toy.

I think I'm liking this.  Put it this way, if a child is going to have a HM then I would much prefer the book to go with it rather than the crappy toy.  In fact, I think DS would have argued a bit more to go to McDonalds had books been on offer rather than toys.  



#2 CupOfCoffee

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

I think it is great.  Books change lives and book ownership can open a whole world to children.

There are some kids that get to school, without having owned or been read books, and maybe some of those kids will now have access to books.  And that is important.

#3 chookpea

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Great idea.  The few times I've bought a happy meal for DS, the toys were junk.

#4 Heffalump

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

That's a brilliant idea - I hope that they start doing it over here as well!

#5 Oriental lily

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

Depends of the quality of book.
If is a mini version of the most recent Disney or dreamworks movie  offering than its no better.

I have an irrational hatred towards picture books from movies. Especially Disney ones.

I hate happy meals but I am sure people will think its a great move by McDonalds.
Our house already groans wth books as it is.

#6 Foogle

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

OL, I think they've gone with DK as one of the publishers from other articles I read.  They are kicking off with books from the DK Amazing World series.

From another article:

The Happy Readers campaign will launch with a five-week nationwide promotion featuring a series of non-fiction titles from publisher DK's Amazing World series. Each Happy Meal will include one of the books — whose topics include stars and planets, big cats and oceans — and related puzzles and stickers.

#7 Oriental lily

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Well if that's the case my eldest dd would be thrilled.

She loves 'information books' as she calls them.

Books in the uk are so much cheaper than here.
I wonder if it would financially viable in Australia?

It is preferable though than the plastic landfill you get.

Even though we are not massive McDonald's customers anyway.

#8 tothebeach

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

I have a fundamental objection to adding a desirable object (book, toy or whatever) to crappy food to entice children to want it.  Though I accept that it is a clever marketing ploy to make parents feel better about buying junk food for their children.

#9 bebe12

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:27 PM


they have had books in Aust before for macca, we have one on a bear from one of the few times we went. So not sure if it was for a promotion or a test on if it works.

#10 Tobias'smum

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

although books are avaliable other places some parents may not tend to take ther children there. like a pp said there are children who go to school having never read/been read a book  - i know 2 families like this and both mums said thats why they go to svhool for them to teach them  ddoh.gif . they were shocked when i said we have about 50 books for ds and hes 2 , although hes only started to actually like us reading to him we have gone through picture books and pointed out things.

for some kids its the only book thye may own

#11 livvie7586

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

QUOTE (bebe12 @ 12/01/2013, 01:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

they have had books in Aust before for macca, we have one on a bear from one of the few times we went. So not sure if it was for a promotion or a test on if it works.

we've got some too, they were mini books (not full sized), with a very basic info set in them (so great for DD, not so wonderful for DS)

I'd want to know exactly what type of books they were before i thought it was a great idea

#12 Life'sJuggle

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

I'm with tothebeach.  It is clever psychology to pair a desirable object with your product.  I find it really poor form to do that with unhealthy children's food.  Don't get me wrong, when I am rushed and the kids are hungry they do get the occasional cheeseburger and fries but never with the toy.  Just wrong and only a little less so if they use books.

#13 harryboy

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

Yep - DK have already done a range of animal books here. Meh....my son got a lot of pleasure out of happy meal toys and it meant we weren't buying at toy shops. Now he's 8, he prefers Subway. MacDonalds didn't kill him. And...I've gotten good money on ebay selling sets of Maccas toys which is now in his bank acct.

#14 treetree

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

Depends of the quality of book.
If is a mini version of the most recent Disney or dreamworks movie  offering than its no better.

I have an irrational hatred towards picture books from movies. Especially Disney ones.

I hate happy meals but I am sure people will think its a great move by McDonalds.
Our house already groans wth books as it is.
Pretty much what I was going to say. We have thousands of books here. I really detest those churned out 'for a purpose' books with no proper literary value.

#15 Julie3Girls

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

I think it is a good idea.

While using a toy to get the kids to want a happy meal isn't a great thing, it does happen. And having a book as an alternative to a crappy plastic toy is an improvement.
And honestly, even if they didn't offer the toy, I'm guessing there would be a lot of people who would still buy maccas for their kids. The food is quick, easy and cheap to buy and eat.

And not ALL kids have access to books. Yes, the library is free, but that still requires the parent actually taking the child there, borrowing the books, returning the books. Not all kids have hundreds of books sitting around in their house.

My girls got a couple of the books when macca's were doing them here. They loved the books, they were just little fact type books - I think we got insects and penquins. They were just as happy with them as the junky toys, and they learnt something too.

#16 Chocolate Addict

Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

My kid doesn't eat Macca's so it doesn't matter what they give away! lol

He does however eat KFC kids meals as his junk food of choice. They actually stopped giving out toys with their kids meals over a year ago. My kid was a bit disappointed the first time but got over it. He wanted the food, the toy was a bonus.

#17 seayork2002

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

I agree with this, maybe parents can buy their children a book instead? my son has never had a happy meal (he is nearly 5.5) but if I did he would play with the toy for about 5 seconds then move on so i don't see the big deal.

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 12/01/2013, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Depends of the quality of book.
If is a mini version of the most recent Disney or dreamworks movie  offering than its no better.

I have an irrational hatred towards picture books from movies. Especially Disney ones.

I hate happy meals but I am sure people will think its a great move by McDonalds.
Our house already groans wth books as it is.

#18 songshirah

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

We liked the DK factual books that came with the meals a couple of years ago.  They were titles like Bears, Penguins, etc.  DD's liked reading them and found them informative.

#19 Imaginary friend

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

Of course it is a marketing gimmick, it's a business, that's what businesses do,find ways to increase sales - but, having said that, I think mini books are better than plastic toys.

#20 balletmom4

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 12/01/2013, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Depends of the quality of book.
If is a mini version of the most recent Disney or dreamworks movie  offering than its no better.

I have an irrational hatred towards picture books from movies. Especially Disney ones.

I hate happy meals but I am sure people will think its a great move by McDonalds.
Our house already groans wth books as it is.

This sums it up for me as well. Any Disney type books are absolute rubbish from a child's literature point of view.

#21 Julie3Girls

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

Any Disney type books are absolute rubbish from a child's literature point of view.

Kids who are eating happy meals are pretty young. While quality books are a wonderful thing, I also think that ANY reading is a good thing, especially when children are just learning to read.

Mini versions of the latest movie might not be great works of literature, but they are often something that can catch the kids attention. They can go through the book, knowing the story already, recognising the pictures .. it's all the early stages of learning to read.

As other's have said, it's a gimmick. Take the toys away, you'll still have people buying the food.

#22 ~sydblue~

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 12/01/2013, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I guess on the surface it sounds like a good idea.  But books are freely available  at the library, or school.  Small kids might be excited but the majority will probably just end up in the bin with all the other rubbish McDonalds produces.  It's certainly a step up from the plastic toys which I wish would be banned, but I hardly think it's going to change anyone's life.  Even 'poor' kids have access to books.  Just another slimy selling gimmick.

Yeah right. A parent who would rather buy their kid maccas or kfc(kan't f'ing cook) 7 days a week are hardly likely to go to the library and borrow a book which they would have to return.
Most of these kids with 'IDGAF' parents, probably never even get to borrow from the school library either.
Any book is a step in the right direction of getting a child to read. Even if it does mean giving them disney books to grab their attention.

#23 SisterMaryElephant

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

From a practical standpoint, I'd advise them to have a choice of books.  A family with 3 or 4 kids and they all end up with the same book?  At least with the same toys they can become twins or clones or whatever and still part of a game.

We did end up with a turtle book few years back, which the girls liked, but honestly, the whole Happy Meal idea could be scrapped, or replaced with a puzzle sheet or mini mag.  Whatever.  It wouldn't affect our buying choice - we'd still eat there on the odd occasion as we do now.

#24 Madnesscraves

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

I think it's awful.

McDonalds is trying to get parents to justify their kids eating junk food by saying it comes with an educational book to make up for all the fat they're eating.


#25 LynnyP

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

I suppose a marketing ploy to entice parents to bring their children to Maccas that has some intrinsic worth in itself is better than one that doesn't.

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