As an adult, it's hard not to think back on the day when meals came with a fun new toy. The toy was always the highlight of a visit to McDonald's (MCD). After kids finish their delicious meal (or more often before), just before they go out to see the McDonald's PlayPlace, there's always a moment of wonder as they examine the plastic-wrapped treasure inside.
In those early years, collecting all of the Power Rangers toys was a real status symbol, especially if the toys interacted with each other. In the 1990s, the need for the whole lineup of Power Rangers toys was very real, and having all of them made kids feel like miniature-art collectors.
When McDonald's joins forces with an iconic children's toy franchise for the third time, the desire to "collect them all" takes on new dimensions. Not only are these new toys well-known and loved, but they're also providing kids a new experience to play one of the most popular trading card games in recent decades.
A New Way To Play Pokemon & McDonalds Team-Up
Pokemon, a Japanese character-battle card game owned by Nintendo, is returning to the Happy Meal to bring us Match Battle. It's a new way for kids to play their favorite trading card game, according to the Pokemon website. Each Pokemon Happy Meal will include:
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The Happy Meal box has also undergone a Pokemon makeover, so for a limited time, these boxes will have Pikachu's cute little face on the front, complete with two little pop-out ears. Other characters in the set include Pikachu, Rowlet, and others.
Pokemon Happy Meals are in high demand.
McDonald's is aiming to break up a previous issue when it comes to selling collectible cards. After this happened in the United States, U.K. stores limited sales of the toy to one additional per customer. This year's rollout has already announced that they'll be using this technique to avoid shortages and price increases by third-party sellers.
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McDonalds and Burger King (QSR) have hosted Pokemon toys and promotional offers. In 1999, Burger King released a gold-plated Pokemon card. The cards were neat, and certainly fun and novel for the time, but they havent retained much value over the years. But at the time, collectors may have paid far more than the cards are worth in order to obtain one.
The Pokemon franchise will debut a new video game this fall, so this McDonalds partnership is a great set up for the IP. The popular fast food destination has seen a positive increase in sales in recent months, even after increasing menu prices. This should make investors smile, but for an investment in a new way for kids to enjoy an old favorite?