San Francisco has banned them, as has many an individual parent, but still kids go crazy for Happy Meal Toys. No matter what shape plastic has been molded into or which character they boast, kids want those little treasures.
Some, however, seem to be more excited by them than others. Just check out this video the guys over at Playground Dad found of this kid who goes ballistic for a SpongeBob toy. It's appropriately titled "Crack in Happy Meal McDonald's."
Do your kids get that excited? We rarely eat fast food (unless you count Chipotle, and I don't; I consider it the food of the gods), but when we do frequent McDonald's -- and I admit we do on occasion -- it's so much more about the toys than the food. I'm not sure my children even really like the food.
Their excitement for said toy is evident -- not nearly as evident as that of the boy in the video, but there's definitely some fun to be had. I'm even a little impressed from time to time at just how far these toys have come over the years. But the excitement is short-lived -- sometimes over before we've even left sight of the drive-thru. Then I'm left with a bunch of plastic crap.
If I throw it out, and one of my children happens to think of it again, I risk having to make a repeat trip or endure a tantrum. Since I'm not sure which is worse, I've come up with a system. Once they've been abandoned, I move them to a "holding pen" -- basically a bin in my laundry room. If no one squawks for them in a reasonable amount of time, then into the trash they go.
And that's my issue with the happy meal toys really -- the waste. I'm the parent, and I can (for the most part) determine what they eat or don't eat. I don't buy into that whole "big bad McDonald's is preying on our kids and making them fat" school of thought. But I do have a problem with all the waste -- of money and resources -- that go into Happy Meals (or any other fast food meal or birthday party goody bag) for such a short period of entertainment for our children.
Perhaps some biodegradable toys are in order? How great would it be if after a period of time, they just disappeared?
How excited do your children get about Happy Meal toys? What do you do with them when the excitement wears off?
Image via YouTube