Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happy Meal Toys at last!

So the Legion Happy Meal toys are finally out at your local McDonald's (assuming you live in the US and have a McDonald's close by - if not, sorry, there's always eBay). It's heartening to see a push for the Legion to be recognized outside of our little niche. People who watch the cartoon might eventually realize that they come from the comics (whether it's Supergirl and the Legion or Legion in the 31st Century) and maybe pick up an issue.

There's been a number of vocal complaints about why there are no girl figures (Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, and Emerald Empress were all shut out). I wrote about it here, but since then I've found some more discussion:

  • Pixie Palace:
    This is the year 2007, I would have hoped that we’d have moved beyond thinking so blatantly in terms of blue and pink, but obviously we haven’t. At least, McDonalds hasn’t. And in their world, superheroes are strictly blue. Sorry girls. Evidently McDonalds thinks boys=superheroes and action, girls=teddy bears and dress up. Hope that matches with your and your kids’ world view, because if not, you should probably go buy kids meals elsewhere.

  • The kamisama:
    The whole "girl toy" and "boy toy" thing is made even more insane by the fact that the girl alternative Happy Meal toys, are not female superhero toys, but instead are "Build a Bear" mini plushes. I wonder why a company like Build A Bear, that seems works so hard to market it's brand as gender neutral, would allow gender restrictive toy promotions.

    The message seems to be "Girls can't like Superheroes, Girls shouldn't like Superheroes, Girls need Plush Bears, Boys can't like Plush Bears"

    What a way to mess up something that could have been so damn cool.

I had to go to four stores this weekend before I was able to buy all 8 toys. Two had just Superman, and two had both Superman and Timber Wolf (the first place I went to had only the two, so I bought them there), but at the last store (where they only had Superman) the manager told me that they did have all of them. He got out a nearby carton and dug through it until he found the remaining six. At both stores that I bought the figures at, there was a special button on the register for "Happy Meal Toy No Food" which rang up at $1.79 each (plus tax).

Though there's not much about these to review, here's what Dave van Domelen had to say:
Happy Meal Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century Toys: McDonald's - This month, McD's is doing a Happy Meal promotion tie-in with the first season of the new LSH cartoon. Each week there's two characters (both male) from the cartoon done as non-poseable PVC figures packed in book-shaped cases. They come with trading cards that describe both the character and the scene shown on the case/card. The box is mixed, half LSH and half Build-A-Bear (McD's usually does this, a "boy" toy series parallel with a "girl" toy series). The LSH side has various animated images, a "defeat Mano" game that involves having your figure punch out holes in the Mano image (yes, it's as lame as it sounds, if not lamer) and an Interlac alphabet translation. Week 1 has Superman (can't call him Superboy anymore, lest the lawyers get nervous) and Timberwolf, both in airborne poses so that they can't stand on their own. They rest against diorama-printed blisters and are held in place by clear clamshell halves. Neither can stand on its own, but both are about the right size to be slapped on an Attacktix base for kitbashing. Most stores will sell you just the toy for about a buck, worth grabbing at that price.

Other reviews or commentary: All About Duncan, Pixie Palace,

Meanwhile, the LegionWorld message board has lots of photos and scans of the figures, boxes, and cards, starting here.

In addition to the toys themselves, there's one easy-to-get ancilliary items and several that might prove harder. The easy one is the Happy Meal box, which you can get for free just by asking at the counter. LegionWorld has a scan of that one too, but here's what it looks like fully opened (click to enlarge):

There are loads of auctions on eBay right now for the figures, as a set or individually, if you can't (or won't) get to the participating stores.

At the store itself, I found four pieces of advertising (but I only got pictures of three): an image on the drive-thru order board outside, a "menu" of Legion and Build-a-Bear figures in case you want to specify one at the drive-up window, and a display case inside showing what the toy looks like. The fourth, a two-sided poster that had food on one side and Legion figures/Build-a-Bears on the other, was not in a location where I could unobtrusively take a photo. Maybe later. (Click the picture to enlarge)


Timothy Callahan said...

My six year old son, who has seen every Legion episode and read every Jonny DC Legion issue so far, absolutely HATED the Legion toys at McDonalds. He was visibly upset by how tiny they were, and how they weren't even posable or interactive at all.

He's a fan of the Legion, yet he said he wants to get the "build a bear" toy next time instead.

So, while it may be cool to see the Legion toys at a place like this, I can't imagine a single kid actually liking these "toys" (which are actually tiny statues).

Very sad. I was so excited until I saw them.

Jonathan Miller said...

I went to two McDonalds on Saturday and managed to only get the Superman and Timber Wolf figures. Each store claimed that they only had two figures in and would get more "next week." (No indication when exactly that would be.) It sounds, though, like they're just not taking the other toys out of the box early--at least, assuming all the McDs work the same way the ones you went to do.

I have to admit to not taking the figures out of the boxes yet, so I can't say anything about their quality. Waiting until I have a full set. :-)