Ronald McHummer
August 18, 2006 5:19 AM   Subscribe

Ronald McHummer. "This month McDonald's is giving away toy Hummers — 42 million of them, in eight models and colors — with every Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal. That's right: The fast-food chain that helped make our kids the fattest on Earth is now selling future car buyers on the fun of driving a supersized, smog-spewing, gas-guzzling SUV.."
posted by stbalbach (117 comments total)
 
Ironically Hummers are fairly cramped inside, especially when compared to the vehicle's impressive bulk, so really it might not provide enough interior room to park one's supersized posterior.
posted by clevershark at 5:29 AM on August 18, 2006


It's a joke, surely.
posted by popcassady at 5:31 AM on August 18, 2006


Awesome...I loved getting car toys when I was a kid (specifically Matchbox) and look at me, I drive a high mileage diesel Golf instead of a muscle car!
posted by evilelvis at 5:38 AM on August 18, 2006


>It's a joke, surely.

Not a funny joke. What kind of mileage does Polly Pocket get?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:47 AM on August 18, 2006


Seems appropriate to me. Since, you know, boys that eat happy meals really do have small penises.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:53 AM on August 18, 2006


What kind of mileage does Polly Pocket get?

OK, no more Polly Pocket sex jokes.
posted by jsteward at 5:55 AM on August 18, 2006


Awww, it's those stupid fake Hummers built on Chevy Tahoe chassis. Forget that wannabee soccer-mom stuff -- give me a real-deal HMMWV! (Because Real Men don't parallel park anyhow.)
posted by pax digita at 5:59 AM on August 18, 2006


Where was the outrage when they were giving kids these gas guzzlers in their Happy Meals? Where was the outrage?
posted by jfuller at 6:00 AM on August 18, 2006



posted by Cookiebastard at 6:03 AM on August 18, 2006


Needs more shrill. Is there any way they could toss in some feminism or Noam?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:07 AM on August 18, 2006


Hummers and McDonald's? Let's not shoot our load too early in the morning.
posted by geoff. at 6:08 AM on August 18, 2006


Jeez, it's a freaking TOY, people. Let the kids have their fun. I suppose it would be somehow better if McD gave out crappy little toy Prius vehicles? Newflash: they don't look cool.

Riddle me this: is there ANY toy that could be given out that would pass every "politically correct" test?


posted by davidmsc at 6:11 AM on August 18, 2006


Quickly generate your very own "Ronald McHummer" restaurant sign! Enjoy!!
posted by Misciel at 6:11 AM on August 18, 2006


"is there ANY toy that could be given out that would pass every "politically correct" test?"

Hummer owner, ain'tcha? ;-)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 AM on August 18, 2006


These toys are now, I'm told, coming with big 'HYDROGEN' decals applied to 'em. For whatever that's worth.

My outrage on these are centered entirely on the hydrogen decals - we're teching our kids that you can raise your car's gas mileage by slapping on a sticker! Next thing you know, they'll think that applying a big-ass Mugen decal to their rear window will make their Civic go faster.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:17 AM on August 18, 2006


"is there ANY toy that could be given out that would pass every "politically correct" test?"

Johnny Switchblade: Adventure Punk
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:20 AM on August 18, 2006


What kind of mush-brained kids are these people raising that they would be totally swayed for all time by getting a happy meal toy?

But then again, I know I got a hot wheels once as a kid and now I don't have a car beacuse I won't be happy with anything but the General Lee.
posted by thekilgore at 6:21 AM on August 18, 2006


Disclaimer: This website is a parody.

So does that mean they are making fun of people who would protest this, or that they don't understand the word parody and just think it means "you can't sue me"?
posted by smackfu at 6:22 AM on August 18, 2006


Wait - Polly Pocket's going to give me a Hummer at McDonald's? I'm lovin' it...?

And, davidmsc, it's not a toy when General Motors is using the Hummer toy promotion as a way to boost sales. General Motors is using this to reinforce the idea that Hummer's a big boy toy:

"The brand positioning for Hummer is straighforward and extremely effective when executed properly: Hummer is a toy for grown-ups. The irony of this promotion is that the Hummer already looks like a toy and is already sold like a toy. Putting a real toy version of the Hummer into happy meals will not only influence children - it will influence their parents. It brilliantly reinforces the brand positioning."
posted by FormlessOne at 6:22 AM on August 18, 2006


is there ANY toy that could be given out that would pass every "politically correct" test?

vibrating Hitler nunchucks with a seal skin cozy? Oh, you said PASS. Sorry.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:25 AM on August 18, 2006


It's a brilliant campaign. I've been driving a Slinky® for years. The mileage sux, but it takes the stairs like a champ!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:27 AM on August 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


I mentioned the toy Hummer with the "hydrogen" sticker in the last Hummer post two days ago.

Then I realized, there's this glowing barrel in the back as well. I guess that's supposed to be the fuel cell? How cool is that? Hydrogen fuel cells glow in the dark!

Anyway, it totally proves that Hummers are the future, and we'll all be driving them someday soon.
posted by fungible at 6:29 AM on August 18, 2006


we're teching our kids that you can raise your car's gas mileage by slapping on a sticker! Next thing you know

Maybe we are teaching them that if they want a car as a toy, they should just get the toy.
posted by pokermonk at 6:32 AM on August 18, 2006


it's not a toy when General Motors is using the Hummer toy promotion as a way to boost sales.

That's the most ridiculous thing I've read in this thread (so far). Nearly every kid's meal toy is a promotion to boost sales - be it for cars, beanie babies, movie tickets, or more licensed branded merchandise.
posted by MrZero at 6:35 AM on August 18, 2006


I've been driving a Slinky® for years.

I prefer my Green Machine (the original, not this chintzy remake) for commuting.
posted by FormlessOne at 6:36 AM on August 18, 2006


I got the yellow one the other day. Will it make you feel better if you know that it is one of those deals where you pull the car backwards on the ground and then let it go and it drives for a little bit? Cause it does. My dog chased it. Feel better?
posted by ND¢ at 6:38 AM on August 18, 2006


MrZero: The difference is that typically, the toy involved is meant to boost sales by encouraging children (and, perhaps, a few small-minded adults - Beanie Babies didn't exactly turn out to be a long-term investment, did they?) to want the product. In this case, it's meant to directly encourage adults - seriously, you think the kid's going to go run out & buy an H3 after eating a cheeseburger?

The most ridiculous thing I've read in this post was that "it's just a toy, get over it." It's advertising, yes, but this is a bit more insidious than usual.
posted by FormlessOne at 6:39 AM on August 18, 2006


> General Motors is using the Hummer toy promotion as a way to boost sales.

End of the world predicted! Film at 11, if today goes to 11.
posted by jfuller at 6:40 AM on August 18, 2006


The 2006 Hummer H3 is only a 5 cyl / 3.5L engine?
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymake/Hummer2006.shtml

Hell, that's not even a real truck. That's a toy, so the McDonald's tie in makes perfect sense!
posted by COD at 6:40 AM on August 18, 2006


/me feigns outrage.
posted by substrate at 6:46 AM on August 18, 2006


This is nothing. When I was a kid, I had a toy motorcycle. Without a toy helmet. The nerve.

(lighten up, on both sides of this. You're taking it waaaay too seriously)
posted by jonmc at 6:47 AM on August 18, 2006


OMG. The outrage in this thread is hilarious. It's a god damn happy meal toy. I stopped getting happy meals at about age 7. I can't even remember what toys I got as happy meals. It's going to have about as much influence on children's future car purchases as getting a Tonka Truck will.

Newsflash: Kids like playing with toy trucks! Then grow up and often buy perfectly sensible vehicles, despite this heavy handed branding exercise!
posted by antifuse at 6:49 AM on August 18, 2006


How is it any more insidious than any other licensed toy? Have you even been to a Toys R Us lately?
posted by MegoSteve at 6:50 AM on August 18, 2006


Environmentalists are pussies.

At least we have fully functioning sexual organs.
posted by hydrophonic at 6:50 AM on August 18, 2006


Those of you outraged about this, come clean, you're still upset that you didn't get those Matchbox cars for Christmas when you were seven, right?

Let it go.
posted by jonmc at 6:52 AM on August 18, 2006


FormlessOne writes "it's not a toy when General Motors is using the Hummer toy promotion as a way to boost sales. General Motors is using this to reinforce the idea that Hummer's a big boy toy:"

As soon as GM markets a wind up full size Hummer I'll be all over it.
posted by Mitheral at 6:57 AM on August 18, 2006


I remember the good old days when I had to pay a sawbuck for a decent hummer and now they're putting them in HappyMeals? The times certainly are a changin'
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:59 AM on August 18, 2006


In other news, Mayor McCheese opposes stem cell research and same-sex marriages.
posted by horsewithnoname at 7:01 AM on August 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Does this mean there'll soon be an epidemic crisis in our nation as children begin trying to put real Hummers in their mouth?
posted by NationalKato at 7:02 AM on August 18, 2006


and Grimace is a racist. He only likes other purple people.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 AM on August 18, 2006


Toys can indeed be powerful agents of conformity antifuse. Just look at the degree they reinforce gender norms.

A child who grew up playing with Hummer toys will certainly be familiar with the brand when he goes shopping for a vehicle. That there is enough to boost sales. And when Buy Day comes, it is not inconceivable that the child will be disposed to buying the vehicle he fantasized over as a kid.

(Of course, it's also possible that the child will eventually resent being marketed to during his formative years, and also that he'll associate the Hummer with cheap, plastic construction -- however accurate that may be.)
posted by JHarris at 7:05 AM on August 18, 2006


suckerpunch writes "Next thing you know, they'll think that applying a big-ass Mugen decal to their rear window will make their Civic go faster."

Don't forget the coffee-can exhaust!
posted by clevershark at 7:11 AM on August 18, 2006


horsewithnoname writes "In other news, Mayor McCheese opposes stem cell research and same-sex marriages."

The Hamburglar's never been the same since he went to PMITA prison. He doesn't smile as much anymore, he chain smokes, and he spends his evenings in the "bad" part of town.
posted by clevershark at 7:15 AM on August 18, 2006


A child who grew up playing with Hummer toys will certainly be familiar with the brand when he goes shopping for a vehicle. That there is enough to boost sales. And when Buy Day comes, it is not inconceivable that the child will be disposed to buying the vehicle he fantasized over as a kid.

It could also lead to dancing.

(seriously, you sound like some nitpicking preacher warning children against the pernicious influences of rock videos or dime novels. take a pill, any pill, even a Flintstone vitamin, or are those offensive to the Caveman community?)
posted by jonmc at 7:16 AM on August 18, 2006


I think people are being far too harsh on the folks who are outraged. After all, this is a toy being used as a promotion to convince parents of the toy recipients to buy Hummers. I know how insidious and effective this is, because my parents bought a Dodge Charger when I got the General Lee happy meal, and then next year, we had to travel around by Cylon Raider when I got a Battlestar Galactica happy meal.
posted by Bugbread at 7:17 AM on August 18, 2006 [4 favorites]


I can't even remember what toys I got as happy meals.

Whoa, dude. I just had a flashback to this little purple rubber character I got in a Happy Meal that I think was called a "Venetian Vambat." Now, I don't want to completely validate the outraged contributors to this thread or anything, but I feel obliged to mention that I recently moved to Venice and have been working on assembling some sort of apparatus that would allow me to fly around the city at night.

In search of McNuggets. And the blood of kind children.

Live in fear.
posted by gompa at 7:20 AM on August 18, 2006


J Harris is right, toys do build a huge subliminal predisposition towards future purchases. That's why I drive a Millenium Falcon. But I got the hybrid one that can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. Ahh dammit bugbread.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:25 AM on August 18, 2006


clevershark: The Hamburglar's never been the same since he went to PMITA prison. He doesn't smile as much anymore, he chain smokes, and he spends his evenings in the "bad" part of town.

It's because he got addicted to the fries in the big house. Grimace keeps him hooked up. That's how he affords the Hummer.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:26 AM on August 18, 2006


That Monopoly promotion they used to have glorified capitalism.
posted by smackfu at 7:26 AM on August 18, 2006


FYI, the toy Hummer gets just as good mileage as the toy Prius.

This isn't convincing anyone to do anything. Jesus, everyone is so scared of marketing, as if advertising is on par with MK-Ultra /Manchurian Candidate brainwashing.

Did all those Matchbox car Ferraris cause parents to buy Ferraris, or the kids to buy them a generation later?

The brand positioning for Hummer is straighforward and extremely effective when executed properly: Hummer is a toy for grown-ups.

There's no insight in this statement. Obviously the Hummer is toy for grown ups - the people buying them know that its a toy. So?

What the hell is an iPod? It's a toy for the 24-40 set. You really need to carry all your music with you all the time? Isn't that as frivolous in that context as an-off road tank that will never go anywhere except to the front of the valet parking line at the restaurant?
posted by Pastabagel at 7:30 AM on August 18, 2006


J Harris is right, toys do build a huge subliminal predisposition towards future purchases. That's why I drive a Millenium Falcon.

Ah, it's all clear now. You only hang out with me because you need a wookie co-pilot.

I feel used.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on August 18, 2006


Children have a bigger say in car buying decisions – Experian/Future Foundation survey:
Children as young as eight now influence families’ car buying choices, according to Experian, quoting consumer research conducted by Future Foundation, an Experian company, which identified four key factors that determine car purchases:

The family influence

There are now few households where men alone have the sole task of deciding what car is to be purchased. Women now have a bigger influence and children over the age of eight are also consulted more for their opinion, which was never the case in the past. [...]
Luckily, another one of the four main influences on car purchases is the internet, so constant laughing at people who are stupid enough to buy these ugly trucks may be worth the effort:
The Internet

The Internet is now at the heart of the car purchasing decision. While less than 2% of consumers have bought a car online, over 60% of car buyers compare cars online before parting with their cash.
posted by pracowity at 7:31 AM on August 18, 2006


A child who grew up playing with Hummer toys will certainly be familiar with the brand when he goes shopping for a vehicle. That there is enough to boost sales

Yes, and without that Happy Meal toy, they NEVER would have known what a Hummer was by the time they reached car-buying age! Come on, give me a break. Your average child (boy or girl, in this day and age...) will have no fewer than, say, 50 toy cars/trucks growing up. And I'm being VERY generous here - most of my little cousins have hundreds. Are you saying that this Hummer toy, received in a happy meal, is going to take precedence over the 49 other toy vehicles your average child has? If you're actually saying that, you must work for the same branding agency that sold GM on this cockamamie scheme in the first place.
posted by antifuse at 7:33 AM on August 18, 2006


This thread has been most enlightening. And it makes me think of the Superman doll I had as a child. Carry on with the discussion.

*jumps out window trying to fly*
posted by jonmc at 7:38 AM on August 18, 2006


If they're going to be required to say "Would you like a Hummer with that?" McDonalds employees should definitely get a raise. :)
posted by zarq at 7:40 AM on August 18, 2006


Hummers Suck (4.5 informative minutes of YouTube)
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:40 AM on August 18, 2006


Jon, I'm clearly the wookie in this relationship.


Actually my 11 year old stepdaughter got one of these toys in her happy meal on a road trip this weekend. She said

"Oh, a toy humvee. Hey, we should get a Humvee. Just kidding this toy sucks, I'm going to lose it on the floor of the car now, ok?"

Fucking New York State Throughway man, you can hit a stretch coming back from Utica where you really have to hold your pee hoping to get to the rest stop with the mcdonalds instead of the one with the Arby's and some kind of skanky off-brand hotdog franchise, you ever been to a rest stop Arby's? It's like the Island of Dr. Moreau, yikes.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:40 AM on August 18, 2006


This is horrible... just shocking, and appalling. When I was little, I got a Muppet Babies toy with my happy meal, the Fozzie bear one.

Now, two decades later, I still can't leave the house without my yellow propeller beanie and rocking horse.

Please, McDonalds, stop the madness.

Please.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:45 AM on August 18, 2006


I wouldn't go out an firebomb a McDonalds over this, but we do all realize that an insane amount of energy goes into marketing shit to small children, right? I mean, if it's possible to turn a six year old into a brand-loyal consumer, advertisers will do it. There's a level of sophistication to advertising that wasn't there back when we were all playing with matchbox cars. Not saying it's the end of the world, but children are definitely treated as consumers (as are we all) to an unprecedented degree.
posted by 912 Greens at 7:50 AM on August 18, 2006


It isn't that kids playing with these toy trucks today might buy real ones in six or eight years, but that kids playing with these toy trucks this morning may help convince their parents to buy the real trucks this afternoon. Kids affect the buying decision directly and immediately.
posted by pracowity at 7:56 AM on August 18, 2006


I haven't been to Mickey D's in years but I'm getting a happy meal for lunch today just for the toy car. Do you have to be a kid to order one?

Hummer. Putting the Happy in Happy Meal.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:57 AM on August 18, 2006


I haven't been to Mickey D's in years but I'm getting a happy meal for lunch today just for the toy car. Do you have to be a kid to order one?

If you act brain-damaged they might cut you some slack. Try and work up some drool for the people.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on August 18, 2006


Not only yes I did get Matchbox cars for Christmas, my favorite, to the exclusion of the flashy American sports-car ones, was an original British Lesney Matchbox of a Land Rover -- a British Army field ambulance, IIRC. Which bore a passing resemblance to the consumerfied Hummer, now that I think about it.
posted by pax digita at 8:01 AM on August 18, 2006


Not only yes I did get Matchbox

When I was a kid the toy car culture was divided. You were either a Matchbox kid or a Hot Wheels kid. You probably had cars from both sets, but somewhere along the line you picked a side and flew your colors on the plastic carrying case.

I recently found out that Matchbox and Hot Wheels are both owned by the same company. Now, that is depressing corporate news.
posted by jonmc at 8:05 AM on August 18, 2006


The reason you get so much spam in your inbox isn't that spam costs nothing and therefore just a few sales will make a million emails profitable.

It's because a spammer has convinced someone else that since spam costs nothing, just a few sales will make a million emails profitable. So your Viagra or imitation Rolex dealer will pay a spammer a bunch of money to get his product spamarketed to people's inbox. Every once in a while, a Viagrolex dealer will make some money; more often than not, they won't. This doesn't matter to the spammer, because the spammer doesn't make money from people buying Viagra or Rolex's, he gets it from convincing a dealer that it will help sales.

In the same way, regular advertising can be effective, but that doesn't mean that it's always effective. What matters, from an advertiser's viewpoint, is not whether an ad is effective in selling a product, but whether the advertiser can convince a product maker that purchasing advertising would be a good choice.

So, yeah, tons more is being put into marketing than when we were kids. But tons more isn't coming out of it. The relationship between advertising and manufacturers is often like that between spam and dealers. So some company has convinced whoever makes Hummers that putting Hummer toys into Happy Meals will result in "increased brand awareness" (for all 10 folks who don't already know what a Hummer is) and increased sales. That doesn't mean it will result in increased sales, just that the advertising folks were very good at advertising their service to the Hummer folks.

So, yeah, this nefarious nefarious advertising might result in one family that wouldn't have bought a Hummer otherwise to buy a Hummer. Evil incarnate, summon the outrage brigade!!
posted by Bugbread at 8:11 AM on August 18, 2006


jonmc : "When I was a kid the toy car culture was divided. You were either a Matchbox kid or a Hot Wheels kid. You probably had cars from both sets, but somewhere along the line you picked a side and flew your colors on the plastic carrying case.

I recently found out that Matchbox and Hot Wheels are both owned by the same company. Now,
that is depressing corporate news."

Well, they were different companies until 1996, when Mattel bought out Lesney toys. So when you were a kid, they were totally separate.
posted by Bugbread at 8:15 AM on August 18, 2006


I am conflicted. On the one hand, yes, it is a bad thing that kids are being marketed to so overtly. I remember when the little toys you got in a Happy Meal were gleefully generic hot rods with giant flame paintjobs and ludicrously oversized engines. The only thing those cars could possibly be an ad for was Hot Wheels. Come to think of it, they almost certainly were ads for Hot Wheels. Dammit!

On the other hand, I did not grow up with an insatiable desire for ludicrously out-of-proportion drag racers with giant engines and flame paint jobs. I get the whole "intrusion of advertising into every realm of public and private life," but not so much the "OMG BRAINWASHING OUR KIDS TO BECOME BRAND PERSUADERS." Yeesh.

Finally, Matchbox and Hot Wheels both sucked. Any kid who knew anything about toy cars knew Majorette was the shit.
posted by chrominance at 8:17 AM on August 18, 2006


I'm still getting this Us. v. Them thing down, so I just wanted to make sure real quick: people who drive Hummers and people who eat at McDonalds are all part of Them, correct?
posted by dios at 8:30 AM on August 18, 2006


The conclusion a whole lot of kids will draw from such a toy is "A Hummer is a small plastic vehicle that a kitten can chew up, or a little sister can stuff with grass and flower petals". It's hard for me to see the link between a six-year-old with a toy and a buying decision.

When I had toy trucks and cars, the point wasn't what -make- of vehicle they represented, the point was their carrying capacity of the powder in a road flare, or their ability to survive hits from a BB gun. And the car I thought was cool when I was six was the NSU Prinz, because of the weird slots in the rear fenders. My family never had a Prinz and my purchasing advice was cheerfully disregarded.
posted by jet_silver at 8:36 AM on August 18, 2006


Wow, the nerve of some companies that actually try to market their products! I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED I SAY! SHOCKED!

It's a car. It gets less gas mieage than other cars. It's a symptom, not the cause of the disease. Get over it. Go pick on people that own motorhomes instead.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:53 AM on August 18, 2006


I don't give a fuck about the Hummer itself, but we did grab my kid a Happy Meal on the way back from the zoo a few days ago. I was kind of irritated by the little Hummer comix on the side, which advocated driving through streams and over fallen logs out in whatever wilderness it is that the commercials for virtually every SUV take place.

Like the one where the people in the Subaru Forester use it to sneak up on a fawn and "appreciate" it.

Oh, also, fuck the jaded oversimplifiers in this thread, o.k.? I don't have to think my kid is being subliminally reprogrammed to resent the fuck out of McDonalds trying to put the image in his head that appreciation of the outdoors can involve tooling around in a fucking Hummer. It can't. You can't drive around in the woods in a Hummer and claim to appreciate nature, or give a shit about it, so what McDonalds is doing isn't so much a special offense as it is a very common one: Lying. They're lying to my kid.

The obvious response to me is pretty much "So why do you take your kid to McDonalds?" to which all I can say is that I looked at the Happy Meal box, looked at my wife and said "No more. This is bullshit." Coz that's what it is.

Or is it stomping on some mush-brained relativist hipster's norms to call bullshit bulllshit?
posted by mph at 8:55 AM on August 18, 2006


Or is it stomping on some mush-brained relativist hipster's norms to call bullshit bulllshit?

Is it mush-brained relativist hipsterism to take with a grain of salt the idea that outrage over a toy truck is a giant step for truth, justice and the American way?
posted by jonmc at 9:06 AM on August 18, 2006


So do what I do, tell your kid "This is a lie to make you think that buying things makes you happier and it's important to remember that what you do and how you treat others is the mark of what makes you a good person, not what you own. Now can I have a french fry please?"
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:07 AM on August 18, 2006


I love getting a hummer. Whats this weird 4x4 thing tho?
posted by lemonfridge at 9:08 AM on August 18, 2006


Is it mush-brained relativist hipsterism to take with a grain of salt the idea that outrage over a toy truck is a giant step for truth, justice and the American way?

No ... that's shit-headed oversimplification of other people's concerns using an "idea" you pulled out of your ass to make yourself look smart compared to imaginary chicken littles.

But the two dovetail nicely, so just go with it.
posted by mph at 9:12 AM on August 18, 2006


I I'm getting a happy meal for lunch today just for the toy car. Do you have to be a kid to order one?

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that if you order a Happy Meal at "the Scottish place" without a child in evidence, they'll just ask, "Boy toy or girl toy?" (Let the punch lines begin....)

I haven't been to Mickey D's in years but I'm getting a happy meal for lunch today just for the toy car. Do you have to be a kid to order one?

You were either a Matchbox kid or a Hot Wheels kid.

The Hot Wheels ones were teh kewl, but the Matchbox ones looked like actual cars, and even at that stage some of us were geeks who weren't fooled by all the metallic paint, stickers, and mag wheels.
posted by pax digita at 9:14 AM on August 18, 2006


jonmc writes "When I was a kid the toy car culture was divided. You were either a Matchbox kid or a Hot Wheels kid. You probably had cars from both sets, but somewhere along the line you picked a side and flew your colors on the plastic carrying case."

YES! I remember that too! I was a matchbox kid myself. When I compared a Matchbox to a similar Hot Wheels car I always found that the Matchbox had much finer detail to it.
posted by clevershark at 9:15 AM on August 18, 2006


Frankly I think this is much ado about nothing.

<preemptive>Metafilter: much ado about nothing</preemptive>
posted by clevershark at 9:17 AM on August 18, 2006


mph: cool yer jets. I don't care much for real Hummers either, but I also don't care much for real violence, but I liked playing with toy guns and swords and soldiers when I was a kid. I'm just saying that getting upset over a toy makes enviornmentalists seem like overreactive bluenoses and that's the exact opposite of what we want, I should think.
posted by jonmc at 9:17 AM on August 18, 2006


There are not going to be any fucking Hummers on the road when today's kids are old enough to buy one anyway, unless they are converted to run off mouth foam and internet toughguyism.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:24 AM on August 18, 2006


CunningLinguist writes "I'm getting a happy meal for lunch today just for the toy car. Do you have to be a kid to order one?"

Nope, in fact you don't even have to order a happy meal to get the toy, they'll sell you one with any food purchase.
posted by Mitheral at 9:24 AM on August 18, 2006


> At least we have fully functioning sexual organs.

Antheridia and archegonia, sure. But that's only during your gametophyte stage, and then you're haploid and that's when you get all those Jesus Haploid Christ eschatological delusions.

posted by jfuller at 9:28 AM on August 18, 2006


I'm just saying that getting upset over a toy makes enviornmentalists seem like overreactive bluenoses and that's the exact opposite of what we want, I should think.

Which is an entirely reasonable proposition, but an unmild variation on the idea that "outrage over a toy truck is a giant step for truth, justice and the American way?"

I, too, would take such an idea with a grain of salt, but I've only been exposed to it once in this thread, by you.

Anyhow ... my jets are cooled. I'm no good for more than a few rounds under any circumstances, and my wife and I stopped rending our clothes, pulling our hair and rolling around in ashes over the hummer outrage a week ago.
posted by mph at 9:30 AM on August 18, 2006


It is disappointing to see a restaraunt chain that offers high-quality health food being ruined by marketing. A parent can't even get their kid some healthy french fries and tooth-decay-preventing carbonated beverages without them being marketed to.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 9:36 AM on August 18, 2006


I just discovered that the Happy Meals also contain greasy french fries, disgusting processed chicken nuggets, and horrible low-quality cheeseburgers. When will it end? I demand that McDonalds start selling their Happy Meals with a tempeh-based sandwich on whole grain bread, a side of fresh fruit, and a solar powered toy car.

(Not sarcastic. If they did this I might buy food for my kids there.)
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:39 AM on August 18, 2006


mph: fair enough. apologies. I've just heard an awful lot of overwrought rhetoric in my day from people of all persuasions, so I've developed a hypersensitivity to it.
posted by jonmc at 9:40 AM on August 18, 2006


Marketing is evil. Except when it is done by companies we like. Have you seen the new iHipster ad from Apple? What about that trailer for Snakes on a Plane. Funny stuff. But anyhow, back to marketing: fuck that company for pursuing branding by giving toys in Happy Meals.
posted by dios at 9:55 AM on August 18, 2006


> There are not going to be any fucking Hummers on the road when today's kids are old enough
> to buy one anyway, unless they are converted to run off mouth foam and internet
> toughguyism.

If we can make crude oil from turkey parts and Soylent Green from people, I have every confidence that human ingenuity can keep the ol' rolling stock rolling. But then I'm sanguine where you boys are melancholic and phlegmatic.

posted by jfuller at 10:11 AM on August 18, 2006


Dr. Pepper is giving away real hummers. 23 of them. So spread the hate folks!
posted by Eekacat at 10:11 AM on August 18, 2006


Doesn't make sense. People who eat at McDonalds are too poor to afford a Hummer.
posted by jack_mo at 10:15 AM on August 18, 2006



It is disappointing to see a restaraunt chain that offers high-quality health food being ruined by marketing. A parent can't even get their kid some healthy french fries and tooth-decay-preventing carbonated beverages without them being marketed to.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 12:36 PM EST on August 18 [+] [!]


Too bad that you can get carrots or celery and milk(or three different juices) with a happy meal instead of fries and a soda.

Awesome username, btw
posted by Pastabagel at 10:21 AM on August 18, 2006


Why would anyone want to drive a hummer on a day to day basis? Seriously. There is no redeeming quality I can think of in driving the thing. Lexus, Lincoln, even a Caddy - all good choices. Or a sports car. Hell, why not a jeep? Those are great, you can modify them and screw around with them and go off roading and break them and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to fix. But I wouldn’t want to drive an off road jeep back and forth to work every day either.
I get that McDonalds is cheap and convenient and I have no criticism for parents that take their kids there. However I will allow monkeys to rain blows onto my testicles before I visit McDonalds. I’d rather see my kids smoking marijuana than eating at McDonalds. In fact I’ll be busting into their room if I smell dope shouting “My God, you’re not eating McDonalds in here are you!? ...oh, it’s marijuana. Phew. Ok...well, then you’re just grounded.”

FormlessOne - those green machines kicked ass
posted by Smedleyman at 10:22 AM on August 18, 2006


Why would anyone want to drive a hummer on a day to day basis? Seriously

Do you have any idea how many hippies there are between my suburban McMansion and my office? I'm not going to spend another Saturday picking Birkenstocks out of my Diablo's wiper.

But if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the yacht club to go window shopping for a trophy wife. Now where did I put my keys and that stepladder...
posted by Pastabagel at 10:27 AM on August 18, 2006


I got a nice maroon windup toy. Woo-hoo. It doesn't even say Hummer on it.
Now I want a yellow one.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:27 AM on August 18, 2006


I used to work at a McDonalds. If you ask, you can purchase a customer appreciation pack that contains all of the toys in the promotion. I'm not sure if this works at all McD's, but the one where I worked had them. I think they only cost a couple of bucks. Enjoy.
posted by catseatcheese at 10:30 AM on August 18, 2006


"People who eat at McDonalds are too poor to afford a Hummer."

Doesn't mean they can't want one.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:32 AM on August 18, 2006


I fully support giving kids hummers.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:01 AM on August 18, 2006


One time I got a toy of a Muppet Babies Gonzo on a tricycle. I'm sure that one of the reasons they used a tricycle was that the toy would stand up easier on its own, but perhaps it was just wicked advertising wizards infecting my brain.

Today, I drive an adult tricycle.
posted by elr at 11:06 AM on August 18, 2006


While I'm not convinced this promotion will work (mostly because by the time the kids grow up there will more than likely be no Hummers for any number of reasons), I do believe that this sort of marketing has a noticable effect. Especially on the type of people who eat at McDonalds.
posted by hoborg at 11:19 AM on August 18, 2006


Can one get a tossed salad in lieu of a Hummer?
posted by xod at 11:34 AM on August 18, 2006


Doesn't make sense. People who eat at McDonalds are too poor to afford a Hummer.

Yeah, someone should tell McDonald's to tear down all their franchises in white upper-middle class neighborhoods. They're just gathering dust anyway.
posted by maryh at 11:55 AM on August 18, 2006


“But if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the yacht club to go window shopping for a trophy wife. Now where did I put my keys and that stepladder...” - posted by Pastabagel

Right over my head man. No clue what you’re saying.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:19 PM on August 18, 2006


It isn't that kids playing with these toy trucks today might buy real ones in six or eight years, but that kids playing with these toy trucks this morning may help convince their parents to buy the real trucks this afternoon. Kids affect the buying decision directly and immediately.
Then I see some parents who need to understand the definition of "parent". My kid's 18 months old, and, while he may desperately want a McDonald's french fry because they are engineered to taste good and his friends get to eat them, he's not going to get one.

Because, see, I'm his parent, and I'm supposed to be exercising responsibility, not tying my purchases to the whim of someone two feet tall with an uncontrolled Id. I'm perfectly happy calling someone a fool when they buy a car based on what their kid wants.
posted by scrump at 1:24 PM on August 18, 2006


Can one get a tossed salad in lieu of a Hummer?

You'd have to buy me a lotta drinks first.
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah, someone should tell McDonald's to tear down all their franchises in white upper-middle class neighborhoods. They're just gathering dust anyway.

McDonald's must cater to a wider demographic in the US than in the UK, then. You wouldn't get one of their restaurants in an upper-middle class area here.
posted by jack_mo at 3:56 PM on August 18, 2006


> I'm off to the yacht club to go window shopping for a trophy wife.

I met some cool chix at the Seawanhaka Corinthian once. Does that count? But I didn't think they were wife material, really, since they were about 18 if you added all three of 'em up. Well, maybe that's what you mean by window shopping.

posted by jfuller at 5:32 PM on August 18, 2006


Smedleyman, you are a fool if you think a Hummer, particularly the H2 or the H3, is an off-road vehicle.
posted by Eekacat at 6:28 PM on August 18, 2006


jack_mo writes "McDonald's must cater to a wider demographic in the US than in the UK, then. You wouldn't get one of their restaurants in an upper-middle class area here."

Must be a UK thing. There's McDonalds in the most expensive parts of Tokyo as well.
posted by Bugbread at 7:07 PM on August 18, 2006


You know, I went to the Happy Meal website. Right off the bat, I had to choose between "Hummer" and "Polly" - hyper masculine boy choice, or hyperfeminine girl choice. When I actually clicked on the Polly section, it was all sparkly pinkness, nauseating music, and abnormally shaped plastic dolls promoting cameras and MP3 players.

So while getting a Hummer in a Happy Meal is not promoting earth-awareness, at least it's a fun little toy to play with. Is a little boy likely to convince his parents to buy a Hummer because of it? Well, if he does, he's got shitty parents and an SUV will be the least of his worries. What to me is really offensive is the crap that they push on little girls, because it is far more likely that a kid is going to get her parents to buy her an iPod. No kid who is still eating Happy Meals needs an iPod, and they don't need to be pressured into buying or getting their parents to buy them stuff to help them fit in.

So there's my little bit of outrage.
posted by meringue at 7:54 PM on August 18, 2006


Maybe I'd have more of an opinion on this if I actually frequented McDonalds, but you can't swing a cat around Montreal without hitting a much better choice in restaurants.
posted by clevershark at 9:20 PM on August 18, 2006


Hummer vehicles are a litmus test of intelligence.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 PM on August 19, 2006


Huhn, and here I thought making blanket judgements and absolute declarative statements were the litmus tests for intelligence.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:32 AM on August 20, 2006


Looks like you were wrong, then. So sorry.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 AM on August 20, 2006


I hate being wrong! I need some comfort food!

/Drives to McDonald's in Hummer.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:09 AM on August 20, 2006


/+Gets a hummer from Ronald McDonald.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:01 PM on August 20, 2006


but you can't swing a cat around Montreal without hitting a much better choice in restaurants.

Yeah, there's a poutine place on every corner.
posted by smackfu at 6:28 AM on August 21, 2006


“Smedleyman, you are a fool if you think a Hummer, particularly the H2 or the H3, is an off-road vehicle.” -
posted by Eekacat

Exactly my point. The non-off road part, not the fool part. Of course the military vehicle is made for off-road (albeit not ‘off-roading’), but it too sucks to drive.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:26 PM on August 21, 2006


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