Are you happy Nintendo? Are you PLEASED with yourself? You’ve made a grown man sink to an all time low. I just did something so arcane and perverse that I’m not quite sure I want to share it with you. But I MUST! I, a man 33 years of age, just purchased two happy meals for the sake of obtaining a children’s toy. Bask in my shamelessness…it knows no bounds!
In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo has this little system called The Switch that they’re trying to promote. Have you walked into a Target lately? The place is all decked out in Mario Kart paraphernalia. The follow up jab to that initial marketing uppercut is a McDonald’s Happy Meal Promotion. This is what lead me to the unsavory house that Ronald built. Listen, I’m not against fast food, but I consider myself a Taco Bell guy first and foremost. I’ll hit up a Wendy’s if I’m desperate. The Golden Arches have long fallen off my fast food radar. And yet, here I stand in front of a Nintendo display in an actual McDonald’s restaurant trying not to get caught snapping a quick picture.
In fact, for the whole ordering process in general I played it cool. I strutted in, walked up to the counter and ordered two Happy Meals like it’s something I do on the reg. Mind you I have exactly ZERO children of my own. It’s been close to 25 years since I’ve eaten a Happy Meal and I sure as hell have never ordered one. Let me tell you, there were questions. The gentleman behind the counter was asking me if I wanted cuties or yogurt. Then he gave me like 4 drink options. What the fuck is a Mighty Happy Meal? I felt like a loose-lipped snitch cooking under the intense lights of a police interrogation room. I collected myself, channeled my inner Shaft, and walked outta there with the goods. Two Chicken McNugget Happy Meals, with cuties, apple juice and a couple of sweet ’n sour sauces. I felt great. This is how I imagine Matthew McConaughey feels ALL the time. Like a man with two Happy Meals.
I drove home as carefully out of control as I could, eager to find out which two toys I had procured in my dark dealings with the renegade clown prince of fast food.
BEHOLD! The two Happy Meals before I dive into them. The Mario themed box is pretty rad.
My nervousness couldn’t be contained. I didn’t want to get Mario and Luigi. That was too standard. Too anti-climatic. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but to say it would be a satisfying conclusion to this madman’s adventure would be a bold faced lie. No, I’m a monster and creature guy at heart. I wanted BOWSER and YOSHI! Yeah, that would make this ridiculous dinner worthwhile. I reached into the cardboard treasure chest to find what my reward would be. Queue the Ocarina of Time music when Link opens up a treasure chest containing something awesome.
My furry paw latched onto something. Before I could lay my eyes upon the prize my mind began to wander. What if I got the shittiest of the toys? What if I pull this thing out and all I’m clutching is a 1UP mushroom? Worse, would be the Red Koopa Shell. What man child on earth would want THAT? I quickened my resolve and removed the first toy from its cardboard womb. I gently and carefully remove the plastic object similar to a doctor delivering a child. What I hold in my hands I hoist up to the heavens!
BOWSER! I GOT BOWSER! Queue the Link to the Past Ending Music! FUCK YES. This is the greatest day of my life! Wait what’s this? Two plastic fireballs? What are they for? Sweet pink Birdo almighty this thing has fireball attack capabilities?!?! It doesn’t get any better than this folks! A grown man and his Bowser toy cannot be stopped. I’m on top of the world. Honestly, Bowser was the only toy I really wanted. Whatever lies within Happy Meal #2 doesn’t matter. It’s all gravy at this point.
Well what the hell do we have here? It looks like a Super Mario that has been sprayed in *ahem* man love goo. Lemme do a quick Google search to see what the fuck I’m looking at here. OK, according to the lair of infinite knowledge and cat videos this is “Invisible Mario”. Hmmm. He’s got a little switch under his feet, what’s that do? Oh he lights up in all sorts of colors! I’ll take it! It’s no Yoshi, but at least it’s not a Red Koopa Shell.
Here’s a another photo for journalistic purposes. What we have here is the “Invisible Mario” in non-blinking light mode with Bowser standing next to a standard sized reference NES cart. I’ll be honest, for a cheap toy that comes with even cheaper food these things are nice and chunky! The fact that one lights up and the other spits fucking fireballs is kind of nuts. Again, I don’t have children (I basically AM a child) so I’m not on the up and up of fast food toys. These things seem a cut above what I had in my Happy Meals as a child. I could be wrong though.
If you’re interested I believe this cross promotion is running until May 22nd. It certainly worked to get my lazy ass to a McDonald’s just out of sheer curiosity. Seeing Nintendo actually do these cross promotional marketing campaigns is really out of the box for them. Given that they essentially let the Wii U rot and die they seem to want to make people remember that they exist. Well played. I’m not sure the explosive diarrhea that I’ll be feeling in the morning was worth it, but only time will tell.