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Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Iconic Happy Meal Box Returns!

09.19.2013 – Earlier this morning McDonald’s Philippines officially released the return of the Happy Meal box which was unveiled yesterday in a private media launch. For those who have not seen the Happy Meal box in the Philippines it was discontinued in 2001.

Everyone who has seen a Happy Meal box can closely associated that without it that particular product is "not happy at all” as being the identity as part of the McDonald’s brand. This was previously mentioned when the US released Despicable Me 2 Minions was reviewed including the box.

The origins of the Happy Meal box traces it back to June 1979 which was originally marketed for children which usually contains (typically a hamburger, cheeseburger, or small serving of Chicken McNuggets) and a drink (milk, juice, or a soft drink) with a toy treat tied up to a theme based on movies, games or animation as part of the promotion.

In 1997 the Philippines started serving the “Happy Meal” product that came with a colorful box that has activities kids will appreciate besides the drinks and food that came with that featured toy as a treat but by early 2001 they discontinued the box but not the product.

Previously featured Happy Meal toys like the LEGO Batman and the recent release of the Despicable Me 2 featuring the Minions have a themed box. The Happy Meal box has been part of the product as previously mentioned that without this it’s not a Happy Meal at all. Besides that they decided to be environment friendly using paper bags for the past six months McDonald’s brought back the iconic red box because fans clamor it and probably saw the featured box in the previous reviews about the Happy Meal toys that was released in the US.

When announcement was that the new set of toys featuring Transformers Prime and My Little Pony was to be released by midnight earlier they also brought back the box.

The new Happy Meal box for the Philippine release is entirely red as its iconic colors but for this month they have an activity kids would definitely have enough to do as it features a Panda and a Penguin cut out to be made as a 3D figure similar to the one Anjo Bolarda had in his first solo show at Vinyl on Vinyl.

Basically the design features a big smile on the side while on the other part of the box is the featured activity for kids to do while they munch on their snack treats. But there’s something oddly different about this Happy Meal box versus the one that was released in the US during these past years.

Taking a closer look the box folding design is different and it’s not the pattern they used to make the Happy Meal box that they discontinued twelve years ago. When they presented this in the counter three people had a hard time folding and putting it together and if you purchase two Happy Meal toys they will only give you one box.

Of course the comparison between Philippine editions of the Happy Meal box versus the US release can’t be ignored because the design was different from the one they discontinued back in 2001.

The details are great and the material they used to produce the Happy Meal box is way better than the US version that is entirely gray colored inside unlike this one. But what makes it different is the engineering and the folding pattern that doesn’t look like THE Happy Meal box that you grew up with.

The US release takes bold steps in giving health details about what kids eat and it is revealed underneath the box and the next Happy Meal toy to be featured the following month but since McDonald’s Philippines doesn’t reveal much what’s the next toy at least they should have included details about the calories and other health benefits of their food that also includes the drinks.

There’s a slight color difference too but what will catch your attention is how the box is folded in the sides. Nobody would remember how THE actual Happy Meal box looked like prior to being discontinued back then but definitely the old one follows the US version’s pattern because it was patented.

They should look into following also the design pattern of the box released in the US because this one is less sturdy when you hold it without those locking tabs (not present in the Philippine version) as well as the defined edges of the corners for folding.

Both ”locking” sides tend to open up when you carry it when the US version folds inward not to lose its shape and technically that’s the way a Happy Meal box looks like.

Overall McDonald’s Philippines could have listened to countless feedback or have read some of the previous articles here not because the change of the use of plastic to paper bags. It’s because they knew how important the box makes the Happy Meal product come together since its part of their menu.

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