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Posts tagged ‘Happy Meals’

Happy Meal Toys

Often at McDonalds we have two sets of toys running. At the moment it is Transformers and Pet Shop toys. The question that is asked by almost all the crew and managers is “would you like a boy toy or a girl toy?”. So in the case of Transformers and Pet Shop, I assume that they are boy and girl respectively. I find it hard to believe that Head Office doesn’t have a rule against asking “boy or girl toy?” To me it seems to be totally buying into gender stereotypes.
Then, what is worse (perhaps) is that parents often ask for boy or girl toys without knowing what they are. The assumption appears to be that all girls and boys will like what McDonalds’ Head Office has decided they will like.
A month or so ago we had Star Wars toys only. When we gave them out people would ask “Oh, don’t you have any girls toys?” Often without even looking closely at them, just from the colour and shape they were assumed to be toys for boys. I was discussing this with another crew member and she said it made her mad as well, cos Star Wars (presumably the prequel) came out when she was a kid and she loved it. I am not a particular fan of Star Wars (I like it as much as the next person) but I do like a lot of sci-fi and I know plenty of other girls who do. I have been to see the Transformers movie, and will prolly see the sequel, if it is on when I want to go to the movies. I don’t have any clue what the Pet Shop thing is about (I’m guessing it isn’t to do with The Pet Shop Boys).
Occasionally, mostly if I am crazy busy and can’t be bothered keeping my convictions, I just ask someone “boy or girl toy?” but generally I have two ways of dealing with this, both take more time, one is for front counter and the other is for drivethru.
On front counter I point to the picture of the toys above and behind me and ask “which toys would you like?”, narrowing it down when the ‘available’ stickers are incorrect (often). At the moment we don’t have overheads for the toys, so I ask “petshop or transformer toys?”. Unfortunately mostly the response to this is for them to say “two boys and a girl” (or similar).
In Drive Thru I have the toys with me and I hold them up and ask which toys they want. Again, lots of people ask for boys or girls, but not as many. Often they say something that indicates they couldn’t possibly get the girly toy for a boy, or vice versa.
Sometimes I just give the toy without asking, but I find I can give a girl a ‘boys toy’ and I won’t be asked every time “don’t you have a girl’s toy?”, but I know if I give a ‘girls toy’ to a boy it will get returned pronto, especially if it has ANY pink on it.
However, I was given cause to hope the other day. A guy came through and he asked for a transformer and a petshop, even though the petshop one was a monkey with some pink on it, for his two boys. Cos he knew that his kid would like a toy with an animal in it.

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