Plush kids meal toys still top sellers in restaurants
Through the years and since McDonald’s launched their happy meal, lots of different types of toys have been offered as an incentive to gain repeat business, increase store traffic and yield more profits. Kids meal toys can be found in many sizes, shapes and forms and also can be manufactured out of a variety of different materials: plastics (ABS, PVC, PP, PE, PET), plush (tricot, soft velboa, wool, etc.), compressed foam, and even paper or a combination of 2 or more of the mentioned above.
Plush is a material used in many types of kids meal toys. How can anybody forget the 1997 TY Beanie Babies? People would visit stores several times per day, would travel several zip codes apart and would flood the telephone lines of McDonald’s locations for a shot at finding that elusive Beanie Baby they were missing. It was chaos with some going as far as throwing away the food they bought, just so they can keep the toy they got. As chaotic as the situation may have seem, it was a huge profit maker for the restaurant chain and for their suppliers.
The fast food giant had released similar items in 1995 (Amazing Wildlife) and in 1996 (“Babe” Plush Animals). These were equally as cute, cuddly and in my opinion, even better items overall. What was it exactly about the Beanie Babies that appealed so heavily to the masses and to young and old to flock to the stores? Nobody really knows for sure. The only thing certain is that plush has a very unique appeal. It is generally an item that appeals to very young kids as they can touch, feel, squeeze and toss. Parents love to see their kids touch, feel, squeeze and toss these items also. Older kids will generally simply squeeze them and use them as projectiles, but will have fun in the process.
I usually encourage my clients to use one or two plush items a year. It is a fairly safe item and can be made to pass all-ages safety testing if manufactured correctly. It is also ideal for small to medium size chains as it does not require custom tooling to fabricate as many plastic toys do. It is a very labor intensive item so it will be a bit expensive in comparison to other options, but you also have a chance to customize it fairly easily.
A couple of our top selling promotions were when we partnered up with Snoopy and Garfield for memorable events such as the world cup.