McDonald's changes Happy Meals by offering kids the choice of a book or a toy

Since we were little, going to McDonald’s meant ordering a Happy Meal and getting a toy inside the box.

That’s not the case anymore – but don’t panic.

From now on, children ordering a Happy Meal won’t automatically get a tiny toy. Instead, they’ll have the option of a toy or a book, so they can take their pick of what they’d prefer.

Books in Happy Meal boxes aren’t a new concept – McDonald’s has previously swapped out toys for Roald Dahl books and their Happy Readers scheme, when books go in Happy Meals for six weeks of the year, has meant millions have got their paws on a good read.

But now, the concept is being expanded beyond a one-off special or a six-week period, with books on offer alongside toys year-round.

From today, children will be able to choose either a toy or one of two books: Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle or Scooby-Doo and the Werewolf.

Toy-wise, there are eight Scooby and the gang bobbleheads available.

If you’re sensing a theme, you are correct. The Happy Meal boxes are Mystery Machine themed, too.

Book options will change throughout the year, rotating along with toy choices.

The book or toy move comes alongside an effort from McDonald’s to cut back the amount of plastic in Happy Meals. Back in March, the fast food brand pledged to ditch plastic toys from 2021, instead offering a soft toy, a paper toy, or a book.

McDonald’s is also set to offer a ‘toy amnesty’ to let customers bring in unwanted plastic toys and swap them for a book or paper toy when they buy a meal, with old toys melted down and made into new toys for its charity.

They hope this change will cut more than 3,000 metric tonnes of plastic at its UK business from 2021.

Gareth Helm, the company’s chief marketing officer in the UK, said at the time: ‘We care passionately about the environment and are committed to reducing plastic across our business including within our Happy Meal.

‘Families have high expectations of us and we’re working as hard as we can to give them the confidence that their Happy Meal is as sustainable as possible.

‘Getting that right is a big responsibility, but we believe the changes we’re making today have the potential to make a big difference.’

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