back to article Health experts flip over McD's burger-flip toy

Parents of kids who have a penchant for burgers and an academically average school record might be interested in the McDonalds Drive Thru Food Cart Playset – guaranteed to provide "endless hours of make-believe fun", with the added advantage of offering vital training for a future career: As is to be expected, health …


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  1. Code Monkey


    There's talk to an advertising ban for fast food. I think they should allow it but only show fat people in the adverts.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Utterly brilliant idea

      Patent it quick before Apple do.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Freedom, where art thou.

      I'll be the one leading the charge when we burn down these oppressive ideas.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You'll be the one burning shit you don't agree with? Sounds a bit ... oppressive ... a bit ... militarist ... a bit ... fascist.

  2. stranger

    looks more like a minion training set

    then like an advertisement set!

    1. P Saunders

      It is an obesity training simulator

      and should be banned forthwith.

    2. MinionZero

      @minion training set

      Yes sadly so much for aspirational & educational toy sets!

      I can't help feeling more than a bit dismayed at the aspirational message this toy gives. Learn how to flip burgers the McDonalds way!.

      Plus once again we have McDonalds trying to hit them young with that McDonalds branding message. Got to brainwash that message into them. :(

      I think the plastic only toy rubbish that is around these days is bad enough, but this toy is taking it to the next level of Idiocracy. (I refer to the film Idiocracy, If you don't know the reference, this is what I mean ...)

      [Shudder] After seeing that toy, I fear more than ever Idiocracy is becoming true life! :(

      1. Toastan Buttar

        Re: Idiocracy becoming true

  3. s. pam

    Growing Augustus Gloops the world over since 1951

    Over 1 Billion ...... inflated...... waistlines and counting.

    I guess one can counter that it's not like Drugs, they're actually making Mum & Dad pay for this..... vs. "here kid try this for free" like the SW vendors do

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yeah! The food makes people fat, it has nothing to do with the fact that they're lazy and don't exercise.

      Oops, I just made sense and exposed the gaping hole in your fairyland.

      If you made all the fatties eat salad all day, they'd still be fatties because they don't exercise and would just eat more salad. Food isn't healthy or unhealthy, people are.

      The lack of responsibility taken in this world is getting to scary levels.

  4. ReggieB

    Just like home stomach stapler

    For all those fans of obesity surgery, this toy available from Toys-R-Corporate, lets your child enjoy the experience of major medical intervention without leaving the comfort of their own reinforced sofa.

  5. DZ-Jay

    Tam Fry?

    "Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum"

    Tam Fry, really? What's next, Joe Molasses, of the National Diabetes Association?


    1. Anonymous John

      There's a name for that.

      Nominative determinism.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    This is nothing new

    Back in the mid '70s I was installing an accounting system for an NYC-based toy manufacturer who made and sold cheap-as-chips plastic toys. One of their standard lines was a range of dolls dinner sets. Every set in the range carried the name and logo of one of the then-leading fast food outlets along with representations of the types of food that chain sold.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    You're having a giraffe

    Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum?

    Shirley not!

  8. Edwin


    "...they're actually making us pay for it."??? Clearly, Smith is a sucker for advertising. Nobody is 'making' him pay for anything.

    And yes, I am a parent of two children young enough to want one of these. However, In contrast to what the three 'experts' from the Sun seem to think, I am more than capable of deciding for myself whether or not the kids should have a given toy. In fact, I'd rather they have a toy McDonalds kitchen than some of the more violent Nerf guns/Wii games/Disney films...


    1. Elmer Phud

      Bun gun

      Games don't kill people - burgers do.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Stop Press: Plastic toys make kids obese.

    Next week in the Fail: How smoking a little weed is guaranteed to make you a paranoid, granny robbing crack fiend (hang on, haven't we done this one? ed). Also, new evidence proves that playing Call of Duty makes you blow up Russian airports. Special glossy pullout of lurid dead junkie and exploded terrorist pictures free with the Sunday edition.

    Personally I reckon if your parents are fuckwitted enough to blow 60 quid on that tat, being a bit on the porky side is likely to be the least of your problems........

    1. Just Thinking

      I'm guessing you don't have kids

      For those with kids of toddling age, just remember that in 10 years time you will filling bin bags with half a ton of smashed up plastic items, pausing once in a while when you remember that this one or that one was really quite expensive, and did they actually play with it before it broke in half?

      The you will have the depressing thought that you could have probably paid off the mortgage, or had a better car, if you hadn't bought all this crap which your kids didn't get anything out of anyway.

      I could say don't do it, but I would be wasting my time because you will.

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge


    I get the point about it being bad that McDonalds are shoving this plastic crap onto the kids, but isn't it actually down to the parents as to whether it makes it into their home or not? As I'm sure that there are equally crap non-McDonalds branded playsets around that they can choose if it's what the kid really wants.

    I also don't buy the argument over branding because most kids are aware of McDonalds from a young age anyway through other channels of advertising. Again though, the choice of whether kids are actually taken to and given McDonalds to eat is solely down to the parents, not McDonalds themselves - so the decision becomes a matter of personal choice and good parenting. And it is a CHOICE that everybody is free to make.

    Finally, I do eat McDonalds, and whilst I'm not a great fan of their food, I do find it very convenient - but I'm not yet anywhere near convinced they are anywhere near responsible for causing the levels of obesity that they are purveyed to to be. The cause of obesity is lazy people eating too much and not doing enough exercise - end of. This obesity will be caused by eating many different things including chocolate, pies and curry - but the root cause is always the same : lack of personal moderation and exercise.

    I guess that point of view doesn't fill column inches though does it.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      I'm going to assume that you have at leat HEARD of,

      "Supersize Me" - the movie.

      And, 'Fast Food Nation".

      I respect your informed opinion. But are they still putting sugar in the salad?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Who cares

        Put sugar in the salad. So what? Think that's any worse than 99% of the crap out there that nobody ever checks or understand? Ever eaten muesli? Now go look at the nutritional information on the box. They *fry* the stuff, to all intents and purposes. My honey-coated, peanut-ridden frosted flakes of corn usually beat or match things like Special K and muesli in most nutritional factors, compared portion to portion.

        There are healthy foods and unhealthy foods. There are clearly-marked nutritional information leaflets and tray-inserts at all fast-food places. How many people read them? No-one. Why? Because nobody really cares. Not out of ignorance, or laziness, or misunderstanding - they don't CARE that the big burger they just ordered is high in fat. I know, I ORDERED the fecking thing. I also don't care about whatever I order at the local greasy spoon, because I don't have it for every bloody meal. I don't care if *YOU* think it's unhealthy for me to do that, or to feed it to my kid occasionally, because it's not your body and not your kid. (And my child actually perfectly follows the weight charts for her age and has done ever since birth, to the point where the "ideal" weight line and hers deviate by less than two whole graph-paper squares if you add up all the deviations over her entire live (one above, one below)).

        Just like the Mixed Grill at my local Harvesters is humungously over-sized, or the takeaway pizza I ordered is stupidly high in fat and cholesterol because of all that cheese (melted cheese - one of the WORST things you can eat). I don't care.

        I want to be able to eat it occasionally. It might taste like crap to you but it's a quick, cheap, filling meal to me. I've weighed a little over 10 stone for most of my life and now weigh 12 now that I'm dating someone who feeds me pasta. For 16 years of adulthood I've eaten "crap" and got on quite well, thanks very much, and it's only since I stopped doing quite so much that my weight rose from "underweight" to "ideal" for my height. I've cycled 20 miles to work every day, I've worked 18+ hours a day when the money was tight, and it's been so long since I needed to go to the doctor's / dentist / etc. that they keep de-registering me.

        You can't live off carrots, if that's all you eat. You can't live of Branston pickle if it's all you eat. And you can't live off McDonald's if that's all you eat. Stop scaremongering that fast food is somehow the scourge of society - some people are stupid and abuse high-fat foods, high-sugar drinks, high-alcohol beer, and high-class restricted drugs. Don't paint the whole world with your better-than-thou brush.

        On another note, I'm now hungry with all that thinking about food and will pick up an extra Cornish Pasty on my way home just to annoy you. My body won't notice. If yours does, then YOU stop eating it. Nobody's force-feeding you.

        1. Saigua

          Only; low quality food does cut you down.

          So if you got that Cornish Pastry, the one with grotty palm oil will deforest the Pacific and take you a half-liter of flaxseed oil to dislodge from your hypothanatos. If you get one made with flax; how did they not spoil the food value and make something palatable? If it's ghee, texture, love and goodness in an ephemeral, pastrylike form, that's good then.

          So, I'm looking at this playset, and it reads like the top line and marking out heavy societal failings in appropriate interventions.

          18 hour days you poor poor man, let me find you a startup or governing body. You've a right to 20 hour days twice a week, making pilates keyboards when the original stock salts up!

  11. Richard Wharram

    Miserable ********

    It's a toy !

    Taking your kids to McDonalds once in a while is not going to make them fat and will provide Mummy and Daddy with a stress-and-effort-free dinner for the family at minimal cost.

    Why are interfering busybodies like this allowed to express opinions when they could be more usefully minced up into patties ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      I very much dislike fast food places for the fact that their 'food' doesn't really fill me up - sure after eating a meal from one of those places I feel bloated but I don't feel 'full', and I prefer burgers etc. to actually have some resistance when you bite into them, not the undercooked bread & mechanically recovered meat combination they try and pass off as a burger.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    If stupid people want to buy this, then let them

    If you're so stupid to spend £60 on some cheap molded plastic with a McDonald's sign on it for your fat stupid kids, then why should we stop you.

    You can be sure that McDonald's will be more responsible with that money than you will.

    1. The Indomitable Gall


      Kids don't get to choose their parents.

      In cases of physical abuse, we intervene. Surely nutritional abuse should be prevented too?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: none of your business

          It *is* our business when your fat, stupid kids hog the NHS having one life-saving operation after another to rid them of the blubber that they're too fat and stupid to avoid piling on - thanks to your lack of ability to raise happy, confident, productive children.

          And let's not start on whether they can sit in just one seat on public transport, without spilling over their neighbours in some grotesque, fat, stupid fashion while sweating and panting at the thought of having to stand up again.

          Thank God I can cycle to work. That way I only have to dodge multiple murder attempts by the jealous, fat, stupid people in their fat, stupid cars.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: none of your business

            So when you fall off your bike and injure yourself, I assume you will pay cash for the surgery/cast/whatever that's required? Instead of hogging the NHS?

            You cycle to work every day even though you suffer multiple murder attempts? Sounds like cycling is a little too extreme and obviously needs to be banned to protect you from yourself and to protect the rest of us from the costs associated with the inevitable outcome of your constant disregard for your personal safety.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Re: Re: none of your business

              Actually, cycling and regular sport keeps me healthier than the fat, stupid people. And yes, when I do suffer a sporting injury, I do at least partly pay for it myself since I have health insurance. That'll be in addition to the taxes I pay to fund the NHS.

              You're also deliberately missing the point that fat, stupid people have a tendency to take a larger than average slice of the pie while contributing less than average. My argument is that if there is an opportunity to produce responsible, productive, individual members of society, why would any parent pass that up? They would have to be damaged themselves, surely?

              I'm not in favour of banning this toy: I want the population as a whole to be better able to make the right choice and for companies like McD's to be bankrupted because they are no longer relevant. I'm doing my bit to ensure my children can make their own choices - I hope that those choices lead to a better society.

          2. Lamont Cranston

            With all this stress over other people's problems,

            you probably have quite high blood pressure. You should calm down, before you add more pressure on the NHS. It's your civic duty.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          ...what if I want to raise my kids to be fat and smart..? or thin and stupid (there are plenty of those, just look at Paris)?

      2. Lamont Cranston
        Thumb Down


        let's dictate what people eat. While we're at it, we'll tell them what to wear, what to watch on TV and where to go on holiday.

        Or we could just educate people, and let them make informed choices?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow...stop the press....

    ...I can safely say this sort of crap has been around for at least 2 years, I'm sure harrased parents who have endured the hell that is Toys R Us, may testify it's been around longer.

    Nice to see breaking news in our great British press.

    Next Barbie has big boobs and a stupily thin waist.

    1. Kevin Gurney

      At least 2 years......

      I bought one of these from Toys-R-Us around that time.

      And anybody who says that you'd have to be stupid to part with £60 for one then you're right, but explain that to your child who wants one for their birthday / Xmas present.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        So what you're saying is you have no parenting ability and shouldn't be raising kids. Good to know.

        I'm glad that the discipline and respect my parents gave me is becoming a rare feature: raises my stock so to speak.

        1. Lamont Cranston


          if you never give kids what they want (ever), then they are sure to grow into well rounded (no pun intended), confident individuals, who conform precisely to your view of the world.

          The chances of them going totally of the rails, because "Mummy and Daddy don't love me," must be slim to none.

  14. peyton?

    Just need a new law

    Requiring the kids to post the calorie content of the "food" they're cooking up. That'll teach 'em.

  15. Sampler
    Thumb Down

    Where's the harm?

    Recently my parnters brother had a child with his partner and his mother went and pulled all the old toys out of the attic for the kid - one being pretty much the same as the toy mentioned sans the McD's branding.

    Apparently it was my partners when she was a child, was one of her favourite she said. Now following the logic above my partner should be an overweight heffer but I can (quite happily) say she's very svlete - which being a professional dancer will do to you.

    I played with lego as a child, I am not an architect.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      It's the branding that's the issue.

      Associating playtime with MacDonalds is a powerful brand-imprinting mechanism. Advertising to children needs drastically reduced.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Kind of like how Apple donated millions of computers to schools to try to indoctrinate kids into using their subpar OS and overpriced hardware? Is it coincidence that when this generation began hitting adulthood that Apple sales shot up?

      2. ravenviz

        Re: branding

        Branding is a balance between corporate identity and customer demand, sometimes the see-saw is higher on one side.

        In this case however I fear it's actually snapped in the middle*!

        *<insert reason here>

  16. ravenviz

    In other news

    Liquorice 'Skippers' smoking pipes still on the shelves:

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What ever happened too

    People actually giving a shit about their kids and doing something clever like spending time with them, doing something productive, creative and socially useful - instead of putting them in front of the TV and giving them shit to eat and an advertising agencies IQ?

    I am reminded of the "SAS" or the "Stupid American Syndrome" - when I hear the comments made by those from the Waistful and Fat, when I watch this video:

    Harley crash. Total rider fail.

    Stupid parents raise stupid kids who work in stupid advertising agencies.... who are such whores they will do anything, to anyone, by any means possible - for money.


    Regulate the TV watching. Read books with your kids. Give them a great broad based education in LIFE and biodiversity; and "You eat it - you kill it", down on the farm.

  18. Greg J Preece

    Oh piss off

    I'm fairly certain that my cousin had *exactly* this toy when he was a kid, or the early 90s equivalent. He's pretty skinny, and I was too. It was eating all the pies at college that made me porky, not a toy that I barely remember.

    Oh, and kids don't buy their own food, retards. So unless the parents are somehow being affected by this toy, your argument is bullshit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The thing is, most parents are horrible parents. Rather than admit that they are horrible parents, they blame companies like McDonalds for "making" their kids ask for stuff instead of themselves for being to retarded to say no to their kids.

      (If we say no our precious snowflake wont believe he can do anything!!!)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy Bake Oven

    I liked my childhood because I grew up in a country where smarties tubes were round and had little letters on them, football stickers always came with a stick of gum, penny sweets actually existed, McDonalds had cool happy meal toys and the government didn't constantly tell my parents not to let me have any of them...I really pity todays children.

    1. ravenviz

      Re: Easy bake oven

      ...and you were allowed to play on building sites*!

      *for anyone under 30, that's *outside*

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "Jason ! Did I just see you spit on that burger ?!"

    "Yes mummy - but Callum wiped it on the back of his underpants first..."

    (AC, cos obviously I might be leaving myself open to a hefty lawsuit...)

    Paris, cos - well, burgers, obviously...

  21. Steven Knox


    The paper's own doctor, Carol Cooper, chipped in with: "This makes kids aware of the McDonald's brand at a vulnerable age. Obesity rates in kids have already soared – I can't see anything fun about that."

    NO. This does not make kids aware of the McDonalds brand. Lazy/stupid parents make kids aware of the McDonalds brand.

    And if you want to stop toys that promote brand awareness in kids, then you'd better get clearing those shelves. The only toys that don't promote brand awareness are the knockoffs that capitalize on similarity to branded toys and the fact that some parent's don't have the budget to pay for "correct" spelling of the product name.


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to get this for my cousin's kid

    He's been working at McDonald's for months and still can't remember / enter an order as fast as the average mouth breather brays it. Hopefully, with a bit of practice at home, he'll win some of those stars! His Mum will be so proud.

  23. Pirate Dave

    Do not give your children this

    Kids don't need plastic pretend kitchens, they need toy guns and toy knives and toy handgrenades. Toys like this McDonalds thing are going to create an entire generation of wussies who have entirely too much respect for the value of human life. They need to spend their childhood practicing the art of KILLING other humans, not FEEDING other humans. Where's the value in that?


    fuck all, maybe we shouldn't give our kids ANY toys and feed them nothing but oatmeal.

  24. Alan 6


    So this toy will make the poor kids aware of the McDonalds brand will it.

    OK, if you want to shelter your kids from that evil word then don't take them near ANY high street, or shopping mall, or out of town retail park. And god forbid you ever turn on a TV.

    It may be easier just to take a small spoon and pop out their eyes before they ever see the golden arches...

  25. Reading Your E-mail


    That's a recycled version of A-La-Carte kitchen isn't it. You want recycling, there it is :D

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Nobody reads the classics....

    Does nobody read the classics anymore? This is straight out of "Brave New World":

    "I am happy to be playing with my McDonalds' play set. I am happy to be a Delta. Being a Delta is the best thing ever. Thinking hurts. I want to make fries; making fries is the funnest thing ever. Deltas get to make burgers; that is why I am happy to be a Delta."

  27. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Infiltrating the minds of kids

    If the toys you played with as a kid really influence you - why aren't I Spitfire pilot?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yes but...

      Yes but back then when you ran around the garden making aeroplane noises with dreams of straffing the Germans from on high you set your sights and aimed for the sky.

      You may have missed your mark and settled for less but the argument is that when you set your sights as high as the till on the drive through at McDonalds, when you miss your mark and settle for less then being trusted with the McMop becomes an ambition.

      At least the kid in the plastic push-a-long transit van who plays the part of the drive through customer has the ambition of wanting to be self employed, running his own business as a builder.

  28. Bassey

    Not all bad

    I should also point out that not all McDonalds Kids meals are bad. I took my kids there two weeks ago for the first time. They both had a happy meal consisting of Three Fish Fingers, a bag of carrot sticks and a Fruit Shoot (with some dreadful Scooby Doo themed toy which is now in the bin). Now, Fruit Shoots have too much sugar in but the Fish Fingers were actually rather good (the two year-old couldn't finish his so Daddy "helped"). The carrot sticks, on the other hand, were still partially frozen and utterly without taste. The boys spat them out. I got the impression they just keep a pack or two a the back of the freezer and never anticipated that someone might actually ask for them. It certainly confused the poor sheep serving us who seemed utterly unaware that you could choose carrot sticks as an alternative to chips. The fact that someone might not want chips with their meal just seemed too much for him to cope with.

  29. Cyclist


    We just taught the kids when they were little that McD's tastes horrible and makes you fat and that only poor people are allowed in there, much like disabled parking spaces are reserved for those that need them. Doesn't bother me whether it's true or not, they've bought into the idea and instinctively avoid the place. Shame they both love Burger King though.

    Still. They're both the right weight for their height so I'm ok with that. Once in a while doesn't hurt; it's 38 hours of FIFA Manager 2099 per day on the XBox that'll frazzle their brains before a poor quality bun with some meat in it does.

  30. War Monger

    "This makes kids aware of the McDonald's brand at a vulnerable age"

    ... so the big scary clown, massive TV campaigns and huge signs proclaiming "Fun Place" aren't getting the job done?

  31. Seanmon

    Hang on.

    If you've got a kid that likes to play at cooking burgers - why not just feckin' let them cook burgers? OK, I didn't watch the video, but the girl in the still looks well old enough to handle kitchen equipment, properly supervised of course. And yeah, burgers might not be the best thing to start on, but stick with it and you'll give your kids an understanding of food and cooking that'll do them infinitely more good in the long run than any number of banned adverts.

    I remember my mum teaching me to make lasagne when I was 10 or so... and to this day the general rule in my house is home cooked dinners with proper ingredients. It's quick, its cheap and after 10 years doing it, it tastes damn good too.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The kids could always

    Be aspiring to work in the Krusty Crab as a fry cook, much better than McDs

    1. Pigeon

      Oh come on

      Squidward only won the :Employee of the year" thing once, and it was some sort of swiz. What chance for any other sea-life, let alone land lubbers. (Excuse nauticlal nonsense please.)

  33. Pete 43

    Start of Cameron's

    Vocational training program

  34. Olafthemighty

    Health & Safety

    It has a grill AND a deep fryer? Are they mad? Won't somebody please think of the.... oooooh, yeah.

    The grease-spattered one with a few old chips in the pocket, thanks.

  35. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    I'm going to market ...

    ... with the "Kiddie Cardiologist Playset".

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Plastic rubbish

    Easy. Just don't buy any of that plastic crap from MacDonalds. Also avoid their toys.

  37. Ben 42

    Got it backward

    Amusingly, my experience has been that people who work in fast food joints never eat in them. So if this results in kids aspiring to work at McD's there's a good chance it will ultimately have a beneficial effect on their diet.

  38. Franklin

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "It's yet another example of big business infiltrating the minds of children."

    Hear, hear. I long for the simpler days of my youth, untainted by the reach of Big Business. We would spend our time playing Hasbro(r) Monopoly(r), while my sister spent her make-believe time with her Mattel(r) Barbie(r). On fine summer days, we would enjoy riding our Radio Flyer(r) Little Red Wagon(r), far from the reach of Big Business. Saturday mornings, we'd all be entertained by Warner Bros(r) Scooby-Doo(r) cartoons and similar media franchises, then go out to the park with our Wham-O(r) Frisbee(r) brand flying discs. If the weather was warm enough, we could play with our Wham-O(r) Slip-n-Slide(r) brand water slide, secure in the knowledge that our young minds were safely beyond the reach of any Big Businesses at all.

  39. J. Cook Silver badge


    The saddest thing? McDonald's does not flip their burgers anymore, and haven't for years- they use a dual sided clam-shell grill which cooks both sides at once.

    And frankly, I think both the National Obesity Forum and all the commenters above me are reading a little too much into it.

    (flames to dev/null, please.)

  40. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    "familiar MacDonalds colo(u)rs of red, yellow and blue"

    Blue? Surely the only blue in McD's is when a bandage ends up in your burger (or someone chokes on a McGiblet)?

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