To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Happy Meal in Sweden, and to tie into the “Sportlov” recreational holiday, over the weekends of March 5th and 12th, McDonald’s is doing its first trial run globally of a virtual reality (VR) headset to wear while playing a skiing game the company has also help develop.
The headsets, Happy Goggles, of which only 3,500 will be made available to 14 restaurants across northern Sweden, priced at $4.15, is created by tearing some perforated edges along the iconic red and yellow Happy Meal box, folding, and inserting your smart phone. You will need a lens pack to keep your Android or Apple device in place. “The lenses come with the Happy Meal,” Alexandra Svenonius from McDonald’s Sweden told MailOnline.
The game, Slope Stars, endorsed by the National Swedish Ski Team, has a math problem you must solve before you can hit the slopes, like 9×9. Something the average kindergarten wouldn’t know the answer to. This is to ensure they get their parents permission before playing. “We try to bring education to our Happy Meals, and the answer was kind of staring us in the face,” says Jeff Jackett, marketing director for McDonald’s Sweden. “Parents can learn more about their children’s knowledge and experience of the digital world. And purposeful gaming can also be a great joint activity that helps families interact on equal terms.”
According to the Happy Goggles website, “Right now this initiative is being tested in Sweden – yes Sweden. We hope to be able to roll it out in your country soon.”
So if you’re a kid in the US or UK whose head is spinning in excitement at the thought of playing this 360 game, then you may want to do a 180 right now, as in turn your back on this article, because you don’t want to read what happened when your new favorite toy debuted today. Something that will most likely prevent the promotion from spreading to your area.
After a 4-year-old child, the first kid to actually test the toy at launch, ate their food and was a few seconds into playing Slope Stars with their Happy Goggles, they screamed, not at the sight of a bear on skis, but when salt got into their eyes. “I almost broke my iPhone trying to remove them damn goggles from her face,” said Cobb Salad, the father of the little girl. “When I asked for the manager, he came and said, ‘Ohhhh it’s virtual realisweeteeeea. That was actually snow that got into her eyes.’ I said, awwww okayyyy, let me get another happy meal, and this time, no salt on the fries. I want to make sure they’re hot and fresh. He kept that fake ‘I’m lovin’ it’ smile on his face during my request, but I knew deep down inside he had to fart like really really bad. I had him,” went on Mr. Salad. “So, 20 minutes turned into an hour. An hour turned into two. Two turned into three. Three into four. Now I’m working part-time there. It don’t take that got-damn long to fix freaking French fries. Every time I asked what was the hold up he kept directing me to McDonald’s website where it showed a small amount of salt may be transferred from the bin and how he wanted to make sure none was present.”
Mr. Cobb said after considerable time passed the manager finally broke down and apologized. “It took him 5 hours to tell my family he was sorry. He not only lied, but wasted our time. We could have been anywhere doing anything. Somewhere doing something. Everywhere doing everything. And he still gave me a large fry with salt before we left, but it was free though, and he said, ‘it counts but don’t count.’ What does that even mean? This is totally unacceptable.”
Unacceptable it was, as McDonald’s not only fired the manager but pre-ordered an Oculus Rift VR Headset for each member of the Salad household, (17, although, only 4 was present at the restaurant during the time) and put “Eat the crumbs” in red crayon on the napkins inside the other 3,499 limited edition Happy Meal boxes. With this being the only reported incident, thus far, it’s working.
We’ll keep you updated throughout the week if it doesn’t. Promotion ends March 13th.
- McDonald’s Is Now Making Happy Meal Boxes That Turn Into Virtual Reality Headsets (AdWeek)
- Why You Should Never Order French Fries With No Salt (Thought Catalog)
- Happy Goggles Website (McDonald’s)
- Slope Stars (Only compatible on a smart phone)