McDonald’s Happy Meals Will Now Come With Your Favorite Childhood Books Instead of Toys


Many of us remember waiting in line at the drive-through when we were kids to see what toy we got with our happy meal. Today, McDonald’s is going in a different direction.


Children around the world have enjoyed their little meals and the goodie that came along with it for decades. More than likely, you have a favorite happy meal toy and you may even have it somewhere in a box, even if you have grandkids of your own.

Any toy is going to be great for kids but some seem to be a little bit more beneficial than others. Perhaps that is why New Zealand McDonald’s franchises are now taking a turn in an unexpected direction. Rather than handing out junkie plastic toys, they are offering something with the Happy Meal Readers Program.

McDonald’s has always had some type of deal going on with Disney or the latest and greatest craze to go around. Now, they are packaging Roald Dahl books with Happy Meals and the kids are smiling. More than likely, the name sounds familiar because it was part of something you enjoyed as a child.

Roald Dahl is the creator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and many other classics. They are also being packaged with stickers and various activities, which is thrilling the kids as well.

You should realize that the books coming with the Happy Meal are abridged versions. His books came with connecting themes in smaller packages in the past.

A similar collection released by McDonald’s looked phenomenal in 2015. It has often been said that you should never judge a book by its cover but you have to admit that children have been inspired for generations to open these books and see what is on the inside.

Here are a few of the titles, just in case you are planning on visiting New Zealand:

Roald Dahl’s Extraordinary Friends (featuring extracts from The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me and The BFG)

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Families (featuring extracts from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox)

Roald Dahl’s Magical Mischief (featuring extracts from George’s Marvellous Medicine and Matilda)

Roald Dahl’s Secret Plans (featuring extracts from Esio Trot and The Twits)

Roald Dahl’s Curious Characters (featuring extracts from The BFG and James and the Giant Peach)

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Creatures (featuring extracts from The Witches and The Enormous Crocodile)

Roald Dahl’s Incredible Inventions (featuring extracts from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and George’s Marvellous Medicine)

Roald Dahl’s Clever Tricks (featuring extracts from The Twits and Matilda)

The marketing director for McDonald’s New Zealand, Jo Mitchell is hoping children will be inspired by the new happy meal gifts. She also thinks the books will be popular and parents will end up buying the full versions. “The Roald Dahl characters are ones that many parents will have enjoyed growing up, and it’s great to play a part in introducing them to a new generation,” she said.

The Happy Meal Readers Program has been around for a while, being launched originally in 2001. Almost 450 million books have been given away since that time. Sweden, which is known for its low-priced and versatile furniture seems to have gotten the ball rolling and it continues to grow.

The reader’s program is on track to have a record-breaking year in 2019. Some 100 new markets are going to experience these books as well from McDonald’s before the end of the year.



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