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Would You Like Some Fries With That Download? 241

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the happy-meal-tech dept.
vodkamattvt writes The New York Times is reporting that the Walt Disney Company is hoping to replace happy meal toys with portable media players that could hold Disney movies, music, games, or photos. From the article: "The plan could work something like this: A customer enters a restaurant and buys a meal, receiving the portable media player and an electronic code that authorizes a partial download of a movie, video or other media file, which can be downloaded while in the restaurant, according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office application filed by Disney. Then, with each subsequent return, the customer earns more downloadable data, eventually getting an entire movie or game."
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Would You Like Some Fries With That Download?

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  • Obese! (Score:5, Funny)

    by holzp (87423) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:55PM (#14241366)
    The two causes of extreme obesity, finally togeather at last!
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:56PM (#14241381) Homepage Journal
    And hundreds of geeks start ordering happy meals- not for the meal, but for the WiFi media player, which will soon be hacked to refer to any arbitrary URI, and creative commons content.
    • TFA says 30 months before approval... longer than that before you see one.

      If you ask me, we'll never see these, simply because a wifi media/game player costs money. Know how much a DS or PSP costs? I'm sure McDonalds can't afford to give away a $200 gaget with the purchase of a $3 meal.

      A free download for an existing DS/PSP might happen, but since none to many people have such, I dout it.

      • someone said an iPod has a cost of $50 or something. If you throw in some ads, ....
      • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:11PM (#14241548) Homepage Journal
        The price could be brought quite down to size with limited memory, a smaller B&W LCD screen (which allows for the limited memory because the movie file can be *much* smaller), and a specialized processor. Add to that the fact that the profit on a Happy Meal is already about $2, and specialized manufacturing, and you've got something that fits, probably for about $7-$10 manufacturing cost. Plus you wouldn't necessarily hand out a player with *every* Happy Meal- you ask the customer the age of the child, younger children (under 3) get the same crap plush toys they always did, preteens get the hard plastic crap toys, teenagers get asked if they *already have the player* in which case they get, instead of a new player, a card with a download URI on it for the next section of the file. Oh yeah, and adults ordering the "Smart Meals" still get debit cards preloaded with $1.....
        • Or you pay a couple bucks for the player. McDs has done this with a lot of toys whose production costs are too high. Buy the meal, get the toy for $X. Don't buy the meal and pay $X+3. Then parents have an incentive to make sure their kids don't lose the player.
        • by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sd.yahoo@com> on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:37PM (#14241761) Homepage Journal
          The price could be brought quite down to size with limited memory, a smaller B&W LCD screen (which allows for the limited memory because the movie file can be *much* smaller), and a specialized processor.

          Unfortunately, and I may be alone, but this just sounds like more trash polluting the earth. McD's will give out or sell millions of these, people will be fascinated for mere minutes, and most will be discarded or throw into a toy chest, creating more silcion based hardly-biodegradable trash polluting the earth. It's like throw-away DVDs, except the chachki-effect may last a day or two longer.

          Am I the only one that feels this way? Anyone else notice it's Disney again creating all the damn trash? (Or, the ideas that create all the damn theoretical trash?)

          • Am I the only one that feels this way? Anyone else notice it's Disney again creating all the damn trash? (Or, the ideas that create all the damn theoretical trash?)

            It's not like they're a very environmentally friendly company to begin with. Despite going to cardboard and wax paper for hamburger packaging, their Big Breakfast still comes in styrofoam with plastic utensils. On the plus side, someday somebody will notice that if you liquify plastic with the right solvents, it makes a pretty darn good fuel
          • FYI, it's 'tchotchke'. As in, Joanie loves...
          • Unfortunately, and I may be alone, but this just sounds like more trash polluting the earth. McD's will give out or sell millions of these, people will be fascinated for mere minutes, and most will be discarded or throw into a toy chest, creating more silcion based hardly-biodegradable trash polluting the earth.

            And how is this different from the trash that rolls off the assembly lines at Dell or eMachines?
      • Why would it have to be PSP quality when there are already plans out there on how to hack your own MP3 player out of $20 of parts.

        We live in an age where they sell what are meant to be (to us) disposable digital cammeras.

        And these are products aimed at kids, the one demographic that you can always provide crap to and still have them act as if they are getting a deal (look at the VideoNow players [hasbro.com], and those are in the $20-$40 range.)
      • "...I'm sure McDonalds can't afford to give away a $200 gaget with the purchase of a $3 meal...."

        Why not? They have no trouble selling a $.05 cent meal for $3 all day long!

      • Know how much a DS or PSP costs? I'm sure McDonalds can't afford to give away a $200 gaget with the purchase of a $3 meal.

        Perhaps not, but couldn't they offer a free download to your DS with a happy meal? Seems like it would go well with the free wireless DS access I hear they are doing at many McDonalds already.
    • Only if those working at the fast food outlets hacked them PRIOR to putting them in the kids' meals and included: this [americanangst.com] song as the only thing on there.
    • Having more "Happy Meal" toys around the house than I can count, I have to wonder who would want a media player that came in a happy meal? The last such "media player" we got required a wind-up before unrecognizable pictures scrolled by.

      They're going to be giving away a wifi enabled media player in a Happy Meal? Riiight.

      Next they'll be telling me the Big Kid's Meal comes with an HD-TV.
    • by shotfeel (235240)
      After looking again, I'm thinking the writer of TFA is a little off. I can see a URL to a page to download a software media player and enter the code to download part of a movie. This business of giving away media players just doesn't make sense to me.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:20PM (#14241631)
      When I was a young boy, I awoke every morning to the delicious smell of pancakes. My mother, and father's dojo contained within it a hot griddle perfect for making pancakes, waffles, and a multitude of other pancake-like breakfast pastries. I remember them well -- The pleasant, care-free days of my childhood in the dojo were often spent peering into the kitchen with eager anticipation as my mother prepared pancakes my family.

      As I grew older, and began my journey to spiritual enlightenment, the memories of my pancake-eating youth filled my heart and dreams with warm, fluffy goodness....Ahhh, yes..the sweet, sweet memories... The day I ate 10 pancakes... The day I placed a warm pancake between my fleshy loins and performed the forbidden dance... The day pressed a pancake to my buttocks and encouraged my dog to come eat.. Indeed, much of my childhood was spent in pure innocence -- An innocence only pancakes can provide. It was heaven. A heaven, filled with pancakes, where I sat at the throne of God, with my hand-maidens Aunt Jemimah and Mrs. Butterworth seated beside me. An indestructible triumvirate made of flour, eggs, sugar, milk, water, and love.

      By the age of 15, the path of my life became unclear and confusing. Torn between my duty my village and my love for pancakes, I foolishly left home in search of karaguchi ah-nowakadesu .. the ultimate pancake. My journey took me to the many islands of my homeland, many days away from my dojo. My hunger for pancakes became my teacher, and foolishly I let it control the path that I walked upon. My feet, sore from travel, ached as my heart and stomach did, until I came to a realization. My duty was clear. I needed to take a stand and accept my love for the art of the ninja AND my love for pancakes. It was not wrong for me to love both. I love one as a dear friend, and one as a lover. Yes--My mission was clear--I must become a ninja, a secret assassin hired by the imperial family BUT I MUST ALSO ENJOY THE OCCASIONAL PANCAKE.

      My adoration for breakfast cakes has placed me within an awkward position. Many ninja refuse to recognize me as their brother. I defend my father's land, but I am looked upon as weak and undisciplined. I tell them, "But, brothers! Listen to my plea! The pancakes do not weaken me, nor do they make me disobey the rule of my sword. They fill me with love." But alas, they do not understand...For the mind of a ninja is complex.

      My only earthly desire is to be accepted for who I am. Yes, I am a NINJA--But I also enjoy pancakes. Will you accept me? If you were approached by a ninja who requested a pancake, would you submit to his will?
  • by planetoid (719535) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#14241385)
    Aren't "partial downloads" prior art as far back as, oh, the era of the floppy disk? Back when warez wasn't distributed as ISOs but as dozens or hundreds of 1.44MB fragmented compressed files? I even remember downloading Slackware like that back in 1994/1995. What exactly is "new" about this to warrant a patent?
    • It depends on whether or not the partial file is usable or not. It would be every different if you got 10 viewable minutes of a movie each visit and after 9 visits you'd have accumulated the whole movie. Or as part of a promotion to keep people coming back over a period of time, do it like they do limited edition toys: a different part each week to keep customers coming back each week.

      Visit McDonalds once a week for 2 months and you'll get the whole movie viewable at once. Miss a week and you'll have to
    • Yah.. but like the dot com era when patents were assigned for "prior art .. on the Internet!" we now have "prior art .. with fries!"
    • Charles Dickens popularized the Serial Novel. This amounts to a re-incarnation of the serial Novel. Come back again to get the next episode. Recently Steven king produced a serial novel distributed over the internet as each segment was written.

      The only major difference seems to be the distribution format.
  • Hack 'em! (Score:3, Informative)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <drew.zhrodague@net> on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#14241390) Homepage Journal
    Just like all of these devices, from CueCats to disposable DV recorders, will be hacked. Bring 'em on!
  • by ShaggyB (849018) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#14241391)
    Mabey they could earn workout videos as downloads. If they have to visit a fast food joint 20 times to get the video, then they could watch their video to lose the calories they just racked up!
  • "I'm off to McDonalds to get a bit of Bambi" ....IN A PIE! HAHAHAHAHA!
  • by chunews (924590) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#14241397)
    "Supersize me"
  • by spectrum (92555) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#14241399) Homepage
    Someone gets Linux on these things and creates the first McBeowulf?

  • by passingNotes.com (936024) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#14241402) Homepage Journal
    honestly, this kinda crap makes me ill...after hearing more about the mcdonald's and nintendo wifi deal i was already kinda getting heebie jeebies...but this new idea, fast food as a conduit for media distribution - that really is an affront to mankind (uh, okay, that's kinda extreme)...these kids are already struggling with obesity (read the data folks, our kids are mostly fat), and putting more distractions in front of them during quite possibly the only time in which they might eat and interact directly with their parents and siblings is just wrong, absolutely wrong...and since we know it's gonna be all disney ads and crap trailers and advertaintment, what the hell is the point? why not just let the media companies bid directly with parents on ourkids.ebay.com and let parents sell their kids' attention spans in five minute increments to the highest bidding media and product firms?
    • Kid: Take me to McDonald's please
      Mom: No
      Kid: But I can get a movie
      Mom: No go bittorrent a movie
      Kid: Okay
      Mom: And eat your healthy food
      Kid: Okay mom
      Mom: thx
    • "but this new idea, fast food as a conduit for media distribution"

      That's kind of backwards, media is being used as a motivation to buy fast food. Remember the McD's compilation CDs from the 90s? A few bucks if you bought a value meal?

      It's the same deal as most effective promotions. Going just once won't get you the prize (McMonopoly etal).

      Anyway, as I'm sure it will come up: it's a free market. It's up to parents to make the good decisions for their kids, and to prepare their kids to make good de
    • that really is an affront to mankind (uh, okay, that's kinda extreme)...these kids are already struggling with obesity (read the data folks, our kids are mostly fat), and putting more distractions in front of them during quite possibly the only time in which they might eat and interact directly with their parents and siblings is just wrong,

      Do you really think that most parents want to interact with their kids or get them to shut up for just A SMALL FRACTION OF THE GODDAMN DAY YOU LITTLE WORTHLESS BRAT!!! WH
    • It's obviously going to make things worse. But the real problem is that people can love cheap trashy food and enjoy it day after day. Have these people ever experienced a quality meal? Who knows, seems to me if your uneducated and inolved in trashy culture/society watching reality tv, reading rubbish celeb mags, your more prone to all the other screwed up stuff that's not good for your health. But who are you going to blame, the stupid kids or the parents who didn't raise them with a sense of education/cult
      • But the real problem is that people can love cheap trashy food and enjoy it day after day

        Thanks to millions of years of evolution, we're wired to really like high calorie foods. Yes, I know an apple is a healthier choice, but fries taste a whole helluva lot better. If I was ignorant to the health effects and ignorant to the fact that fast food is more expensive than grocery store food, I'm sure I'd be pigging out there everyday. (Well, maybe not McDonalds, but Jack In the Box would likely be a place I'd hi

    • It's not like this is anything new. I rememeber when I was a kid they had a movie tie-in promo at one of the chains where you got an episode of a story based on the Gremlins movie when you got a happy meal or something like that. I think they came on cassette tapes or something. I don't rememeber the details of the promo, but it came in like 4 or 5 parts if memory serves.

      Now I feel really old. Having to reference promotional media that came on *cassette tapes*. It could be worse, though. Could be viny
      • "It could be worse, though. Could be vinyl."

        I still have the 45 that McDonalds sent out 20 years(?) or so ago in Sunday newspapers that had a song on it. It went something like this:

        Big Mac, McDLT, a Quarter-Pounder with some cheese, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal....

        I think it was part of a contest or something.

    • ...but habituating kids to stop/go DRM restrictions while they get their fat/glucose fix seems a rather low level to stoop in order to gain consumer acceptance.

      What's next? They push some must-have movie or game to get kids to scream until their parents let them install a Sony rootkit??

    • putting more distractions in front of them during quite possibly the only time in which they might eat and interact directly with their parents and siblings is just wrong, absolutely wrong.

      You assume that families that eat at McDonalds actually give a rats ass about spending time with each other. The people I know who force-feed this crap on their kids do it to spend less time on or with their children.

      You think that McDonalds is to blame? Should they share some burden?

      No - they didn't fuck your husband/wif
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday December 12, 2005 @05:11PM (#14242037) Homepage Journal
      Little Kids can't drive themselves to McDonald's. The truth is that when I was small child we went to McDonald's maybe once or twice a MONTH. We got Pizza maybe once or twice a month. Parents need to quite blaming McDonald's for their kids eating habits. Cooking at home is the key to better health. It isn't just fast food. If you eat out every night at TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, Olive Garden, Longhorn, or even a good high quality restaurant unless you you have a LOT of self control and order a salad you are going to get fat!
      Restaurants are supposed to be treats. They have become a way of life.
  • Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by biocute (936687)
    I doubt movies will be popular, but games may actually be a good idea.

    First it rolls out trendy games (like King Kong or whatever's hot at that time).

    Then every week, it rolls out new levels for the game, which can be downloaded and brought home.
    • McDonalds already has something like this. For the past couple of years they've been introducing Happy Meals with more and more sophisticated LCD games as toys. The most recent batch included First Person Shooters of a sort.

      The FPSs had to be one of the cooler hacks I've ever seen. The screen itself was transparent, but everything was "dark" be default. By allowing certain lines to go transparent, you could see the edges of the walls/doors/characters. Not much gameplay, but damned cool.
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#14241404) Homepage Journal
    The target audience for the Happy Meal is kids -- it's to give the kids something to play with during the meal and that they can take home.

    Something that you can't use until after you get home won't catch on with the kids... but it could work for adults.

    This sounds much more in line with the collector's drink cups or those sports-team bobble-heads you can sometimes get at fast food places than the classic kid's meal toy.
    • The target audience for the Happy Meal is kids -- it's to give the kids something to play with during the meal and that they can take home.

      And, those of us who are sufficiently cynical would say that it's to make sure that very young children can be indoctrinated with their branding and message.

      Gotta recruit that next generation of consumers, we're killing the current ones.
  • Root Kit (Score:3, Funny)

    by mysqlrocks (783488) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#14241409) Homepage Journal
    Would you like a root kit with your meal?
  • Over 99 Billion Megabytes Served http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • > A customer enters a restaurant and buys a meal, receiving the portable media player and an electronic code that authorizes a partial download of a movie, video or other media file, which can be downloaded while in the restaurant, according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office application filed by Disney. Then, with each subsequent return, the customer earns more downloadable data, eventually getting an entire movie or game.

    Yes, please. This is a fantastic idea. As a 30something hardware g

  • by faqmaster (172770) <[jones.tm] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:00PM (#14241428) Homepage Journal
    Once you hit 300 kgs you get the entire movie? This could provide a new way to rate restaurants: Frames per calorie.
  • by commo1 (709770) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:01PM (#14241439)
    Mommy! There's a bug in my burger!
  • ... but from what I can remeber from my youth - IF you gave me 1/10th of a game that couldn't be used at all, or had ZERO replay value - then you have given me nothing and I will not be very enthused to pressure my folks to return and get the rest.
    • When I was a kid, trading cards packages would often have a special cards that could be combined to form a mural. I know that I was always excited to see the picture come together as I got the pieces. Having a very small allowance, the motivation wasn't enough to get me to buy more cards than I would have otherwise, but I am sure that it did have some effect for those kids with more disposable income.

      Anyway that was the first thing that came to mind when I read the article, but there are tons of other exam
  • The idea, I assume, is that people will be motivated to come back because their kids want the rest of the movie or game.

    This might work, but it could backfire. You want to keep them wanting more; if it takes 10 visits to see a whole cartoon (or whatever), chances are that the kid will lose interest - and it had better be a great cartoon to warrent even a couple of return trips.

    What would have worked on me, I think, is if you get a new downloadable game - a whole game, even if it's a little Tetris-type
    • Re:Bits and pieces? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      "You want to keep them wanting more; if it takes 10 visits to see a whole cartoon (or whatever), chances are that the kid will lose interest"

      Not if their friends have gotten the new piece.

      Kids today are all up on the collectibles... they stay interested in Pokemon, or other CCGs for years, why would they lose interest in this after only 10 weeks?

      Especially if the content delivered is not the same for every download... then they 'gotta catch em all'.

      Genius.
    • Another thought: what does the hardware cost, is it worth it for the company, and is there a EULA that says you can't hack it for your own purpose?

      They'll have a hard time enforcing that EULA... once I've gotten my sticky mits on it and done the dirty deed, there's no chance it'll ever be able to tell them it's been hacked. How are they gonna know? are they going to require your full contact details and for you to report in every so many days for them to ascertain you've still got it and are using it in ac

    • ... just like gambling... very addictive!

      I'm just talking about the food mind you.
    • Actually this reminds me of the old joke.

      How do you keep an idiot in suspense?







      Which is probably how McDonald's views their customers.
  • So, now they are encouraging addiction to high fat, high calorie diets. And, the reward is sitting back, watching a movie. Sounds like a great way to add inches to our kids waste lines. Just what we need in a nation plagued by obesity.

    So, will we be able to sue them over our obesity in several years?

    • So, now they are encouraging addiction to high fat, high calorie diets.

      I think they have been doing that for a while now...
    • by Burz (138833)
      So, now they are encouraging addiction to high fat, high calorie diets. And, the reward is sitting back, watching a movie. Sounds like a great way to add inches to our kids waste lines.

      I believe they are encouraging acceptance of heavy-handed DRM schemes, and the reward for this acceptance is a fat/glucose hit. Sounds like a great way to raise a new generation of docile sheep for Hollywood.
  • ...subliminal messages, this will turn out to be a dynamite marketing tool. Just think! You only have to go to McDonald's once and your kids will be indoctrinated in the Mouse Cult by Ronald McDonald! And of course you only get part of the content, forcing you to go back, so the indoctrination can be reinforced.

    The British journal New Scientist, which recently reported on the patent application, said that the portable media players could be used as part of a McDonald's promotion and create marketing oppor

  • A thousand chicken nuggets later (and 50lbs heavier), the kid can watch an entire 80 minute disney movie. yay.
  • What about those of us who may eat fast food (yeah, I admit it :-) but never actually go inside?

    When we're away from home, or pressed for time, I sometimes take my son to Burger King/McDonalds (BTW: Culver's has *much* better food, but they're only here in the midwest), but I couldn't tell you the last time I set foot in one of those places. It's always order food from the squawkbox, then drive to window 1 then to window 2.
    After all, if I had time to go inside, I'd go to a real restaurant where a plastic to
    • It didn't taste different from the rest of the meal, but my tummy doesn't feel so good now. ***groan***
    • What about those of us who may eat fast food (yeah, I admit it :-) but never actually go inside?

      Then you get the kid to cry and scream when they get home, until mom and dad let them "Install the special program" to download the rest of the movie from the PC.
  • by borawjm (747876) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:17PM (#14241603)
    McDocuments
    McFavorites
    McVideos
    McMusic
    ...
    ??

  • by autophile (640621) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:18PM (#14241616)
    ...Weird Al Yankovic's "I'm Fat"!

    --Rob

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:20PM (#14241633) Homepage
    How is this fundamentally different from, say, stamp cards which allow me a free sandwich/coffe/coke/whatever after I've collected a few stamps?

    Fundamentally, this is a "method of providing customer reward for ongoing purchases" (coupled with a "mechanism to ensure repeat business by children").

    Big deal, so it's a digital method. They've taken the concept of reward cards, thrown in Wifi, and are claiming to have done something patentable. This is just silly.

    God I hope this patent is rejected.

  • These corporations will not rest until they have drained the last ounce of humanity out of us and turned us into robotic consumer drones ready to be fleezed at every possible moment in our lifes. Some of you might think that I am over-reacting, but as an indie film maker I am actually on the producing side of such possible content (although I'm sure McD would stick with the blockbusters). What ever happened to simply sitting down for a meal and enjoying a stimulating conversation? We are all like the prove
  • by Secret Rabbit (914973) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:26PM (#14241676) Journal
    This sounds notoriously similar to drug dealing to me.

    You buy the happy meal and get the device and a small for free.

    Then to get the whole thing (or more) you have to pay.

    *in evil sounding voice* The first one's for free! *evil laugh*
  • by CrazyTalk (662055) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:29PM (#14241704)
    According to "TFA", it takes 30 months for patents to be approved, and they havent even started looking at it yet. Right now it sounds like this is all "just in case we want to do this some day in the far future". Not Stuff that Matters.
  • by JWW (79176)
    I just got done going to Burger King incessantly so my son could get all of the Star Wars toys, now my kids are going to want to go to McDonalds over and over again to get movies!

    Its a great idea, and I don't like it one bit.
  • by fohat (168135) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:34PM (#14241745) Homepage
    About a dozen years ago Mcdonald's did a campaign with video tapes, something like buy a meal and get a movie for $2.99 (I watched The Adam's Family about 1000 times as a result). I wonder if they ever tried the same concept with DVD's? It seem's a heck of a lot easier for the consumer, and you'd still have people returning to the store to get another DVD.
    • Papa John's did this with DVDs a few years back. Free DVD of your choice (from 4 pretty uninteresting selections) with every large pizza. I ended up watching Drop Dead Fred as a result, and I wish I had those 90 minutes of my life back.

      It was pretty cool at the time, though - this was when the "bargain bin" DVDs cost $15. These days I'm amazed everyone and their dog isn't doing this. You can buy older DVDs for next to nothing, so I can only imagine how cheap McDonalds could get "classic cartoons" type discs
      • "Papa John's did this with DVDs a few years back. Free DVD of your choice (from 4 pretty uninteresting selections) with every large pizza. I ended up watching Drop Dead Fred as a result, and I wish I had those 90 minutes of my life back."

        I ordered their special just to get that damn DVD. I watched that movie a lot when I was younger and it first came out, so I guess it has some undeserved sentimental value.

    • One TLA*:

      UMD.

      You've heard it here first, folks. Would you like spyware with that?

      *three-letter-acronym
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This idea won't work unless they find a way to make the downloads into choking hazards. The public won't accept them as authentic Happy Meal toys until the customary nationwide safety recall has been issued.
  • Disney & Mickey Dee's, rotting the mind and the body together.
  • Screw that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by exley (221867) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:41PM (#14241800) Homepage
    I have to come in multiple times to get a full prize? This never would have flown with what an impatient child I was (and still am). I would have been so pissed during Lego or Popoid promotions (anyone else even remember Popoids?). Yay, I come in for a Happy Meal and get... A single Lego brick. It's like those Star Trek chess sets where you get one piece every three months, so you should be ready to sit down and play some chess by 2154.
    • Re:Screw that (Score:3, Interesting)

      by robertjw (728654)
      Not only that, but the biggest reason McDonalds can sell happy meals at all is it comes with a toy that keeps the kids entertained for a few minutes. If they start providing a useless item that requires multiple visits to entertain a child it looks like it will decrease the value of the Happy Meal and result in fewer sales.

      McDonalds really needs to quit trying to be the high tech fast food chain - I don't think it will ever work out for them.
  • Can you imagine?:

    "Mommy where's the movie?"
    "It's still downloading honey"
    "Mommy where's the movie?"
    "It's still downloading honey"
    "Mommy where's the movie?"
    "It's still downloading honey"
    "Mommy where's the movie?"

    Begin crying, screaming tantrum here.

  • A big fat Pocahontas was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read "Disney, McDonalds and Happy Meal"

  • by TomorrowPlusX (571956) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:58PM (#14241945)

    Then, with each subsequent return, the customer earns more downloadable data, eventually getting an entire movie or game."

    That's it. Civilization is over. We had a nice run.

  • I figure that maybe some Disney afficionado might be lurking here and can answer my question. I know this is totally off topic but does anyone know the name of the movie that features Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy getting locked in a haunted house?
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday December 12, 2005 @06:59PM (#14242831) Journal
    After all you got that whole patent pending line you see so often.

    What seems a bit bigger of an obstacle is how do you get a device cheap enough that can actually handle playing a movie.

    The cheapest device at the moment must be the GBA micro and that still is 100 dollars. Of course you could deduct Nintendo's and the retailers profit from it but how low could you possibly get?

    Current happy toys are cheap chinese made plastic toys costing less then a dollar for the most ambitious campaigns.

    Surely they know that any free tech device of any capacity is going to be hacked?

    As for kids remembering to bring their player with them. A bit hopefull. Lending the device out temporarily would also be prone to cheating and asking for a deposit would effectively double the cues at the till for people wanting to give the device back after eating.

    Nice idea but wouldn't it be simpler to put the media player in the table? That techonology can be readily bought from airline seats supliers.

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