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By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | June 16, 2004
The McDonald's Happy Meal, the most successful children's menu item in restaurant history, celebrates its silver anniversary this year. The box of delights, which traditionally comes with a burger (or chicken nuggets), fries and a small drink, has Midwestern roots. Several McDonald's stores had tried with varying degrees of success to come up with an inviting children's meal for the chain, but none of the concepts was taken to a national level. In 1977, however, Dick Brams, the St. Louis regional advertising manager for McDonald's, challenged his ad agencies in St. Louis and Kansas City to create a national children's meal concept.
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NEWS
August 11, 2010
After reading the article "Child-health advocates take aim at toys in Happy Meals" (Aug. 10), I have concluded that the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest need to put the horse before the cart and not the other way around. The comment "McDonald's use of toys undercuts the parental authority" is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I have two (now grown) sons who, like all kids, enjoyed the toys and surprises in a Happy Meal – but the decision to buy that meal belonged to my husband and myself, not them.
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FEATURES
By KEVIN COWHERD | May 6, 2004
AS SOON as the package arrived via overnight express mail, I took it to the McDonald's on Cold Spring Lane in North Baltimore in order to drive everyone mad with envy. "This is the new Go Active! Happy Meal for adults you've heard so much about," I announced. "It will be rolled out nationally on Tuesday. But because I have connections in high places, I have obtained one in advance. "You wish you could have one of these Happy Meals right now, don't you? But you can't, so don't even bother trying.
NEWS
By Jill Rosen and Jill Rosen,jill.rosen@baltsun.com | January 31, 2010
A dog might have had an easier time finding a bone in the snow Saturday afternoon than the drivers who were looking for decent parking at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, where hundreds of people refused to let rough weather keep them from one of the biggest animal events of the year, the World of Pets Expo. Pet people who marked their calendars for this shuffled through the slush, sweatered dogs in tow, to get inside the show where it was quite obvious there's not much folks won't do - or buy - for their animals.
FEATURES
By Kirsten Valle and Kirsten Valle,SUN STAFF | July 6, 2004
For Joyce Losonsky, collecting the toys contained in McDonald's Happy Meals is a passion. But it's also all about having fun -- or "Mc-fun," as she likes to call it. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Happy Meal, and as the celebration culminates later this month with the rollout of a surprise toy, Losonsky continues to build her exhaustive collection of Golden Arches memorabilia. The 58-year-old Columbia woman has collected every McDonald's toy ever released, as well as Happy Meal boxes and displays.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | June 23, 2000
A McDonald's Happy Meal usually comes with a surprise inside, but an Ellicott City woman never expected to find prescription medicine in the meal she ordered for her child. The woman ordered the meal Wednesday at the drive-through window of the McDonald's at Chatham Road and U.S. 40 in Ellicott City. After she arrived home, she discovered a brown bag containing white tablets in the Happy Meal container. The tablets turned out to be Allegra, a prescription medicine for allergies. She reported the incident to Howard County police, who launched an investigation.
NEWS
September 6, 2004
HOW DID YOU spend your summer vacation? Chances are, there was a moment - perhaps during a midday drive along some gridlocked stretch of interstate - when the kids launched into their backseat chorus. "Puleeeaase, can we get a Happy Meal?" Don't deny it. No one under the age of 10 (not even the offspring of the most steadfast granola-eaters) is immune from the McDonald's siren song, at least not when a Happy Meal toy is involved. Yes, it's all about the toys. This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the Happy Meal.
NEWS
August 11, 2010
After reading the article "Child-health advocates take aim at toys in Happy Meals" (Aug. 10), I have concluded that the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest need to put the horse before the cart and not the other way around. The comment "McDonald's use of toys undercuts the parental authority" is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I have two (now grown) sons who, like all kids, enjoyed the toys and surprises in a Happy Meal – but the decision to buy that meal belonged to my husband and myself, not them.
FEATURES
By KEVIN COWHERD | August 17, 1992
We are standing in line at McDonald's when it occurs to me that I feel no sense of happiness ordering the Happy Meals.The Happy Meal, of course, is corporate McSpeak for the combination of hamburger, small fries, soft drink and little toy that small children would commit homicide for.It is also the centerpiece of an enormous propaganda campaign designed to communicate a triple-pronged message to parents: This is the place to bring your kids. This is where they're happy. Look! Look how much fun they're having!
NEWS
By Lori Aratani and Lori Aratani,Knight-Ridder News Service | July 5, 1995
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Somewhere along the road, Don Weiss realized he had gone over the edge.He and his 3-year-old daughter, Megan, were headed for their third McDonald's of the day in search not of a meal, but of a toy.In five weeks they had amassed all but one Happy Meal toy -- a bear or a dog -- in a promotion Mr. Weiss cannot remember. Megan wanted that one. Nothing more, nothing less."I realized I was crazy," Mr. Weiss, a product supervisor from Sunnyvale, Calif., said recently at a Burger King as he watched his daughter play with the "Pocahontas" figurine that came with her dinner.
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV and John-John Williams IV,john-john.williams@baltsun.com | March 22, 2009
Howard County school officials are hoping that the way to parents' ears is through the tummies of their kids. Looking for a new way to communicate messages, the school system has arranged to have cards urging parents to register their kindergarten-eligible children for school next fall included in Happy Meals at several county McDonald's restaurants. About 22,000 of the cards will be distributed, beginning in the next couple of weeks, school officials say. Registration for new students or students entering kindergarten in county schools is under way. School officials were looking for other ways to reach parents when the idea was hatched, schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan said.
NEWS
By Stephen G. Henderson and By Stephen G. Henderson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 9, 2005
What's the funniest thing that happened in school today?" My father considered this a foolproof conversational gambit and would spring it on my siblings and me every evening during dinner. It wasn't a rhetorical question, either. He expected all five of us to amuse my mother and him with a story and no mumbling, not to mention self-pity, was allowed. "Enunciate from the gut!" he'd command, if we didn't speak up with sufficient gusto. I thought about Dad, dining and declaiming, while reading a recent survey by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)
NEWS
September 6, 2004
HOW DID YOU spend your summer vacation? Chances are, there was a moment - perhaps during a midday drive along some gridlocked stretch of interstate - when the kids launched into their backseat chorus. "Puleeeaase, can we get a Happy Meal?" Don't deny it. No one under the age of 10 (not even the offspring of the most steadfast granola-eaters) is immune from the McDonald's siren song, at least not when a Happy Meal toy is involved. Yes, it's all about the toys. This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the Happy Meal.
FEATURES
By Kirsten Valle and Kirsten Valle,SUN STAFF | July 6, 2004
For Joyce Losonsky, collecting the toys contained in McDonald's Happy Meals is a passion. But it's also all about having fun -- or "Mc-fun," as she likes to call it. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Happy Meal, and as the celebration culminates later this month with the rollout of a surprise toy, Losonsky continues to build her exhaustive collection of Golden Arches memorabilia. The 58-year-old Columbia woman has collected every McDonald's toy ever released, as well as Happy Meal boxes and displays.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | June 16, 2004
The McDonald's Happy Meal, the most successful children's menu item in restaurant history, celebrates its silver anniversary this year. The box of delights, which traditionally comes with a burger (or chicken nuggets), fries and a small drink, has Midwestern roots. Several McDonald's stores had tried with varying degrees of success to come up with an inviting children's meal for the chain, but none of the concepts was taken to a national level. In 1977, however, Dick Brams, the St. Louis regional advertising manager for McDonald's, challenged his ad agencies in St. Louis and Kansas City to create a national children's meal concept.
FEATURES
By KEVIN COWHERD | May 6, 2004
AS SOON as the package arrived via overnight express mail, I took it to the McDonald's on Cold Spring Lane in North Baltimore in order to drive everyone mad with envy. "This is the new Go Active! Happy Meal for adults you've heard so much about," I announced. "It will be rolled out nationally on Tuesday. But because I have connections in high places, I have obtained one in advance. "You wish you could have one of these Happy Meals right now, don't you? But you can't, so don't even bother trying.
NEWS
By Bonita Formwalt and Bonita Formwalt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 18, 1997
I THINK WE should be the new restaurant critics for the paper -- a couple of culinary correspondents," my friend suggested.Puzzled, I wondered where she would get such an idea. We wrote community news.Frankly, I was concerned the chicken dinner/spaghetti supper beat was not up to critique."No, no. Real restaurants. Linen napkins, a choice of baked potato or rice pilaf, no arguments about prizes with your Happy Meal."She paused and began to speak more slowly. "A place where food is eaten before you have to pay for it."
NEWS
By Jill Rosen and Jill Rosen,jill.rosen@baltsun.com | January 31, 2010
A dog might have had an easier time finding a bone in the snow Saturday afternoon than the drivers who were looking for decent parking at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, where hundreds of people refused to let rough weather keep them from one of the biggest animal events of the year, the World of Pets Expo. Pet people who marked their calendars for this shuffled through the slush, sweatered dogs in tow, to get inside the show where it was quite obvious there's not much folks won't do - or buy - for their animals.
NEWS
By Dan Fesperman and Dan Fesperman,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | September 7, 2003
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - American interrogators here have come up with a few new weapons as they try to pry loose the secrets of prisoners captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan. "It could be cupcakes, it could be Twinkies, it could even be a McDonald's hamburger," says Warrant Officer James Kluck, who, as the ranking food service officer, helps supply some of the unlikely ammunition. "Sometimes, they go up on the base and get [the prisoner] a Happy Meal." A McDonald's Happy Meal?
BUSINESS
By COX NEWS SERVICE | April 4, 2003
ATLANTA - Troubled hamburger giant McDonald's is getting ready to serve up a novel order: healthy food for kids. The company is considering adding sliced apples and perhaps other fruits, vegetables and low-fat yogurt as options in children's Happy Meals. It also rolled out a new line of premium salads this month and is testing an all-white-meat chicken nugget. The changes come at a crucial period for McDonald's, which recently posted its first-ever quarterly loss. Fast-casual chains have been nibbling away at its customer base.
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