Industry News | April 1, 2002

Madame Alexander, Matchbox Appear in Happy Meals

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McDonald's reports it is gearing up to wow kids and adults alike with some of America's most beloved collectibles in its latest Happy Meal promotion. In first-time collaborations with both the Alexander Doll Company and the Matchbox unit of Mattel, miniature versions of the classic Madame Alexander dolls and an exclusively designed series of 50th Anniversary Matchbox cars will be offered in McDonald's Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals at participating restaurants from April 5–25, or while supplies last.

“McDonald's loves to treat our youngest customers to exciting, high-quality toys as part of their Happy Meal experience,'' said Douglas Freeland, director, national marketing of McDonald's. “Our new Madame Alexander and Matchbox Happy Meals have great appeal for girls and boys and also tap into a strong sense of nostalgia for adults.''

Doll enthusiasts of all ages will be able to collect eight different 4-3/4 inch versions of classic Madame Alexander dolls. One of the highest value toys to be miniaturized for a McDonald's Happy Meal, the Madame Alexander line-up offers a range of storybook and contemporary characters that can retail for more than $50 in full-sized offerings.

The dolls come complete with “sleep eyes,'' a first for a McDonald's Happy Meal doll and an innovation introduced to the toy industry by Madame Alexander in the early 1930s. Other features include detailed painting on the faces, and rooted, rather than wigged, hair.

McDonald's will also offer car collectors of all ages an exclusive peek at six Matchbox cars from the “Matchbox Across America 50th Birthday'' collection, debuting this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Matchbox brand. Initially available only at McDonald's, each of the six cars will be accompanied by a miniature replica license plate of the state the car represents.

McDonald's in Canada will give away six rescue vehicles during the promotion.

Each “Matchbox Across America'' car is approximately three inches long and features fine, realistic detail and a decoration commemorating a key feature or fact about its state. The vehicles all inspire imaginative role-playing for kids, as well as collectible value and nostalgia for parents.

As with all Happy Meal promotions, McDonald's will offer Fisher-Price “toddler toys'' appropriate for ages four and under.

The Madame Alexander/Matchbox Happy Meal promotion will be supported by national television advertising developed by Leo Burnett Co., Hispanic television and print advertising by del Rivero Messiano Advertising in Miami, and African-American radio and print advertising by Burrell Advertising– Chicago.