Gender Neutral Happy Meals

fly girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2012

I will fully, 100% admit I went into reading this article with bias. Here we go again I thought. Another outrage, and this over a freebie toy.

Not going to lie, the article did muster some serious eyerolls (bewildered by the menu :rolleyes2 ) I visit McD's at the most 3 times a year, and I have never walked in overwhelmed. We all know the drill, it is fast food not rocket science. It is pretty much the same at all fast food joints. And being perplexed by being asked about the toy took it to a new level. Has she never been a child that got a happy meal . . . anywhere???

But, I do understand one sentence in the end. I agree, asking "Hot Wheel or Barbie" would be wonderful!! However, in reality it isn't truly practical. They change out the toys so frequently that asking boy or girl is just plain easier on the employees. I completely understand her point, but I get why they don't do it.

I must admit, I do like that they offer 2 different toys. I remember getting the boy toy for my daughter once because she liked it better. (Hint to the author, they usually display the toys in a case by the registers.) Did my child suffer psychological trauma from having her mom say "boy" when I ordered her happy meal. BIG FAT NO!! She didn't care, she just wanted that toy. And since her parents didn't make a big stink about why it was considered a boy toy, or why would she want was considered to be a boys toy, it never registered in her mind as odd. There in lies the key. QUIT MAKING A HUGE ORDEAL out of little insignificant things. Remember the saying, don't sweat the small stuff. Every once in a while is good to be reminded of that. :)

Your thoughts?
 

kimblebee

now my thoughts will be worth 5 cents
Joined
May 28, 2009

I will fully, 100% admit I went into reading this article with bias. Here we go again I thought. Another outrage, and this over a freebie toy.

Not going to lie, the article did muster some serious eyerolls (bewildered by the menu :rolleyes2 ) I visit McD's at the most 3 times a year, and I have never walked in overwhelmed. We all know the drill, it is fast food not rocket science. It is pretty much the same at all fast food joints. And being perplexed by being asked about the toy took it to a new level. Has she never been a child that got a happy meal . . . anywhere???

But, I do understand one sentence in the end. I agree, asking "Hot Wheel or Barbie" would be wonderful!! However, in reality it isn't truly practical. They change out the toys so frequently that asking boy or girl is just plain easier on the employees. I completely understand her point, but I get why they don't do it.

I must admit, I do like that they offer 2 different toys. I remember getting the boy toy for my daughter once because she liked it better. (Hint to the author, they usually display the toys in a case by the registers.) Did my child suffer psychological trauma from having her mom say "boy" when I ordered her happy meal. BIG FAT NO!! She didn't care, she just wanted that toy. And since her parents didn't make a big stink about why it was considered a boy toy, or why would she want was considered to be a boys toy, it never registered in her mind as odd. There in lies the key. QUIT MAKING A HUGE ORDEAL out of little insignificant things. Remember the saying, don't sweat the small stuff. Every once in a while is good to be reminded of that. :)

Your thoughts?
If you can remember boy or girl, you can remember Hot Wheels or Barbie.

Also, can we have a better girl toy?
 

fly girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
If you can remember boy or girl, you can remember Hot Wheels or Barbie.

Also, can we have a better girl toy?
Yes you could, but they change out the toys so frequently that you would have constantly change the verbiage. I can see accidentally saying the wrong toy.

And again, toys change frequently. Sometimes the girls is better, sometimes the boys is.
 
  • fly girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2012
    How about just have one toy that any child can enjoy?
    That would be fine too. I think Wendy's used to have only 1 toy when I was growing up, but I could be wrong. :confused3

    But McD's toys become collectible. (crazy but true) so I think having the 2 is good for their bottom line.

    Personally, if it bothered me (which in reality it doesn't) I would probably say the toy I wanted for my kid. I would say "hot wheels" or "barbie" or whatever toy they wanted, and go about my day without making it a big deal. But that's just me, YMMV.
     

    wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    It’s been a couple of years but I feel like the one by me always asked “Batman or Barbie.” I’m sure I’ve been asked “boy or girl” over the years and I just gave the appropriate response to get whatever my kids wanted at the time. My kids don’t really care.

    I think sometimes we can “over correct” when it comes to trying to be neutral. In general my boy has naturally gravitated towards “boy” things and my girls have gravitated toward “girl” things. I think that’s okay. I also think it’s okay that my son likes “cute, fluffy things” and his twin sister likes to wear his old jeans and “boy” Nike’s. I’ve raised all of my kids to “do you.” Honestly, I don’t think they give a thought to labels, they just like what they like. I think if I made a big deal about labels that would twist them up more than just letting them be who they are.
     
  • fly girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2012
    It’s been a couple of years but I feel like the one by me always asked “Batman or Barbie.” I’m sure I’ve been asked “boy or girl” over the years and I just gave the appropriate response to get whatever my kids wanted at the time. My kids don’t really care.

    I think sometimes we can “over correct” when it comes to trying to be neutral. In general my boy has naturally gravitated towards “boy” things and my girls have gravitated toward “girl” things. I think that’s okay. I also think it’s okay that my son likes “cute, fluffy things” and his twin sister likes to wear his old jeans and “boy” Nike’s. I’ve raised all of my kids to “do you.” Honestly, I don’t think they give a thought to labels, they just like what they like. I think if I made a big deal about labels that would twist them up more than just letting them be who they are.
    Ding ding ding! You conveyed my thoughts perfectly. Thank you!!

    You didn't make a big deal about it, you just let them play with and wear things that brought joy. Case closed!
     

    DisLiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2018
    But, I do understand one sentence in the end. I agree, asking "Hot Wheel or Barbie" would be wonderful!! However, in reality it isn't truly practical. They change out the toys so frequently that asking boy or girl is just plain easier on the employees.
    Yes you could, but they change out the toys so frequently that you would have constantly change the verbiage. I can see accidentally saying the wrong toy.

    And again, toys change frequently. Sometimes the girls is better, sometimes the boys is.
    I don't think you're giving employees enough credit here. They can remember the current toy. They really can. :) I remember when the original Cars was still in the advertising mode and we were waiting ever so patiently for the movie, McD's had the Cars characters...tons of them, and they switched every few weeks all summer long. I was forever calling and stopping by different McD's because my kid was so super obsessed with Cars already, and the employees never had any issue knowing exactly what the current characters were AND if they had any older ones hanging around, too. :) (Sure, they may sometimes say the wrong thing once and again, but that's true of anything. :) )

    Plus, it saves them some time, too. Because inevitably if they say "Boy or Girl?", there will absolutely be people who will then ask what the current toys are. And then they need to say "Hot Wheel" or "Barbie", anyway. :)

    By the way, saw that they are bringing back all these nostalgic Happy Meal toys, so I bet they'll be getting people calling and stopping by trying to get them all just like we did back in the Cars days. :)

    And along that same line of thought, I bet most kids and parents know exactly what toy they want before they even place their order, so they can just order the "Hot Wheel" happy meal right off the bat and avoid the question entirely. :)
     
  • porschegrl

    Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2009
    I don't think you're giving employees enough credit here. They can remember the current toy. They really can. :)
    ...
    Plus, it saves them some time, too. Because inevitably if they say "Boy or Girl?", there will absolutely be people who will then ask what the current toys are. And then they need to say "Hot Wheel" or "Barbie", anyway. :)
    :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     

    wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    I don't think you're giving employees enough credit here. They can remember the current toy. They really can. :) I remember when the original Cars was still in the advertising mode and we were waiting ever so patiently for the movie, McD's had the Cars characters...tons of them, and they switched every few weeks all summer long. I was forever calling and stopping by different McD's because my kid was so super obsessed with Cars already, and the employees never had any issue knowing exactly what the current characters were AND if they had any older ones hanging around, too. :) (Sure, they may sometimes say the wrong thing once and again, but that's true of anything. :) )

    Plus, it saves them some time, too. Because inevitably if they say "Boy or Girl?", there will absolutely be people who will then ask what the current toys are. And then they need to say "Hot Wheel" or "Barbie", anyway. :)

    By the way, saw that they are bringing back all these nostalgic Happy Meal toys, so I bet they'll be getting people calling and stopping by trying to get them all just like we did back in the Cars days. :)

    And along that same line of thought, I bet most kids and parents know exactly what toy they want before they even place their order, so they can just order the "Hot Wheel" happy meal right off the bat and avoid the question entirely. :)
    We always knew in advance what the toys were and I always had them choose BEFORE we went to go get it.

    Seriously, this lady is way overthinking this. McD’s doesn’t give a crap what your child’s gender is they just want to know what toy so they can move on to the next person. Her kid didn’t even notice. What I do find a little weird and makes the story feel a little less authentic is that they have toddler toys and usually that’s the first question. Maybe it’s not that way at all McD’s but it has been to most I’ve been to.
     

    fly girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2012
    I don't think you're giving employees enough credit here. They can remember the current toy. They really can. :) I remember when the original Cars was still in the advertising mode and we were waiting ever so patiently for the movie, McD's had the Cars characters...tons of them, and they switched every few weeks all summer long. I was forever calling and stopping by different McD's because my kid was so super obsessed with Cars already, and the employees never had any issue knowing exactly what the current characters were AND if they had any older ones hanging around, too. :) (Sure, they may sometimes say the wrong thing once and again, but that's true of anything. :) )

    Plus, it saves them some time, too. Because inevitably if they say "Boy or Girl?", there will absolutely be people who will then ask what the current toys are. And then they need to say "Hot Wheel" or "Barbie", anyway. :)

    By the way, saw that they are bringing back all these nostalgic Happy Meal toys, so I bet they'll be getting people calling and stopping by trying to get them all just like we did back in the Cars days. :)

    And along that same line of thought, I bet most kids and parents know exactly what toy they want before they even place their order, so they can just order the "Hot Wheel" happy meal right off the bat and avoid the question entirely. :)
    Possibly. But I don't fault the employee for saying boys or girls toy either. If it bothered the parents, they can always ask what the toys are are request by the toy, not by gender.

    The bottom line, in a perfect world it would be nice to say the toy 100% of the time, but maybe it is just easier at times to say boy or girl. I don't fault the employee.

    And I may be unpopular with my opinion, but getting upset over being asked "boy or girl" is making a bigger issue out of it than it is. Kids really don't care, they just want the toy! When you make a ordeal about it, then they notice.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    Way back in the day, I worked at McDonald's. That job is HARD and they have you running 60 mph the entire time. Things are changed up so often...quick go over and do this, now go over there and do that. Last week, the Happy Meal toy might have been one thing, but this week it's something entirely different.

    Honestly, it is just easier to say "girl or boy toy?" This is just not something to get all worked up over.

    You know what totally sucks when you work fast food? All of the stupid parents who demand that you look through every stinking Happy Meal box that's been prepped with toys to look for the ONE ITEM that he or she doesn't have yet. OH MY LORD, DON'T GET ME STARTED! :-)
     

    disneychrista

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2002
    I agree, asking "Hot Wheel or Barbie" would be wonderful!! However, in reality it isn't truly practical.
    I disagree completely. It is NOT more difficult for the employees to ask X or Y vs boy or girl. I worked at McD's for many many years and we were always instructed to ask which toy not boy or girl. We always knew what toys were being offered. Anytime I was asked this with my own kids I would often times say she's a girl but she wants the hot wheel.
     

    skyblue17

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2017
    If the option is available to choose which toy, why not just have the customer select the toy without giving options at all? Would it throw a wrench things to say "which toy would you like?", especially if there are options available to see (perhaps on the register if there isn't a display case)?
     

    fly girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2012
    I disagree completely. It is NOT more difficult for the employees to ask X or Y vs boy or girl. I worked at McD's for many many years and we were always instructed to ask which toy not boy or girl. We always knew what toys were being offered. Anytime I was asked this with my own kids I would often times say she's a girl but she wants the hot wheel.
    Well, that's great! I am glad your McD's always had you say the toy. However, the post directly above yours had a previous McD employee that said it was easier when you're going 60mph to say "boy or girl". I think it varies by the employee and location. :confused3

    Maybe they should just change it to "what toy" and be done with it. Then no issue lies with gender. Win/Win

    @skyblue17, great idea. Hopefully that simple change wouldn't open a can of worms for the employee.
     

    starry_solo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 19, 2010
    I thought the Snoopy in Space was pretty gender neutral! You got books or toys that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing! Adorable....and I got a few myself.

    Then this week's Hello Kitty toys....well, I had to have those too, lol.
     

    disneychrista

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2002
    Maybe they should just change it to "what toy" and be done with it.
    Only issue with this would be that they (at least when I was there) one of each available. So by saying which toy you are asking for someone saying the purple mustang but all you have is the blue porsche.
     



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