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Burger King Wants Your Kids To Meltdown Their Junior King Meal Toys (Really)

by Bill McCool on 09/18/2019 | 2 Minute Read

Know what my kids don’t want?

Their Happy Meal Toys.

Sure, once we leave the parking lot of a McDonald’s or Burger King and they’ve opened the plastic bag containing a plastic toy made of several different pieces of plastic, they enamored with the toy for the next five or so minutes, and afterward, it sits in a toy bin until it’s bound for a thrift store (who will likely trash it anyway).

It’s a poorly-made toy and a brief distraction, long bound for the dustbin since they set the plastic mold.

Today, Burger King announced its new initiative dubbed “The Meltdown.” To help curb the single-use plastic waste crisis, they will remove all plastic toys from their King Junior Meals, while melting them down for good.

Editorial photograph

Plastic toy amnesty bins will be placed in more than 500 of Burger King’s UK restaurants, and they encourage children to drop off their free toys so they can get repurposed into play areas and surface tools.

If a child donates a toy between September 19th-30th, they’ll receive a free king Junior Meal along with Meltdown stickers and a Meltdown crown. Oh, and don’t worry kids. You can bring your McDonald’s toys too.

BK estimates that they will save nearly 320 tonnes of single-use plastics, all the while leaning into their commitment to sustainability. Conceptualized by Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR), The Meltdown will begin with a multi-channel campaign featuring digital content, OOH, store, and experiential. They also helped create the cast of characters featured in the Meltdown campaign video.

JKR | The Meltdown from Jones Knowles Ritchie on Vimeo.

“Burger King came to us with a huge ambition; to remove plastic toys from their KING Junior Meals,” said Stephen McDavid, Creative Director at JKR, in a press release. “We knew BK had the opportunity to create a movement that everyone could get behind and that families would want to engage with, so we came up with a simple idea, inspired by Burger King’s irreverent spirit; meltdown all plastic meal toys and transform them for good. Kids are still hungry for an experience, so it’s brilliant that these toys will be transformed into play areas and playful experiences that last longer than a few minutes. To capture attention, we needed to create a campaign identity that was as big and bold as the toys we would be collecting, although it originally felt strange to create something we knew we would ultimately melt. This is a huge step forward for kids’ meals of the future and we hope the campaign will encourage kids, parents, and even Burger King’s competitors to join the meltdown."

Your move, McDonald’s.