McDonald’s has found what is perhaps the only thing that will get me, a 33-year-old, to buy a Happy Meal. They’re turning the iconic red box that everyone knows and loves into affordable, fun virtual reality goggles. Sure, the new toy is really just being piloted in a few stores in Sweden, but if it’s successful, there are pretty strong indications that it will spread across the globe. Do you think I can get someone to send me to Sweden to check them out? For science?
Admittedly, it’s been more than a decade since I stepped up to the counter at the fast food chain and ordered a Happy Meal with a straight face. I had been under the impression that the signature boxes had long ago become paper sacks with word games on them, but the red boxes with golden arches I remember from my childhood are definitely making a comeback. They have been popping up in photos of my nieces and I see kids carrying them on the street again. Apparently you can even get the kid-sized meal with healthy options now, like apple slices in place of fries. This VR goggle project is just another way that McDonald’s is trying to stay relevant in 2016 as parents and community leaders focus more and more on healthy eating.
According to AdWeek, the glasses, which you can construct from a folded box, will cost about $4 and are comparable to Google Cardboard. They will only be available in a handful of test stores — there are only about 3,500 boxes to be shared across 14 stores — for the two weeks between March 5th and March 12th. The promotion takes place during Sportlov, a local celebration that centers around skiing. The goggles pair with a game you can download on your phone that is reminiscent of certain courses in Mario Kart. And they’ll probably smell like french fries!
I guess I won’t shell out to go to Sweden for my own pair, but I’m very hopeful they will make their way here so that I can both play with a new toy and have an excuse to grab a cheeseburger. What do you think of the recent cropping up of affordable VR options? Tell us in the comments below!