New Twist on a Old Idea

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Everything old is new again…with a twist.

Remember the View Master — the very popular 3D viewer that had a binocular red plastic receiver that held disks containing slides of popular places? Every vacationer had to buy them along with souvenir post cards to augment their Brownie camera photos of the holiday wonderland visited. That may have faded, but guess what, it is returning as a Happy Meal!

They are called Happy Goggles and it involves re-engineering the basic Happy Meal box to reconfigure into a View Master of sorts. Granted, some former NASA scientists had to have been involved in the undertaking, but it is very clever, despite hoards of child psychologists and dietary experts condemning the marketing ploy.

McDonald’s is not the first company to take advantage of VR to market to kids. Late last year, Mattel decided to rejuvenate the View-Master brand for a new generation. But perhaps anticipating blowback, the fast-food giant says child psychologists Karl Eder and Fadi Lahdo “have evaluated Happy Goggles and also presented a recommendation on how they should be used,” concluding that “the gaming can be a good joint activity that makes it easier to hang out.”

Such assertions likely won’t make Happy Goggles palatable for the chain’s critics. As with every kid-related McDonald’s promotion, the tricked-out Happy Meal boxes will surely have some detractors, primarily envious competitors, seeing red.

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