Possibly being the only air-breathing mammal over 12 years of age who has a fondness for both the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and for collecting kids meal toys, I can only hope that anyone who spots me with said toys from Burger King's 2015 NCAA Basketball promotion will not confuse me with a cat playing with a ball of yarn.
After having sponsored the NCAA Tournament in 2014, Burger King expanded their 2015 sponsorship to appeal to young basketball fans and 30-something-year-old fans who are too embarrassed to buy toys in a restaurant and have to resort to ordering a complete set off eBay.
Burger King produced six toys in the set, all of which include a plastic, 2-inch, NCAA-labeled basketball, which are not conducive to dribbling.
Basketballs include a blue basketball spinning top, a blue basketball flashlight, a red basketball puzzle, a red basketball windup walker, an orange basketball with a miniature hoop and ball inside and an orange basketball that spins on top of an orange finger. Please note these are not the official product descriptions, as I would rather not receive a court summons from the NCAA due to plagiarism.
All of the toys come with an NCAA-labeled strip of gold paper, which can be folded to create a basketball stand or a miniature water bowl with no bottom.
My favorite toys from the set are the spinning basketball and finger (which I have been wearing around the house, only taking it off to shower and wash dishes) and the one with the miniature hoop and ball inside, the latter providing a week's worth of frustration crammed into a few minutes, until I am able to get the pea-sized ball through the slightly larger than pea-sized hoop.
I am also fond of the windup walking basketball, as it has blue feet, a rarity in nature. It comes with a paper cutout of a hoop, forever taunting its owner, as it can only stand on top of the hoop, rather than actually going through the hoop for two points. I'm not aware of any eyes, ears, nose or mouth on the ball, implying the ball has no ability to see, hear, smell or taste. But it does have the capability of walking, which is, unfortunately, a rules violation in basketball.
While the flashlight basketball may seem unusual at first, it may turn out to be the most useful of the set, especially if I am ever stranded at night somewhere. (This is assuming I decide to carry the fast food prize in my glove compartment to use as a tool in case of an emergency.) Others may have more powerful flashlights, but no one will be able to claim a more stylish one than mine.
The only way this set could be any better is if Burger King chose to promote it. I discovered it when I saw the toys online, whereas a television commercial featuring two kids playing with said toys around strategically placed burgers and chicken nuggets may have been a more prudent technique of propaganda.
Considering that since 1998 (when Taco Bell had a Final Four promotion), there has been only one other NCAA-themed kids meal (KFC in 2001), the odds are not good for Burger King or any other fast food chain returning next year with a new set of toys.
So I suggest running to the nearest Burger King and purchasing a full set of the toys. Run there, but walk out. The little red walking basketball can only go so fast.
Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of MyBriefs.com, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.