Ronaldo McDonald

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published Sept. 28, 2007, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

The men's World Cup was last year, the women's World Cup is going on now, but if simplicity is what gives one unbound ecstasy, then one should know the McDonald's World Cup could not be more simple unless it was made of paper and filled with a beverage.

Part of being a sponsor for the FIFA World Cup requires marketing the event. And since McDonald's target audience is a species of swine known to walk on their hind legs, a game like soccer is not as appealing as . . . por ejemplo . . . a large McMilkshake. 

So when McDonald's decided to give away a miniature foosball game in Happy Meals during the 2002 World Cup, they made sure that the only four "soccer" players involved were Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Hamburglar and Birdie the Early Bird.

The game was divided up into four pieces, each of which snapped together to create the playing field. There were also stickers of World Cup onlookers, who will forever be staring at a two-on-two soccer game.

Unfortunately, the "playing field" is referred to only as a "pitch," due to the toys only being included in United Kingdom Happy Meals, thus requiring me to attain the pieces through an underground, black market or use eBay instead.

Ronald and Grimace teamed up to create the most lethal sporting combination to junk food since David Wells and Hideki Irabu.

Hamburglar and Birdie were their opponents, though this was not the first World Cup that featured a participant who had their hair in pigtails.

The players came with a foosball handle, giving the controller the option of making Grimace do flips that would have made Ozzie Smith look handicap. Each of the players also came with a miniature, plastic World Cup ball, which were used to create confusion when there were four balls at play simultaneously.

When I was of a young enough age to play games at Chuck E. Cheese or Showbiz Pizza that didn't cause pandemonium amongst parents, I often was fond of attempting to play foosball by myself.

Without putting in a token, I would stand and grab handles of the game with both hands, pretending I was a defensive stalwart. Showbiz only offered a hockey game, so rather than making the players do flips with my controllers, I caused them to do pirouettes so fast, the Tasmanian Devil would have barfed.

The McDonald's game, however, is small enough to be able to control all of the players at one time, assuming one has four hands. This is a vast improvement over a typical foosball table, which has so many players, even an octopus cannot play alone.

As is often the case when life and Happy Meal toys are involved, one feels inclined to imitate the other. So, naturally, who scored both goals in Brazil's victory 2-0 over France in the 2002 final match? Brazil's Ronaldo, who is quickly becoming a part of McDonald's target audience.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

1 comment:

  1. Most consumers who are looking for a beginning level table are quite happy with their Mr. Foosball purchase. One of the biggest complaints about this table is that it is only ideal for children to play with. There were also no complaints about the parts being damaged during shipping.


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