Minion Madness in Malaysia and the good deeds of The Happiest Meal

I watched Despicable Me 2 last week. It was a good movie, sequel to the highly popular Despicable Me starring Steve Carell with his cute army of minions. The world fell in love with the Minions, cute and silly with slapstick behaviour, speaking in their own “Minion” language.

This video of the Minion Banana Song was shared all over the world, advertising as a teaser to the new Despicable Me 2 movie:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCkerYMffMo

 

Malaysian’s Minion Craze

With the world completely besotted with the Minions, McDonald’s Malaysia created their Minion Madness promotion where a Minion toy is included in their Happy Meals with collectible Minion toys, released several Minion Toys a week from 4 July until 31 July 2013.

McDonald's Malaysia - Minion Toys
McDonad’s Malaysia Minion Toys with Happy Meal (Credit : McDonald’s Malaysia Facebook Page)

No doubt these Minion toys are cute and can be a very good collectible collection for a lot of kids and adults alike.

Minion Toys from McDonald’s (Credit: McDonald’s Minion Madness Flickr Album)

What McDonald’s didn’t anticipate is how crazy Malaysians would get to get their hands on collecting all of these toys. From when the campaign started early this July, people were flocking over to their neighbourhood McDonald’s to buy all the Happy Meal they can get just to have these toys.

Crazy queues all over Malaysia for McDonald's Minion toys (Credit: Planet Popcorn Malaysia FB Page)
Crazy queues all over Malaysia for McDonald’s Minion toys (Credit: Planet Popcorn Malaysia FB Page)
McDonald's Malaysia Minion Craze
More crazy queues (Credit : PassionTab FB Page)
Some 24 hours outlet starts selling at midnight. (Credit : MSN Malaysia)
More queues for McDonald's Malaysia Minion
More queues (Credit: Wayne Hew FB)

As if this (civilised) queue wasn’t crazy enough, there were reports of unorthodox behaviours of fanatics yelling at McDonald’s staff, people purchasing as many meals & toys as they can for the black market and more.

Minion Madness in Malaysia
Minion Madness in Malaysia (Credit: PassionTab FB Page)

Check out PassionTab’s videos of the madness when the queue storms in to a McD branch here.

With the obsession for some to complete the collection, there are of course those opportunist selling auctioning the toys on ebay for crazy amounts to the highest bidder.

McDonald's Malaysia Minion Toy for RM380 million?
RM380 million (approx USD$1 million) for a few plastic toy? (Credit: Lipstiq.com)

There were reports of the toy selling for RM380 million here, which I don’t believe is real. Numerous reported that there’s a highest bid of RM 5,050 on ebay, which link is now down.

Minion ebay listing (as of 21 Jul 2013)
Minion ebay listing (as of 21 Jul 2013)
Highest McDonald's Malaysia Minion toy eBay bid
Highest McDonald’s Malaysia Minion toy eBay bid at RM1500 on 21 July 2013

My last search on ebay returned a number of results, with the highest bid for the Minion toys at RM 1,500 and other listing between RM 50 to RM 400 for a plastic toy from a Happy Meal worth RM 7.95 onwards.

This was not the first time such craze happens with McDonald’s collectibles. Just last month, Singaporeans were equally crazy about the McDonald’s Singapore Hello Kitty collectible. It got so rowdy that the police were on site to control the crowd!

There were even reports that people who were buying the Happy Meals just for the toy was seen throwing the perfectly good and untouched Happy Meal in the trash. Now, this is truly “DESPICABLE” indeed! Why would you waste food (and money) like this?

As for this Minion Madness in Malaysia, I feel that McDonald’s Malaysia should’ve done something to mitigate the madness. Instead, this was the only statement they released on their website and Facebook Page.

McDonald's Malaysia Minion Madness Statement
McDonald’s Malaysia Minion Madness Statement

Their message : Limit to 4 Happy Meals with toy per customer, don’t sell the toys in the black market and don’t waste food.

That is all.

 

The Happiest Meal

Here’s where the guys from The Happiest Meal comes in.

The team from Creative Agency, Creative Juice\Kuala Lumpur was watching all the food wastage of this McDonald’s Malaysia Minion Madness and decided to do something about it. They decided to go around various McDonald’s restaurants in town, with a cardboard sign and a giant donation box, to collect these unwanted Happy Meals for those who’s only buying the meal for the Minion toys.

The Happiest Meal collection team
Collecting the Happy Meal you discard, because you only want the toy (Credit: The Happiest Meal Facebook Page)

And thus, The Happiest Meal was born!

The Happiest Meal - Donation box
The Happiest Meal hand-made donation box (Credit: The Happiest Meal Facebook Page)
The Happiest Meal collection schedule
The Happiest Meal collection schedule (Credit: The Happiest Meal FB Page)

The small team heads over to McDonald’s outlets around town with a sign and a giant hand-made box to collect all the Happy Meal from customers, instead of seeing people throw their Happy Meal away. They managed to collect 170 meals last Thursday alone! Which goes to show how many people are really buying the Happy Meal for the toy, and not the meal PLUS toy for their kids!

The Happiest Meal team gives out Happy Meals to the homeless
The Happiest Meal team gives out Happy Meals to the homeless (Credit: The Happiest Meal FB Page)
The Happiest Meal Orphanage Mission
The Happiest Meal Orphanage Mission (Credit: The Happiest Meal FB Page)

The collected Happy Meals were then given to the needy – from the homeless to orphanages. Now, this is what I call a very good deed!

Well done to VJ Anand, Creative Director of Creative Juice KL and team. They’re now in the midst of trying to work with other groups in Penang and JB to get the whole initiative as a collective nationwide community.

VJ Anand (The Happiest Meal) FB Thanks
Facebook thanks from VJ Anand, Creative Director of Creative Juice KL

Well done, Creative Juice KL and the team of The Happiest Meal!!!

Naturally, a good deed like this doesn’t go unnoticed. The Happiest Meal effort was covered in the news.

The Happiest Meal in China Press
The Happiest Meal in China Press (Credit: The Happiest Meal Facebook Page)
The Happiest Meal in The Star
The Happiest Meal in The Star (Credit: The Happiest Meal Facebook Page)

 

Here are some online articles about The Happiest Meal so far:-

If you want to show your support, do check out and *LIKE* The Happiest Meal Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/TheHappiestMeal

What The Happiest Meal guys have done is truly commendable. It’s such simple act of kindness to avoid food wastage and to put a smile to feed the needy.

FB Post on The Happiest Meal
My FB post on The Happiest Meal

I posted on my Facebook Page showing support for the folks of The Happiest Meal. I noted my disappointment in McDonald’s own charity / non-profit arm, Ronald McDonald House Charities Malaysia, for not doing anything when they know about all the food wastage created by a Marketing campaign from their own restaurants.

All their staff need to do when they serve people who are buying the Happy Meal just for the toy, is to ask the customers if they’re not consuming the meal, if they wouldn’t mind McDonald’s setting them aside to be given to the various charities and homeless. If it’s a matter of resource and budget, a simple phone call to the nearest charity home that they’ve all these meals and someone could come pick them up. How tough is that? Am I right?

The McDonald’s Malaysia Minion Madness campaign will go on til end of the month. Personally, I don’t get the obsession with just a plastic toy. But, if you’re looking at queueing to buy the Happy Meal and don’t want the meal, remember to look out for the guys from The Happiest Meal to donate the food to the needy. Or do it yourself! Do a good deed and give away your food to the homeless.

#firstworldproblems

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