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|Fast Food? Sounds like something Sonic already!
With how popular Sonic was at different times, it's not surprising he had several Fast Food tie-ins. Places like Burger King, McDonalds and even Jack In The Box featured Sonic toys for free in their kids meals. These had various degrees of quality and collectability. The early ones were just mini action toys that shook, rolled or flew. Later on, it switched to mini LCD games, which were actually pretty neat.
However, since the items were freebie give-aways, they were thrown out a lot, and also not too memorable from exactly which restauraunt they came...The best way to grab these is to go onto Ebay as SOON as a promotion appears in an eatery. Try to buy all of them on one lot. These do not last well, and you'll pay more later on if you don't.
|Jack in The Box is a Fast Food chain in the USA, although it is not everywhere in the US. It tends to be toward the western side. They had a "Jacks Kids Meal" promotion with Sega PC, and included some general famous Sega toys. So BUG! got in, along with Ecco the Dolphin. Sonic is a "Rolling Racer" and Knuckles is a mysterious "action figure" but what does he do? Answer: Nothing! It is basically just a statue. Thanks to Cornboy for the detail info on this item.
Also released were actual games you could buy for the PC through the promotion. (game disks are uncommon)
|Here is a close-up of the rolling racer. It is a "pullback n' go" format toy. The graphic is one of those stickers that is unfortunatly easy to peel off. (so be sure to check before you buy one) The sticker may look lenticular, but it is not. Thanks to Cornboy for the detail info on this item.
As you can see, the knuckles does not appear jointed at all, and who painted the eyes? He looks like a zombie...
|Here's the actual game you got, if you bought their promotional item. "The games sold for $1.99 if you bought a kids meal and I *think* $5.99 if you bought them individually" They came in a paperboard sleeve, and were released around 1999/2000. (Which explains 3D blast, by this point, Sega didn't mind 'giving it away' as SA1 was set to blow it away. Game info and photos provided by Darxide.|
|The game looks like an exact copy of the original, except with the JIB logo.|
|McDonalds did several Sonic Happy Meal promotions. Sonic 3 was their first. It included 4 toys that each did something different. (Gear needs a picture of the Knuckles one) Later, they switched to much more successful LCD games, and even went International.|
|Tails is a Pull -n- go helicopter. Fit the white thing to the base, pull the cord, and it spins his helicopter-ring tails. This one breaks easily. If you're going to buy make sure that you're getting a working one.|
|Here is Robotnik. You wind up his Egg-O-Matic, and it rolls along. There is a bead in the front that won't let him fall off edges. This is notorious for not working very well. Note the use of Eggman stock art that does not match the toy.|
|The Sonic is a rolling toy, which pops off the base when you push the button. It is spring-loaded, and the base is meant to look like flames. The actual Sonic is somewhat goofy looking.|
|Knuckles is a simple rolling toy. When you push his cloud along, he twirls in the center. No one's sure why though, as he didn't really twirl in any of the games, but oh well, at least he works well.||This is the poster used in stores to announce the toys. The art is surpisingly accurate to the toys themselves (meaning it doesn't look very great) but it does manage to help the Tails try to look normal.|
|This yellow rubber ball is the "Under 3" toy from this set. If you have really little kids they eat everything. This ball is sized so they can't eat it, but you can still collect it! Since it doesn't look as interesting as the other toys, and you actually had to ASK to get it, it isn't as common. Info by JSL
This is what it looked like in the bag, which says "Ball" on it in the star where the others had the character's name. Right side photo credit: wavelflack
|This next batch of photos highlights a great release of LCD Sonic Themed Games at McDonalds. They came in many interesting shapes and sizes, with different stickers and types of plastic used. The games are simple affairs, with little themes like 'catch' and 'stop'. This promo was great because see how the bags are dark? It meant the game you could recieve could be a special SILVER game, which meant you won a cash prize of some sort.|
|Here you can see the approximate size of the games, with their bags. It was a really good quality for them to include the interesting clear-orange Tails game. As you can see, some of the games have flip-up lids for some reason.
Credit for finding the offiicial descriptions (which are in quotes) goes to CornBoy.
Check out the European versions (alternate) of these Sonic Happy Meal games.
|"Tails Sky Adventure: Players move from side to side to blast spaceships from Dr. Eggman's mother ship."
This neat little game has see-through plastic, and a lid with Tails' 'tail' symbol pressed into it. The interior has a sticker of him with the Tornado. You can use the buttons to shoot and go side to side. The enemies go faster as you level along.
|"Shadow Hockey: Players can maneuver Shadow past Omega robots to block shots on goal. However, the more you play, the more robots appear."
Shadow's game is rather mysterious (he has never played hockey, and I don't think the robots did either but...) The ambiguous description means it is shadow trying to score goals, and the robots are blocking you. You can move back and forth, but not pass.
|"Big Fishing: Players are challenged to help Big The Cat catch as many fish as possible by raising and lowering the lure and reeling in the catch."
As you can see in the photo, Big is stationary, and you move his line up and down to try and get fish as they swim past. If you look carefully at the photo, you can see that the buttons are textured. This is a cute touch for such a give-away item.
|"Amy & Rouge Volleyball: Players are challenged to move Amy from side to side to return Rouge's serves and volleys."
This is the only game where you're not really fighting an enemy, but rather a fellow good-guy. You just move Amy back and forth to try and hit the balls Rouge serves faster and faster. This game is tricky because you have to push the volley-ball shaped button at just the right time to make Amy hit, and with the iffy screen, it can be a pest.
|Here's another 'stray game' which is included just because it's by SonicTeam. (When shut, it looks like a speckled egg with raised spots. The buttons are also textured eggs) "Billy's Giant Egg: Players are challenged to collect fruit to feed the egg. Once the egg hatches, players move on to the next level."|
|"Cream Flower Catch: Players are challenged to catch as many flowers as possible."
This charming looking game is flower shaped, and you can see a stamp of Cheese the Chao on the lid, as a great added touch. The inside has a sticker of Cream and Cheese. As you can see, the pink tree will rain various flowers down, and you move Cream side to side as they fall faster. By the end, you're pretty much running on luck to not miss too many.
|"Knuckles Treasures Hunt: Players must maneuver Knuckles through the building, timing jumps and collecting gemstones along the way."
Notice that the buttons are faceted too! Knuckles doesn't really 'jump' in the game so much as switch from edge to platform. The platforms go up one side, and down the other. Going off the screen makes you lose, and emeralds will appear on various sides on different levels.
|"Sonic The Hedgehog Extreme Boarding: Players are challenged to move Sonic from side to side through a half-pipe collecting rings, while dodging thorny balls."
Sonic presents us with another mystery activity as he has never skateboarded before, but decides to here. This game is a rehash of the famous Sonic 2 halfpipe, and works exactly the same way, with the buttons moving left and right. Of course, the "Thorny Balls" are the spiked mines...but with an unfortunate rename.
|Of course, you would like to see the winning game, wouldn't you?
This is sure to be EXTREMELY rare. There may have only been 1 or 2 ever made due to the prize. Here, you can gaze at it in all its fake chrome electoplate glory! The winning game turned out to be this interestingly textured version of Shadow Hockey. Here, its turned on, so you can even see the sprites. The photo is from McDonalds, but discovered by CornBoy.
|This is a McDonalds' window cling. It's made of a sticky sort of plastic and is made to be pressed onto the window of the fast food restaurant. This one is quite large, measuring 127 by 42. After the promotions, sometimes fans can obtain these interesting items. (Much like cardboard standees, when the game promo is over) The 'catch me!' at the top is to advertise you can catch Sonic toys in the happy meals. Photo supplied by Final Apocalypse.|
|This poster announces the special promo "Search for the Silver Game" (which can be seen above) The fine print at the bottom is likely the rules/details for finding the game. This poster appeared to promote the Sonic Meal toys in 2004. It measures 12x33 inches, and was made for display outside. Photo provided by: Andrew C. Markey|
|This box is an interesting find. It was mostly assumed that the above games came in the blue bags, but were those bags originally in nice boxes like this? The box is pretty classy, with nice character renders, and floral (matching) top with solid bottom. It would make a nice display in a collection, along with the game it contained. Discovered by SonicBoy19|
|Remember the Jack in the Box Sega promotion from the top of this page? Well here's a photo of the meal bag that went with the promo. Since it's just a paper sack that had fast food in it, almost no one ever kept them, so this is interesting to see. The bag has a "Sonic bustin' thru" effect with rings going all over. But look at that super strange looking Knuckles! Ecco the Dolphin & BUG! are also peeking around in the background. Inside, you'd find that little card (not a pamphlet) that explained the other toys.|
|The bag is all checkered at the bottom (seen on sides) The 2 toys are profiled elsewhere on Sonic Fast Food. The sides of the bag had "kiddie games" activities to do. Sonic looks at a pile of rings (how many?) & if you connect the dots you obviously get BUG!. The other side has more super odd looking Knuckles (That art is rather mutant) , with Sonic in a maze race to a ring in the center. It's very interesting to see everything that went with this fast food promo. Photo discovered by MrCalistine|