It’s fairly common for fast food restaurants to offer toys with their kids’ meals to appeal to children. Burger King started selling kids’ meals in 1990, and the meal included an entree, side, drink, and most importantly, a toy. Similarly to McDonald’s Happy Meals toys, some of them were loved by kids and even worth some money today, but some other ones were not so great. These are the Top 10 Worst Burger King Toys.
10. WWE Plushies
World Wrestling Entertainment, commonly known at the WWE, is the largest wrestling promotion in the world and is watched by over 30 million people. It’s also fairly popular among kids so it’s no surprise that Burger decided to capitalize on it when it released its line of WWE toys in 2010. The set contained 3 different plush toys of famous WWE wrestlers. One was John Cena, one was Undertaker, and the last was Triple H. They stood about 6 inches tall and each of them made a different sound when their chest was squished. The John Cena plushie said his catchphrase “You can’t see me!”, Triple H said his catchphrase “I am the game” and Undertaker’s plushie played his theme music. This all sounds pretty fun for a kid interested in WWE to play with, but it was the look of the plushies that give them their spot on this list. Combining the toughness of buff WWE wrestlers with the softness of a plush doll made them look off putting to say the least. The plushies strange body proportions and facial expressions honestly make them a little scary, and it’s hard to imagine any kids wanted to look at that. If this design had been better, these could have been some great toys because of the speech aspect involved, but their looks alone really overpowered that feature.
9. Beetlejuice Figures
Beetlejuice is a classic Tim Burton film released in 1988 about a couple who has recently died and returned as ghosts to haunt the owners of their old home. The film was quite popular among some children, but even though the film is technically a comedy, some others found it pretty horrifying. Burger King kept with the horror nature of the film when they released a Beetlejuice line of toys in 1990, one of the first in the restaurant’s toy collection. The line consisted of 6 different plastic figures, but more like 12 because each figure had a different character on both sides of it. These would have been great for kids who enjoyed the movie, but for those who were scared, it would have been double the horror. Similarly to the WWE plushies, these toys were slightly terrifying, although I guess they were supposed to be. The figures, especially the ones of Beetlejuice were pretty creepy. On the back of the figure of Lydia, the daughter of the new family in the deceased couple’s house, is Beetlejuice standing upside down on his head with an unnerving grin, and another one features his face in the middle of a big spider. Although these toys must have been great for horror loving kids, they would have caused nightmares in some others.
8. Twilight Toys
The 2008 movie Twilight based on the Stephanie Meyer book series was massively popular during the time of its release, especially among kids and teenagers. This particular entry on our list concerns the third film in the franchise, Eclipse, released in 2010. The same year Burger King released a line of 8 Twilight toys, 4 targeted towards girls, and 4 to boys. Twilight is an objectively bad series in the first place, and these toys were no better. The girls side of the set consisted of a picture banner showcasing Bella, Edward, and Jacob, a mini tote bag, a charm bracelet, and a holographic crest ring of Edward face. The boys half of the toy line consisted of backpack clip with a picture of Jacob on it, a footbag with the Cullen family crest on it, a wristband that glows under UV light, and a wallet containing photos of the characters inside of it. All of this sounds pretty great to a Twilight fan, but in reality all of the toys were pretty cheaply made in true fast food kids meal toy fashion, and some of the toys, like the Edward holographic cres ring, were not the most entertaining. And for kids who had no interest in Twilight whatsoever, these toys were completely useless. For both fans, and non-fans alike, these were not some of the best toys Burger King has put out.
Furbies were first released in 1998, and were a hit among kids across the nation. These furry little creatures were great to play with because they had the special feature of speaking to you. They start off by speaking their own Furby language, but after a while they’re able to “learn” English. While the Furby was extremely popular, some kids and parents did find them extremely creepy due to their strange looks and their perceived ability to listen to one’s conversations in order to pick up on human languages. In 1999, the National Security Agency of the United States even had to start an investigation into the toy’s potential threats to privacy and safety. In 2005, Burger King released a line of the controversial toy. There were around 100 different variations of them released, but they just weren’t the same as the real thing. Of course we can’t expect a toy in a kids’ meal to be the highest quality of things, but there is just something unnerving about receiving a plastic Furby when you know they’re supposed to be cute and fluffy. The toys were able to move their ears when you pushed a button on their back, but that’s pretty much all they could do, making them not the most exciting to play with. The original Furby was pretty creepy to begin with, but by taking away the only redeeming factor of its slightly scary design, just makes the toy even less appealing.
6. Backstreet Boys Cyber Crusaders
The Backstreet Boys were one of the most popular boy bands of the 90s, and they’re pretty well known to this day. And when one earns a lot of success, sometimes some pretty weird marketing decisions are made to capitalize on the fame. In 2000, member of the group, Nick Carter, spoke to legendary comic book writer, Stan Lee, and two agreed to collaborate on a project. Out of this agreement came the Backstreet Project, a comic book featuring the members of the Backstreet Boys as a group of superheroes called the Cyber Crusaders who obtained superpowers after wearing amulets given to them by an alien. The same year the book was released, Burger King released a line of Cyber Crusaders action figures. The toys themselves didn’t actually look that bad when it came to design, but it’s the context behind them that puts them on this list. Even though it was originally supposed to have six issues released, Backstreet Project actually only ever released one issue, and it was largely forgotten about everyone pretty soon after its release. These toys serve as a painful reminder of the weirdness of early 2000s marketing, and it’s pretty possible that kids at the time of their release didn’t even know what they were receiving with their meal.
5. Pocahontas Finger Puppets
The animated Disney film Pocahontas was released in 1995, and was extremely popular among children at the time. So like for many other popular movies, Burger King hopped on and decided to release a set of toys based on it. This set of toys consisted of 6 different 3 inch tall pieces but they weren’t as exciting as they could have been. The Pocahontas toys were simple finger puppets, with a little twist. The characters are hidden in various objects at first, but when you put your finger into the puppet the character emerges and you can see them fully. The set consisted of 6 different finger puppets each of a different character. There was Pocahontas in a sunflower type of contraption, John Smith hiding in a rock, Meeko in a log, Governor Ratcliffe in a little house, Ratcliffe’s dog, Percy, inside a lavish cushion, and Flit the hummingbird inside a tree trunk. These kinds of toys make good collectables, but what kid really wants to play with finger puppets. Even with the added feature of the characters popping out of objects when you put your finger in, this toy is just not the most exciting. Fast food toys never have the highest of budgets, but with these Pocahontas finger puppets, it really shows.
4. Shrek 2
Everyone’s seen the classic DreamWorks animated film Shrek. You’ve probably also seen one or all of its many sequels. It’s hard for a sequel to be better than the original, and you could definitely say the same about the set of toys that Burger King released for the promotion of Shrek 2 in 2004. Burger King had already released a line of toys for the first Shrek movie in 2001, and the toys were pretty decent. The second round of Shrek toys however, were not as great. While the first set of toys consisted of 9 keychains that were actually useable, the toys for Shrek 2 were 8 different types of toys, none of which were particularly interesting. The set contained a Bug Snack Shrek, a little Tamagotchi style handheld video game where you press a left and right button to get Shrek to catch and eat bugs with his mouth. This could be fun for a few minutes, but it’s way too repetitive to keep a child entertained for long. There was a slightly terrifying donkey head that opened its mouth to reveal a clock, a pretty unnecessary way to tell the time. Next were a storybook that opened to store a tiny, tiny possession, and a Puss in Boots whose eyes reflected light that touched them. And finally there was a Talking Gingerbread Man, dancing Fiona, a Pinocchio lie detector, and a Jailbreak Shrek.
3. Angry Birds
If you were a kid or had a kid growing up in the early 2010s, you’ve definitely played or at least heard of the app Angry Birds. It was first released on the app store in 2009 and got pretty popular quite fast, and since then there’s been a number of spinoffs created. In 2016 an Angry Birds movie was released. The film did fairly well in the box office, but there were mixed reviews, a lot on the more negative side. To promote the film, Burger King released a line of Angry Birds inspired toys in 2017. This set consisted of 6 different plastic figures, each of a different character in the game and movie whose wings spin around to imitate a flying motion when you spin a lever in the back of the birds. The 6 birds figures included Red Angry Bird, Matilda, Mighty Eagle, Chuck, Bomb, and the Three Blues. These plastic figures are pretty underwhelming though, as any kid purchasing them would probably rather they were playing the video game instead. And on top of that, Angry Birds had been a dying franchise recently. Seriously, ask yourself when the last time you saw someone playing the game was. So both the Angry Birds movie and its slightly boring accompanied toys were pretty unnecessary.
Teletubbies was a British kids show that aired between 1997 and 2001 in over 100 countries, allowing millions of kids to witness the horror that was this children’s program. It may not have been scary as a kid, but looking back on it, those meadow dwelling aliens were pretty creepy with their sentient vacuum and laughing baby faced sun that rose every morning. The show was just kind of strange overall, these television tummied characters are just plain unnerving. But in 1999, Burger King hopped on to the Teletubbies bandwagon and released a set of plushies with clips on them to promote the show. The set had 7 different pieces including the four Teletubbies, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Lala, and Po, along with a bunny, their vacuum The Noo-Noo, and a Tubby Toast. The toys themselves weren’t even that bad, they seemed like good enough quality for a fast food kids meal toy at least, and the clips on them allowed them to be used to decorate bags or whatever else the kid wanted them on. But the show is definitely aimed towards the youngest of kids, and any kid over the age of 5 would probably rather have anything but these colourful aliens in their meal. So this and the overall creepy factor of the characters themselves place this toy on our list.
1. Pokémon Toys Recall
The first Pokemon video game was released in 1995, and has since grown into a major franchise, spawning trading cards, movies, TV shows, toys, and more. In 1999, Burger King took advantage of the franchise’s popularity and released a Pokemon set of toys consisting of 57 different Pokemons, each in its own Poke Balls. This sounds like a great toy for any Pokemon fan, and it’s especially great for collectors, and the restaurant was supposed to sell around 25 million of the toys. However, disaster soon struck, and the toys were forced to be recalled. On December 11, 1999, a 13 month old baby suffocated and died when a Poke Ball from the toy collection got stuck on her face, blocking her nose and mouth and creating an airtight seal. An investigation was put in place, and it was concluded that the toy had been following all safety regulations and that it would not be considered the cause of the girl’s death. But 10 days later, an 18 month old girl began to suffocate when a Burger King Poke Ball got stuck on her face, but luckily for her it was removed before any serious damage could be made. 9 days later, the restaurant finally decided it was time to recall the toys, because they were simply too dangerous for young children to be around. And even after the recall had began, a 4 month old died after suffocating on a Poke Ball from the restaurant. This was the last death associated with the toy, but it was 3 deaths too man and hopefully there won’t be any more tragedies associated with Burger King toys in the future.