October 2 2015
You've heard about the promotion for months on end. It is, after all, the biggest one of it's kind, a promotion Burger King has spent a whopping $22 million dollars on. What on Earth could cause such a stir? What else but Pokemon? With the movie hitting in two days, the craze is at an all-time high, and that was certainly evident when I trekked to the Local Burger King to lay hands on some Pokemon Alpha Sapphire toys.
Let me preface my story by saying I'm a vegetarian. I've been one for about two and a half years now. In my youthful days, I may have enjoyed the greasy fast food goodness, but I'm attuned to healthier living these days, and there ain't a friggin' thing at the Burger King 'ol Vinnie will eat. That being said, let me also say that I'm a devoted Disney-fanatic, and I've swung through the Burger King Drive-Thru about a gazillion times to retrieve Disney toys-which BK has carried for so many countless promotions -- bought the toy (without making a food purchase), and then went on my merry way. So I figured today would be no different. Just swing through the Drive-Thru, grab the toy, and voila! Alas, the evil Burger King conglomerate had other plans for me today...
As you might suspect, the Drive-Thru was jam-packed with parents and kids who were also in search of Pokemon toys. In fact, the line for the Drive-Thru (a good 30 plus cars long) ran out into the street and down the block. No problem. Just park the car and rush inside -- where almost the same number of parents and kids are waiting in line to order. After about ten minutes, it's finally my turn to order.
"Two Pokemon toys please." I asked kindly. "What kind of meal?" "No meal," I responded, "I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat here. I just came for the toys." "I'm sorry," the lady gruffly replied, "we have to sell the toy with a meal."
Of course, I was thinking, "Well you didn't give me this kind of grief the last time I was here and got a Disney toy. Then you didn't seem to give a damn how many toys I bought, much less if I ordered food with it." I quickly repeated this aloud.
"I'm sorry, sir, we have to sell the toy with a meal." "OK. So give me two damn kids' meals." "What kind of meal?" So now I was really aggravated, "Whatever the cheapest one is. I don't care. Just give me two of them." So I got my order, gave the food away, and headed back to the office with two toys. Cost? Five frickin' dollars!!
The promotion, which started today, runs until January 2. BK is giving away Pokemon toys for 57 days. (There are 57 Pokemon toys in all.) So smart kids will want to visit their local BK about every day to ensure they collect them all. BK will even have Trading Nights (on Tuesdays), when collectors can come in and trade toys with other Pokeman Alpha Sapphire rom. The toys themselves are pretty cool and range from spinning tops to action figures. Each one comes packaged in a Pokeball, with a trading card.
Without a doubt, this will be the hottest fast food promotion in history. In fact, while researching this story, we called a store in downtown San Francisco. They told us they had a 20-30% increase in business. While we were on the phone with the store, we also bitched about having to buy food with the toy and were told, "It's strictly up to the manager to make that decision, but as a policy, we're in the food business, not in the toy business." Point noted, but you didn't have this policy when you were running the last Disney promotion.
At any rate, it looks like we'll be spending a lot of our time at the Burger King, and so will everyone else and his brother. Our advice? Get there before the lunch hour to ensure you get the best toys. And be hungry, 'cause you'll have to eat the food