So, this one is kind of weird. Beginning November 27th and running through December 23rd (really? Why not just carry it through Christmas?) in the United States and Canada is a McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion featuring Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
The pocket monsters featured in this promotion are Pikachu, Wobbuffet, Rayquaza, Lugia, Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Mega Latios, and Hoopa. In addition to the toys, each of which do Ronald-only-knows what, you’ll also receive one of 12 Pokémon Trading Card Game cards. In case you weren’t counting, that means there are more cards than toys, so there will undoubtedly be repeat visits to either McDonald’s or eBay for the diehard fans.
Personally, I’d take my chances in the restaurant. Many sell the toys à la carte, though they tend to cost more now than they used to. Barring that, there are still some tasty options to help fill out a meal. Well, in Canada, anyway — here, you can get a grilled chicken snack wrap or a grilled cheese sandwich (which is surprisingly good). No idea why these options aren’t on the U.S. menu.
I digress, though. According to GameSpot, per the video above, Pokémon players can bring their copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire or Pokémon X/Y on a Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo 2DS to McDonald’s and connect to the Nintendo Zone via wifi in order to download Hoopa into the game. Not every McDonald’s has Nintendo Zone access, though, so you’ll want to check here to find if there’s a location near you that does before making the trip, if Hoopa is your impetus.
It’s kind of odd that they’re doing this for a game that came out a year ago instead of the brand-new gotta-push-it Yo-kai Watch instead (which I personally would have preferred, but then, I’m not the target audience). I’m guessing it’s more about tying into all the Hoopa hoopla, and they’ll come back to Yo-kai Watch after it’s had time to gain more traction… though wouldn’t this be the way to help it gain traction? I don’t know.
One other neat thing about this promotion? It is the promotion for this period — unlike a year and a half ago, there is no arbitrary gender division here, with Pokemon going to the boys and something pink for the girls as in the past. Pokémon appeals to everyone, and now it seems like it’s being marketed as such. I feel like that’s more of a win for the brand and the consumer.
David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.