McDonald’s in Stockholm

What is the fascination with McDonald’s for children?  Growing up in the states, I always assumed it was because they had playgrounds and funny characters.  However, in Stockholm, it is rare to find a playground in a McDonald’s (maybe out in the outskirts on the highway) and they don’t seem to use the characters.  My kids have no idea who the Hamburglar, Grimace, etc. are.  They have also never in their lives seen a commercial for McDonald’s.  So what is the draw?  They are fascinated with it and it’s their favorite place to go.  Apparently, it’s only for the plastic toy in the Happy Meal that they never play with 5 minutes outside of the restaurant.

I gave my kids a choice of two burger restaurants the other day and it was fun to listen to their decision-making process:

Kid 1: Mc Donald’s has toys.

Kid 2: The other place has a play center.

They were actually completely even on this and let a third friend make the decision.

Another idea –  it seems to be that if you want to solve the obesity problem in the U.S., you should just give away toys with meals at nutritional places.

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