NROP: Do we really need toys? Some people think they are evil.

Think of one thing that brings you the most joy. For the sake of this post, it has to be a material thing. Visualize it now and imagine a perfect day during which you can use this item to be forever happy. Did you do it? I can tell if you are not participating. No cheating allowed. Fine, you can skip this exercise, but only if you find it really hard to think of something that brings you joy.

Once you have this particular thing in mind, picture someone walking up to you and ripping it out of your hands. You are stunned. They pull it away from you and walk away, leaving you lonely on top of a mountain with nothing but sadness.

How did that make you feel? Sad? Angry? Puzzled? Probably a mixture of both. Now, think of how this would affect a kid. You, as an adult, should be capable of processing things and recovering from your setbacks without too big of an impact. However, a child is not an adult. A kid does not understand why life and people are unfair. They do not care to understand. They are young, innocent, and gullible. Do you really want to ruin their sweet ignorance? Do they need to have their childhood be rougher than it is? Are you so bitter about your life that you want them to grow up as soon as possible and have no chance at pure joy and happiness that only a child can experience?

As I sat down to write this post, I realized that I have written quite a few posts about the fast-food companies in recent months. If you have not read it already, make sure you know what to avoid eating at Burger King if you are a vegetarian/vegan. If you believe in equality of moods, check out my article on how Burger King is helping you achieve it.

This is not because I worship them but because they just happen to be in the news a lot lately. Like it or not, they are still significant players in the lives of millions of people every day. This post is about the Big Bad Wolf (McDonald’s and Burger King) coming after our own Little Red Riding Hoods (our kids).

Even though I am all about educating our young ones and preparing them for the real world, I am very much into preserving their childhood. As an adult, I know how adulting can suck the life out of you. We all wish we could go back to being a kid with no worries every now and again. If that is the case, why do we want to drag them into OUR battle?

Two sisters, in the UK, wrote an online petition requesting McDonald’s and Burger King to remove plastic toys from their kids’ meals. Those kids are seven and nine years old and they wrote about how plastic is killing our planet. When you were their age, what was the biggest issue you were concerned with? Mine definitely did not have my macroenvironment in mind. It sounds like someone’s parents wanted five minutes of fame for their kids. It has become a rather sad trend and an ugly marketing ploy.

While Burger King got rid of the toys almost on the spot, McDonald’s did not. They allow the kids to make the decision. They can either get the toy or a bag of fruit or nothing at all, which I think is a great way to leave it up to the consumers. This has been contained to the UK market only, however, I am sure it will cross the Atlantic Ocean soon enough. The one thing that I actually got excited about when I read that article was that starting next year, one will be able to choose to receive a book instead of a toy with their meal. But what is going to happen then? How fast will someone start crying about all the trees used for all these books?

When I first heard about this initiative, I could not believe it. What makes certain causes more important than others? Why do some charities raise more money than others? Why is plastic public enemy number one? What about all the electronics? Last time I checked, those take forever to decompose and no one is trying to get rid of those. In fact, tech companies are trying to have us buy more and more. After two years, your phone gets sluggish and starts freezing. And then you have a tablet, and an e-book reader, and a laptop, and who knows what else. Of course, everyone in your family needs a separate set of all those devices that have the same functions.

What did small kids’ toys ever do to you? There are people coming for your kids’ toys. Will you stand strong and fight them or give in and have to entertain your child somehow else? If only they want back to creating quality toys instead of cheap ones that break after two minutes of playtime, then maybe there would not be as much waste?

What was the main reason for you getting a Happy Meal as a kid?

If you have kids of your own, what do you think your child likes most about Happy Meals?

What do you think about the no plastic initiative?

If it was up to you, what would you put in those Happy Meals in place of toys?

Would you be upset if people came after your most favorite thing? What is it?

Stay golden,



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46 thoughts on “NROP: Do we really need toys? Some people think they are evil.

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  1. My thoughts are, if those toys and/or books keep the kids entertained long enough for everyone to enjoy their meal, then what’s the harm. I particularly like the book idea. But sadly, there are to many people out there “policing” everyone else on everything we do. Instead of taking personal responsibility themselves, they decide to police everyone else. Those two sisters could have easily declined the toys for their own kids, but instead, they chose to ruin it for all the other kids.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve always said when you point the finger at someone else, there are always 3 fingers pointing right back at you. People today are so quick to point fingers at everyone else, but they fail to realize the fingers pointing back at themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m all against the plastic pollution. But, and i do love those buts, why start with the kid’s toys? what about water bottles, plastic bags and plastic containers? I’m one of those people who spend money to see my kids happy – even if that toy is put aside after a few days/weeks, or breaks too fast. I had a great childhood, and i want the same for my kids.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s what I wonder about – who decides what’s the priority we need to focus on. In this day and age, does it depend on who makes a bigger stink about it? Who posts on social media? Whose Tweet goes viral, etc?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Goldie, you triggered an Anger in me.
    Activists are my most favorite People.
    To hit in the face.
    With a Chair.

    I hope those Kids don’t eat at such “Restaurants”. Imagine the irony.

    So now suddenly Children run the world?
    Let’s what Kind of Christmas present they will demand.
    If there is ANYTHING made out of plastic, I will start a Revolution!
    Do Kids even Play with toys These days?

    My favorite material Thing is probably Mike the Tiger.
    And if you touch him, you touch me. And I happen to be quite strong…. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I became scared when I read the first line from your comment. I was worried my post made you angry. (Even though any reaction to my writing is a good reaction. Right?) And then I read the rest of the paragraph and I chuckled. You built the suspense so well.

      That’s the thing – they DO eat at those restaurants, but they think those toys are useless. Interesting. WHy don’y you just order a regular meal like an adult? No toy there.

      Exactly. It’s all so arbitrary. I wonder if they have no plastic at home… I read a snippet about how their mom has nothing to do with it and how they learned all that at school. Again, I wonder if they threw everything “bad” away at home.

      Good point. Everything is now on a tablet. You don’t play with actual toys. You play with toys on a tablet. It’s like going to a museum and not being able to touch things. How fun is that?

      I would never dare to touch Mike. Although, he is probably stuffed with some terrible materials that are highly flammable, therefore it is a fire hazard to your apartment. You should get rid of him. LOL


      1. Hehe, exactly my intention 😉
        But you triggered more than you think. I actually wrote today’s post based on this Topic. I needed to get it out of my system 😉

        Children are both spoiled These days and have a strong will to soak up attention.
        Fine, but if you do that, don’t be too much contra.
        How can two Young girls have changed a huge business’ strategy and I can’t even get my manager to listen to me.
        *crying in adult*

        Mike would like you. Although he is a bit passive.
        Wait, I have been meaning to send you a video of Mike. Check your email!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m humbled to hear that I have inspired a full on post. That’s awesome!

          I totally agree about the spoiling and attention seeking of kids. The world is being turned on its head. Which parents let their kids rule the house? If they do, then they have my blessing, but I refuse to let them rule me, too.

          I got the email. It was absolutely amazing to see it almost first thing in the morning. Thank you 😉


  4. We had to venture out to the Denver airport yesterday to send my 3rd son back to college. Then to my oldest son’s apartment for a visit. His apartment is surrounded by malls. The least of our worries is happy meal toys. It’s a concrete jungle out there. I had one of those “out of body” moments where I could feel the earth breathing under all that has been built upon it.”The world is going to hell in a handbasket!” I declared to my boyfriend. It never ceases to amaze me what ruffles people feathers: a tiny plastic toy………..and the laser focus they will then put into it.
    Hey there crazy moms, why not just stop buying fast food, grow a garden, milk a cow and put up a chicken coop all with recycled items. Get your frantic asses to the land fill and build yourself an empire! Now that would be newsworthy. Put it into perspective people.
    To answer your question I freaking loved happy meals and so did my 4 children. In fact when they were kids I still got a happy meal when it was a toy I liked.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I totally agree with your handbasket statement. It’s really sad to see yet another mall next to a mall.

      If you can, change the world yourself. Don’t take others hostage to get it done for you.

      Happy Meals are fun. Or were, because the toys nowadays don’t seem all that great. And I see no shame in adults getting them. Life is too serious otherwise. We all deserve a bit of lightheartedness.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the idea of a choice, a book, toy or fruit salad. I grew up in Australia and we did not have MacDonalds or Burger King in those days. My Father would take me to children type restaurants which sold good food. Going to the Burger places are not even a choice for me. People should be thinking of quality food not fast food or junk food.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your upbringing definitely has an imact on your choices later in life. I definitely think there is a lot of wisdom in what you are saying in terms of quality of food. Not every kid understands it, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you about children not understanding the difference in quality of food and that is down to the parents. I found this when my son was young his friends did not know what real food was and rarely ate it at home very sad but then parental choices.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the whole bag should be considered a biohazard and banned! Fast food..🤮
    That being said, it seems a far cry on both sides to have a valid argument. GI Joe may not decay for centuries, but also isn’t maiming the wildlife. Plastic bags and straws are, because to a lot of critters those things look like food. Our locale has finally legally banned plastic bags, and even that is slow to be adopted. Like them or not, McDonald’s toys have attained cult status and are far from a problem.
    The toy pollution that I hate is where these little toys cover a whole floor to the point everyone is hurting themselves stepping on them. Now, among the plastic clutter are shelves of books, which our kids genuinely read over and over. There are also handfuls of wooden blocks from the workshop that they play with. It makes me a certain kind of happy to know that the Lego sets get intermingled with the wood blocks. All the branding and marketing in the world doesn’t change how kids play. Leave them outdoors with no toys and see what happens… they’ll have a whole stick and stone village in minutes, and before long there’s a whole movie worth of things happening.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed. There definitely are other things that should be focused on first. I’ve heard on the radio how there are pasta straws in Italy now. I haven’t tried it, but I have used pasta as a mixing tool for my tea and a restaurant. I thought it was genius. It did its job very well.

      When I see the bins and bins of toys some kids have, I cannot help but cringe. When is too much too much? But yes, just shove them outside where there are no electric outlets so they cannot charge their tablets.


  7. Yeah, you can pry my books from my cold dead hands. Some of the McD toys are awesome: I still have a bin of the Tony Hawk toys my son collected some ten plus years ago. Eventually, we are going to have to address things like this. Not only the plastic but the production of the toys. But, I think we can start bigger. And, offering choices is good though I’d pass on the apples. They’re kind of nasty.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was a little surprised that they would replace the toys with fruit. Isn’t there fruit in the Happy Meals already? Would you get two fruits then? Sounds like an overkill and not appealing to many kids at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Have mercy…so much material.

    1. Toys are good for hand/eye coordination.

    2. No. I didn’t do the visualization.

    3. No visualization, no emotions applied.

    4. I don’t want an ignorant child…if I had one.

    5. You can shield them from some things but, in general terms, life can be a bitch.

    6. No bitterness. Reviewing my life as an adult, realizing my parents’ lives, it’s all relative. As I age, it’s getting harder & harder to pass any kind of judgement on them, even without kids of my own.

    7. Many days, I don’t want to adult. I have a hard time speculating on what I would say to a kid. I can say that lying to them “for their own good”, doesn’t help.

    8. At 7 or 9, my concern was…I don’t remember. Uh…can I go outside?

    9. Books instead of toys. That’ll go over well. WHAT book? How to be a transgender child? How to make sure all your classmates are woke? *facepalm*

    10. Causes…the ones showcased by the MSM (yes…please…tell us what to think).

    11. Plastic…because it doesn’t break down in the environment for a gazillion years and it’s indigestible.

    12. Electronics can be broken apart & recycled/reused. Some of the plastic belongs in #11.

    13. Kids toys hurt my feet when I step on them.

    14. Why must all of us be entertained all the time? (rhetorical). Boredom can spark marvelous creativity.

    15. Here’s an idea…bring back the kits that taught them to MAKE their own toys.

    16. Happy Meals didn’t exist when I was a kid. McDonald’s was this place that my parents “rode thru” to chat with the cop on duty while my dad sipped on his mixed drink and I sat in my mom’s lap in our ’72 Charger. I didn’t eat restaurant/fast food until I was a teen in HS in the early 80s.

    17. Plastic is over used.

    18. Crossword puzzles. Here, kid. Learn how to spell “transgenderism”. You are gonna need to know this to be woke.

    19. Damn straight. Don’t touch my Chuck Taylor hi-tops that I’ve had since I was 16…and still wear…and were made in the USA. You WILL be sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How dare you not follow my commands?

      ad. 5. Most definitely life can be a bitch, so I am all about preparing your kid to fight for what’s right. However, leading them to believe that just speaking out about something will get the problem fixed is how I got here in the first place…

      ad. 7. No, lying is definitely not the way to go, but crush their spirits so they can be as miserable as you?

      ad. 8. Precisely, which is why I wonder what the root of all this people being woke at 5 is.

      ad.9. Ha! I haven’t thought of that, but you are absolutely correct. Eeek!

      ad. 12. Technically some electronic parts can be recycled, but are they? There’s a lot of plastic, which brings us back to square one. There’s also glass, which does not decompose real well, either. There’s plenty of other parts that aren’t bio-degradable there.

      ad. 18. Crossword puzzles… do they come with Siri or Google?


      1. I take commands under advisement. Wait? What commands? 🤔

        Back to 5…You can prepare your kid, to a point. When a cousin of mine was about 3/4, his parents kept telling him “don’t touch the stove top…HOT. Will burn you.” Did he take their advice/warning? Nope. Got burned. Nothing like personal experience. Plus, parents can’t be everywhere (tho, they might try). Kids learn the most via parental example. Want your kid to learn kindness? Be kind. Want your kid to learn integrity? Be an honest person. Preparing your kid to fight good fights is a waste of time. What if you raise a kid to think for themselves and they grow up to disagree with you?

        Injustice is worldwide & 1,000s of years old. Pick & choose battles carefully. Sometimes, crusades are a perfect place to hide from one’s own life.

        Back to 7…No kids. As observation, there are a lot of miserable people out there. I would never advocate ruining your kids with your miseries but…it happens. Adults unable to deal wind up raising kids who can’t deal, either.

        Back to 8…um, elite societal manipulation. Same s*** they’ve always been doing.

        Back to 12…Are they actually recycled? IDK. One county over, I drive past a huge building with windows where they ask for old computers to be recycled & they appear to be doing that. I won’t be stopping in and inspecting them anytime soon, tho.

        Glass doesn’t need to decompose. That is one of the easiest to recycle…melt it. For that matter, plastic can be melted and/or burned. Metal can be melted. A BIG problem with recycling is that it is cost, not a revenue.

        Back to 18…a newspaper & a pencil. As it should be…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Why do we insist on “choosing your battles carefully?” Sounds like a threat to me.

          Exactly. And when have you seen people melting glass? I actually saw a bin for recycling cooking oil the other day. It was the first time I saw such a thing. Interesting.



            Individual people, I haven’t. I’ve seen glass blowers on science programs. Glass has been melted and re-used before plastic even existed.

            When I was living in Texas, I remember always seeing a Mercedes Sedan in the parking garage at work, with a sticker in the back window, advertising a website regarding recycled oil for vehicle fuel. That Mercedes had been converted to run on the oil.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks for the link. I was just going off on a tangent. When someone doesn’t agree with your aggressive approach, they tell you to choose your battles. Why? I don’t need to save my strength. I have enough ammo for more than one battle and there isn’t always a whole war going on.


              1. I understand fighting a good fight. I understand aggressive approaches to certain things. Someone telling you to choose your battles is not necessarily disagreeing with your aggressiveness or your choice of crusade. Sometimes, it’s just a friendly reminder as, there have been many that have come before you and others have benefit of experience.

                I appear to be talking in circles but, in your specific case, you would have to give me a hint as to a particular cause you are pursuing in order for me to truly understand why someone would warn you off. All of this is an academic exchange with no hope of a clear conclusion.

                How many battles are you involved in…just out of curiosity?

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I didn’t mean anything specific, but I’ve been told that a few times throughout my life and never really understood it.

                  Maybe “reminder as, there have been many that have come before you and others have benefit of experience” makes some sense. But why not say that instead?


                  1. Because the young rarely listen to the elders. There is something to be said for personal experience. There is also much to be said about ancient wisdom. Then…there is just the arrogance of thinking “I can do it better…” when years of repeating the same mistakes (others’ attempts) says otherwise.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. That’s a different issue. “Traditions”, for example, are tasks or methods repeated over generations that, at some point, may change.

                      Following wisdom, on the other hand, may, in fact, save your life or, at the very least, prevent injury.

                      Apples & oranges.

                      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Skeptical Heartism
  10. Yeah, that’s pretty ridiculous. I don’t envy the life of a child these days. In a way I’m glad Andrew and I weren’t able to have children. It’s not the same world we grew up in. I guess every generation says that, but we had it pretty good in comparison to what’s going on in the world today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I stop and wonder if “the world is not the same” is only a cliche every generation repeats. Every generation has some good and bad sides, obviously. I want to defend the younger generations, but I look around and am terrified.

      Liked by 1 person

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Ellie Thompson

Poetry, Musings and Memoirs - True Tales of My Life

The Literary Serenity Archives

Creative Writing Reflections, Stories about Stories, and Feel-Good Pieces

Roars and Echoes

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