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Information in this article is about real-life people, companies, and objects, and does not relate to the in-universe Sonic series.
McDonald's logo

Logo of McDonald's.

McDonald's is a popular fast-food restaurant company that has been seen with the Sonic the Hedgehog series over the years. The logo is a yellow or golden M. It was founded in the United States in 1940, created by Roy McDonald and Richard McDonald, and was later transformed into a corporation by Ray Kroc.

Sega happy meal window

Sonic serving a Happy Meal at the drive through window.

Yuji Naka's plug

In a Sega.com interview with Sonic's creator Yuji Naka, he mentions that McDonald's is a place that Sonic and his friends like to eat at.[1]

Quotation1 When Sonic and his friends sit down to eat after a long hard day of chasing Dr. Eggman, what do they like to eat? Quotation2
SEGA.com
Quotation1 They probably eat McDonald's® hamburgers, I suppose? And I think they will get a complete line-up of Happy Meal® premiums. Quotation2
Yuji Naka

Toys

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

McDonald's Sonic 3 promotion

A display for the promotion.

In 1994, McDonald's promoted the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive by giving away Sonic the Hedgehog toys in their Happy Meals. Four characters were produced: Sonic, Knuckles, Tails and Dr. Robotnik.

In America, the promotion went from February 4th to March 3rd of 1994 and there was a sweepstakes where up to 10,000 participants could win a free copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for the Sega Genesis. For children under the age of 3, they had an alternative toy which was a yellow ball with a picture of Sonic on it and the classic "Sonic the Hedgehog" logo. Due to this toy only being advertised in small text on in-store displays, aimed towards 3-year-olds and parents having to specifically ask for it while ordering their food, the Sonic Ball is much rarer than the other toys.[2]

Despite being a Sonic 3 promotion, Dr. Robotnik is designed to look like he does in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series (although the stock art on the bag for the toy depicts him as he looks in the games).

Later in 1994 the set then released at Canada and Puerto Rico. The set in Canada didn't include the Tails toy, however the design of the Sonic Ball was replaced with Tails and wasn't exclusively for children under 3.[2]

McDonalds Sonic 3 Tails toys difference

The original and updated Tails toys.

The United Kingdom got the set from January 27th to February 24th in 1995, Germany and Belgium in March, and finally in June for New Zealand and Japan.[3] When the set released in these countries (except Japan), they changed the design of the Tails toy as they were worried kids would get hurt by the toy when it launched off the base. The updated toy had Tails stay connected to the base with only his tails spin. The base resembles one of the spinning tops as seen in Marble Garden Zone.[3]

When the set released in Japan, they removed the Tails toy and replaced it oddly with a Grimace toy from a previous set of toys. The designs of the Sonic and Dr. Eggman toys were also changed to resemble their Japanese designs, while Knuckles stayed the same.[2]

SonicHMealToy TailsHMealToy Kjnuckles
Sonic Tails Knuckles
EggmanHMealToy Sonic ball McDonalds Sonic 3 Tails ball
Dr. Robotnik Sonic Ball Tails Ball
Gallery

Happy Train

Happy-train

Sonic with the Happy Train

Also in 1994, McDonald's had a Happy Meal anniversary train, which consisted of 15 separate toys from different Happy Meal themes from the past ten years. All the toys were able to connect to one another to create a train.

One of these Toys was Sonic themed. It was a pink and purple TV with a Sega Genesis on the top. When the wheels on the toy roll, the picture on the TV switches between a picture of Sonic wearing a party hat, Tails wearing a party hat, and then Dr. Robotnik running and yelling (Dr. Robotnik is once again designed to look like his Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog appearance).

Sonic X

A while after Sonic X appeared on US shores, McDonald's gave out toys for the series in their children's meals (Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal). The Japanese Series 2 also shows Chris and Frances working at a WacDonalds, a famous anime parody of McDonald's.

Disk launchers

In the UK and Australia, McDonald's released a set of Sonic X disk launchers: one with Sonic, one with Tails, one with Knuckles and one with Shadow on the launchers and the disks themselves.

Sonic4in Tails4pz Knuckles5ht Shadow9nq
Sonic Tails Knuckles Shadow

Fighting Tops

SonicMCTops

Promotional Paper

In 2006, McDonald's of France released fighting top toys of Sonic and Shadow.

TopSonic TopShadow SonicMCPencil
Sonic Shadow Pencil case

Sonic Spinner Collection

In 2007, McDonald's released a collection of Sonic spinning toys in Europe.

RomaniaMcDIllu RomaniaMcDLiteSpin WheelMealFR McDonald's SonicX SonicSpeedGlobe
Sonic Flying Disk Sonic Spinner Sonic Wheel Sonic Speed Globe

Handheld LCD Games

SEGA (2003)

Mcdsega

The six games.

In May 2003, for the United States release of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, McDonald's released a set of handheld games made by Fisher-Price:

AiAi banana Game Knuckles Soccer ShadowGrinder
Aiai Banana Catch Knuckles Soccer Shadow Grinder
Sonic action game McDonaldsSonicSpeedway McDonalds Tails 2003
Sonic Action Game Sonic Speedway Tails Skypatrol
Gallery

SEGA (2004)

Mcagain

A flyer showing most of the games.

Another set was released in 2004 after the launch of Sonic Heroes that used artwork from the game and featured every playable character except those in Team Chaotix. A game based on Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, a video game also made by Sonic Team, was also part of the set. These games had different names and designs depending on the region they were released in, and some regions did not receive these games until 2005.

Amy Volley Ball LCD Big's Fishing LCD Billy's Giant Egg LCD
Amy and Rouge Volleyball Big's Fishing Billy's Giant Egg
Cream Flowerr catch LCD Knux Treasure hunt LCD Black toy
Cream Flower Catch Knuckles Treasure Hunt Shadow Hockey
Shadowshiny Extreme Boarding LCD Tails sky adventure LCD
Shadow Hockey (special silver prize version) Sonic the Hedgehog Extreme Boarding Tails Sky Adventure
Gallery

Sports versions

McDonalds Amy and Rouge 2004 Mcdonalds 2004 Cream Flower Catch game McDonalds Knuckles 2004
Amy and Rouge Tennis Cream Flower Catch Knuckles Baseball
McDonals Shadow 2004 McDonalds Sonic 2004 Tails Soccer Game
Shadow Basketball Sonic Skateboard Tails Soccer
Gallery

Commercials

Being internationally popular, the Sonic McDonald's promotions appeared all over the world. Many different countries produced different kinds of commercials to advertise the Sonic giveaway toys.

Sonic 3 - macdonalds commercial

Sonic 3 - macdonalds commercial


Sonic McDonald's Commercial Happy Birthday Happy Meal 1994

Sonic McDonald's Commercial Happy Birthday Happy Meal 1994


McDonald's Sonic Heroes LCD Games Commercial (2004)

McDonald's Sonic Heroes LCD Games Commercial (2004)


Sonic the Hedgehog Happy Meal Advert - 2004

Sonic the Hedgehog Happy Meal Advert - 2004

Hilariously Bad Pakistan Sonic Heroes Happy Meal Commercial - 2004

Hilariously Bad Pakistan Sonic Heroes Happy Meal Commercial - 2004

Sonic the Hedgehog McDonald's French Commercial

Sonic the Hedgehog McDonald's French Commercial


McDonald's Ad - Pucca & Sonic (France)

McDonald's Ad - Pucca & Sonic (France)

SEGA Australia Sonic McDonalds Commercial 2003

SEGA Australia Sonic McDonalds Commercial 2003


McDonalds Sega

McDonalds Sega


Trivia

  • Sonic appeared alongside Ronald McDonald and Barbie in a Happy Meal commercial for the Happy Train. In this commercial, Sonic spoke with an extremely high voice and did not move his mouth.
  • There have also been Sonic Kids' Meal toys released at other fast food restaurants such as Jack in the Box, Carl's Jr. and Burger King.
  • In 1993, Sega published a McDonald's video game developed by Treasure and released only on the Genesis called McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, which is another sign of Sega's long relationship with McDonald's restaurants.
  • In Asian countries such as Pakistan, India and China, McDonald's gave away Sonic X spinning tops, school kits and card shooters.
McDonald's Happy Meal Cream ad storyboard

Storyboard for the commercial.

  • In 2006, Sonic and Cream the Rabbit appeared in a McDonald's commerical, which only aired in France.
  • In 2004, McDonald's Pakistan company known for poorly-made licensed advertisements released a commercial to advertise new Sonic toys promoting Sonic Heroes. The commercial has become infamous for its inaccurate character models (notably Rouge the Bat), questionable voice-over, cheap animation and errors like "gamesime" instead of "games line" and "Cream Buttflubber Catch" instead of "Cream Flower Catch".

References

Fast food companies
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