A real DESPICABLE time indeed to pick up them minions!

When Despicable Me 2 premiered here in KL, Malaysia sometime during early July, McDonald's concurrently released their Happy Meal 'minion' toys in conjunction with the film's release. This was to go on for 4 consecutive weeks in a row until the 9 minions are all released. Initially, McDonald's allowed you to purchase the 'minions' on their own without purchasing any food items. As they were relatively cheap at RM3 (or USD1!), you got to see many unscrupulous people coming into the McDonald's outlets and buying a bus-load of the minions just to make a quick kill in the after-market. Week 1 was still ok as the 'minion' bug was just about to warm up. Come Week 2, almost every McDonald's outlets sold out their minions within a few hours from the moment they were made available. This had caused a major uproar among parents and casual Happy Meal toy collectors who flocked to the fast food joint later in the day just to find out that the minions were all sold out.

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In anticipation of Week 3, McDonald's Malaysia had issued a statement on its Facebook page saying that each of the remaining minions could only be obtained by purchasing a complete set of Happy Meal and that each individual could only buy a maximum of 4 sets, as it was originally intended to cater for the kids anyway! A major understatement if ya ask me. The root problem of it all was that stock was rather limited due to multiple purchases by people who wanted 5 or 6 (I've seen some dude carrying >10 in one plastic bag during Week 1!). So logically, McDonald's should've stocked more of the minions since they know that demand was OBVIOUSLY more than supply. The 'must-buy-Happy-Meal' rule didn't really deter many from lining up again to get more of the minions. Problem not solved. In the end, the scoreline is still Scalpers - 1....Parents/Casual collector/Children - 0.

While my wife, our son and I truly enjoyed Despicable Me 2, we were quickly put off by the exorbitant price tag of the Thinkway Toys over at TRU. The next plausible and feasible option was to get the Happy Meal versions.....they were much bigger, have action-features and best of it all...at a fraction of what Thinkway Toys were priced at! But we forgot how the last 'Smurf' craze had hit everyone so badly that I've heard they were actual 'mini-riots' in front of certain McDonald's outlets by collectors who demanded more of the Happy Meal toys. And now it's happening again with the minions.

thus far @ Week 3....

We were lucky so far. I think it's a combination of proper planning, good intuition (by the wife!) and luck that allowed us to get the 7 minions thus far. They are simple toys with even simpler paint-job and action-features but their 'perceived' value is far greater than those. Like most kids who've seen Despicable Me 2 in the cinemas, my son was looking forward to getting his hands on all of the Happy Meal minions but even in Week 1 I've already culminated fears that it wasn't going to be an easy ride to get to the very last minions in Week 4. But we got them thus far....and Week 4's releases are gonna be the last next week. Thank God.


Like I said earlier, the madness started in Week 2 but I managed to beat the crowd by making my way into a nearby shopping complex near my office at 10 am when the complex opened its doors to the public. Made a mad rush to the McDonald's outlet only to find.....just one customer was there at that particular point of time, just concluded his minions purchase as well. So Week 2 was a walk in the park for me.
Last night aka the dreaded Week 3 release date, we've come to expect the worse. We decided to raid one of the 24-hour outlets nearby our place and unsurprisingly the outlet was packed to the core!

This was at 12:01 am. This picture was taken near the glass door entrance. As you can see, I wasn't even able to move. Seemed that everybody had the same idea to come at mid-night....LOL. This picture doesn't really do you justice as I didn't snap the scene through out the retaurant. Multiple lines were sprawling around inside the place like long queues to buy tickets into the Louvre! When we got home later on, we later found out through facebook postings and pictures that this scene was common and was happening concurrently at other outlets as well.
McDonald's minion madness - Week 3

This was at 10:01 am this morning at a nearby shopping complex near our place. The multiple queues to buy them minions were already there even BEFORE the complex officially opened at 10am! Madness indeed. All these just to get the two 'Stuart' aka 'One-eyed' minion figures.

McDonald's minion madness - Week 3
POINT TO PONDER: Is this how it's gonna be everytime McDonald's releases any new cool movie-related Happy Meal toys/merchandise? Seriously, something has to be done now that they know that there IS a huge demand for such movie-toys. It's easy, not even remotely near to rocket science level....more toys will translate into more Happy Meal sales, hence more profit for youse! Hopefully this will be addressed in the near future. God knows what other movie-tie ins they might have later on.

The Rebel

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