Archive for September 14th, 2009

30yearsThat’s Spanish if your uncertain and stands for “Happy Box” (or loosely translated into Happy Meal) and it’s the 30 year celebration of the Happy Meal at McDonalds.

First introduced by Dick Brams (McD’s Regional Ad Manager) in 1977 and initially called the “McDonaldland Fun-to-Go” meal.  Since first hitting the market they have included everything from the puzzles, crayola toys, motorcycles, personalities riding motorcycles and movie tie ins.  The McDonalds Happy Meal first movie tie-in was the Star Trek Meal which featured images and games based on the 1979 movie.  In fact, the ‘Teenie Beanie Baby’ promotion created a huge worldwide interest with over a 100 million toys selling out in the first 2 weeks.  McDonald’s has had a lot of controversy over Happy Meals from poor working conditions at a toy factory in Danang, Vietnam (Keyhinge Toys), to recalls and even legal issues with Devo.  Then there is the questionable association with the non-green gas guzzling Hummer and some people even complained over the hearing a four-letter word in the Kidz Bob #6 CD song “I Don’t Want To Be” which turned out to be false.  Sure the rap on Happy Meals is that kids are lured by the toys into eating unhealthy food while the execs focus on high value licensing deals, but many still eat them.

Custer_MCAnd then there was the Custer/Blackhills/Motorcycle tie-in — it was two fries short of a happy meal — the McD’s marketing department poorly vetted the toy “General” (he was Lt. Col.) Custer who rides again on a motorcycle and was distributed in South Dakota.  Quick to realize they angered the Sioux/Lakota Indians they withdrew it from the market after complaints poured in.

In the end, millions of Happy Meal items have been produced with a lot items turning into memorabilia and has spawned an entire collectors market.   Numerous meals have included motorcycles, people riding motorcycles and even Digi Sportz games which included motorcycle racing.  There is a McDonald’s Collectors Club which holds annual conventions for the serious collectors.  It turns out cycling artifacts not only include books, magazines, promotional items, but to some Happy Meals which has a rich history of the sport and hobby of motorcycling.

Photo courtesy of Happymeal.com

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EMM_RideSince opening its first Oregon facility in 1976, Intel has grown the location to include multiple fabs and seven main campuses, making it Intel’s largest and most complex site in the world.

In addition, Intel Oregon is the largest private employer in the state.  Employees are very active in everything from singing groups to flying clubs and many employees actively participate in charity events to support the community where they live and work.

This brings me to the Intel Motorcycle Club (iMC) who has scheduled a charity ride (Elsie Mae Memorial Ride) event that will benefit the Providence Brain Institute (PBI).  They have recently opened up the ride to all riders regardless of whether you work at Intel.  The ride happens on Saturday, September 26th and all motorcycle types are welcome. The list of raffle prizes is impressive and the number of expected motorcycle enthusiasts who are attending is significant.

If interested you can find more information on the iMC web site.   Briefly, registration is at Black Rock Coffee (185th & Baseline Road) between 8:00-10:00AM.  The $10 fee per bike includes 1 raffle ticket, free coffee and potential to win prizes.  The mystery ride will end at MotoCorsa on NW Wilson, NW 22nd Avenue around 4:30PM. Food and music will be provided.

Those of you not attending Street Vibrations/Reno during this timeframe may want to consider participating and supporting a worthy cause as 100% of the proceeds go to the PBI brain center.

Photo courtesy of iMC.

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