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McDonalds Drive Thru Food Cart Playset
Member Name: jo1976
McDonalds Drive Thru Food Cart Playset
Date: 13/07/10, updated on 28/11/13 (243 review reads)
Advantages: Fun McDonalds branded play set for imaginative play
Disadvantages: Expensive, difficult to assemble, not enough accessories supplied, dated design
Having entrusted my husband with the task of buying presents for our youngest son's third birthday, this McDonalds themed playset found its way home for the birthday boy.
Exclusive to Toys R Us, this set is essentially a plastic kid's play kitchen emblazoned with the familiar McDonalds logo and colouring in an attempt to resemble a 'drive thru' window. For the privilege, no doubt, of the additional McDonalds theme (and subliminal advertising!), this set cost £39.99 - although I should be grateful that this was on offer at the time as the full price is an eye-watering £49.99. It is not currently showing on the Toys R Us website but can be purchased online from Amazon for £59.95 plus postage.
There is some justice in the world though - having bought this piece of kit, the other half then had the onerous task of assembling the various pieces of flatpacked plastic and turning them into a playset. This supposedly simple task took well over an hour to complete and involved rather a lot of swearing, frustration and complaints about everything from the instruction booklet provided (which was apparently written in the wrong order) to the number of plastic bolts supplied. Somehow, we ended up with a surplus of plastic bolts by the time this kit was assembled. At least it is made entirely from lightweight plastic though - so if we do experience an unexpected building collapse in the future, casualties are likely to be limited!
The kitchen sit includes a range of 'authentic' sound effects which requires the inclusion of two AA batteries (as none are supplied.) The final insult was that the battery compartment proved to be incredibly difficult for my other half to get back into position so we had yet more swearing and moaning. Thankfully, we had the foresight to set this up prior to the birthday morning and I'd recommend that Santa (should he choose this particular set) does the same!
Once erected, this playset is quite funky although I do feel the design is a little dated. It features the iconic Ronald McDonald all around the plastic panels and, although he's a familiar figure to most parents, he doesn't really feature much in modern McDonalds and isn't particularly recognisable to the young pre-schoolers who are likely to play with this. There is no mistaking the distinctive 'M' logo on the top though or the images of familiar food items and trademarks all around the sides and front of the set. My son had no trouble recognising this as a McDonalds toy, although it did raise a few smiles at his nursery when he told the staff that he had a 'McDonalds toy' for his birthday and they all thought the poor lad had been palmed off with a Happy Meal freebie!
The set has proved to be a hit with my three year old and he has delighted in taking pride of place behind the plastic window and taking everybody's food orders. The sound effects include two dispensers (McFlurry maker and a drinks maker) although these aren't particularly realistic, just making a rather irritating white noise kind of sound, like a badly tuned radio. The 'deep-fat fryer' also makes what I suppose is meant to resemble a 'sizzling' sound effect, but just sounds like random noises to me. The little red till features an opening drawer and a rather irritating crackly noise as it is opened. Sadly, there is no volume control provided and I think the sound effects are unnecessarily loud!
To add to the authenticity of the whole McDonalds experience, the set comes complete with supposedly 30 different 'play accessories.' This might sound like quite a generous amount of accessories but I think they are a little mean to be honest, as there is only one of each type of product supplied. For example, the set comes complete with a cardboard Happy Meal container, which is a pretty good replica of the real thing, but there is only one provided, so not brilliant for the genuine McDonalds experience or for siblings to play together. Seeing as this is only a piece of reinforced cardboard, I really can't see why at least four couldn't have been included in the set to enhance the play value.
Likewise, the other accessories are the typical plastic food items that come with these kind of sets - plastic chips, burger, bread buns and so on - but there is only one of each different item so this McDonalds is going to end up with lots of disappointed customers very quickly! I really think that a few more duplicates of the popular items should have been supplied, particularly given the high price of the set overall. A little McDonalds apron or even a branded cap would have been a nice inexpensive addition to the set too (particularly as the little girl on the box is shown wearing a cap) but, sadly, nothing like that is supplied.
My three year old is more than happy with the set though and I'm sure he would have no criticisms to offer. He particularly likes the windows that ping open at the press of a button and the bin door at the front of the play set that means all of the plastic pieces can be returned by the satisfied customers after use. He is then able to open his own cupboard doors and reuse the plastic accessories with ease.
Despite the Toys R Us site stating this is suitable for ages 8 plus (!) the box confirms my beliefs and recommends an age of three plus, although younger children would no doubt enjoy 'cooking' and serving up a selection of plastic junk food from this bright play set. It does take up quite a bit of room in our living room but is big enough for a toddler to stand behind and take command of all the controls comfortably. It doesn't fold down at all - and I wouldn't recommend taking this to pieces judging by the length of time assembly took my other half.
In all, this is a fun play set that will appeal to most pre-schoolers although parents might choose to go for a generic (and cheaper) play kitchen that would offer essentially the same functions and the same level of imaginative role play value. For a wannabe McDonalds employee this could be the start of something special.
Summary: For Happy Meal fanatics!