Today, Burger King announced that its promotional tie-ins with Iron Man 2 will include the Whiplash Whopper –“an intense, red-hot flavor combination featuring a flame-broiled Whopper sandwich topped with melted Pepper Jack cheese, crispy red peppers, and spicy mayonnaise” — and an exclusive collection of BK Kids Meal toys that will include “four lifestyle accessories for girls and four action-packed toys for boys.”
Now before I’d read that wording in the company’s press release, I’d gone to Burger King’s children’s site to see which toy I’d be pretending I had a child to get. I’ll admit I was drawn to the Iron Man Message Board, but not because I’m a girl — because it’s a practical option for a 34-year-old who frequently has to jot down telephone numbers from voicemails and can never find her Transformers pen. Look, I have a young niece who enjoys walking around wearing Mardi Gras beads year round, so I can appreciate that girls will likely enjoy the Lightup Iron Man Mark VI Charm Necklace, the Iron Man Mark IV Gold Charm Necklace (though not as much as that lightup one) and the Black Widow Bracelet (which lights up with your movement). But I don’t think Burger King needs to imply that only boys would/should want to play with the Cyclone Spinning Robot Drone, the Flip N’ Fly War Machine, the Construct N’ Play Iron Man, or the Repulsor Power Iron Man (a switch on his back lets you control the light in his chest!).
Am I wrong to think that Burger King should have left the genders out of that press release — let’s not forget there are young boys who like to accessorize — and simply divided the toys into action figures, jewelry, and Message Board for Adult Fakers? Or do you think the separation of toys into girl- and boy- friendly categories actually ensures happier children?
Read more: PopWatch’s Iron Man 2 coverage