Archive for fast food premiums

Thrift Store Halloweekends – Barney Gumble, The Simpsons Spooky Light-Ups (Burger King)

Posted in halloween with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by Christopher Pearce


This week, we’re going to be looking at Barney Gumble from Burger King’s line of Simpsons Spooky Light-Ups from 2001. These toys were a premium given away with the purchase of a Burger King Kids Meal but I bought mine for $3 bucks at a garage sale.

The Simpsons and Halloween have been something of a package pair ever since the second season of the long-running animated sit-com. The Simpsons Halloween Specials (later renamed Treehouse of Horror) have, over the last 25 years, presented viewers with parodies and pastiches of classic and modern scary stories using the assorted citizens of Springfield. It’s something that gets forgotten in this day and age where adult-oriented cartoons are a dime a dozen… but the Simpsons take on Halloween was, in its’ beginnings, pretty damn subversive. These brutal “out of continuity” tales really messed with viewer’s expectations and I can remember some (Season 6’s Nightmare Cafeteria) genuinely putting some scares in me.

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Island of Misfit Toys: Justice League/Wonder Woman (Burger King, 2003)

Posted in island of misfit toys with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

I don’t much keep track of the metrics of running a website but occasionally I’ll notice what the traffic is like to certain things I post here, thanks to some of the tracking doodads WordPress supplies users. Frankly, I have been SHOCKED at the high volume of traffic my “review” of this Batman Happy Meal toy has received. It’s by far one of my most popular posts in the years I’ve been doing with this Island of Misfit Toys posting and the way I see it, I might has well move from strength to strength.

This week, we’ll be looking at a similar fast food premium, created for Burger King in 2003. We’ll in fact be looking at two of them across the next half month, but I digress. These toys were designed to promote Cartoon Network’s Justice League cartoon series, designed by many of the same creatives behind Batman: The Animated Series. The Justice League cartoon series ran in two iterations throughout the 2000’s; this toy line is designed around the first of those two, spotlighting the seven original members of the superhero team (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter) and their space mode of transport (The Javelin).┬áToday we’ll be looking at Wonder Woman.


As usual with fast food premiums, this toy comes to us in a plastic baggie emblazoned with the logo of the series, identifier of what toy your child is holding, and some other information including websites and such. It’s utilitarian, it does the job (more or less) and I don’t have much more to say about it beyond that.


Once opened, the Wonder Woman figurine/toy is further protected by a plastic buffer/cushion which is a thoughtful touch for a free toy in a hamburger meal. As I mentioned in the Batman review, protection like this was rare on this caliber of toy.



One of the great benefits to the DC Animated Universe style is that it translated very well in plastic… and this Wonder Woman toy is no exception to that rule. This toy comes with two distinct figurines and a base and all are sculpted well. As this toy is based around an action feature, much of the sculpt is done in service to those aspects.


Much of the toy is done in solid plastic – blues for the base, clear plastic for the transparent bad guy. Much of the rest of the paint applications (flesh tone, red, blue, yellow, and black) are hit and miss. Don’t mistake me, you can tell this is Wonder Woman but the paint is pretty awful with a lot of slop. I also point out much of the black paint along the edges of Wondy’s black hair have rubbed off… but I’m going to give this toy a pass on that problem, as it’s over a decade old. I’ve seen Happy Meal toys that have held up better over longer time, but still.


If the paint is rather ho-hum, the action feature built-into this toy forgives much. Wonder Woman is here using her Lasso of Truth to corral the see-thru baddie, which is a White Martian. After locking him in place and deploying the button on the side of the toy, the lasso coils around the bad guy as it spins back toward Wonder Woman. It’s a hard concept to explain, which is why I took a little video of the feature.

Beyond this feature, there is no articulation on the toy.


The only accessory separate from the toy is a small comic book, and here I’m afraid my choice in toy has let you down a bit. Time was not kind to this toy and the pages of the comic book have, over the intervening years, bound together making it impossible to read. I am sure you can track down the contents of this comic somewhere but I’m sorry to say I have no clue whether or not it’s worth the effort.


This is a fun little toy. I prefer the Batman figurine I talked about last time but as far as it goes, this is a fun toy to have sitting on my shelf.