Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 16, 2010

McDonalds Kids Meal Avatar Toy Taken Apart

at 11:47 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks

mcdonalds_kids_meal_toy_taken_apart


We have all seen the McDonalds Kids Meal Toys, they usually last about a day and a half before they find their way into the trash. David Cook from the Robot Room decided to take an Avatar McDonalds Toys apart to see what made it tick. Turns out there isn’t much for electronics since it uses an ASIC to get the work done. One neat feature is that the piezo element is used as a sound device and a vibration sensor. The board is also well documented, I was actually surprised to see any silk screen! Interesting design but I am disappointed that this thing is made to be disposable, there are a stack of batteries inside that were not meant to ever be changed.


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64 Responses to “McDonalds Kids Meal Avatar Toy Taken Apart”

  1. kellykel Says:

    it is avatar actually. ;)

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi kellykel,

    Thanks for the catch.

  3. chrispy Says:

    i did this a while back with the horse thing, its similar but you get 3 leds, pretty neat

  4. ConceptsNews Says:

    High price, low value.But you actually pay for the food at McDonalds, sorry, you pay for bad food and as an excuse to their junk food you recive a toy…or sort of.

  5. Makar Says:

    I can guarantee you that this device was invented by a bunch of nerds in University of Kansas or something. McD’s just came in and said – We give you $5 Million for it and you give us the patent and all the necessary stuff. Of course the nerds agreed.

    McD’s are happy – nerds are happy.

  6. Ronald McDonald Says:

    PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!!!
    What will the kids choke on 1st, the McMeal or the silly plastic toy?

  7. Milander Says:

    Ah yes, the silly plastic toy, the cheap crappy toy we all throw away, the dumb toy that thirty years from now some aging nostalgia geek will happily pay 50,000 dollars for at auction… anybody else still wishing they had kept their comic book/baseball cards collection?

  8. kendon Says:

    was there ever a mc donalds toy with replacable batteries?

  9. The Padrino Says:

    It looks cool to me wonder how much they cost.

  10. Alan Parekh Says:

    They are free with a kids meal.

  11. Alan Parekh Says:

    Oh, you are probably talking about manufacturing cost… I would think under 50 cents.

  12. André Says:

    Everybody b*tches about mcdonalds. they’re the only ones constantly refreshing their toy list for the kids, who cares if they end up in the bin less than a week after? b*tch about the fact that they’re made disposable too, why not, you’d be happier if they included real batteries and such? naaw, people’d b*tch cose the price went up. stop Hatin cose mcD is #1, just dont eat it and go somewhere else.

  13. Lance Says:

    Andre must work at mcdonalds COSE he sure is stickin up for them haha. So stop HATIN b*itches lol

  14. Den Says:

    Andre is a retard, just examine his comments. Did he even read the article, I doubt it, even if he did he seems unable to grasp the reasons why we should not dispose of sucj things so readily. Andre you are so dumb it makes me ashamed that you have access to the internet. -1000 internets Andre you poor dumb fool. And by the way, try not to eat McDonalds.

  15. Rohan Singh Says:

    Andre, a freak, scumb@g, McDonald is bad food, Indian food is best only.
    Very soon all americans will start eating indian food.
    India Rules.

  16. Crog Says:

    I believe in André and his message of peace, “stop Hatin”… That is all.

  17. Daryn Says:

    MsDonalds just supplies the toys, how we choose to dispose of them is completely up to us. How about people start taking responsability for their roll in life rather than passing it on to others or blaming corporations !!

  18. fez Says:

    ok so im going to agree with Andre everyone is just looking for a reason to complain about something no one can ever just be content have ANY of you ever stop to think that your complaining about nothing and who cares were Andre works. Andres got a job right thats more then HALF of you can say.

  19. Cara Says:

    @Daryn,

    fail. If you can figure out a way to get stupid people that take their kids to McDonald’s to not throw the toys away but rather take the effort to recycle them. they where free to begin with. Frankly it’s not the peoples fault or McDonalds fault. I blame the free market, frack profit motive and all that BS. the corporations are not the ones that are immoral, it’s the systems those corporations emerge from. money is everything and I’m more then positive that Mcd’s has successfully concluded that producing those toys will in the end make them more money, McDonalds has been making toys for current day movies for decades to attract more sales.

    Inversely it would be to expensive to make toys that would be easy to recycle and still be entertaining to kids that grow up in a world of computers and electronics.

    so in the end I agree to an extent. people do need to take responsibility for their roll in life, that roll is to look at and address the real cause of these problems. It should not be out responsibility to pick up after morally corrupt corporations that are to be expected in a fiat driven free-market economy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_money
    we throw junk away because recourses(materials used to actually build shit) have little to no value to everyone out there. Yet you would not throw money away and it technically has 0 value…Work that one out

    Open your eyes to the real issues of todays established systems. We are destroying our planet with stupid ideas and values. Take responsibility and help create some real change. watch the movie Addendum. Cause that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on for ages about things people dont even think or know about. They choose to ignore. And that sole ability to ignore root issues will be the leading cause of human extinction.
    http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/
    http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/

  20. Cara Says:

    I would also add, McDonald’s prints little pictures of Ronald McDonald throwing in a trash can(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/68092831_842d679971_o.jpg) on all of there garbage, and I cant seem to find a recycling symbol on their cups ,wax wrapping paper, or fry boxes. Think how many people go there every day world wide. Should people take responsibility for throwing all that away? I cant say it’s really up to them.

  21. ithy Says:

    look at the mcdonalds receipt theres a charge for the toy there actually not free

  22. Randy Says:

    I am surprised Mikky Dees has not been fined for being an obnoxious polluter… of the millions of toys they pump out, how many will they take back to ensure that stack of batteries are disposed of properly…

  23. Joee Says:

    I am surprised people still bitch about McDonalds, regardless of their food being “bad” and Pollution from their “toys” they are making a freakin killing in sales, their locations are always full, so I am sure that the ceo’s etc. at McD’s could not care less for all the bitching you all do because you can not come up with an amazing idea to make Billions of dollars, so yall STFU and get a freaking job already!!

  24. Shell Says:

    Instead of throwing them away, save them, get a GPS to look for geo caches, and use them as trade items! (www.geocaching.com) =D

  25. Beans Says:

    I’m kind of wondering how almost everyone sort of missed the point of the article, the structure and technology of the toy.

  26. Phil Says:

    hi macdonald as u may all agree is yes rubbish food but here in the uk i took my child to get macdonalds got a SHREK(DONKEY) toy free with the meal and meal cost me £3.19 sold the toy on ebay for £5 so QUIDS in i say

  27. Jake Sully Says:

    I like the Avatar toys from mattel. They seem pretty well made for the price.

  28. sarah Says:

    Yes, entice the children with a free toy, just so you can sell them absolute poison. Is it the parents fault for taking them there or the marketing to brainwash the little tykes.

  29. Daniel Says:

    This toy is just one example of what you as customers have made your lives. Your direct demand for something new all the time, forces quality down. Most people think that someone needs to hurry up and give them something right now, for little or no cost. If you greedy people take a good hard look around you, you will find that every thing in your lives looks like the inside of this toy. You all in fact are computer controlled, computer limited in every aspect of your lives.

  30. Sp39 Says:

    McDonald’s food isn’t ‘poison’, or ‘trash’ or whatever you want to call it. Sure, it’s fattening, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you are physically active and don’t eat it constantly. I had a chicken sandwich for lunch today and hey, it was pretty good.

  31. Adolf Skroatler von Baggenstein Says:

    Out of 30 comments, more than 26 had a some sort of spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistake. Shameful.

  32. sarah Says:

    Adolf; the language policeman. Must be a politician too, avoid the issue and misdirect.

    Cheap toys, poor quality food, promote bad eating habits, corporate brainwashing.

  33. Tony Says:

    its funny how all yall bash on Mcdonalds but yet i bet half of yall r fat as shit and eat mcdonalds every day

  34. Adolf Skroatler von Baggenstein Says:

    Sarah; dangling participle, unacceptable.

    Just kidding Sarah, just trying to bring some Sophomoric humor to this post. Hope you had a great 4th of July.

  35. sarah Says:

    Which is worse a dangling participle or a split infinitive.

    Laughter IS the best medicine. Sometimes we all need to lighten up and have a laugh, especially if its at ourselves.

  36. VJC Says:

    They are made disposable because to make the batteries replacable means that you can open it. which of course means your kids can open it. It’s much cheaper for McDonalds to make disposable toys than it is to pay legal fees for the suits filed against them for kids choking on/swallowing the batteries.
    It’s amazing how much companies have to pay for every lawsuit, wether they win or not.

  37. Adolf Skroatler von Baggenstein Says:

    Split infinitive, who would make that mistake? “…to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

  38. Loopy Says:

    You must be sitting in a hot tub with Ronald McJackson… The freaking toys are disposable because when they break the kid wants a new one and whines for another until you slam on your breaks and hit the drive-through, that’s Marketing 101. Battery covers are an extra part made and minimum wage manufacturing process, that’s Greed 101. When you talk about wiping money off of a snotty nose with that individuals own silver spoon, health and environment issues will certainly take a back seat in their brand new sports car. Here in the United States of Generica, we pollute for profit. The penny saving tactics of marketing giants should not be squared to parental responsibility. I have a young boy and it’s my job to make sure he does not open his toys and eat the batteries, none of which have to go into a landfill because they are replaceable and rechargeable. Fast food, fast parenting, fast lawyers… get what you pay for.

  39. Rob Says:

    Not bad Loopy actually adding some I.Q. to the discussion you aren’t the only one but we seem to running low on it these days- but don’t think for a second they pay minimum wage for their toys lol! But it’s nice to see a parent that doesn’t have a remote and a screen. Suing McDonalds for making you and your kids fat is like a crack smoker suing his dealer for being unhealthy and withered- and as for what they serve you as “food” try watching Fast Food Nation. It sums it up quite well.

  40. bob Says:

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    I think the original poster is short sighted. he missed the point about why this toy is cool. This is a vibration alarm sensor for the cost of a happy meal! sure you get a free led and some batteries that you may or maynot need… but how cool would it be for a boy to put this toy on the dorknob of his closet, just to be CERTAIN the monster was asleep?

    now after reading this, i’m inclined to go buy the meal and throw out the food. but this isn’t about the quality of MickyDs food.

    How could the poster not know that a PIZEO can be used as a spearker or a mic or vibration sensor? I mean the first thing i ever took apart was my tape player radio. it had a microphone, and it was just a piezo, which, as we all know is a bit of quartz crystal jammed into that brass disk. The quartz has a unique property (well a few) — if you strike it, a burst of energy is created. cool, huh? now that same crystal will resonate sound when you GIVE it electricity. case in point: your alarm clock. beep beep beep.

    anyway, next time you’re at the beach, or neighborhood railroad trax, or in the outback, see if you can find two white QUARTZ rocks. crack ‘em together. cool huh? yes, they light up. (you should take care to wear saftey glasses)

    oh an you could just take this circuit and put ANOTHER piezo in the place of the LED, and now you have an AUDIBLE ALARM
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  41. Bluey Says:

    Well now, among all the bitching and bad english (yeah, mine aint perfect) comments were made about McDo food
    Since WHEN does the company EVER claim it is highly nutitious, high quality, low fat, cost effective, etc etc etc…
    It’s UNIFORM!
    In Minneapolis, Moscow, Melbourne, Manila or a million other sites, a McDo burger is the SAME
    I dare ANYONE to tell a Yank made from an Aussie made to a Russian made Big Mac or 1/4 pounder…
    you cant GET uniformity if the spec is too high, so build a bridge, you bunch of Macca bashers (and no, I dont work there)
    The toys are cool cos they are:
    1:) Collectible
    2:) Geeky (well, some are)
    3:) Theres stuff in ‘em that you can reuse for geekdom tricks
    4:) You couldnt BUY them batteries, or LEDs or whatever that cheap! Recycle!

  42. Peter Says:

    Did you know you can SUPERSIZE a Happy Meal?

    For a bit more you get a large fries large drink small burger and a toy.

    They also have the “Treat of the week” just ask for it at the front, they never get asked and end up running around looking for it, pretty funny stuff on a busy dinner rush….also ask for “Fries with no salt” they have to make fresh ones for you, add salt right in front of them just to be a wank.

  43. Dave... Says:

    They make great targets when they no longer work…

  44. pwallen1962 Says:

    Looks like much more time & effort went into this thread than in the toy itself, lol.

  45. Ash Says:

    Daniel:
    “This toy is just one example of what you as customers have made your lives. Your direct demand for something new all the time, forces quality down. Most people think that someone needs to hurry up and give them something right now, for little or no cost. If you greedy people take a good hard look around you, you will find that every thing in your lives looks like the inside of this toy. You all in fact are computer controlled, computer limited in every aspect of your lives.”

    Loopy:
    “Here in the United States of Generica, we pollute for profit. The penny saving tactics of marketing giants should not be squared to parental responsibility.”

    Due to the massive flooding of simple minded what seems to be conformist trolls, overgrown senseless brats, and children alike making up the majority of the internet; These are some of the best statements i’ve seen on the web in a while. Finally, more people who make sense and have a brain in their skull.

    Peter:
    “They also have the “Treat of the week” just ask for it at the front, they never get asked and end up running around looking for it, pretty funny stuff on a busy dinner rush….also ask for “Fries with no salt” they have to make fresh ones for you, add salt right in front of them just to be a wank.”

    LOL I’ll have to try the salt idea one day!

    “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    I think the original poster is short sighted. he missed the point about why this toy is cool. This is a vibration alarm sensor for the cost of a happy meal! sure you get a free led and some batteries that you may or maynot need… but how cool would it be for a boy to put this toy on the dorknob of his closet, just to be CERTAIN the monster was asleep?

    now after reading this, i’m inclined to go buy the meal and throw out the food. but this isn’t about the quality of MickyDs food.

    How could the poster not know that a PIZEO can be used as a spearker or a mic or vibration sensor? I mean the first thing i ever took apart was my tape player radio. it had a microphone, and it was just a piezo, which, as we all know is a bit of quartz crystal jammed into that brass disk. The quartz has a unique property (well a few) — if you strike it, a burst of energy is created. cool, huh? now that same crystal will resonate sound when you GIVE it electricity. case in point: your alarm clock. beep beep beep.

    anyway, next time you’re at the beach, or neighborhood railroad trax, or in the outback, see if you can find two white QUARTZ rocks. crack ‘em together. cool huh? yes, they light up. (you should take care to wear saftey glasses)

    oh an you could just take this circuit and put ANOTHER piezo in the place of the LED, and now you have an AUDIBLE ALARM
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

    Mind blown.

  46. matt Says:

    the toys arnt the best quality are they? but we live in a disposable world

  47. caradi42 Says:

    We live in a disposable world do we? The world is not disposable…But humans sure are.

  48. pwallen1962 Says:

    I think my Avatar toy is defective. Its starting to tell me to do things… terrible, evil things.

    Could McDonalds be in league with Satan? Here’s more evidence that points that way… Rumor has it that Ray Kroc was a closet Scientologist.

    Scientology… unhealthy yet unavoidably delicious food… mind-control toys… YOU BE THE JUDGE.

  49. What The Says:

    “McDonalds food is trash, Indian food is the best”? Wtf? At least my clothes don’t smell like I’ve been sleeping in rotten lettuce all night when I eat in McDonalds and I sure don’t spend the night sitting on the toilet all night after I eat there either. And if Indian food is the best, how come I see Indian people at McDonalds eating their fries all the time?

  50. me Says:

    Why the ?!@# am i reading this crap and posting a fricking comment for it?!?!?!?!?

  51. Patrick Says:

    I’ve looked into alot of concepts that by now should be or are able to be built. If I wanted to get money to build something that I know would work, even if it wasn’t superfast, but know it would work, where would I go to get the money, to build my project?

  52. VJ Cellers Says:

    Patrick – you have to build some sort of werking prototype, then get ahold of the advertisers. You probably won’t be able to reach the correct person at Mcdonalds – so try the advertisers instead. That’s my best guess, but I’ve never submited anything. You also might try getting an agent, but what do I know?

  53. soooosie Says:

    YOU all make me laugh! ROFLMAO

  54. Randomedude Says:

    “We have all seen the McDonalds Kids Meal Toys, they usually last about a day and a half before they find their way into the trash” – wtf? My McDonald’s toys are working till this day. That’s more than 10 yers.

  55. buzzball Says:

    i got a kfc watch about 7 years ago never changed batteries still working

  56. TraeTalley Says:

    Any of you actually seen any of the McDonald’s toys that are meant/made for McDonald’s China? Every single I have seen has no batteries or electronics whatsoever. When I was younger I do remember certain ones with a battery compartment where you can stick a star or triangle screwdriver into and change the batteries but that was about 20 something years ago or so. You are all VERY funny especially those who argue.

  57. Keitaro Says:

    Wow…. o.o;

  58. Bebop Says:

    Americans are Lazy, take your kid to fast food instead of fixing them something at home, I blame the parents and their parents that started the tread, fast food is just taking advantage of this laziness.

    Everyone could recycle, hardly anyone does because there is no incentive. The tech points of this article are however what this stream is about and that is pretty cool.

  59. tropical_crossdressing_bird Says:

    McDonald’s food does taste like shit and makes you feel as such almost immediately afterward, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s like eating actual shit, you should know by now that its not good for you. And the toys mostly suck, but can be amusing. I don’t think supporting McDonald’s in anyway is a good idea.

    I do, however, like the article. Neat little nerd toys for us. If only I knew more about electronics themselves I probably would buy a shit ton of these godforsaken happy meals, toss the food, keep the drink(soda is a nice treat), and then build stupid little alarms and utilize them for my own amusement. I guess that would be ok, at least I would be taking something useless and using my mind to make it marginally useful. Maybe this doesn’t make sense.

    I really can’t believe that someone would stand up for McDonald’s though. That thought blows my mind. I always liked the phrase,’going to McDonald’s for a salad is like going to a crack house for vitamins.’ It makes a lot of fucking sense. Did I cover the majority of the points in all previous posts?

    Either way, the entire lecture on the properties and uses of quartz by whoever stated such was pretty interesting. So yeah, I’m glad I read all this shit regardless of the lack of intelligence for some of the posts.

    EAT AT RALLY’S!!!

  60. Doug Says:

    This is for you morons complaining about McDonald’s food: Rat poison is no good for you and insecticide spray is no good either. You obviously don’t eat the rat poison and you don’t drink the insecticide. Why? Because nobody if forcing you to do it. Well, nobody is forcing you to eat McDonald’s food either. So stop minding everybody else’s business with your stupid comments. Those of us that enjoy it will those of you that don’t then DON’T. But shut the F_CK up with you sanctimonious whining you azzholes!

  61. Erin Says:

    I agree with Doug, eat or don’t eat it, it’s not even what the article was talking about. If you think it is horrid for you then good for you if you love it good for you. They do not charge for the toy, if there are batteries in it there are batteries in it. If you feel up to rippin the thing apart and taking out the batteries go ahead. I think people need to grow up. I am fat cause I eat too much, I recycle because I choose to and no one shoving their opinion down my throat is going to change that. If you buy your child a toy that lights up and it breaks do you dismantle it before you throw it away, probably not. So many people started commenting that they don’t even know what the article even was saying and just find another reason to put their two cents in.

  62. MyNameIsBuddy Says:

    at least that toy is good enough to be a dog’s biting place :D

  63. wolf Says:

    what the h@ll happened with this post started as a guy taking apart a toy commenting on the cool electronic device in it and it got all blown to hell, get a life people.

  64. MarkMo Says:

    Well wolf, Why are you commenting dont you have a life? The internet is a social chat for some people.. just accept it buddy..

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