Sorry Girls, This McDonald's Is All Out Of Boy Toys

[May 17, 2008. Fairfax, Virginia. Image thanks to Jose!]

Does that mean there’s another sign boasting: Girls! Girls! Girls!?


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  1. theblackdog says:

    That’s great.

    I remember in my younger days when they would run the Hot Wheels/Barbie promotion, there was a time where a McDonalds screwed up at the drive thru and gave a Barbie happy meal instead of Hot Wheels. My bro had such a tantrum about it that he was forever teased about getting the Barbie happy meal.

    On the other hand, that Barbie managed to survive being put through the laundry and thrown from the roof, but it was no match for the microwave *evil laughter*

  2. You realize that the average employee at McD’s is a high school student?

    The store ran out toys for young male children. The employee of the month was told to make a sign.

    Picking on children is pretty low.

  3. CourtStreetCourt says:

    Is there anyone else out there disturbed that there still are gendered toys (i.e. “boy” toys and “girl” toys)? Why can’t there just be “kid” toys? Too progressive for the US of A?

  4. humphrmi says:

    Right now all the posters with children are saying “Yeah, whatever. That sign tells me what I need to know.” And everyone else is indignant.

  5. @Corporate-Shill: Why do you have to be such a party-pooper?

  6. Because I love picking on adults. Like a corporate exec that really farks up. I will go all in for somebody that should know better, took their time to think about it and then just totally farked up.

    Picking on a kid or a marginal wage employee? I am just not that big of a bully.

  7. unravel says:

    Yah I no reely. Thay our hi skewl childrun four christs sake, and nobudy shud bee xpekted to grasp crazee things lyke da english or da gramma at dat age. Xsept there our a lot ov alsew senur sitisens, colleje kids or moms n dadz trying too make muney wile there kidz our at sko0l there too. Espeshully during the hours when people under certain ages arent’ allowed to work in certain states.


  8. unravel says:

    On a serious note… I don’t see how poking fun at a sign -not the person who wrote it, not their education level, but a sign!- is somehow worse, or less offensive, than making sweeping generalizations about what people making less money than you aren’t capable of knowing better about. Oh god, the sentence structure there sucked. In my defense, I’ve never made more than $6 an hour :(

  9. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s part of McDonald’s nefarious plot to get boys to play with dolls, then turn gay. Because that will totally do it.
    Or, all New Jersey girls are tramps. Especially ones infused with high fructose corn syrup.
    Ah, hell, it’s the weekend, let’s be generous: it’s both.

  10. daneboy says:

    That’s what most people with children call them. I don’t really eat at McDonald’s a lot, but when I do order something for my son, I always order “Happy Meal with a boy-toy and a sprite.” It’s just what people call them. Glad its amusing to everyone else though.

  11. Shadowman615 says:

    @Corporate-Shill: Chill. Nobody is calling McDonalds employees stupid here. It’s just funny that they used the phrase “boy toys.” That’s probably a mistake someone of any education level could make, and there’s no harm in laughing at it.

  12. Shadowman615 says:

    @Corporate-Shill: BTW, they aren’t laughing at the grammar or anything like that, it’s just the semi-racy double-meaning of boy-toy. Did you not realize that?

  13. Syd says:

    Not the submitter but the employees that were working at that very same mcd’s last week when _I_ saw that sign were not high school aged kids. Most fast food employees in the Fairfax area are not “high school students” as Corporate-Shill might assume. They tend to be immigrants in their twenties and thirties, just trying to make a buck.

    Not to say that someone in high school didn’t write it but I doubt that was the case.

  14. mantari says:

    That’s DISCRIMINATORY against GAY MEN!

  15. Why assume that the person who wrote the sign had never heard the term “boy toy” before? Maybe they phrased it that way on purpose, as a double entendre. Maybe some people just assume that food service workers are too stupid to be able to comprehend double entendres. Dunno.

  16. rhowan says:

    And here I thought this was going to be a post about the obnoxiousness of McDonalds deciding which toys were for boys and which were for girls.

  17. jeblis says:


    Thanks captain obvious.

    Shouldn’t it be “sorry guys?
    The phrase “boy toy” generally is used to describe a female.

    or were you referring to lesbians?

  18. Benny Gesserit says:

    @jeblis: The phrase “boy toy” generally is used to describe a female.

    Sorry, “boytoy” is a young, smooth male with a killer 6-pack as in

    “My friend Karin kicked her husband to the curb and ran off with her boytoy tennis instructor Raul”

    And I didn’t blame her for one second.

  19. Lambasted says:

    @jeblis: Boy Toy is definitely used to describe a beefcake aka: a hunk of hot burning luv. This is an example of a personal ad to better describe a boy toy situation:

    “Lonely, rich, mature woman ISO handsome, strapping young man 21-28 years old to engage in afternoon delights and any other social activities upon request. Must be well-endowed and experienced in all manners of artistic bedroom expression.”

  20. Lambasted says:

    I feel your pain McDonald’s, I’m out of boy toys too.

  21. Taed says:

    As a father of a 6-year-old boy, I can tell you that the kids and the McDonald’s workers both say “boy toy”, “girl toy”, and “baby toy” to refer to the 3 types of Happy Meal toys. On the recept, it will say “truck toy”, however.

    My son was annoyed recently since on subsequent visits, he got a “girl toy” followed by a “baby toy” instead of the coveted “boy toy”.

  22. KIbbit says:

    This reminds us all, I think, of what we should all really be doing with our precious time and resources. Boy toy production is at an all time low, and YOU are the problem, sir or madam! Keep this in mind next time you sit down to play your ‘solitaire’ or your ‘free cell’. You have been warned, it’s boy toys today, but it could be your toys tomorrow!

  23. HalOfBorg says:

    In any case – the sign was informative AND funny, even if it WAS an accident.

  24. Benny Gesserit says:

    @Lambasted: ooo ooo “Dumb as a sack of hammers” don’t forget that’s part of the pedigree!

  25. jennieblue22 says:

    @alphafemale: Not knowing the meaning of racy slang doesn’t mean that you’re stupid. It just means you don’t think with a racy mind. And about half (maybe a little less) of high schoolers don’t have one, speaking as a high schooler myself.

  26. jennieblue22 says:

    The sign is a bit amusing, but really, you’ve got to forgive the poor HS kid working the minimum-wage shift. I know lots of HSers who would write the same thing, not because it’s racy or they can’t use better language, but because it’s easier to write. HSers are all about laziness and convenience, and admit it – it works. You know what they meant.

  27. HungryGrrl says:

    @Taed: Sounds like that could be a good way to mess with a misbehaving kid’s head….

  28. Lambasted says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): Ah yes, how silly of me. Thank you for pointing that out. Let me amend:

    “Lonely, rich, mature woman ISO handsome, strapping young man 21-28 years old to engage in afternoon delights and any other social activities upon request. Must be well-endowed and experienced in all manners of artistic bedroom expression. Ability to engage in intelligent conversation is not desired (or at all necessary) but willing to overlook if you excel in all other qualifications indicated herein.”

  29. chris101d says:

    If a higher-up ever saw that sign…whoever was told to put that there would get written up! Manager or employee..

    Ive worked at McDonalds for 2+ years now (high school student) and we are NOT allowed to use the phrase boy toy or girl toy unless absolutely necessary.

    We are told it can result in suits against McD for discrimination.

    I do find that girls dont care which toy they get while boys sometimes do..but thats because their fathers will tease them openly when I ask “And for the toy would you like a polly pocket or a bionicle” the father would turn to the kid and say “you want the polly pocket right..” and start laughing…

    In this case it should have said “we are out of Speed Racer Cars”..and in actuality doesn’t even need a should be easy enough for the employee to convey this idea…

    but I came from the number 5 QSC ranked McDonalds in the country so I can’t do much nitpicking

  30. snoop-blog says:

    I can top that one. I was in Florida (damn I should have taken a picture) and on the sign out front it read: NOW HIREING. I thought, how ironic is that?

  31. snoop-blog says:

    @snoop-blog: Oh, I forgot to add they changed it like the next day, but it was a McDonalds in Panama City Beach, right on the strip.

  32. Lambasted says:

    From a business perspective, it seems silly (and sexist) to have distinguishable girl and boy toys. Why not just have universal toys that both sexes can enjoy, like a puzzle or a yo-yo? Isn’t it easier and cheaper to make one toy rather than two separate toys anyway? Besides, I hate all this genderizing (it really is a real word). Not all little girls want to play momma and have plastic babies cry and pee on them. And not all little boys want to swing in trees and act like wild banshees…err, then again.

  33. snoop-blog says:

    @Lambasted: Well you’re not exactly forced to get the “boy” just because you have a boy. So if your little girl wants the boy toy, just ask for one.

  34. snoop-blog says:

    Usually when they have separate toys, it’s because one is a Barbie, while the other is a hot wheel. It’s all a mattel promo.

  35. When I was little we were at a McDonalds and I always wanted the “boy toy” (still do, haha!). Once they refused to give my mom the plastic car because she didn’t have a boy child with her. It was ridiculous. Some hick town in the middle of ontario somewhere…

  36. Yeah, but this is in Fairfax VA. I’m just glad they could find an english speaking employee to write the sign….

  37. Lambasted says:

    @snoop-blog: While that is true, it is my hope that wouldn’t be such distinctions in the first place. Ok, I confess. I’m just bitter because companies have no imagination when it comes to girls. It’s always a baby or doll. Now I haven’t been a little girl in quite sometime but I do recall my interests went well beyond dollies. It is so patronizing that in the year 2008 society still thinks of girls as just little mothers-to-be, grooming them for motherhood almost from birth.

    Yes, I know I am probably over thinking a darn $.25 cent toy in box but it sends me reeling nevertheless.

  38. Lambasted says:

    @HRHKingFriday: As a resident of Alexandria, I concur.

  39. snoop-blog says:

    @Lambasted: Not just dolls, trampy dolls. See that’s the difference between the dolls you had, and the dolls today. The dolls today teach girls how to wear black lipstick, dye the tips of your hair pink, stretch your earlobe to bicycle tire size, and jam random peices of metal in random spots of your body.

  40. Coles_Law says:

    The sign was probably intentionally written that way for laughs. I remember when we had the Polly Pocket/Hummer promotion. You try keeping a straight face asking people “Would you like a Hummer with that?”

  41. Lambasted says:

    @snoop-blog: Exactly! The message is either be mommy or harlot. Take the controversy over the Bratz dolls for instance. Why do little girls need to be exposed to “sexy” at such a young age?

    I am tired of reading one news story after another lately about young girls who are sexually abused by sickos who can’t get it through their repulsive heads that little girls aren’t sexy and available. Yet, manufacturers and advertisers go out of their way to counter that notion with dolls like Bratz for little girls to play with and emulate.

    You would think there would be some corporate responsibility to protect children that is capable of overriding the quest for fat revenues but I guess not.

  42. KIbbit says:

    @Lambasted: it IS sick, but what is worse – who is buying the slut dolls for the four year olds? Mommy trying to get the kid to stop screaming, no one wants to say no anymore

  43. Michifernication says:

    I just think it sucks for kids, especially girls that would rather play with functional racing cars as opposed to boring, plain ol dolls that don’t compare in anyway to the bottle sucking, burping, pooping, cooing dolls their parents force them to play with in order to train them to be the best mommy they can be when they grow up!

  44. pezjohnson says:

    I have 3 kids. The two oldest are girls, 7 and 4. When this SPEED RACER toy promotion started, both girls said that they would rather have the “boy” cars rather than the “girl” dress-up stuff. I’m felling very sorry for McDonalds right now for picking the loser of the movie tie-in this summer. BK got the Iron Man toys (which were a big hit with my kids) and now they have the Indy toys. The youngest is 2, so he really doesn’t care, although he’ll usually get the boy toys.

    It must be said for the Denver area:
    @Lambasted and @HRHKingFriday: I concur.

  45. chris101d says:

    @pezjohnson: Its not a matter of picking…it has to do with which corporations the companies have contracts with…Universal Vs. Disney, etc etc..

  46. witeowl says:

    @CourtStreetCourt: I’m with you. I think it bothers me even more because I don’t even remember having gendered toys when I was a child. You got a sucky toy out of the one line of toys available. Period.

    But seriously, how hard is it to ask, instead, “Would you like a car or a doll with that happy meal?” (And sure, a girl can currently ask for the boy’s toy or vice versa, but that only emphasizes the social dividing line.)

    (Oh, and to the slang argument: “boy toy” can mean either a buff young man for an older woman’s amusement or a ditzy hot girl for a man’s amusement. Go figure. It’s almost as bad as biweekly and bimonthly.)

  47. Lambasted says:

    @KIbbit: Yep, I have to agree. The buck does begin and end with Mommy and Daddy. Why parents buy that junk I don’t know. I guess it’s the same parents who take their preteens to The Pussycat Dolls concerts. Last week I was watching a bit of the Dolls concert on TV. The camera panned into the audience and I saw very young girls all over the place. Girls as young as 12 or even younger watching the half-naked Dolls gyrate on stage as they sing about getting a man, being with a man, loving a man. I was shocked that parents would take their girls to a concert like that. Yep, parents are definitely a huge part of the problem.

    @pezjohnson: I was the same way as a little girl. I preferred to play with things that were more animate. When I saw how much fun my brother’s race track was to play with, I wanted one too. Dolls just sat there and were rather boring to me. Besides, I had no interest in being a mommy at 6 and didn’t really view dolls as a toy but more as a chore to learn how to take care of. Changing a diaper paled in comparison to racing a car around a track.

  48. Squeegoth says:

    Never fear everyone. I’ve heard a one of a kind forecast with precipitation like you’ve never seen before.

  49. ryan_h says:

    I used to go to this Mcdonalds as a kid, and I can tell you one thing: they never ran out of boy toys back in the day.

  50. ptrix says:

    Considering that there is NO indication in the image or the text of the article of what brands/types of toys were (supposed to be) available, what alternative text for the sign would have been as simple and effective at communicating the message, WITHOUT being as unintentionally sexual/sexist?

    after giving that about 15-20 seconds of thought, i can’t really think of anything, lol :P

  51. witeowl says:

    @ptrix: Putting aside the underlying sexist nature of different toys specified for boys and girls, here’s the easy answer:

    “Sorry, we are out of boy’s toys.”

    Dealing with the underlying sexist nature, a quick check at the current promotion’s video makes it clear that children have two options: a “speedy vehicle” or a “fashion accessory”. For that, an even easier answer:

    “Sorry, we are out of speedy vehicle toys.”

  52. @unravel: Oh my. My eyes seriously want to kick your ass right now. That was physically painful.

  53. Elle Rayne says:

    Aren’t we past the whole “girl toy”/”boy toy” thing?

  54. theoretical says:

    Aha, McDonald’s is the cause of my love life problems!

  55. dotorg greg says:

    @Elle Rayne: far from it, the entire mainstream toy industry is oriented around boy&girl toys because they figure it sells more toys.

    Boys and girls have different “play patterns,” which drives toy design and marketing. There’s an entire science built up behind it that’s really quite ridiculous if you step back for a minute.

    Cars and racing are boys, while dress up and pretend are girls. Combine that corporate inertia with the Speed Racer promotion, and you end up with a cool boy toy and a lame girl toy, which is why they ran out. Maybe a few more gender-biased toy shortages, and they’ll start getting the picture. Viva la Revolucion!

  56. It’s funny because it’s an unintentionally sexually oriented posting at a McDonald’s.

    It’s amazing to me how this can lead to arguments.

    My 2 cents: As a society we’re too hung up on gender roles. Boys must have trucks and girls must have dolls. But, that’s reality. McDonald’s is pretty popular with the kid set. They like the toys. McDonald’s, rightly, cares more about pleasing their customers than taking responsibility for an unfortunate societal reality. Nothing more to see here.

  57. mythago says:

    @humphrmi, actually probably most of the parents are thinking “Great, in other words the McDonald’s is out of all the cool toys that actually DO something, and all they have left are crappy, boring little dolls that do nothing or weird-looking Beanie Baby type toys that shed.”

  58. Redred says:

    @mythago: Exactly. They’re probably out of the boys’ toys because more kids — boys and girls — pick them.

  59. washwords says:

    @Daniel Alderman: @Daniel Alderman: totally agree with the “uhh, are we missing what WAS a joke here?”

    My sister was totally mad (rightfully) so at the whole “is your child a boy or a girl” thang a few years ago. Who’s to say a girl couldn’t like a hot wheel.

    But that said, my parents have a great story of trying to nurture early-70s-girl-baby (me) to be gender-bias free – they gave me a dump truck. a few minutes later, they came in the room, and I had said dump truck swaddled in a blanket and was feeding it a bottle. I was about three. Could it have STILL been the environment? maybe. or maybe this girl at least actually preferred “girl toys.”

    Back to Daniel and co’s points: the sign IS funny.

  60. Lambasted says:

    @Daniel Alderman: Tsk, tsk. I see no reason why a topic cannot expand beyond the narrow and have a logical discourse flow from it. Especially in light of the fact that there have been many realities that existed once but were altered or abolished by dissent. I think if you read carefully here you will note that many of us don’t fit the reality you speak of and therein lies the reason for our dissent…in spite of how fruitless or pointless or irrelevant our notions may be.

  61. @Lambasted:

    I, honestly, hadn’t read down to your posts when I posted mine.

    I completely agree with you on the state of childhood options of gender specific toys. I’ve shaken my head sadly in the direction of the Bratz dolls since I first saw them. It’s disgusting, really. You are also correct that child molesters don’t need to have dolls available to them that represent children as little sex pots.

    A quick, albeit stomach churning, trip to shows that they now have Lil Angels and Bratz Babies. So…sexualized representations of toddlers. The company is apparently owned by Satan.

    But hey…their toys are lead free, so…thats not evil.

    But the reality is that parents buy these things for their kids. They outsell Barbie. Supply and demand.

    I don’t like it, and have to avoid making harsh judgments against those who would purchase them for their children. But there are a lot of those parents. Sad state of society..

  62. spinachdip says:

    @Corporate-Shill: God, I hate people who employ disingenuous appeal for sympathy, like loan shark apologists who cry “But what about the poor??!?!?”

  63. raincoaster says:

    No Happy McFinish, I guess?

  64. raincoaster says:

    @spinachdip: The genius part is the mistake he, himself, made in that comment. Where someone gets the idea that minimum wage workers and kids are just naturally stupid and poorly educated is something I just don’t know. But I do know you should not make errors while trying to make that point.

  65. TheNerd says:

    Of course they are out of “boy toys”! Contrary to the sexist belief that girls like dolls best and boys like cars, EVERY CHILD loves cars! I would play with them way more than my dolls as a child. Perhaps McDonald’s should get out of the stone age and abandon their sexist child-targeted marketing for something more universal.

  66. Triterion says:

    @HRHKingFriday: Fairfax doesn’t have as many immigrants as the surrounding areas, it’s one of the classier areas in the DC Metro area, it costs 1600 for a one bedroom apartment there. I’m even surprised that someone can live there on a McDonalds wage!

  67. scottboone says:

    Wow. I’m not going to even bother counting all those comments, and there was only one or two that actually pointed out the truth: foremost, the term “boy toy” -HISTORICALLY- described a toy for a ‘boy’ child, such as at an elementary school Christmas function.

    That is history folks, that’s what the term MEANS. “Boy toy” as in, not a Barbie. So, for the those of you with panties/undies in a bunch, step off…you’re the misinformed bunch.

    Madonna started this whole Boy Toy/Girl Toy craze, or at least popularized it, with the now infamous belt buckle and t-shirt ensemble she wore in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Clearly, although she has since seemed to indicate some lesbian tendencies (or, rather, multisexual tendencies), she was using the HISTORICAL definition as she had positioned herself as quite the heterosexual sex object. In that parlance, an attractive (some may say slutty) girl was, in fact, a big “Boy Toy”. As in, for the high schooler + crowd, they’d be having a happier meal if Madonna had been included in a clear plastic wrapper.

    As for the gay aspect of the term, well, I’d bet an etymological search would find that the term entered the gay world after Madonna (a gay icon) started to popularize it. Which would make that usage slang, at best. Either way, considering that I’d seen the term in use regularly for many years in the US public school system more than 30 years ago, I’d bet the slang wasn’t at least as popular as the heterosexual usage at that time. If we’d give up our culture in America for every term that the gays “adopted”, we’d have a pretty small vocab.

    I even see a lot of MISUSE of the term to mean a younger man for older women (cougars, to those not in the know)…usually around the crowd too young to have children in elementary school 30 years ago and too old to grok gay culture. So I guess the term can mean anything to anyone, such is life without updated dictionaries.

    Finally, for those “the USA is soooo not progressive, ‘kid toy’ dolts”: get over yourself. For thousands of years, even millions, there have been differences between “boys” and “girls”. Surprise. We’ve made it this far dealing with those differences. Personally, having been a “boy” I’m mighty happy that I wasn’t force-fed purty pink unicorns or intellect-draining Bratz-Whorz. I’m glad I got guns, and trucks, and gremlins, and stuff. Nobody ever said that a parent can’t ask for any gender of toy they’d like to hand over to their child; McD’s doesn’t care…obviously they just want the parent to be informed of stock levels. No amount of gender-blending is going to fix America’s or even the world’s problems, sorry. Maybe you need to go back to college, I mean a good one, and study the science before you blather on about such things.

    Thanks, McDonalds. And thanks to all the “boy toys” I’ve had fun with. Hey, thanks to the “boy toys” I wouldn’t have (the six-pack ones) too…this is America; i realize that ultimately others have different tastes–just as long as everybody understands it is the RECIPIENT of the gift that the etymology is describing.

  68. mrearly2 says:

    They’re out of (good) food, too.