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Madame Alexander® and Matchbox® Make First Appearance in McDonald's® Happy Meal

Popular Toys to Delight Collectors of All Ages

Apr 1, 2002

McDonald's® (NYSE: MCD) is gearing up to wow kids and adults alike with some of America's most beloved collectibles in its latest Happy Meal promotion. In first-time collaborations with both the Alexander Doll Company and the Matchbox® unit of Mattel, miniature versions of the classic Madame Alexander® dolls and an exclusively designed series of 50th Anniversary Matchbox® cars will be offered in McDonald's Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals™ at participating restaurants from April 5 - 25, or while supplies last.

"McDonald's loves to treat our youngest customers to exciting, high-quality toys as part of their Happy Meal experience," said Douglas Freeland, director, national marketing of McDonald's. "Our new Madame Alexander and Matchbox Happy Meals have great appeal for girls and boys and also tap into a strong sense of nostalgia for adults. These are toys mom and dad played with and collected as kids, and now they're available for their own children and grandchildren in Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals."

All Dolled-Up

Doll enthusiasts of all ages will be able to collect eight different 4-3/4 inch versions of classic Madame Alexander dolls with time-tested charm and popularity. One of the highest value toys to be miniaturized for a McDonald's Happy Meal, the Madame Alexander line-up offers a range of storybook and contemporary characters that can retail for more than $50 in full-sized offerings. Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan, the Hispanic 100th Anniversary Teddy Bear Doll, African-American "Cool Cathy," and both Caucasian and African-American versions of "Memories of a Lifetime" Bride and Groom will be the featured stars in this first-ever Happy Meal promotion.

The dolls come complete with "sleep eyes," a first for a McDonald's Happy Meal doll and an innovation introduced to the toy industry by Madame Alexander in the early 1930s. Other features include detailed painting on the faces, and rooted, rather than wigged, hair. The two companies worked closely together to ensure the dolls were produced with special details that capture the charm of the original dolls.

Matchbox Celebrates its 50th at McDonald's

McDonald's will offer car collectors of all ages an exclusive peek at six Matchbox cars from the "Matchbox® Across America 50th Birthday" collection, debuting this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Matchbox brand. Initially available only at McDonald's, each of the six cars will be accompanied by a miniature replica license plate of the state the car represents.

  The vehicle line-up is:
  -- The King Tow™ truck (New York)
  -- The International® Fire Pumper (Illinois)
  -- Dodge® Dakota Pickup (Texas)
  -- Ford® Crown Victoria (State Trooper car - Ohio)
  -- Snorkel Fire Truck (North Carolina)
  -- Ambulance (Washington)

McDonald's in Canada will give away six rescue vehicles during the promotion.

Each "Matchbox® Across America" car is approximately three inches long and features fine, realistic detail and a decoration commemorating a key feature or fact about its state. The vehicles all inspire imaginative role-playing for kids, as well as collectible value and nostalgia for parents.

As with all Happy Meal promotions, McDonald's will offer Fisher-Price® "toddler toys" appropriate for ages four and under.

The Madame Alexander/Matchbox Happy Meal promotion will be supported by national television advertising developed by Leo Burnett Co., Hispanic television and print advertising by del Rivero Messiano Advertising in Miami, and African-American radio and print advertising by Burrell Advertising - Chicago.

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 29,000 restaurants serving nearly 45 million people in 121 countries each day. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.

About Madame Alexander

The Alexander Doll Company, a New York-based company, is now celebrating its 79th anniversary, continuing the tradition, elegance and innovation of Madame Alexander dolls with a full line of fine quality, handcrafted collectible dolls, baby dolls and play dolls. The company has created a series of "firsts" that have shaped the doll industry and has always been a pioneer of style and quality in this community. The Alexander Doll Company is the only remaining manufacturer of handcrafted dolls in America.

About Matchbox

Mattel's (NYSE: MAT) Boys/Entertainment division portfolio of global brands are some of the most popular products in the toy industry today. The division is comprised of three segments: Wheels, Entertainment, which includes licensed properties and action figures, and Games. The Wheels segment, which includes the Matchbox®, Hot Wheels® and Tyco® R/C brands, appeals to kids ages 2 to 92 years old with a variety of toys, collectibles and consumer products. Mattel's exciting entertainment-inspired toy lines include Harry Potter™, Nickelodeon's Rugrats™, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius™, Rocket Power™, The Wild Thornberrys™, SpongeBob SquarePants™, as well as Mattel Action brands; Rock 'Em Sock 'Em™ Robots, Masters of the Universe® and Max Steel™. Mattel Games include favorite classics such as UNO®, Magic 8 Ball®, Skip Bo®, Ker Plunk!®, Toss Across®, Fisher-Price®, Disney Games, and Scrabble® and Pictionary® in the international markets.

MATCHBOX, Matchbox logo, the color "Matchbox orange", and associated trademarks designated by ® and ™ are trademarks of Mattel, Inc., except as noted.



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SOURCE: McDonald's

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