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happy meal toys

You Don't Have To Eat McDonald's To Get Super Mario Happy Meal Toys

McDonald’s employees across the country have begun stuffing the latest series of small Mario-themed pieces of plastic into smiling cardboard grease boxes. New Super Mario Happy Meal toys don’t mean you have to eat the food they come with. There are other ways. Advertisement Have children: No matter how good your intentions are towards your children’s good nutrition, they’re going to figure out Chicken McNuggets eventually. Don’t worry, a Happy Meal now and then, say once a week when the toys rotate, won’t kill them. For extra bonus points, have twins. I’ve already thrown away two Yoshi’s and a Mario this week. Get a job at McDonald’s: Maybe not this. How about instead . . . Advertisement Make friends with someone who works at McDonald’s: Look at this promotional video for jobs at McDonald’s. These are fun people! Friendly people! People who look like they’d be willing to make sure you get a full set of Super Mario Happy Meal toys. I’m not saying you should take advantage. What I am suggesting is you form a lasting relationship with them, support them when they need READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

china

Pikachu Is Now Selling KFC In China

Last year, KFC rolled out a special Pokémon campaign in Japan, complete with Pikachu on the bucket. And this year, the character is coming to KFCs in China. Advertisement Redditor Maxtch spotted the above ad at Xujiahui Station in Shanghai. Those who buy one of the meal deals get a collectible Pikachu figurine. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Starbucks Workers Unprepared For Unicorn Frappuccino Armageddon

Yesterday Starbucks employees across the country were ravaged by stampeding hordes eager to get their mouths on the new Unicorn Frappuccino. Today the Starbucks Reddit is filled with their tales of courage and survival. Advertisement I got to try out the strange, limited-edition sour mango concoction prior to yesterday’s wide release courtesy of my wife, who has somehow managed to work for Starbucks for more than a decade without stabbing anyone in the neck when they ask for a large half-caf soy latte with extra foam (which might not be a real thing.) Halfway through her shift yesterday she called home to mumble something it about being the “worst day ever.” She also said something about “fucking unicorns.” Pretty sure she was referring to the drink and not the act. Her store closes at 8PM and she’s usually home by 8:45. Last night she stumbled in at 10PM with slightly purple fingers and a glassy look in her eye. It was the Unicorn Frappuccino onslaught that done it. At around closing time a woman walked up to the counter and ordered three of the drinks. The customer behind her ordered one. Then the woman who had ordered three came back…

frappucino

Snacktaku Drinks Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino

Launching this week at Starbucks locations across the country, the Unicorn Frappuccino is a unique blend of oddly-purple mango and all the sour in the entire world. Nothing screams “unicorn” like those two things. Except maybe a man being murdered by a unicorn. Advertisement Before we begin, in the interest of full disclosure I must point out that my wife has worked for Starbucks for over a decade. I must also point out that I don’t like drinking coffee, so the main benefit of her employment is being able to give my family roasted beans on the holidays and having to watch the kids three or four nights a week while she works. One of those night happened to be Easter Sunday, so after a fun-filled day of eating too much at my parents’ house, I loaded my over-sugared children into the van and headed home. Or I would have headed home, had the wife not texted be and asked if I wanted to try Starbucks’ new Unicorn Frappuccino. Of course I wanted to try that thing. What is a Unicorn Frappuccino? Looking at the drink without foreknowledge, one could not READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Shady Potato Chips Resellers Appear In Japan

With select brands of popular Japanese potato chips vanishing from store shelves, folks are hoping to cash in.  Advertisement As Kotaku reported last week, panic buying began at some stores after snack makers said they were either suspending or ending potato chip production due to domestic spud shortages.  This isn’t happening at every store (some are still fully stocked!), but it certainly is happening at a lot of them. Moreover, not all brands are effected and thus, those chips remain widely available. The ones that are impacted—such as Pizza Potato, which won’t be produced anymore—are seeing a spike in online resale.  Advertisement Advertisement Many of these are bundles or boxes of bags. Keep in mind that a bag of Pizza Potato is usually around 130 yen (US$1.20), but can go for more or even as low as 100 yen. (In the above image, however, the price tag says 161 yen for a bag, which seems rather high for retail.) On Sunday in Tokyo’s Akihabara, one rather suspicious looking man was spotted selling Pizza Potato for 800 yen a bag, which is about six times it’s original price. Calbee’s Big Bag Lightly Salted, production of which is being suspended, was also…

Snacktaku Showdown: Oreo Vs. Hydrox

We here at Snacktaku have given the Oreo a great deal of attention over the years, but several years before the popular cookie’s 1912 debut there was another. Hydrox, the original sandwich cookie, takes on Nabisco’s usurper in the first-ever Snacktaku Showdown. Advertisement Sunshine Biscuits launched the first creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookie in 1908. Hoping to evoke a sense of purity and goodness they called it Hydrox, a portmanteau of hydrogen and oxygen, the two elements that make up water. This was a very bad move. Four years later the National Biscuit Company introduced the Oreo, which was pretty much a Hydrox without the stupid name. Oreo quickly overtook Hydrox as the sandwich cookie of choice. Over the years Oreo gained so much ground over the original that Hydrox was often considered an off-brand or generic version. Damn. Advertisement Hydrox was discontinued in 1999 by then-owner Kellogg’s, making a brief resurgence in 2008 to mark its 100-year anniversary before disappearing from shelves. But now they are back! A company called Leaf Brands relaunched Hydrox in 2015, and the original creme-filled sandwich cookie is selling better than ever. Is it because it’s a better cookie than Oreo, or just an over-medicated…

curry

How To Make Awesome Japanese Curry From Bricks

Hi, I’m Chris Kohler, Kotaku’s new Features Editor. I’d like to introduce myself to you by talking about how much I love the Super Nintendo, or Ouendan. And that’s what I’d do if this were a video game website. But since it’s about snacks and anime, I will begin with Japanese curry secrets. Advertisement So below (reprinted from my personal blog) is my method for making Japanese curry rice at home and making it taste not-bad, the easy, fast, and lazy way. The answers—to this, and to so many of life’s questions—are salt, fat, and chocolate. While my preferred method of eating Japanese curry, the world’s most perfect food, is fly to Japan and have an expert make it for me, sometimes I make it at home. In all the times I’ve ever made curry, though, I’ve actually made it from scratch—like, scratch scratch—once. And that was mostly my wife doing that. The secret to making curry at home is to just use the curry bricks they sell in grocery stores, but to do it the right way, and then to jazz it up at the end with ingredients they’d READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Japanese McDonald's Picks A “Yucky” Name For Its New Burger

[Image: McDonald’s Japan] Recently in Japan, McDonald’s unveiled a new hamburger with a most unfortunate name that sounds exactly like “yucky” in English. Advertisement This is the “Yakkii” (ヤッキー or yakkii) burger as in “shogayaki” or “pork fried with ginger” (“shoga” is “pork,” while “yaki” is “grilled” or “fried.”) But in Japanese, when people refer to shogayaki, they say, well, “shogayaki.” So, the concept behind the burger’s name seem to be giving it a nickname, to how the Egg Cheese Burger was turned into “Eguchi.” But yakkii? Really? Advertisement People in Japan have been pointing out this bad burger name, noting that “yakkii” sounds like “yucky” and explaining what “yucky” means in Japanese. The definition most people are referring to is “mazui” (そごくまずい) or “very unappetizing.” This burger does look yucky. Goodness. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotakucore

Nintendo Switch Cartridges Taste So Bad

The Switch is almost upon us, and while there’s still a lot to discover about Nintendo’s latest console, one pressing question has been answered. “How do the cartridges taste?” So bad. Oh god, so bad. Advertisement The subject of the taste of Nintendo Switch cartridges was first raised by game journalist and eater of things Jeff Gerstmann, who in the course of his exploration of the new console decided to stick one of the cartridges in his mouth. As a fellow game journalist and professional eater of things in my capacity of Snacktaku editor, I carefully considered my (late) response to Jeff’s statement. Now that the Switch is in more hands, its cartridges are in more mouths, and everyone agrees—these taste horrible. The suggestion has been made that Nintendo purposely made the cartridges taste bad in order to prevent small children from putting them in their mouths, perhaps while crawling about the shattered glass of the Switch tablet they are too young to be trusted with. Advertisement As of this writing, Nintendo has not responded to my inquires into the matter, not even READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Tips For Getting The Best Discount Candy After Valentine's Day

Yes, yes, people love each other. That’s great. Now that Valentine’s Day is over, it’s time for one of the biggest sweet-lovers’ holiday of the year. It’s the first Discount Candy Day of the year, and Snacktaku is here to help you make the most of it. Advertisement Discount Candy Day is the day following a candy-centric holiday, and depending where you live, it can come multiple times a year. Here in the United States we get three. There’s the day after Halloween, the day after Easter and February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day. The day after Christmas used to count, but as society started shying away from “Merry Christmas” in favor of “Happy Holidays,” retailers got confused and candy began to linger longer on the shelves. So we’ve got three, starting with February 15, which we here at Snacktaku feel is the best for several reasons. Advertisement The message of love is year-round and universal, unlike the message of egg-laying resurrection rabbits or children going door-to-door begging for free stuff. We’re more likely to find cheap chocolate body parts (in good condition) than other Discount Candy Days. There are Creme Eggs and Screme Eggs, but no Valentine’s Day…

big mac

Snacktaku Finally Speaks Out On The McDonald's Grand Mac Situation

Kudos to McDonald’s for using pictures of real food in their official product shots, BTW. Snacktaku fans have been seeking our council on McDonald’s Grand Mac and Mac Jr. since the fast food restaurant started selling the limited-time size variants nationwide last month. Today we finally break our silence. Somebody drop us a beat. Advertisement The immediate question pertaining to these volumetric aberrations of a time-honored classic is “why?” In a statement issued alongside the November 2016 announcement, McDonald’s chef Mike Haracz said, “We listened to our customers, who told us they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste” Gross. Dead. As a frequent McDonald’s patron, the idea that the restaurant is actively listening to customers doesn’t quite jibe. Given our experience both at the drive-thru and in store, we’d say it’s much more likely that customers told them just about anything else, and “they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste” is just what McDonald’s heard. Advertisement “Yeah, we’re going to need two six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meals with apple slices and apple juice to READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Lay's Wants Your Stupid Potato Chip Flavors Again

The Lay’s Do Us A Flavor contest returns for a fourth year, once more offering budding snackologists who come up with a halfway edible new potato chip flavor a million dollars. Previous winners include the obvious choice, the bad one and I wasn’t paying attention. Advertisement After skipping a year to perform a Flavor Swap operation, Do Us A Flavor returns once more, this time asking chip flavor creators to pitch their taste combination like some sort of performing Lacheys. Chip creators are urged to go to the Lay’s website to create a pitch, selecting flavors, choosing bag color and style and even submitting YouTube videos and images to help round out their presentation. My submission, Steak Doughnuts, seemed fine to me, but I got an email saying it was not accepted after I submit my entry. Maybe they didn’t like my video. Flavor submissions are being accepted until March 19, after which four or so finalists will be chosen and featured in a Snacktaku tasting video. That’s not an official Lay’s thing, it’s just what I do. Advertisement Then Lay’s selects the tamest, most obvious entry and gives its creator a million dollars. I bet this year it will…

chalupa

We've Two Weeks To Prepare For Taco Bell's Fried Chicken Taco Shell

January 26 shall be known as the day the taco shell changed forever, or at least the day Taco Bell started folding up fried chicken patties and calling it a Naked Chicken Chalupa. Advertisement Realizing that we’re almost two weeks into 2017 and there hasn’t been a Snacktaku video, Taco Bell has lept into action, readying its Naked Chicken Chalupa for nationwide release on January 26. The Naked Chicken Chalupa, already in California and Colorado in 2015 and 2016 respectively, is a marinated fried chicken disc filled with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a creamy avocado ranch sauce, because both chewy and spongy avocado ranch sauce tested poorly. The shell is made with four ounces of—and the press release stresses this—antibiotic-free chicken, so if you’ve got strep you’re still going to have to hit up the clinic afterwards. Advertisement Snacktaku will be on the case on January 26, as it was last year for the release of the chewy, spongy quesalupa. We are hopeful this release will fare better at being snacking fare. Taco Bell also seems hopeful, and has jokes. “Something this delicious yet READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

japan

This Pocky's Flavor Is Whisky 

[Image: Pocky] If you’ve ever been to a bar in Japan, you probably have been served Pocky at some point as a snack. No doubt that’s why Glico decided to make this whisky-infused Pocky.  Advertisement Chocolate is a long-time favorite to pair with whisky. But for this Pocky, Glico went one step further and decided to made the stick part from pretzel that has been kneaded with wort, which is the sugary liquid made from mashing malted barley in hot water that is fermented and distilled.  The Pocky stick has been salted and covered with whisky-scented chocolate. Glico even worked with Suntory to ensure this snack suited whisky.  The result is one fancy Pocky that Japanese website Choco Labo says is tasty enough even for those who don’t drink whisky. No doubt tastier for those who do.   Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!