The newest round of McDonald’s Happy Meals featuring the Pokémon Trading Card Game boosters launched recently, packaging a new way to battle with the accompanying card.
Launched on August 16th, the themed Happy Meal Match Battle box adds a special booster pack with four cards from the Pokémon TCG that kids (and, yeah, everyone else) can use in Match Battles, a new mode introduced specifically for this promotional run.
Each booster pack will draw from a fairly limited set of 15 possible ‘Mons. Pikachu, Rowlet, Bewear, Pangoro, Lapras and Drampa have a chance to show up, and one of the four cards will have a foil treatment. Happy Meals will also include an instruction sheet for teaching Match Battle’s rules, a coin, plastic spinner and a card box for protecting the cards from grease and ketchup.
Match Battle is reportedly intended to bridge young folks and new players into the full rules of the Pokémon TCG. According to a video on the official Happy Meal website, each player chooses one of their cards and then flips a coin to determine either high or low. Spinning the flipper will point to one element of the card, such as the set number or Pokédex number, HP, height or weight. Then, both players compare the value on their cards and the highest (or lowest) one wins a prize card. The first one to three prize cards ultimately takes the match.
The goal seems to be helping new players familiarise themselves with the relatively overwhelming amount of information packed onto each card. Sure, there’s a cute critter in the middle that many will likely care about exclusively, but it’s neat to see the TCG brew up a way for kids to immediately use their cards to play with each other and perhaps gain some interest in the full game’s rules.
This Happy Meal promotion is currently available in the UK, Canada and the US and will run through mid September. The last time the fast food chain introduced a Pokémon-themed meal for children, collectors and scalpers bombarded locations in droves, leading to immediate scarcity and action from the company to limit the number of meals that can be purchased at any one time.