Conditions are not too well in Indonesia. The government is chaotic, the national currency is depreciated against the U.S. Dollar, association football is suspended, this and that issues with the law. Too many problems for Indonesia. Yet, many Indonesians apparently decide not to pay too much attention to them. Yes, they are important, and no doubt those issues will come into mind at certain points of their daily life.
Many Indonesians, though, pay extra care—and add extra fat—to one thing.
Or, to be precise, 900,000 pieces of one thing.
Unless you are living under the cave for the past decade or so, you will certainly know the little, round-y, yellowy creatures known as Minions. Smartly made in Hollywood (with one of the directors being half-Indonesian), this utter cuteness(-es) captivate many people around the world. Especially Indonesia. If you have watched the new movie, Minions—which, apparently, released earlier in Indonesia compared to the United States—I witnessed people literally gasped when Bob, one of the three main characters, said terima kasih (thank you) when presented with a tiny crown by Queen Elizabeth II.
Talk about Minions, that movie breaks the Indonesian record for the biggest opening day record for an animated film, beating Despicable Me 2 by 41%, ahead of Jurassic World, and sitting just below another Universal’s title, Fast and Furious 7.
Yet I am not talking about the movies. I have watched the movie Minions, and I will not hesitate to watch it for a second time. True, I like minions as well, a feeling shared with many Indonesians as well.
But that is not why I write this post.
I was sitting at a McDonald’s outlet… wait, what? McDonald’s?
Yes, that fast food chain. I was sitting at that outlet, under a huge sign depicting its newest Happy Meal toys. I took a glance at the people inside that restaurant, and I noticed a common thread: Every table has at least one glass of Happy Meal-sized drink (it has the writing there), with people holding small plastics containing toys. People seemed to gleefully enjoy the toys they were holding.
When I say every table, I seriously mean every. Tables with families of four, tables with manly guys holding bike helmets, tables of ladies returning from work, and many more.
To make it even serious, that particular outlet was the second outlet I visited that day. Earlier in the afternoon I visited another large outlet, and it was filled, like packed with people. The common thread was particularly the same, interestingly.
Normal? Yes, it should have been normal, if you do not consider the fact that this is the holy month of fasting, in which 86% of Indonesia’s population do not eat from dawn to dusk. To have the restaurant filled in the afternoon bemused me.
Now, coming back to the toys, what were they?
If you guess Minions, you are correct.
These mass produced plastic tiny yellow creatures become overnight sensation. Its previous iteration a few years ago was also successful. People rushed to the nearest McDonald’s chain to get at least one each. Consider this: this time, there are 10 (yes, 10!) different kinds of those Minions, collectible for those interested. Even McDonald’s need to prevent people from rushing in: a person may only purchase 5 at any time.
Imagine yourself eating 5 (five) portions of Happy Meal in one sitting. Or ten in two sittings. Even more, sometimes people take their friends also, to add the number of people able to purchase the collectibles. Yet, more often than not, the friends also want their own Minions. So?
It is interesting how Indonesians today—at least, around 90,000 of them—are worried of these tiny toys. I guess one or two may even purchase the Happy Meals specifically to resell those toys to those who want them. That’s the extend of the craze.
I should say, though. I salute McDonald’s for capturing the trend. It’s a huge coup for them. Maybe, just maybe, if people are faced with three or four choices of fast food chains today, chances are people will take McDonald’s if they haven’t gotten their Minions yet!
Are you a part of the craze? Let me know through the comments!