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Ripping Off an Entire Population

JULY 2013 – THE INSANITY BEGINS 

I presume that by now, most of the world is familiar with tiny, yellow creatures known as minions. Who those who don’t, they look like that:

despicable-me-2-laughing-minions

The recent release of Despicable Me 2 proved to be a highly acclaimed sequel but this time, it brought in many new effects of love, life and sacrifice. Don’t wish to spoil the movie for those who have yet to watch it. However, one of the main factors highlighted is of course, the yellow minions.

These cute and bumbling creatures carry out orders without question but more importantly, they bring a laugh to the audience. The effect left behind by these guys leave more than just humour but opens up an entirely new window to the:

“BUSINESS AND MARKETING WORLD”

One of the most successful corporations to cash in on these marketing superstars was the McDonald’s Corporation, purchasing the rights to produce these toys as complements to their Happy Meals. In the past, McDonald’s released the Hello Kitty toy at the peak of its craze in the late 90’s. This led to an entire population, particularly Asia to snap up as much of the toys as possible regardless of how ludicrous the price may be.

hello-kitty-mcdonalds-birdie

One of the famous Hello Kitty toys that were all the rage in the late 90’s.

I know what you are thinking. The Minions are basically a move based on experience. McDonalds is basically cashing in on the idea based on their prior experience with the Hello Kitty doll. If that is your final answer then:

“YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!”

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As compared to the Hello Kitty’s, these toys cost RM3 and are made completely out of plastic. First condition of a low grade and cheap item. Sources report that the cost of making the toy is about 50 cents which is a fraction of what they are selling it at. So, profit made is about RM2.50. McDonald’s is on Cloud 9 if this were to continue and it definitely did.

The first batch apparently sold out in 3 days. The second batch within 2 days. Important board meetings are being conducted to predict the release of a whole new batch with newer minions and functions. But then again, that’s how every corporations works:

  1. Find an opportunity
  2. Invest in the opportunity
  3. Milk it till it’s dry

So, seeing this is another business gimmick, why do I bother writing about it? Why do I even bother to take notice of these tiny toys? Because of societies response towards these toys. Because of societies decision to patronize these toys. Because of societies perceived value of these toys.

What alarms me the most is this post made by another fellow blogger regarding the matter:

http://nasilemaktech.com/2013/07/13/despicable-me-2-toys-shows-perfect-example-of-internet-trading-trolls/

These minions, despite being cute an all have been a source of madness in society. The recent release of the third batch of minions saw drones of obsessive customers breaking down doors, trampling over one another and lining up for hours just to seize what would be a toy for the children.

Ironically, I had a talk with some children and none of them ever got a chance to see or feel a minion as they have been snapped up by the teens and adults. One even mentioned that his older sibling bought the Happy Meal for him but kept the toy. Talk about reducing the rate of bullies. Back on a more serious note, the toys of course were sold out in mere minutes at some centralized joints.

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One of the more famous shots depicting the height of the craze

Society literally deteriorated itself from civilised to barbaric door breaking, people shoving, stampede impending creatures. News of McD’s having it’s doors broken into and people injuring themselves from shoving flooded the FB timeline. True or not, the pictures may tell the story. At the end, the groups who want the toy can be divided into 2 groups:

  1. HARDCORE COLLECTORS 
    People who genuinely love the toys, want to collect them because they look cute, adorable, so on and so forth. This group of people have probably seen the rise of the Hello Kitty and Snoopy as well. Many of them are willing to purchase these toys at exorbitant prices for their own satisfaction or to be given as gifts to their ever demanding partners.
  2. HARDCORE OPPORTUNISTS
    The ones who buy the toys for RM3 and sell them off at RM50 to the desperate collectors. They aim to snap up as much as possible and would wait in line before the collectors themselves in hope to drain the stock and hold them

At the end of the day, the craze over these minions left both a positive impact an negative impact on Malaysia. From the ones who collect to the ones who sell, the true loss will only be seen after a short period of time. So, let’s fast forward this to the present.

 

SEPTEMBER 2013 – SO…..WHAT NOW?

Just 2 months had passed since the minion craze started. What happens to these yellow toys? Saw some piling up on a table collecting dust and others just left in the trash. It is disheartening to see that just a few months ago, people were going crazy over these things and today, they are nothing more than a has been.

But to sum it up, despite being something which has caused chaos, we have to accept the eventual fact that these little yellow things were able to control the mind and buying pattern of an entire community. Perhaps the idea of a zombie pandemic is not to far away. But rather than a virus, toys like that were able to make humans wait in line or even shove each other aside just to get them.

I for one am going to remain an individualist who will pray that this craze would be nothing more than a momentary loss of rational thinking. Until next time, I wish you all the best. Cheers.

*my post is not meant to offend but for thoughts. It is your decision entirely if you wish to agree or disagree but please do not start with, “You are not able to think straight or haters gonna hate.” Your cooperation is much appreciated.

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