McDonald’s Japan is facing trouble with scalpers, only this time it’s with ‘Demon Slayer’ Happy Meal stickers. ‘Demon Slayer’, a popular anime, tells the story of Tanjiro and his younger sister Nezuko. Their family was, unfortunately, killed by demons, and Tanjiro aspires to become a demon slayer and to find a cure for Nezuko as she slowly becomes a demon.
The series itself has grown in popularity in Japan, and even has a movie: ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.’ In Japan, the movie broke records in the box office, and has even affected the comic book market by bringing it up 23% in 2020.
Additionally, in a survey conducted by Oricon Monitor Research, more than 90% of the public in Japan knows of the anime series, and over 40% were “very familiar” with ‘Demon Slayer.’ While anime has always been an important part of Japanese pop culture, it’s clear the ‘Demon Slayer’ is perhaps the most popular series.
There are five possible Happy Meal sets that showcase five of the main characters of the anime. Sets include a sticker of the character, an additional five stickers with quotes and scenes, and the character in the McDonald’s uniform. A day before their release, stickers were already being sold on March 4 on the auction site Mercari. McDonald’s Japan released a statement concerning scalpers, and that stores “may refuse [customers] to purchase in large quantities.”
The Happy Meals are being sold for high prices at around $20 per package and $60 for all five sets. Similar to the Pokémon card fiasco in the United States, Japan is facing a similar issue. Like the Pokémon Happy Meals, the toys were meant for children to enjoy with their meal, but anime fans of Demon Slayer aren’t limited to one age group, and include fans of all different ages.
McDonald’s official website released a statement combatting those buying in bulk, and told customers that some stores were already sold out of Happy Meal sets. It’s unfortunate that toys meant for children are being exploited, but McDonald’s had already faced the same problem. The combination of anime with McDonald’s is a winning pair, and brings even more attention to the already popular fast-food chain.