Some people are questioning whether a new toy paired with McDonald's Happy Meals could send the wrong message to children, reports Correspondent David Robichaud of CBS News station WBZ-TV in Boston.
For most kids, the free prize inside the box is what they grab first before they even touch their burger or fries.
This week, McDonald's Happy Meals are including Rohan, one of the action figures from the Mystic Knights series. When kids flick a dial on his back, sparks light up behind his shield.
Although it looks like simple fun to some people, others say the toy too closely resembles a cigarette lighter. The toy does not, however, create a flame.
Dr. Carole Allen is a pediatrician who worries the toy could get kids interested in smoking.
"It looks like a mechanism to light a cigarette lighter," she says. "Flick it down and it makes a light. Children certainly can get into trouble from lighting, either lighters or matches, without realizing they're dangerous."
Reactions from adults interviewed randomly were mixed.
When asked whether the toy might encourage kids to want to play with real cigarette lighters, one man said, "That depends on kids' parents. If the kids' parents are smoking and they have a lighter in the house it will remind them a lot about the lighter."
But a woman interviewed saw no resemblance at all.
"I would not say a cigarette lighter," she said.
A McDonald's spokesperson told Robichaud that all their toys pass strict federal safety tests, and that the fast food giant is not trying to promote smoking. They said the toy was not designed to look like a lighter.
Reported By David Robichaud