NASA and McDonald’s latest collaboration has Snoopy to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and pique interest for space exploration among today’s younger generation.
The NASA-McDonald’s-Peanuts Toys collaboration comes in a new Happy Meal promotion that will celebrate the National Literacy Month in September and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Beginning today until September, Snoopy comes to McDonald’s in a series of four Happy Meal books that follow space-faring adventures of the Charles Schulz’s comic strip dog in his persona as the “world-famous astronaut” and “the first beagle on the moon.”
“In July of 2018, Peanuts signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and committed to working to bring the joys of space exploration and STEM into the lives of today’s kids, and to honor the legacy of Snoopy’s history with NASA,” says Roz Nowicki, executive vice president of Peanuts Worldwide.
“This promotion with one of the nation’s most beloved restaurants brings that commitment to kids and families around the country who will be inspired by these fun, and educational books.”
On Twitter, Peanuts Toys said: “Discover Space with Snoopy! Head to your local McDonald’s now to learn about your favorite beagle’s educational mission to space with your very own Astronaut Snoopy toys and original STEM Peanuts books.”
The four “Discover Space with Snoopy” toys include:
- “Moon Walker,” a wind-up Astronaut Snoopy figure that walks backward, similar to the style of the dance move of the same name;
- “Rocket Ride,” a pullback toy featuring Snoopy and Woodstock riding on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft;
- “Space Buggy,” a pullback toy styled after NASA’s Mars rovers Curiosity and Mars 2020; and,
- “Take Off Launcher,” a spinning top that launches Astronaut Snoopy from atop NASA’s SLS rocket.
Each of the toys come packaged with a NASA Fact Card with details about space exploration and the agency’s activities.
McDonald’s also worked with NASA and Reading is Fundamental to write the four “Discover Space with Snoopy” books:
- “Snoopy: Constellation Quest,” in which Snoopy and the Peanuts gang enjoy an evening of stargazing and learning about stars, constellations, and asterisms. Included is a punch-out Snoopy and telescope that can be used to reveal constellations inside the book’s back cover.
- “Snoopy: To The Moon!” in which the “world famous astronaut” launches back into space for a trip to the moon with his bird buddy Woodstock. The book includes a stand-up of the moon topped with Astronaut Snoopy.
- “Snoopy: Blasts Off!” in which Snoopy launches on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station. The book features a pop-up representation of the orbital laboratory.
- “Snoopy: The Mars Rover!” in which Snoopy helps Charlie Brown with his book report and writes a Martian chronicle. The book includes a wand that exposes other characters on the red planet.
All eight of the books and toys can be scanned with the McDonald’s McPlay app to reveal a Snoopy-themed surprise and related activities.
The “Discover Space with Snoopy” Happy Meal has previously been available at McDonald’s restaurants around the world, however not everyone will be able to grab a NASA-McDonald’s books but they added four additional toys for kids to choose from including a space plane, the Hubble Space Telescope, a re-entry capsule with parachute and an Orion-themed spinner.
Snoopy’s current NASA STEM mission also includes a large character balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a “Snoopy In Space” animated series premiering with the Apple TV+ streaming service this fall.
“The NASA partnership with Peanuts and additional cooperation on the Peanuts-McDonald’s Happy Meal program fits into the agency’s mission to communicate about the NASA’s space exploration programs and excite the next generation’s interest in STEM and STEM careers,” wrote NASA on its website.
Additionally, McDonald’s will support Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) with a donation of 100,000 Happy Meal books to RIF literacy efforts and programs across the country.
Following the book promotion, McDonald’s Happy Meals will feature a lineup of Snoopy and Woodstock action toys that celebrate astronauts and space exploration. Each toy comes with a double-sided cardboard token featuring a space fact supplied by NASA.