Free toys from fast food places
So here is a nugget of wisdom I have learned this past month... You don't ever need to pay for fast food chain children toys.
I generally avoid buying kids meals for my own kids, in place I will just get a hamburger and drink on their own (french fries often go to waste, and they aren't anything special I desire my kids to get hooked on).
Occasionally I will treat my kids to a meal - if the toy is really cool, or if we are at JBX Grill where the kids meals come with applesauce (but no toy).
Recently Carl's Jr. ran a promotion with Mucha Lucha action toys in their kid combo meals. Now, I totally dig Mucha Lucha's art style, and the show isn't bad (hey I even have my DVR set to record it), but I still didn't want to pay for the toys. So I didn't.
On one particular visit to Carl's, as per our usual routine, my family and I ate our lunch and after the kids were done we went into the play area to let them play. Immediately my wife noticed that there was a toy stuck underneath the soft raised floor mat in the toddler's area. No kid was frantically trying to get the toy himself, so I figured the true owner was long gone, and had abandoned all thoughts of the toy. So I easily reached under the mat and rescued the toy for my kids.
Then on a completely separate visit a few weeks later, almost the exact same story. A few minor details changed. Instead of the toy being underneath the flooring, it was stuck on the roof. Again it was my wife who spotted it. She had taken my our little girl up to the top to go down the slide (FYI parents are allowed to play at most chains) and she saw it stuck on a lower ceiling.
She asked if I though I could nab it, and so I went to check it out. The ceiling of the area it was stuck in was this mesh fabric. I could see right through it while standing below. I was able to whack the bottom launching the toy into the air closer and closer to the edge. After about four whacks it was off the top and onto the floor. When I picked it up a kid asked me who's it was, and I rightly replied "mine."
Here is a photo I snapped with my Sidekick II of my wife holding our latest prize: