Ryan ToysReview, the seven-year-old YouTube phenom with 20 million subscribers and an astonishing 30 billion lifetime views, is helping fast food chain Hardee’s get back into the children’s meal business.
The partnership marks Hardee’s first-ever influencer team-up, and will call for kid’s meals that come complete with four exclusive toys from Ryan’s expansive product brand, Ryan’s World. Later this summer, another children’s channel repped by Ryan’s studio partner, Pocket.watch — HobbyKidsTV, via their newly-formed HobbyKids Aventures entertainment brand — will launch similar toys in Hardee’s and sister chain Carl’s Jr. (Both Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are owned by parent company CKE Restaurants).
“Our consumers are digital-first,” Hardee’s director of brand marketing, Jenna Folk, told CNN. She also noted that Hardee’s stopped vending kids’ meals — which it calls Star Pals — eight years ago, but the company has since noticed an increase in families eating at fast-food chains, citing recent studies.
As part of his partnership with Hardee’s, Ryan will also showcase the four exclusive toys on his massive YouTube channel. The items (see below) include: a mystery egg with a puzzle inside, a Ryan figurine, a water toy, and a rolling panda. The Star Pals meals, launching next week, will include chicken tenders or a burger, a side of applesauce, and a milk beverage — starting at $3.99.
“This partnership with CKE is a perfect extension of Ryan’s World, the amazing character universe created by Ryan and his family,” said Edwina Cumberbatch, Pocket.watch’s manager of sales and co-promotion. “And, it really builds on pocket.watch’s mission to bring kids and families more of what they love from their digital worlds.”