Monday 28 June 2021

Should you get the McDonald's BTS Meal even if you're not a fan of BTS?

Dear non-BTS fans,

How do you even exist?

How do you live in this world and not be a BTS fan?

I mean, I can understand if you are a non-MBS fan who does not know Marina Bay Sands is not in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.

But a non-BTS fan? That’s like the law of physics in a Fast And Furious movie – you’re non-existent. #JusticeforHan

However, for the sake of discussion, let’s say you do exist and the BTS Army hasn’t hunted you down like the dog that you are yet.

Let’s say you can’t tell Jungkook from Joo Koon MRT station.

Let’s say you think Dynamite and Butter are the same song. Break it down!

Let’s say up is down, orange is black and Robinsons is back – whatever.

Even if you don’t stan the only Korean act to ever top the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart – three times! – you must have heard that McDonald’s belatedly launched its much-hyped BTS Meal in Singapore last Monday, delayed by some deadly virus that has been going around.

At long last, Singaporeans get to experience what is basically an upsized nine-piece McNugget meal but with two “special” dipping sauces, namely Cajun and Sweet Chilli, allegedly picked by the boyband themselves and inspired by McDonald’s South Korea.

Surprisingly, no butter. A missed cross-promo opportunity? No sticks of dynamite either.

So how special are the “special” sauces?

Let me put it this way. The Cajun sauce isn’t going to transport you to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It’s just honey mustard.

The Sweet Chilli, on the other hand, takes me back to my childhood because that was when I used to put Sinsin chilli sauce on everything.

But if you’re ordering the BTS Meal for the food, you’re missing the point.

Remember those bad old days when we used to queue at McDonald’s for the Hello Kitty toys like how people are now queuing for durian and Sinovac? We got our priorities right back then.

The food was just the necessary evil that came with the mouthless cat.

For the BTS Meal, it’s all about the special BTS Meal packaging.

And McDonald’s knows this as it tells you upfront on its app and website: “BTS-branded brown bag is not available in Singapore.”

What you do get is a BTS-branded McNuggets box, a very large BTS-branded cup and I suppose the little tubs for the sauces.

There are hundreds of listings for these items on Carousell. I don’t know how many people are actually buying them though.

At least one person is selling a McNugget that the seller claims is shaped like BTS member Jungkook. Or an MRT station if you can’t tell the difference.

Not to be confused with the McNugget from a BTS Meal that resembled a character from the online game Among Us and was apparently sold for US$99,997 (S$134,000) on US eBay.

It seems that people would do anything rather than eat the McNugget.

One Singaporean managed to craft a pair of shoes out of the packaging from six BTS Meals. That’s quite a feet.

What amazes me is that for all this, the BTS Meal itself is priced at $8.90, just 40 cents more than the non-BTS upsized nine-piece McNugget meal.

The only caveat is that the BTS Meal is only available for delivery to avoid a repeat of the krazy Hello Kitty kueues of yore.

That means a delivery charge of $4 if you use McDelivery or you can use another food delivery service.

As it has been a week since the launch, the hype has died down a bit and ordering online should be easier now.

So even if you’re not a BTS fan, why not?

You may be able to recoup some of your cost by selling the used packaging on Carousell to someone to make footwear with.

The way I see it, you have two options.

It’s either the BTS Meal or the unholy crime-against-nature mutant abomination that is the KFC Cheesy Zinger Triple Down.

And that has even less right to exist than you do.

Break it down!

- Published in The New Paper, 28 June 2021