Sanrio characters cosplay as Yu-Gi-Oh creatures for fans in one country only.

McDonald’s Japan’s Happy Meals regularly feature tie-ups with some of Japan’s most popular kids’ franchises. In the past, we’ve seen “Happy Sets,” as they’re called in Japan, with toys from Pokémon, Demon Slayer, and Funassyi.

So it’s really not a surprise to find out that there’s a new batch of Sanrio Happy Meals that just went on sale. Sure, it wasn’t that long ago that McDonald’s brought out the massive 50-plushie history of Hello Kitty Happy Meals, but now Kitty-chan’s friends are part of the lineup. What’s more, this is a double-layered collaboration, because the Sanrio crew is cosplaying as creatures and characters from card/video game/anime series Yu-Gi-Oh, combining two franchises that Japan loves.

But the biggest surprise of all? The Sanrio/Yu-Gi-Oh Happy Meals aren’t available in Japan, and are only being offered in Belgium.

In and of itself, running an anime-themed promotion in Belgium isn’t so weird. There are a lot of anime fans in Europe, after all. What is a headscratcher, though, is offering the Sanrio/Yu-Gi-Oh crossovers Happy Meal only in Belgium. In terms of population, Belgium is only the 13th largest country in Europe, so it’s not a particularly big market, and with three official languages, Dutch, French, and German, any Belgium marketing/advertising materials should be easily adaptable to at least one other country.

▼ There even appears to be an English-language commercial for the Sanrio/Yu-Gi-Oh Happy Meals.

The Belgian exclusivity is especially puzzling since the toys are new, custom-designed for the Happy Meal crossover. Unlike Hello Kitty and her friends, Yu-Gi-Oh isn’t a Sanrio property, meaning that multiple Japanese companies had to coordinate the design and production of the toys, which seems like an awful lot of work for them to end up only being available in a region that’s neither the franchises’ country of origin nor their most lucrative market.

As of this time, though, there’s no word about any possibility of the Sanrio/Yu-Gi-Oh Happy Meals expanding to anywhere outside of Belgium, so while me way not know the “why,” we do at least know the “where,” and as for the “when,” McDonald’s Belgium says that they’ll be on sale until April 9, assuming toy supplies last.

Source: McDonald’s Belgium
Top image: McDonald’s Belgium
Insert images: McDonald’s Belgium
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