McDonald’s locations in mainland China are currently selling an exclusive Tetris handheld in the shape of a chicken nugget. Yes, you read that correctly.
This is an actual handheld gaming device in the shape of a chicken nugget that plays Tetris.
After a bit of translation on the McDonald’s China website, I found that this is in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the chicken nugget!
But why Tetris? That part is unclear, but I’m also not exactly upset about it.
It is all as unusual as it sounds, and you know for a fact that we immediately needed this.
Luckily for me, I live in Asia and have quite a few friends in China. So I put out the alert, and have some pretty good leads. It’s possible that I will have a few of these in my hands by next week.
So while I wait impatiently, let’s dig into what these handheld are looking (and tasting) like.
Mcdonald’s Chicken Nugget Handheld
Once you get over the fact that this is a handheld in the iconic chicken nugget shape, what exactly do we have here?
This is an ultra budget handheld gaming device that has a custom version of Tetris loaded on it.
There is actually a McDonald’s logo built into the game, so we know that this was something really developed with their cooperation in some form.
We have seen no mention of it playing any other games.
The device features an LCD screen with no backlight much like an original Game Boy, the Playdate, and many budget game devices.
The button configuration is quite unique and does seem to be made specifically to play Tetris.
There is a left, right, down, hard drop (up), and a single rotate action button (which means we can only rotate the pieces in one direction).
The chicken nugget handheld comes in a box that looks exactly like the one you’d get your real chicken nuggets in.
Inside the box is your handheld and a cool carrying bag for it. There’s also a set of stickers so you can customize your new handheld.
As far as we can tell, these handhelds are a mainland China exclusive. There has been no mention of them coming to any other parts of Asia or to the west.
The chicken nugget handhelds launched just yesterday (May 24th), and were sold out all over China.
They only cost 30 Chinese Yuan (about $4.25 usd) at McDonald’s, and are already appearing on sites like Shopee and Ebay for much more.
I was lucky enough to snag 5 of them for $8 usd each. If all goes well, those will be here for testing and review purposes soon.
I know there are quite a lot of these kinds of knockoff Tetris games out in the wild.
It makes me wonder the legality of using that game and name in an unlicensed handheld. Especially when it’s coming from a brand like McDonald’s.
Even McDonald’s locations in China would need to comply with copyright laws.
If McDonald’s has a Tetris knockoff with their logo built right into it, they surely know that they are safe to do so.
Update May 25, 2023: I was still curious about the legal issues with the Tetris brand after spotting the Tetris logo on the side of the boxes for the Chicken Nugget Boy. And coincidentally, one of our readers from China emailed us sharing a photo of the back of the handheld, which does show the license information. So it would seem that McDonald's did, in fact, have the legal authority to use the Tetris brand and game. Thank you, Chen Vito from China!
Update May 26, 2023: And further confirmed by the Tetris brand themselves!
What do you even say about a handheld game device in the shape of a chicken nugget? “AWESOME!” is probably fitting.
And a handheld from McDonald’s in celebration of the 40th anniversary for the chicken nugget + Tetris. Sign me up.
As far as playability, only time will tell. I’m not anticipating this being the best game play experience of my life.
But when you’re holding an extra large chicken nugget in your hands with a bootleg copy of Tetris, it’s hard to not feel like a boss.
That incredible carrying bag will also make for a perfect accessory. It would likely also fit other actual game devices, like the Miyoo Mini +.
Tetris is probably my most played video game. Knowing that my favorite fast food chain is hawking handhelds loaded with one of my favorite games is quite exciting.
If all goes well, the taste test will come soon.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.