McDonald's next series of Happy Meals is going to feature some Madden NFL-branded figurines, and while the one representing the Denver Broncos' quarterback is about as mobile as Peyton Manning in real life, it doesn't look a thing like him.
These toys may have an NFL license, but that only lets someone use team names and logos. It could not be more obvious they don't have the license of the NFL Players Association, which is the deal that lets you use players' actual names. That makes sense: These things are so small they can barely show uniform numerals, so why pay the freight for player names when they can't be painted on, either?
That said, even casual football fans can spot some hilarious palette swaps of player races in the set of 32. For example, here's the Denver QB:
That's damn for sure because Manning is singularly identifiable by passing a football for the Broncos. Whoever made these toys made sure to swap the races of the most recognizable players just so there was no legal problem — like the trouble Electronic Arts got into over using college players' likenesses in the dear departed NCAA Football series.
Here's New Orleans' quarterback. It's Drew Brees IRL, but if you close your eyes and pretend real hard this could be Mark Ingram on the halfback toss-pass.
It works in the other direction, too. Here's White Arian Foster for the Houston Texans. Or maybe it's JJ Watt returning a fumble, I dunno.
Anyway, Black Aaron Rodgers? I just did a discount double-check.
Baltimore's running back doesn't look a thing like Ray Rice, but that's probably the point, for more than one reason.
When you try me with a sorry receiver, you get White Richard Sherman!
Indianapolis? Is this Black Andrew Luck or Black Retro Peyton Manning, just to be on the safe side?
Hey look! It's Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe!
For those who want their six-piece Chicken McNuggets with a side of gender norms, there's a girly-girl Littlest Pet Shop set of figurines. One assumes their racial traits are more accurate than Madden's Electric Football rejects.
Both sets have "McPlay" capabilities, which is a toys-to-life feature that unlocks features on a mobile app for iOS and Android. They aren't being sold yet; they'll be included in Happy Meals "coming soon."