An ill-fated trip through the local Wendy’s drive through yesterday resulted in room temperature fries, the wrong size drink and confirmation of my children’s suspicions that not all chicken nuggets are created equal. But hey, check out this awesome little arcade building set that came in their kid’s meal.

Wendy’s is pretty good if you visit a good location on the right day. And while I missed both of those targets yesterday, I now have good reason to go back, at least to ask if I can purchase kid meal toys separately. While McDonald’s is busy going around the My Little Pony/Transformers merry-go-round again, Wendy’s is passing out these wonderful little building kits called “Design Your World.”


Featuring whimsically decorated cardboard buildings populated by sticker-laden plastic people, the sets encourage children to engage in some thoughtful, creative play. Failing that, it’s something fun for parents to do while their children are on their iPads.

Check out the slideshow below to see how the 8-Bit Arcade and the Candy Shop come together.

The kids were fussy and didn’t want to eat, my large meal was small, the new chicken tenders were horrible, but hey, look at these adorable little building kits.
Each “Design Your World” kit comes with a plastic base with a paper floor, four colorful cardboard inserts to serve as walls, and a plastic person part just waiting for stickers to be applied to come to life. The two sets I stole from my crying children both came with a couple different character options. 
The 8-Bit Arcade set, while fully decorated with fictional arcade games on the inside, comes with a sheet of stickers so small children’s dads have options. That’s totally an NBA Jam reference, isn’t it? Small kids wouldn’t have caught that. Good thing I stepped in. 
As dictated by real-world laws of physics, the inside walls feature the interior of the arcade, while the outsides present the facade of a cubic digital entertainment destination. I spy a crane game, a basketball toss, possible Centipede, probably Pole Position and what might be a three-person Galaga or Gorf played with light guns. Fancy!
The completed building is incredibly darling, especially with the blocky little guy staring out. The children’s hamster would have loved this. Long story. 
Look, sometimes hamsters just die, okay? To their credit, the kids never asked why daddy was throwing away her home. They’re as happy and bright-eyed as the little cube person preparing to indulge in some generic ‘80s arcade action. 
There are six sets in all: Superhero Headquarters, the Laboratory Extraordinary, the Magic Pet Shop, Robot Repair Shop and the two you see here. Each can be slotted together or stacked to create a lovely little strip mall. One that does not include a Wendy’s, which is pretty great.