Have you ever wanted to eat a Godzilla hamburger? How about see a cute Godzilla wearing a giant hamburger on his head? King Ghidorah hanging out with a bunch of French fries? Mothra crawling out of a cup of soda? I personally never envisioned such brilliance, but I am glad I have seen them now, thanks to a lighthearted campaign through Lotteria, a kind of Korean-Japanese version of McDonald’s (Lotte, the company behind Lotteria, was founded by a Korean in Tokyo). The campaign, used to promote the release of Shin Godzilla (2016) in Japan, was called “Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla” (ロッテリア対シン・ゴジラ) and included several food items, including a Shin Godzilla bucket of chicken nuggets or fries with a special removable Godzilla-themed cardboard wrapped around the bucket, a similar Shin Godzilla gelato cup with sleeve, and the main attraction, the Shin Godzilla set, which included one of three Godzilla-themed prizes along with a cheese burger (made from “umameat”) and small fries and a small drink. Basically a happy meal, except the prize (which the customer was allowed to choose, thankfully) is not a toy… But first the sleeves!
The larger of the two sleeves could be purchased with a Shin Godzilla chicken nuggets bucket or French fries bucket. The sleeve is just slapped on a boring white cardboard bucket of junk food, and it’s the same bucket with the nuggets or the fries. Since I was ordering my bucket to go with a Shin Godzilla set, I ordered the nuggets instead of the fries given that the set already comes with a small fries. That was a huge mistake. The chicken nuggets were some of the worst I have ever eaten, and immediately they went to war on my stomach and my taste buds. The whole meal only came with a small drink and I was too stubborn to order a second drink or throw away the nuggets, so I suffered through bite after excruciating bite, the obnoxious manufactured aftertaste invading every crevice and corner of my mouth. I would be tasting nugget chemical wash for the rest of the evening as my rebelling stomach sent nasty-flavored belches up the esophagus and bathed my mouth anew with pure nuggety torture again and again.
And all for a cardboard sleeve featuring the Godzilla posters from the first 28 Japanese films in full-color, along with blood red dates indicating the releases of the films in Japan. Of course in Japan each Godzilla film had more than one poster, and the bucket sleeve only has room for one poster for each movie (surprisingly fairly clear images despite their size), but the posters are well-chosen, including the gorgeous painted Heisei posters by Noriyoshi Ohrai. This collection of posters is given the charming title of “Godzilla Timeslip Museum,” and while this prize is in no way worth an evening of digestive torment, it is still a pretty nifty item for obsessive collectors.
The sleeve for the Shin Godzilla gelato cup is much less impressive, but also much cuter. Much to my stomach’s relief, the gelato did not cause me digestive upset either. The sleeve’s design is mostly red and white, with a collection of chibi-style Godzilla characters dressed in fast-food themed attire standing proudly and randomly about on the sleeve. Godzilla can be seen wearing a giant hamburger headpiece, as can be the 70s version of Mechagodzilla—both in full color. However there is also a Godzilla drawn in white with a soft-drink headpiece, a white-sketch MechaG with hamburger headpiece, a headpiece-less Godzilla, and a King Ghidorah with three huge heads. It all seems pretty random and cheap, especially since the cutesy Godzilla art is just recycled from the Shin Godzilla set items.
As for those set items, really, they are the main attraction here. The Shin Godzilla set came with a small cheeseburger, a small fries, a small drink, and one of your choice of three unusual Godzilla-themed prizes. The burger and fries I thought were tasty in a cheap fast-food way (compare to the cheapest McDonald’s burger on the menu), but the goodies that come with the food are memorable to say the least. Each of the prizes comes in a little white Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla plastic bag and two of the prizes come with instructions for use (just in case you happen to be an idiot, I guess).
The first prize I got (I think right after my initial viewing of Godzilla Resurgence on opening day) was the King Ghidorah sticky notes, which come in a little cardboard box made to look like a french fries container. Each sticky note has the aforementioned chibi Ghidorah with big red eyes standing in front of cartoon illustrations of fries—thus highlighting how the legendary terror from outer space and one of Godzilla’s most fearsome enemies sort of blends into fries if you look at him squinty-eyed. The portion of each sticky note for writing features Ghidorah’s eye again, this time in the background with a light yellow color. I just think the whole thing is ludicrously cute.
The second prize I picked up was the Mothra masking tape, which has a sticker with detailed instructions in tiny, tiny print as to how to properly use said tape (don’t lick it, don’t put it on your skin, don’t try to use it on dusty surfaces, etc). The actual tape is partially translucent and feels waxy with a pink checkered design. Mothra in her imago form can be seen emerging from a cup and crying out “Bah!”, perhaps as an expression of her frustration at not being featured in the latest Godzilla feature. The adult Mothra is followed by four Mothra larvae which are crawling out of overturned cups with the Japanese onomatopoeia word “mozo” inscribed above their heads (“mozomozo” just means to crawl or creep). Presumably the reason we are being treated to Mothra tape is because of Mothra’s well-documented use of sticky silk spray, which I guess loosely translates to pink tape in the world of Lotteria marketing staff. The Lotteria logo can also be found on the tape. So far I haven’t had the heart to actually use the stuff, but I love the crazy design.
Last and perhaps most unusual because I can’t quite figure out what I would use it for is the Magnet Godzilla Clip, which features the same chibi Godzilla and Mechagodzilla from the gelato sleeve, and they are once again wearing the cheeseburger headgear. Mechagodzilla here can be seen destroying a skyscraper in the background, and Godzilla is shooting what looks like a blue fireball out of his mouth. Each monster is featured on one side of a plastic magnet clip. Actually, the material feels like thin vinyl over two circular magnets which clip together, thus referencing Godzilla’s inexplicable magnetic powers in the original Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). However, I usually think of magnet clips as something you stick on your refrigerator to hold papers or something. This clip seems to be something you would carry around in your bag, maybe holding some small document together or… something. I don’t know. The magnets aren’t very powerful, so I wouldn’t want to use them to clip anything important. Frankly I think it’s a piece of junk—a cute piece of junk, but junk nonetheless. The Magnet Godzilla Clip also comes with instructions such as “don’t give to small kids” and “don’t put too close to magnetized cards and wrist watches and so forth”.
I am not usually one to collect much Godzilla paraphernalia outside of books and comics, but the Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign cross promotion tickled my funny bone and I figured no one else was going to be covering this rather unique bit of Godzilla history in any detail in English, so I decided to go for it. The products and promotions and food are all cheap but cute and clever, and I had fun. I hope you had fun reading about them, too.