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In 1984, the movie Gremlins teamed up with Hardees to sell a set of LPs that came along with the movie:

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Each week a different record would be sold, thus, each week, parents had to take their children to Hardees to get the latest one.

What was the first movie to team up with fast-food to do something like this? What was the product they sold?

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2 Answers 2

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The KFFT List Guide says:

Burger King was a pioneer in the advertising practice known as the product tie-in with a successful partnering with George Lucas’ Lucasfilm, Ltd. to promote the 1977 film Star Wars in which BK sold a set of glasses featuring the main characters from the film. This promotion was one of the first in the fast food industry and set the pattern that continues to the present.

And from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger_King_advertising :

Burger King's first successful cross- promotional campaign was in 1977. It offered several collectible items, such as posters, glasses and sticker sets that featured scenes and characters from Star Wars.

Here's some photos of the 1978 posters and cups and cups from 1977.

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I don't know if it was the first time that any movie teamed up with a fast food restaurant, but the first ever themed promotion for McDonald's Happy Meal was for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. From the Happy Meal Wikipedia article:

The packaging used for the Star Trek Meal consisted of various images and games related to the film, as well as a comic strip adaptation of the film. Consumers had to buy numerous meals in order to complete the set.

I found an image of the toy communicator from that Happy Meal in the article The 50 Coolest Happy Meal Toys of All Time.

Star Trek Happy Meal Toy - 1979

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