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The Burger King Kids Club gang, circa 1996

The Burger King Kids Club gang was a diverse group of cartoon children that appeared from in children's advertisements for Burger King from 1990 until 1999. They were created for Burger King by British multinational advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi[1]. The characters were presented as the "founding members" of the real-life Burger King Kids Club perks program[2], which allowed children to sign up and receive a membership card, a free meal on their birthday, and additional promotional items such as magazines and calendars via mail. The characters were featured prominently in print advertising, such as the free Burger King Kids Club Adventures leaflets, as well as in television ads.

Group Members

Kid Vid

Appearance

Kid Vid's latest design

Kid Vid is a tall boy with blond hair. His eyes are never seen, as he is always depicted wearing a futuristic blue visor (green in some depictions). His latest design sported a blue t-shirt with lightning bolts on either sleeve, a red belt-and-sash combination with various electronic devices attached, light blue jeans, blue-and-white sneakers, and a red backwards cap. An older iteration of his design seen only in television commercials featured a dark blue visor, a red, white, and blue striped shirt, a blue sash-and-belt-combination, cuffed light blue jeans, red-and-white sneakers, and a blue backwards cap. Kid Vid wields two remote controls, resembling those used with televisions, which have the ability to "zap" people into other realms, such as inside of video games and TV shows,[2] as well as manipulate objects in his surrounding environment[3].

Personality

Kid Vid is the established leader of the Kids Club gang, chosen due to his natural talent for leadership and generally confident and courageous nature. He is capable of handing the role over to other members, however, and does not hesitate to do so when one of them has an idea better than his own. He is somewhat hasty and forgetful, quick to start adventures without fully preparing for them first.[4] He is also somewhat skeptical, and is quick to chalk strange occurrences up to being the work of special effects or regular people pulling pranks[5][6]. He has a generally friendly disposition, and enjoys using his remote controls' special abilities to oblige other members' wishes.[2] He loves electronics of all sorts, and peppers his speech with terminology related to video and computing.

Boomer

Appearance

Boomer's latest design

Boomer is a redheaded girl with green eyes. She wears her hair up in a ponytail. Her latest design wore a yellow "7" jersey with red accents, black shorts, purple elbow and knee pads, and yellow-and-purple roller blades. Her debut design wore a green "7" jersey with yellow numbers and purple accents, green shorts with purple stripes, yellow-and-white knee pads, and white roller blades.

Personality

Boomer's name is derived from the "boom" sound heard when kicking a soccer ball particularly hard. Boomer is the most athletic member of the Kids Club gang, and is an all-around sports fanatic. She believes that practice makes perfect and hard works pays off. She also has a general interest in fitness, and believes in the importance of maintaining one's health.[7] She has a gung-ho attitude and aims to win, but is not as concerned with winning any given game so much as she is enjoying the act of playing it.[8] She also applies her give-it-all attitude to regular classwork in school. Boomer is also very bold, and is quick speak her mind and to stick up to things that threaten others.[5]

I./Q.

Appearance

I./Q.'s latest design

I./Q.'s full name is "Intelligence Quotient," the name of a metric used to assess human intelligence. I./Q. is the shortest member of the Kids Club gang. He has fluffy red hair, and his latest design wore a yellow polo, baggy green pants with a brownish-gray belt, white sneakers, round, pink glasses, and a blue backpack crammed with study materials. His debut design wore a green bow tie with a green overcoat, a white undershirt, baggy yellow pants, brown dress shoes, red, square glasses, and a gray wristwatch.

Personality

I./Q. is the youngest member of the gang, but also the smartest. He has a photographic memory, and has consequently memorized information from thousands of books and websites.[9] He's somewhat ungraceful, fitting into an "absentminded professor" archetype. He prefers quiet environments, where can read in peace. He enjoys sports, albeit from the role of an analyst rather than a player, and is the Kids Club's appointed keeper of statistics and strategies. He enjoys inventing things for Wheels to construct. He speaks with a complex vocabulary even in casual situations, and is shown to get annoyed when other Kids Club members do not match his intellect in some situations.[5]

Jaws

Appearance

Jaws' latest design

Jaws is the tallest member of the gang. He has a flat top haircut, and his latest design wore a green sweatshirt with a print of Earth on the front, blue shorts, green rolled-down socks, and blue, black, and white high top sneakers, usually accessorized with a pair of binoculars and a compass. His debut design wore a light green vest over a dark green sweatshirt, cuffed dark green shorts, dark green socks, and black, dark green, and light green high tops.

Personality

Jaws is an expert on nature and the outdoors, as well as navigation. He is very socially aware and caring, and especially in regards to the natural environment.[10] He is also occasionally presented as a voice of reason, retaining a cooler and more normal disposition in the wake of other members' antics or strange occurrences.[5] His name is derived from his older characterization, in which he was said to be the Super Official Burger King Quality Taste Tester, as well as an expert on food, specifically the food served at Burger King.[2] However, these details were largely ignored in later materials.

Snaps

Appearance

Snaps' latest design

Snaps is a girl with long, blonde hair and blue eyes. Her latest design wore a purple spaghetti-strap dress over a pink t-shirt with long pink socks and dark blue buckle shoes, and was usually shown with a yellow camera. Her debut design wore a green-and-white striped polo, pink cuffed shorts, white socks, and pink-and-white sneakers, and carried a large pink-and-gray camera.

Personality

Snaps' nickname is derived from the snap sound made by cameras, which she began using at a young age. She is an avid photographer, and enjoys taking both photos of people relaxing, and of fast-paced, high-intensity activities such as sports. She is also a journalist, and is constantly looking for new stories to capture, as well as keenly aware of where breaking news might be unfolding.[11][12] She has a notable sense of justice, and does not hesitate to confront wrongdoers who she encounters.[5] Snaps had her own long-running column in the Kids Club newsletter, where she would feature photos sent in by real kids and comment on them.

Wheels

Appearance

Wheels' latest design

Wheels has short, brown parted hair and freckles. He uses a motorized wheelchair, which in his latest design was yellow with a dark blue seat and silver accents. In his latest design, he wore a denim jacket over a red t-shirt, blue jeans, and green, yellow, and white sneakers. His debut design wore a white jacket with red stripes akin to a race car driver's, blue jeans, and white shoes, and used a white wheelchair with a red "W" on the cap of each wheel.

Personality

Wheels is an expert mechanic, and is capable not only of proficiently repairing and improving existing designs, but creating and assembling his own. He enjoys working with I./Q., who invents mechanical things for Wheels to turn into reality. Wheels is also able to modify his own wheelchair, and has converted it into a gyrocopter to take to the air. He enjoys reading books about racing and machinery.[13] He has a friendly, can-do attitude, which he often finds is contagious to others.[14] He is sometimes depicted as being close with J.D.[5]

J.D.

Appearance

J.D.'s latest design

J.D. is a small brown dog with white fur around his snout. He has short, floppy ears and a short tail. In his latest design, he wore a green shirt and green helmet with purple accents, as well as a purple bandana with yellow spots on it around his neck. His debut design wore a bluish-green shirt and a bluish-green helmet with deep purple accents, and had a white spot at the end of his tail.

Personality

J.D. was briefly called Paws in at least one of the very first Burger King Kids Club materials.[2] He is the Kids Club's mascot, and is not owned by any one of its members, but is instead viewed as a sort of member in his own right. He is capable of performing tricks, which he enjoys showing off to the Kids Club kids,[2] and later sports a skateboard, made motorized by Wheels, with which he keeps up with the rest of the gang.[15] In later materials, he is sometimes depicted as unaware or forgetful.[16]

Lingo

Appearance

Lingo

Lingo is a tall boy with short, dark hair. His latest design wore a white t-shirt with a tan vest (blue in some depictions), the pockets of which were usually occupied by pencils and other materials to draw with, along with green pants and red-and-white sneakers.

Personality

Lingo was added to the Kids Club gang lineup in 1990,[17] briefly after the original seven Kids Club gang characters were introduced. He is an expert at communication both visual and verbal; he is very knowledgeable about the art world, and is an artist himself, and is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish fluently. Lingo enjoys drawing cartoons of his fellow Kids Club members, and likes to mix humor with art. He is proud of his Hispanic heritage, and enjoys teaching the other Kids Club members Spanish words from time to time. He is very expressive, cheerful, and active.[18][19]

Jazz

Appearance

Jazz

Jazz is a girl with short, dark hair. She wears a purple beret, a white t-shirt with a red music note on it and purple accents, green pants with a red belt, and purple-and-red sneakers. She is also usually depicted with a trumpet.

Personality

Jazz was added to the Burger King Kids Club gang sometime in 1997, late in its existence.[16] Thus, materials featuring her are sparse; she was, however, given an official description on the Burger King website in 1999. Jazz is the Kids Club's music and social director; many around her assume that her extensive musical talents are natural, but she actually must work very hard to maintain them. She enjoys using music to express her deeper emotions. She is never seen without an instrument. She can also sing, and has a five octave voice range, and is a skilled ventriloquist who can throw her voice.[20]

References

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20070525025155/http://www.bk.com/companyinfo/content/corporation/history.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 1, issue 1
  3. 1990 Burger King Kids Club commercial https://youtu.be/48omeGMwSUY
  4. Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 3, no. 4
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Burger King Kids Club Comics #1, "Tabloid Terror!"
  6. Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 7, no. 6
  7. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822152628/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/boomerprofile.htm
  8. Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 3, no. 1
  9. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822160455/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/iqprofile.htm
  10. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822161632/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/jawsprofile.htm
  11. Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 2, no. 6
  12. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822173706/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/snapsprofile.htm
  13. Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 5, no. 3
  14. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822175037/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/wheelsprofile.htm
  15. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822164159/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/jdprofile.htm
  16. 16.0 16.1 Burger King Kids Club and the Toy Taker
  17. 1990 Burger King Kids Club commercial https://youtu.be/63_VirH5be4
  18. Burger King Kids Club Adventures vol. 2, no. 7
  19. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822172210/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/lingoprofile.htm
  20. http://web.archive.org/web/19990822162800/http://www.burgerking.com/kidsclub/jazzprofile.htm
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