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Scary or sweet? McDonald's new Happy Meal mascot dinged on Twitter

Twitter users weigh in: McDonald's new mascot for kids is kind of creepy
Is McDonald's new mascot for kids cute or scary?

A new Happy Meal mascot introduced by McDonald's to promote more healthful food choices is getting some harsh reviews on social media. 

Happy, as the new mascot is named, is an animated red box with a pair of bulging eyes and a mouthful of large teeth. 

In a tweet by McDonald's on Monday, the company introduced Happy as "our newest friend."

But some Twitter users weren't so friendly, responding with gems such as: "I didn't want to sleep tonight." Another user wrote: "That is not right with God."

At the other end of the spectrum, a writer criticized what he characterized as an underwhelming mascot: "Someone stuck a mouth on the box. How many years was this in development?"

In a statement, a McDonald's spokeswoman said "social media is a great place to have a conversation and express an opinion, but not all comments reflect the broader view."

Happy has actually been around for a few years. It was introduced in France in 2009 and later was used in marketing campaigns in Latin America and Europe, according to MarketWatch, which said the character is scheduled to roll out in the U.S. on Friday.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

3 p.m.: This story has been updated to include a statement by McDonald's addressing the social media reaction.

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