NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -
The next generation of McDonald's Happy Meal toys could be a partial movie download from Walt Disney Co. into a specialized portable media player, according to a published report.
The New York Times reports that Disney has applied for a patent for a portable media player that includes an electronic code that authorizes a partial download of a movie, video or other media file. The patent application suggests that the downloads would be given away with a purchase from a restaurant, and it mentions fast food chain McDonalds' as a possible partner, the Times reports.
The paper says it might take five visits to download an entire movie or video game that could be played on the device.
The paper reports that the downloads could also include advertisements aimed at children and teenagers, the most likely targets of the promotion, and that customers could transfer downloaded files to other media devices, potentially sharing their files with other users.
A Disney spokeswoman declined comment; McDonald's executives could not be reached, according to the paper's report.
The Times reports that McDonald's is already moving towards Internet downloads for its customers. The company began outfitting its restaurants with wireless Internet connections in 2003, and since then has installed Wi-Fi services in more than 6,200 restaurants worldwide.
Still it could take some time for the new media players to roll out as the paper reports patent applications typically take 30 months to be approved.
For a look at plans by Nintendo to offer free online gaming access at McDonald's restaurants, click here.