Children often prefer objects and food packaging bearing images of popular media characters. However, it is unclear what factors may influence this. This study investigated whether depictions of popular media characters on high-quality (brand new) and low-quality (dirty, broken) objects influenced 3- to 4-year-old children’s (N = 84) object preferences, as well as which objects children selected to help them complete a functional task (e.g., using a bucket to transport several small items). We also investigated whether children’s preferences were related to inhibitory control. We found children’s preferences were influenced by images of popular characters, but not their choice of objects for functional use. Instead, children relied on object quality when selecting an object to complete a task. Inhibitory control was not related to children’s object choices. These results suggest children may weigh object features differently when making decisions for different purposes.