Nostalgia Alert: McDonald's Brings Back Classic Happy Meal Toys 
Thu, April 22, 2021

Nostalgia Alert: McDonald's Brings Back Classic Happy Meal Toys 

McDonald’s is one of the most popular fast food companies in the whole world. In most countries, you can find its restaurants in several places, sometimes even two on the same block / Photo by: WikimediaImages via Pixabay

 

McDonald’s is one of the most popular fast food companies in the whole world. In most countries, you can find its restaurants in several places, sometimes even two on the same block. The company has become successful not only for their food but also because of their appeal to children, thanks to its Happy Meal that comes with a toy. Even adults have started collecting those toys.

Now that it is celebrating its 40th anniversary, the company has announced that it will bring back the classic Happy Meal toys that were loved by both children and adults. 

According to a report by Business Insider, an online platform that covers technology, finance, politics, strategy, life, sports, and more, McDonald’s will be launching the Surprise Happy Meal on November 7 in more than 90 countries. It will come with a vintage toy from the past 40 years. In the US, the meal will be available until November 11 till supplies last. 

McDonald’s senior vice president of global marketing Colin Mitchell said in a press release that parents fondly remember their favorite toys from a Happy Meal. He added that the company believes that with the release of the Surprise Happy Meal will create a chance for parents to bond with their children as they discover the vintage toy that comes with the meal, and parents tell their stories of childhood to their kids.

 

Classic Happy Meal Toys 

Today.com, a website that publishes lifestyle articles, reported that the classic Happy Meal toys that will make their limited comeback include Fireman McNugget and Hamburger Changeable. Those who grew up in the nineties will also be thrilled to know that McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird, Power Rangers, and Tamagotchi are also up for grabs once again with the Happy Meal. 

“Since the Happy Meal was introduced on the menu, it quickly became synonymous with our brand,” stated Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s CEO. He also said that their iconic red box continues to create lasting memories for millions of families around the world. 

People.com, a website that provides news about celebrity and human-interest stories, shared a list of all the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys (and the year they were first released) that collectors can have on November 7: 

Cowboy McNugget (1988)

Fireman McNugget (1988)

Mail Carrier McNugget (1988)

Hamburger Changeable (1989)

Grimace (1990)

Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable (1991)

McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird (1993)

Hamburglar (1995)

Today.com, a website that publishes lifestyle articles, reported that the classic Happy Meal toys that will make their limited comeback include Fireman McNugget and Hamburger Changeable / Photo by: Judgefloro via Wikimedia Commons

 

Power Rangers (1995)

Space Jam Bugs Bunny (1996)

Patti the Platypus (1997)

101 Dalmatians – US Exclusive (1997)

Tamagotchi (1998)

My Little Pony (1998)

Furby (1999)

Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey – US Exclusive (2002)

Hello Kitty (2013)

The fun thing about getting your hands on this lot is that some of the items are considered very valuable for some collectors. For example, the 101 Dalmatians set that contains 101 different dog figurines are hard to find nowadays.

Why Are We So Hooked on Happy Meals?

Sure, McNuggets are the best nuggets among the fast-food chains, but let’s face it, we enjoyed the Happy Meal toy more than the food that came with it. When we were young, most of us have experienced begging our parents to get us the Happy Meal just because we wanted to have the latest toys on offer, and this spirit is what the fast-food company wishes their customers of today to have. 

It’s a marketing strategy, all right, but one that the public doesn’t mind being a part of. Happy Meal toys have been a very effective attraction for kids of every generation. Parents will always be hard put to say no to the pleading for a Happy Meal of a child, and the company knows that. Chicago Tribune, a daily newspaper, mentioned in their online article that the company learned to teach kids to connect its “less-than-ideal meals with fun.” The toys that came with their meals became the focus of the child’s attention, and it mattered more than the quality of the food. 

Happy Meal toys have been a very effective attraction for kids of every generation. Parents will always be hard put to say no to the pleading for a Happy Meal of a child, and the company knows that / Photo by: Aranami via Flickr

 

War Against Plastics

Despite its popularity, McDonald’s Happy Meal toys are not immune to criticisms. Based on the report by The Drum, a global media platform, the fast-food company received backlash after a viral petition regarding their use of plastic toys circulated on the internet. 

The restaurant chain has been called out by a petition titled “Save the environment - Stop giving plastic toys with fast-food kids meals,’ which drew 400,000 signatories. The petition was a success as it managed to force the company to scale back some hard plastic toys from the UK. After the campaign, the fast-food chain offered alternatives like board games, books, and soft toys that sought to get positive feedback from a wider audience. 

“The reduction in the use of plastics is a very important issue to McDonald’s globally and consistent with our overall Scale for Good packaging and recycling goals. We have an active global working group exploring the production of more sustainable toy options,” a McDonald’s spokesperson said.