Almost twenty of the most popular Happy Meal toys of all time are coming back for a limited time next month, as fast food giant McDonald's celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal's launch, USA Today has revealed. The toys, which are a combination of McDonald's originals and licensed properties, will be available from November 7 until 11. The "Surprise Happy Meal" will be available globally, with 15 randomly-inserted prizes available in more than 90 countries while supplies last (so if you're in a major market, probably err on the side of trying for the 7th). Two additional toys -- Disney-branded Mickey Mouse and 101 Dalmatians toys -- will be available only in the United States.
The toys skew pretty heavily toward the '90s, meaning that fans will get a chance to pick up such familiar caces as Furby, Tamogachi, and Hello Kitty. On the McDonald's side, they've got those transforming food toys that anybody in their late 30s remembers fondly as well as some anthropomorphic McNuggets and action figures based on the Hamburglar and The Grimace.
Little-known fact: nothing can kill The Grimace.
“Since the Happy Meal was introduced on the menu, it quickly became synonymous with our brand,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. “Today, this iconic red box creates lasting memories for billions of families annually across the world.”
The first kids' meals at McDonald's came in 1979, and in the early days especially a lot of the toys featured characters created for McDonald's (you see some of those here). The idea of adding licensed comics
The first McDonald's kids' meals were introduced in the U.S. in June 1979 as the Circus Wagon Happy Meal. Many of the early toys featured McDonald's McDonaldland characters. Over the years, licensed characters have become more and more common, with promotional tie-ins for movies and video games taking up almost every new wave of Happy Meal toys in the recent past.
“Parents tell us how fondly they recall their favorite toys,” said Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s senior vice president, global marketing. “So, unboxing the Surprise Happy Meal together creates a real moment of bonding with their children. We hope these toys are something that they will treasure and remember.”
Here is a listing of the toys you can find in the meals (you can see illustrations in the video above):
- Cowboy McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
- Fireman McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
- Mail Carrier McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
- Hamburger Changeable (McDonald’s): 1989
- Grimace (McDonald’s): 1990
- Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable (McDonald’s): 1991
- McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird (Mattel): 1993
- Hamburglar (McDonald’s): 1995
- Power Rangers (Hasbro): 1995
- Space Jam Bugs Bunny (Warner Brothers): 1996
- Patti the Platypus (Ty Beanie Baby): 1997
- 101 Dalmatians – U.S. Exclusive (Disney): 1997
- Tamagotchi (Bandai): 1998
- My Little Pony (Hasbro): 1998
- Furby (Hasbro): 1999
- Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey – U.S. Exclusive (Disney): 2002
- Hello Kitty (Sanrio): 2013