The McDonald's Happy Meal toy people were obsessed with in the year you were born


Going to McDonald's as a kid had its perks - obviously the food, but the collectible toy that came inside was just as exciting! Styles have evolved over the years so let's take a look back at the toys that came in Happy Meals during the year you were born!

Late 1970s (1977-79)

The McWrist Wallet was hot commodity! Instead of telling time, the plastic band wrapped around your wrist and held tiny collectibles inside - pocket change, gum, a ring, or whatever you could fit!

Photo: YouTube / Doctor Dinamite

1979-1981

When Star Trek: The Motion Picture became the first movie to have memorabilia included in Happy Meals, kids all over were trying to collect all the pieces. As tradition there were five different toys and the ultimate collectible was the "Video Communicator" which held comic strips inside!

Photo: YouTube / Mark Martinez

1982

This would never fly today, but Playmobil toys were hot in the early 80s and McDonald's carried a line of "sheriff and Indian toys." 

In the early '80s, before political correctness ran rampant, McDonald's was the place to get your sheriff and Indian toys. That is, until they were discovered to be choking hazards, after which you were urged to return yours in exchange for an ice cream cone.

Photo: YouTube / DUSTINTACIOUS

1983-84

Hot Wheels toys were all the range in Happy Meals during 1983-84. There were so many options so begging your parents to have dinner at Mickey D's again was totally not out of the question!

Photo: Photobucket / LOHRMD

1985-86

My Little Pony was huge in the 80s and McDonald's capitalized by creating a bookmark. This was also the beginning of gender-specific toys.

 This delicate pony bookmark was the start of McDonald's gender-specific toys. It was also the start of thousands of children throwing tantrums in the backseat of a minivan after receiving a — ewwwwwwww! — boy's toy in their box.

Photo: eBay.com / katrinka21

1987

There's no doubt you had a "Changeable" in your toy box growing up. They were boxes of French Fries, Ice Cream Cones, Big Mac containers and other classic McDonald's items that could transform into robots! 

The name could have used some work, but "Transformer" was already taken. At the end of the day, no one cared what their toy was called: They were too busy turning vanilla cones and Big Macs into robots.

Photo: eBay / the_atlantic_emporium

1988

They're kind of "California Raisin"-esque (remember those?!). But these are Chicken McNugget Buddies that looks like firemen, scuba divers, policemen and more! Cute!

 These were like Mr. Potato Head but better because they were chicken nug-shaped. The figurines were designed to promote the new Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, and each of the original 10 characters came with a fun — though not necessarily developed — backstory, like Rocker McNugget: "Like, I'm Rocker McNugget and I think rock and roll is really RAD!"

Photo: eBay / bluegrasscollector

1989

Introducing - the Fry Kids! They were also part of a huge McDonald's TV commercial campaign during the time period! Also cute!

 Clearly McDonald's was obsessed with turning their food into characters in the late '80s, which is why they had another need-it-now whammy in these Fry Kids. These little guys appeared in commercials, traipsing into Mickey D's and stealing kids' fries. And while they were supposed to look like fries too, they more closely resembled a plastic mop.

Photo: eBay / madcaptoys

1990

You couldn't do much actual camping with these toys, but the outdoors gear included a canteen, a mess kit, utensils and a collapsible cup. 

Whether you were taking a family trip to the National Parks or building a pillow fort in the living room, you needed this outdoors gear, which included a mess kit, canteen, utensil set and collapsible cup.

Photo: eBay / pite84

1991

Tiny Toons Flip Cars were basically two toys in one. When you got done playing with one side, flip it over for a TOTALLY NEW CAR TO PLAY WITH! Mind blown.

Getting one of these suckers in your Happy Meal box felt like winning the lottery, because once you flipped that car over there was AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE. And the drivers weren't characters McDonald's was trying to force on you. No, they were friends you knew and loved, like Bugs Bunny and Elmyra Duff.

Photo: eBay / slugbuggreen

1992

McDonald's Happy Meals toys are just as iconic as classic Nickelodeon! Check out the "slime green" microphone, the classic "orange" blimp water gun and more!

These toys let you bring home what Nick did best on TV: slime (in the form of a microphone), giant orange blimps (that acted as water guns) and slapstick gimmicks (like a hand clap gun).

Photo: YouTube / Lucky Penny Shop

1993

Chances are McDonald's could have put Barbie toys in Happy Meals in basically any year and they would have been uber-popular. In 1993, they were the toys all kids wanted - mostly because Barbie had hair you could actually brush!

Everyone's favorite doll looked a little different at McDonald's in the early '90s. She was smaller than usual, first of all, and was completely plastic. Finally, in 1993, they introduced Barbie dolls with hair you could brush, and little girls everywhere found their worlds turned upside down.

Photo: eBay / perfectcornerscollectibles

1994

In 1994, the Happy Meal celebrated its 15th birthday and the Happy Meal Birthday Train was released. Every toy collected connected to another one to great the best birthday train ever! Some of the familiar faces included The Little Mermaid, Berenstein Bears, Ronald and Friends and more!

Like the rest of us, McDonald's was not above making a BFD about birthdays. 1994 marked the Happy Meal's 15th, and they celebrated with a 15-car birthday train. Each of the pieces connected and brought all the best Happy Meal characters from the past together again. Ronald and Friends, The Little Mermaid, Barbie, Berenstein Bears — gangs all here!

Photo: YouTube / BubblePOP Kids

1995

Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, Zack and Tommy (and their Zords) made their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie toys debut in Happy Meals in 1995. Which color were you?

Before we played the Which Sex and the City character are you? game, the question on everyone's mind was Which Power Ranger are you? And no matter which color you identified with, the corresponding Happy Meal toy was sure to please.

Photo: YouTube / FastFoodToyReviews

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