McDonald’s Happy Meals will feature throwback toys from the past 40 years for a limited time

San Francisco Votes To Ban McDonalds Happy Meals
Getty Images | David Paul Morris

I have some seriously fond memories tied to McDonald’s Happy Meals. While the nuggets and fries were, of course, a favorite meal, the toys were the real reason I often begged my parents for a fast-food dinner.

I remember many of the Happy Meals toys, but the Power Ranger toys and the mini Beanie Babies were at the top of my list. I distinctly recall trying to collect them all … only to fall short by a few and feeling incredibly disappointed.

Obviously, I am not the only person who loved getting the toys with their meal as a kid. Many collectors are still looking for these vintage toys of the past, with some people selling them for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

happy meal photo
Getty Images | David Paul Morris

If you remember your favorite toy from Happy Meals of yore, there’s a chance you may soon be able to find it again at your local McDonald’s. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the first-ever Happy Meal, McDonald’s is bringing back some fan-favorite throwback toys from the past four decades!

The limited-edition surprise Happy Meal toys will be available nationwide Nov. 7-11, while supplies last.

The line-up includes 17 toys from 1988-2013. While you won’t know which toy you’re getting in the bright red box, here is the full list of toys making a comeback:

  • 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 (Disney): 1997
  • Tamagotchi (Bandai): 1998
  • My Little Pony (Hasbro): 1998
  • Furby (Hasbro): 1999
  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey (Disney): 2002
  • Hello Kitty (Sanrio): 2013


“Parents tell us how fondly they recall their favorite toys,” Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s senior vice president for global marketing said in a press release. “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.”

First introduced as a Circus Wagon Happy Meal in 1979, the Happy Meal featured a decorative box including various toys like a spinning top and McDonaldland character erasers.

While the kids’ meal continues to change by including healthier additions like fruit and water, the toys have remained a Happy Meal staple.

San Francisco Votes To Ban McDonalds Happy Meals
Getty Images | David Paul Morris

Do you have a favorite Happy Meal toy from your childhood? Which one are you hoping to get?

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About the Author
Kaitlin Gates
Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Simplemost, she also writes for Don't Waste Your Money, where she loves finding great deals to help people save money. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kaitlin's work.

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