McDonald’s 40th Anniversary Happy Meal!

Y’all know the scoop by now. To celebrate the Happy Meal’s 40th anniversary, McDonald’s just released A TON of old school Happy Meal toys. I mean a legit ton. Check out their promo vid:

People like me had been on McDonald’s case for years, wondering why they weren’t tapping into our nostalgia for vintage Happy Meal junk. Well, we can all shut up now. This especially short promotion features everything from McNugget Buddies to Beanie Babies, so if you grew up on a steady diet of McDonald’s cheeseburgers, there’s gotta be something in this set that stabs your heart.

Earlier today, I dragged my girlfriend to McDonald’s for what was pitched as a “date,” even if she knew that she was enlisted so I wouldn’t feel like an incredible idiot photographing Happy Meal toys all by myself. (I was determined to open my little baggies in an actual McDonald’s restaurant, just like I did in the old days. None of that take-home shit.)

It was a fiasco. I ordered four Happy Meals, reasoning that I’d have a fair shot at some of the more desirable toys with that many burgers on the table. McDonald’s had the correct boxes, but when I looked inside, the toys were all wrong. They’d given us unrelated prizes from other Happy Meal promotions that I guess are running concurrently.

With my social anxiety attacking from all sides, it was up to my poor girlfriend to make the trade. Fortunately, the manager was terrific. After she explained the situation, he found a case of the right toys hiding in the back.

So, she came back with four of them… but the numbered bags were all identical, and I could tell that they were all gonna be those damn Beanie Babies — my least-wanted of all the toys in the set.

While it was technically my turn to handle any order issues, I deer-eyed her long enough to take pity on me. Back up to the counter she went, while I pretended to get a work call on a phone that was obviously off. I seriously have no idea why she hasn’t broken up with me.

Tl;dr: I got four different toys, including the two I wanted most:



First up was a McNugget Buddy, dressed like a fireman, or more accurately like a stripper in a fireman costume. (If you weren’t aware, the original McNugget Buddies weren’t Halloween-themed.)

Next was a glorious Changeables robot — inspired by one of the coolest Happy Meal sets ever. Interestingly, this isn’t an exact replica of any prior figure, but rather a mutant combination of two of them.

The remaining toys included something from Space Jam and something from 101 Dalmatians. I have no special affection for those sets, but I did enjoy pushing that little doggy car around the table, and making it swerve to avoid the fry crumbs left by whoever was sitting there before us.

I’ve seen complaints about minor edits to some of the toys, and about how parts that used to be metal are now plastic. I guess I’m an easy sell, because none of that bothers me. Honestly, isn’t this all just an excuse to pretend we’re eight years old and to treat McDonald’s like the oily theme park it used to be? The toys are just mementos.

Huge thumbs-up to McD’s on this. It’s been a blast watching so many similarly old strangers post photos of tiny Grimaces and plastic Furbies all across the internet. For one afternoon, we all got to be kids again, when nothing mattered more than toy cars and barbecue sauce.

McDonald’s 40th Anniversary Happy Meal!