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There was nothing quite like opening a McDonald’s Happy Meal box as a kid. Check out all the most iconic Happy Meal toys.

Beanie Babies to Power Rangers: The most iconic Happy Meal toys

There was nothing quite like opening a McDonald’s Happy Meal box as a kid. First, you were engulfed in the salty scent of french fries & pickles, only to then see which of the promotional Happy Meal toys you drew. It was the closest thing to the lottery that a child could experience . . . well, that and drawing a Charizard in a fresh pack of Pokemon cards. 

Happy Meal toys represent a simpler time in our lives, where the backseat of our parents’ van felt like a luxury seat in a limousine, where we would be handed our Hi-C punch followed by our square box of culinary delights. To open a McDonald’s Happy Meal box was like rubbing Aladdin’s magic lamp, only instead of a genie and a magic wish we’d instead receive a Happy Meal toy. 

Let’s reflect back on some of the greatest Happy Meal toys of all time, spanning from promotional movie items to other amazing toys.

2000’s Dinosaur

While the 2000 Disney animated movie Dinosaur was anything but memorable, many kids couldn’t wait to get their hands on these puppets, as they were the evolving option to giving your sibling a wet willy. You’d pinch their ear with the mouth of a dinosaur hand puppet and watch them scream in pain. A bit sinister? Of course . . . but so was sitting through the actual 2000 movie. 

VHS toys

While the toys themselves weren’t anything special, the packaging was pure brilliance and means so much more today for those who’ve managed to hold onto these precious packages. These Happy Meal toys were made to look like VHS covers, keeping your toy safe from your baby brother’s teething stage. 

Nugget nostalgia

McDonald’s always loved its “collect them all” campaigns for its Happy Meal toys. The nuggets family, which spanned many different characters, was always a collection that many of us came up short on . . . mostly because there was always a newly released nugget that we were never able to draw. That is, of course, until our mom’s asked the window cashier for a specific toy we needed for our collection. 


These Happy Meal toys were just as good as getting a new laptop. So what if the toy’s battery died only after a week’s use? You cannot beat this era of Happy Meal toys.

“Go Go Power Rangers”

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was the Avengers: Endgame of the 1990s. Heck, even both of the films’ major villains are purple! Ivan Ooze still strikes us as a greater threat to Thanos to this very day! Remember kids, “you ooze, you lose”. 

Hit clips

The OG iTunes was McDonald’s Hit Clips, which gave us the hottest songs of the early 2000s via a mini-cassette. This was the way to download your music back then, even if your song options were hit & miss. We remember what it felt like drawing Smashmouth when we really wanted Brintey Spears. 

Hot Wheels

Sorry, ladies, but this one’s for the boys! Owning your favorite car had never been easier during the Hot Wheels era of McDonald’s toys! Luckily, McDonald’s did seem to do a pretty good job of keeping Barbie-like options available for girls when it was Hot Wheels season, and our parent’s bare feet had never been angrier about it. 

What were some of your favorite McDonald’s Happy Meal toys? Was there a specific era of Happy Meal toys that you remember the most? Perhaps you preferred the toys at other fast-food chains? Whatever your thoughts, comment below and let us know!

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