Monday, July 29, 2013

Happiest McCollection? Happy Meal Toys.

I couldn't think of a SINGLE clever title for this post. But I've been meaning to post about my McDonald's Happy Meal toy collection for some time now, so this is the title you get. 

What's in the box? My soul. That's what.
I need to warn you up front that as a child of the 80's I LOVE the McDonald-Land crew. I don't care if they were a blatant rip-off of H.R. Puffinstuff or anything else for that matter. I was just as invested in the adventures of these characters as I was He-Man or the GI Joes. 

Shhh! I'm watching my stories...

As an adult I am always on the lookout for toys from these lines to add to my shelf. Unfortunately, very few of the toys I'll be featuring here in this post actually came to me from Goodwill or even just thriftily "in the wild".  
Mmmm. Look at the plume on that beautiful Birdie the Early Bird...
This post will also mainly be focusing on toys themed around McDonald's itself or the McDonald-Land crew, and disregarding other licensed properties. Many of them are online purchases of one sort or another. I will say that I bought the lion's share of these from Brian over at Cool and Collected when he was doing some cleaning out of his own toy collection. So I feel like I got a pretty awesome deal from him on these. 

Just gonna dive right in here with a bunch of group shots. Across the top in this one are figurines of Birdie the Early Bird, Grimace, Ronald McDonald himself, and Hamburglar from 1995 (around the beginning of my senior year of Highschool... which is irrelevant to my toy-collecting habits). These are the versions of the characters I am most familiar with. These four figurines were from part of a Halloween set where each character had a snap-on costume (hence the weird crucifixion positions). I don't ever care about owning the costumes because I actually just love having figurines of these guys as themselves. 

This is what they look like in costume.
Image from eBay
All of the quartet came from eBay, though I got a few extras from Brian that I turned into Christmas ornaments for my tree, and for some other online friends last Christmas. In the bottom row are a mish-mash of toys such as Fry-Guys and Chicken McNuggets with interchangeable costume pieces. I don't have a single complete set for any of them. All of these came from my purchase from Brian as well. I realized AFTER taking this photograph that the purple cowboy hat on that Fry-Guy is probably a Sesame Street toy, not a McDonalds one. So I took it off. In the bottom right hand corner is one of the McDonald's Tinosaurs: Spell the Nasty Grumpy, which I've featured before on here since he was from a Grab-Bag.

The two pictures above are of my third-series McDonald's Changeables. I found this entire set of these at Goodwill, and featured them in a post where I talked about that particular grab-bag. Of course, I already had most of them already because of my purchase from Brian, and because my brother-in-law had two of them he let me have from when he was a kid. These guys were released in 1990 and were a follow up to the robot Changeables from years prior (more on these later). 

Here we have an assortment of vehicles. The pull-back vehicles across the top are all from Goodwill, as is the long Hotwheels dragster (circa 1993) on the bottom. I posted about them here. The pull-backs are from 1984. I remember having some of these as a kid, but I can't clearly remember which ones. I know Birdie for a fact. I think I lost her under the stove at my Grandmother's house. I assume she's still under there... in the lonely dark... The others? It's all a haze. The yellow rocketship/jet-looking thing is apparently an exclusive toy you can only get at the McDonalds inside the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. It's one of those awesome rev-up toys where you don't pull it back but you push it ahead several times and just let it go crazy. You can see sparks through a window in the back as well. I got it and the smaller red race car next to it from my purchase from Brian as well. The race-car is from 1988 and is part of a series of pull-backs similar to the ones above, but slightly larger and with a different assortment of characters. 

Here are my robot McDonald's Changeables!!! I got three of these in the post I mentioned earlier with my Dinosaur Changeables. The other four are from Brian. The robot Changeables came out in two waves, one in 1988 and the other in 1989. I like ALL the Changeables in my collection, but I do prefer the robots to the dinosaurs. I find it ridiculously cool that there is a line of transforming robots that turns into fast-food menu items. Like the true struggle of good vs. evil was going to take place secretly in fast-food restaurants between tiny robots that had to blend in to keep the war secret. I wish these were done to scale with the actual foods though. THAT would be even cooler. 

For a short while I was obsessed with tracking down these child-like Ronald toys. I got almost this entire group of toys together in two lots on eBay. These were the toys being given out to the 3 and under kids for a while in the later 2000's (The ones I have are all marked either 2007 or '08). I don't know what it was that drew my attention to them really, just the oddness of a child version of Ronald McDonald? I think the one on the tricycle front and center is my favorite, with the cartwheeling and hula-hooping ones coming in close seconds. It's really hard for me to explain what it is I like about them though. Is it the colorfulness? The cuteness of the sculpts? The feeling of beatific innocence contrasted ironically with the of the corporate persona they represent (what)? My wife finds these unbearably creepy to look upon. Says they have the dead-eyed look of John Wayne Gacy as a preschooler. Maybe that's why I like them! 

Now for a different lot of character vehicles: Top row we have some Mac Tonight vehicles (If anyone has a Mac Tonight figurine, the one with the Harmonica under his arm for sale or trade... contact me!) That yellow jet-Ski was a favorite toy of mine as a child. I actually tore Mac completely off it so my other mini-figures could ride around on it. Then there's Hamburglar in a three-piece train that came from a set of inter-changeable vehicle sets in 1990. Grimace riding a bike (sans wheels) is also from 1990. Then we have a Happy-Meal-mobile with the whole gang crowded in there like a clown car... except Ronald can't take how crowded it is in there, so he's leaning out and waving from 1994. The two circus characters (a fry guy on an elephant, and Birdie on a horse) are from 1989. Birdie on a scooter is from 1992. ALL of these came to me in my purchase from Brian. 

Halloween! The three characters across the top are Iam Hungry, the Hamburglar, and a Chicken McNugget, all released in 1998. They are wearing Halloween disguises, and can be filled up with candy which would then pop out the holes in the front when the masks are lifted. I found these at Goodwill and blogged about them here. The three characters along the bottom are a combination of ones I found at Goodwill and also got from Brian. I blogged about the ones I found at Goodwill here. Their names are Milly Milk, Slugger Steak, and Otis Sandwich (?) from the Food Fundamentals line.

Now we're getting into the older stuff. There's the mono-chrome Grimace crop-duster from the 1986 airport Happy Meal series. I never had Grimace as a kid, but I distinctly remember owning (and breaking) the green hamburger helicopter one. I'm going to need to track that one down now. The popscicle maker in the middle is from 1980. I had at least one of them as a child, and my clearest memory is when we made milk popscicles with them. They were bland. The blue robot is actually a transforming Mighty Mac Robot Shuttle toy from 1986. If you look very closely you can see Grimace is piloting it. I think there are other transforming toys in the series, but darned if I can find pictures of any of them. The trains on the bottom left are from 1986 or 1987 and I can find almost no other information about them except there's another, orange train in the set. The comb on the far right is from 1990 and you can pull the pieces apart to reorganize the characters. I keep them as ROYGBIV as I possibly can because I'm obsessive that way. Every piece in this picture is from Brian. 

Lastly, we have some odds and ends... I wanted to get a picture of the Mac Attack Robot Shuttle in it's oddly bulky shuttle form. There's a set of four McDonalds LEGO bricks I found in a load of other LEGOs at Goodwill. The pictures on them are from the series of Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald cartoons they did back between 1998 to 2003. The Treasure Hunt Happy Pail is from 1986. The lid doubles as a sand-sifter. The Ronald on the right is a 2001 toddler toy put out by Fisher-Price, and comes apart as a stackable toy (see below). He reminds me of Mick Jagger, struttin' like he does, and he's the one piece in my entire collection that actually belonged to one of my kids, belonging to my daughter when she was young. The pictures below feature the other sides of the bucket, Ronald in pieces, some adhesive bandages from 2010 (Don't know WHERE they came from) and a McDonalds key-chain from I-don't-know-when-but-it-looks-old. The bucket and keychain are from the Brian lot. 

PHEW! That's all of it for now. As I mentioned I'm looking for a Mac Tonight figurine, and I would love to get my hands on a bunch more of the McNugget Buddies toys... but for the most part I'm pretty happy with what I currently have. 

Here's the whole collection on display as it currently stands. I'm not in love with how cluttered everything looks, but I make do. 

All right, well that is IT for me tonight guys. I'll be back with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies soon enough... so until then, Happy Hunting!


  1. Awesome collection Derek and favorite are those little transforming ones those were always great!

    1. They are pretty big favorites of mine too. Thanks!

  2. I really love the old monochrome vintage stuff, takes me back to some of my pals birthday parties and the indoor areas with the talking tree.

    1. Back when they had the playground equipment? I think back on those days fondly... Sigh. I can't remember ever actually attending a McDonald's birthday party but I remember WANTING to.

  3. I despise the kiddie-fied Hanburglar. Bring back the creepy guy!

    That's a pretty impressive collection. I worked for the company for too many years and still have PTSD about the first release of Beanie Baby HM toys.

    1. Awww. I have room in my heart for both versions.

      I have similar PTSD when it comes to Wal-Mart.

  4. That is on my horizon one day. To collect Mcdonalds stuff.

  5. This is some good stuff :) McDonald's toy searchin is what brought me to your blog, so you know I am diggin this post.
    I have one of the Fry kids, which I used to call Pom-Pom kids until things got serious. I don't see her here and was wondering if you want her? I am not a serious collector and it seems a waste to not send her on to a better home. You can see her in this post about my "Free box toys"...

    1. I think I used to call them Pom-Poms too! Something like that! I would be happy to relieve you of you Fry-gal! I'll contact you later!

  6. Obsessed! Really great collection. I am with you, I took these characters just as seriously as my idols on the Saturday morning cartoon circuit.

    1. Right? They were great commercials!


  7. I have over 1,000 fast food toys they make me very happy!!! Love your blog.


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