These 15 toys will make you feel like a kid again... and we brought them back for the 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal®

November 06, 2019

McDonald's archivist Mike Bullington in archives

You may have heard that we brought back 15 all-time favorite Happy Meal toys to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal. Each one of them is special in their own right, so we talked with McDonald’s archivist, Mike Bullington, to get the lowdown on the toys.

Read on to see the throwback toys that are available for a limited time as a part of the Surprise Happy Meal. In the US, the program runs from November 7 - November 11 at participating restaurants, while supplies last.

McNugget Buddies – Cowboy, Fireman and Mail Carrier (1988)

These T.V. commercial buddies came with interchangeable accessories like hats, hair and shoes, with some restaurants offering additional features on “peel-off” sheets.

McNugget Buddies

McDonald’s Hamburger Changeable (1989) and Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable (1991)

The Hamburger Changeable and Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable were McDonald’s take on the popular toys of the time.

McDonald's Changeables

McDonaldland Toys – Grimace (1990)

In 1979, Grimace had four arms—each carrying a different McDonald’s shake. In 1990, he went down to two arms, but his loveable purple hue remained.

McDonaldland Toys - Grimace

McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird (1993)

Hot Wheels has created scale models of popular cars since 1968, making them a go-to collectible. They first wheeled into the Happy Meal in 1991.

Fun Fact: The Hot Wheels toys are a favorite of our archivist, Mike.

McDonald's Hot Wheels Thunderbird

McDonaldland Toys – Hamburglar (1995)

Robble, robble! This masked icon was introduced in the original Happy Meal in 1979 as a fun eraser, while our returning version is from the ‘90s.

McDonaldland Toys - Hamburglar

Space Jam Bugs Bunny (1996)

Bugs Bunny slam-dunked into the Happy Meal with the release of Space Jam, the film that included an all-star Looney Tunes lineup.

Space Jam Bugs Bunny

Patti the Platypus (1997)

Patti was one of the “Teenie Beanie Babies” and an all-time best-selling Happy Meal toy. It is still one of the most sought-after by collectors.

Patti the Platypus

My Little Pony™ (1998)

My Little Pony™ made pop-culture history with TV shows, clothing lines and annual conventions.

My Little Pony

Tamagotchi (1998)

The egg-shaped Tamagotchi keychain hatched into the Happy Meal in 1998 at the height of the digital toys trend.


Furby™ (1999)

Furby™ was the first electronic toy in the Happy Meal after being 1999’s “it” toy. Dah-may-may!


Power Rangers© (2000)

It’s Morphin Time! This hero is a globally recognized figure that has influenced TV shows, movies and comic books.

Power Rangers

Hello Kitty (2013)

The pop icon, Hello Kitty, made her Happy Meal debut in 2000, and has inspired generations with her positive message of kindness and friendship.

Hello Kitty

©1993 Mattel. © 2019 SCGPR. © 2019 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. ©1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. Used Under License. SPACE JAM and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. WB SHIELD: © & WBEI. (s19) © 2019 TY INC. OAK BROOK, IL U.S.A. ©BANDAI,WiZ.

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