McDonald's Happy Meal is officially turning 40 years old this year, and the fast food chain is celebrating in a pretty epic way.
Starting Nov. 7, McDonald's is bringing back some of its most popular Happy Meal toys from the last four decades so big kids will be able to reminisce about the good ol' days. But you'll have to act fast if you want to score yourself a new limited-edition Cowboy McNugget, Hamburglar or Patti the Platypus Beanie Baby.
McDonald’s restaurants in more than 90 countries around the world are participating in the Surprise Happy Meal promotion, but it will only last for four days.
With so many iconic toys to chose from, McDonald's must have had a hard time narrowing things down to just 17 toys (see the full list here), but their team somehow managed to get a pretty solid representation of popular items from years past.
Kids who grew up in the late 1980s will be excited to see the return of Fireman McNugget and the Hamburger Changeable. Nineties babies will likely be thrilled to see the McDonald's Hot Wheels Thunderbird, Power Rangers and Tamagotchis.
McDonald's also kept kids of the early 2000s in mind and threw in Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey and Hello Kitty toys into the mix.
“Since the Happy Meal was introduced on the menu, it quickly became synonymous with our brand,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s CEO. “Today, this iconic red box creates lasting memories for billions of families annually across the world.”
Aside from the toys, the Happy Meal food has evolved quite a bit over the years. The chain added new side options like fresh fruits and veggies, as well as milk as a drink choice. In 2020, the fast food chain plans to introduce a low-fat chocolate milk with 25% less sugar than previous options offered at U.S. locations.
McNuggets might be delicious but, let's face it, for most kids the most thrilling part of the Happy Meal has always been about the toy inside.
“Parents tell us how fondly they recall their favorite toys,” said Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s senior vice president of global marketing. “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.”
Happy Meal toys bring many folks such fond memories that they're often willing to shell out big bucks to score an old toy from their childhood.
Last year, LoveAntiques.com put together a list of the Happy Meal toys it has seen grow in value over the years. At the time, mini Potato Head Kids from 1987 were selling for up to $120; TY Beanie Babies from 2000 were going for up to $400, and a complete set of Happy Meal Power Rangers was sold for upwards of $300.
TODAY Food checked eBay to see what some of the original toys featured in the Surprise Happy Meal collection are currently selling for and the good news is they're not all that pricey. You can score a Hamburglar for $7, a McNugget Cowboy for $12 or Patti the Platypus for $5.
So if you have trouble tracking the new ones down when the Surprise Happy Meal collection hits McDonald's next week, there's always an online auction.