I Am A Happy Meal Toy Connoisseur

Happy Meal Toys

Unless your parents were complete hippies, do you not remember the joy of pulling up to the McDonald’s menu for your mother to talk over you with everyone’s order while you “yelled-whispered” the following to her,

“Happy meal, I want a happy meal!”

“A happy meal with a girl’s toy! Cheeseburger!”

“Did you get my happy meal? You got G’s happy meal but I didn’t hear your say my happy meal.”

“What toy is it? Mom, mom, mom…. what toy is it? If it’s the bald Cabbage Patch Kid, I got that one already. I need the one with the long blonde hair.”

Fast forward 30 years and having had kids for over 11 years now, I’ve become the kids happy meal toy connoisseur or at least one that feels the credentials to comment on the toys offered.Whatever the toy, I swirl it around  like a big glass of wine and take a deep breath of the plastic. Ok, maybe that’s a little too dramatic but I am very opinionated when it comes to the toy offered. Here are actual phrases I’ve uttered upon learning what the toy is:

“Hmph! This toy designer obviously doesn’t have kids,” I say as I throw the cardboard fire truck in the trash at Arby’s.

“Books! What in the hell? Seriously? They don’t want to read while chewing a chicken nugget!” I say while eyeing the plastic case of the 5 toys you could potentially get at Wendys.

“Wait…there isn’t a prize? What’s the prize? The activities on the bag? That’s the prize? That’s not the prize. I’m posting this on their Facebook page and the absurdity of it,” I grumble angrily at Hardees.


THEN there are the tricked out kids toys. And let’s be real here, McDonald’s may be our lover we pretend to hate but they do kids prizes like LeBron does basketball. They nail it almost every time. I mean think about it, they actually have toys that are sought after like Beanie Babies. My grandmother collected said Beanie Babies and last year she gave one to each son. It takes everything in me NOT to throw those damn things out when I find them at the bottom of their drawers. The only thing that keeps them there is that at the age of 91, she gave them away like she was passing on the family silverware, jewels, china or a combination of the 3.

And because I remember how much it sucked when you were accidentally given the “children under 3 toy” of a rubber duckie or given a toy you already had, I suddenly behave like a PETA member at a protest, advocating for my children to get the “right” toy. I have held up drive thru lines 12 deep just so the bored teenager can take back the Kung Fu Panda character and search for Master Shifu in the gigantic box under the milk fridge.

And as always, I see that McDonald’s has again secured their position as FAST FOOD TOY BOSSES with their Secret Life of Pets toys. They are little stuffed animals and I want to collect all 10!

How about you? Does this bring back memories or dread of going to McDonald’s now with your kids? What was your favorite toy?



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