NATIONAL NEWS

McDonald’s Is Bringing Back Retro Happy Meal Toys

Nov 1, 2019, 9:57 AM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:03 pm
Some of the Happy Meal toys McDonald's is bringing back for a limited time....
Some of the Happy Meal toys McDonald's is bringing back for a limited time.

(CNN) — McDonald’s Happy Meal might be for kids, but officially it’s over the hill.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the company’s first Happy Meal, the kids meal that helped McDonald’s achieve fast food supremacy. Today, roughly one in every four orders at McDonald’s includes a Happy Meal, according to retail data tracker Sense360.

Each Happy Meal contains the option of a hamburger or chicken nuggets, a side like french fries and a drink. And a toy, some of which have become collector’s items.

McDonald’s is celebrating this milestone by re-releasing some of its most popular toys over the past four decades, including Ty Beanie Babies’ Patti the Platypus and the Tamagotchi. Between November 7 through 11, McDonald’s will sell a “Surprise Happy Meal” in 90 countries that will include the throwback toys.

It’s the latest quick-service restaurant to tap into nostalgia to excite customers. Since fast-food customers are not particularly loyal to any brand, fast-food companies must resort to marketing tactics or wacky food creations to draw in customers.

Here’s a brief history of the Happy Meal:

1979

The Circus Wagon Happy Meal, as it was originally known, launched in the United States in June 1979. The meal included a hamburger or cheeseburger, fries and cookies. Some of the early Happy Meal toys included a McDoodler stencil, McWrist wallet and a spinning top. The box became instantly recognizable with the meal.

1982

After becoming a hit in the United States, McDonald’s expanded the meal internationally. It debuted first in Latin America before hitting Australia and New Zealand.

1984

McDonald’s added McNuggets as a Happy Meal option. The addition inspired a line of Happy Meal toys modeled after the McNuggets.

1991

McDonald’s partnered with United Airlines to offer Happy Meals on some of its flights. The deal ended in 2001.

1998

The first-ever global Happy Meal debuted with Disney film “Mulan.” The meal had identical packaging and toys across 40 countries.

2012 – 2013

As its customers shifted toward healthier eating habits, McDonald’s began overhauling the Happy Meal. In 2012, McDonald’s made the french fries portion smaller, and it added fruit as an option. In 2013, it added milk or juice as beverage choices.

2018

McDonald’s said it would provide cheeseburgers in Happy Meals only upon request. It removed artificial preservatives from some of its entrees and added bottled water as a drink option. The company said that 3.4 billion fruit, low-fat dairy and water items have been served in Happy Meals in the US since 2013.

2020

Starting next year, McDonald’s will add a new reduced-sugar and low-fat chocolate milk option. It has 25% less sugar compared to the previous version.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A passenger looks through a window at Dubai International Airport on January 01, 2022 in Dubai, UAE...
Chuck Johnston, CNN

More than 700 flights canceled Sunday

At least 730 flights were canceled across the United States on Sunday evening, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware
17 hours ago
Officers respond to the scene after a vehicle fleeing police struck five people in Brooklyn, killin...
Andy Rose and Kiely Westhoff, CNN

Vehicle fleeing police kills a grandmother and injures 4 people, including an 8-year-old

A grandmother was killed and an 8-year-old boy was among four others injured when they were struck by a vehicle fleeing New York police Saturday night.
17 hours ago
FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Tie in Alabama GOP race means winner to be selected by lot

Alabama's Republican Party has declared a tie in the primary race for a state Senate seat and says the winner will be chosen by lot.
17 hours ago
FILE - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with reporters following a closed-door...
LISA MASCARO AP Congressional Correspondent

As Senate-confirmed justices end Roe, how will voters react?

The end of Roe v. Wade started in the Senate. The Senate Republican partnership with President Donald Trump to confirm conservative justices paved the way for the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on abortion rights.
17 hours ago
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16: (L-R) Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem speaks as U.S. President D...
HOPE YEN, Associated Press

SD gov: Bar abortion pills, but don’t punish women for them

South Dakota’s Republican governor pledged on Sunday to bar mail-order abortion pills but said women should not face prosecution for seeking them.
17 hours ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Associated Press

Off-duty officer charged with assault at abortion protest

A Rhode Island police officer accused of punching a woman at an abortion protest while off-duty has now been charged.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
McDonald’s Is Bringing Back Retro Happy Meal Toys