McDonald’s Happy Meal toys have been a delightful part of childhoods around the globe for decades, capturing the imaginations of kids and collectors alike. From iconic characters to innovative gadgets, these miniature treasures have graced the hands of millions, sparking joy and nostalgia with each bite-sized surprise. Delving into the vast array of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys throughout the years, we’ve curated a list of the 15 best McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys ever. These are the most beloved McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys, forever cherished for their creativity, playability, and their unique ability to turn a simple meal into a memorable adventure.
15. Strawberry Shortcake Lip Balm Hat (2006)
Starting off this list of best McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys ever is the Strawberry Shortcake Lip Balm Hat! In 2006, McDonald’s elevated the Happy Meal experience by introducing the Strawberry Shortcake Lip Balm Hat. This playful toy not only embodied the lovable essence of Strawberry Shortcake but also unveiled a delightful and functional surprise. The irresistibly cute Strawberry Shortcake dolls encapsulated the beloved characters, but it was the concealed feature within their hats that made them an instant hit. Tucked inside these miniature hats were compartments filled with handy Lip Balm – a delightful surprise for young enthusiasts. Parents appreciated their kids staying moisturized, making everyone’s day a little brighter!
14. Hot Wheels Cars (1991)
Back in 1991, McDonald’s unveiled the Hot Wheels Cars Happy Meal, marking the debut of these cars in their Happy Meal lineup. Previously, these cars were available for purchase separately by buying at least one menu item. The collection comprised eight cars that would excite any car enthusiast. Included were classics like the ’55 Chevy in White and Yellow, a ’63 Corvette in Green and Black, a Camazo Z-28 in Purple and Orange, and a ’57 Thunder-Bird Turquoise and red.
13. Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Number 13 on this list of best McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys is the Despicable Me 2 Happy Meal toys. In 2013, the Despicable Me Minions dominated the Happy Meal scene. These toys coincided with the movie release, which became the second highest-grossing animated film at that time. The Minions were offered as a collection of eight characters, featuring Tom Babler, Jelly Whistle, Dave Banana, Tim Giggling, and others, each showcasing their unique special feature.
12. McDonald’s Snoopy World Tour Happy Meal (1998-1999)
The Snoopy World Tour comprised 28 figures, offered as a complete set housed in a case designed to resemble Snoopy’s house. Each toy represented a distinct country such as Germany, Taiwan, Korea, Italy, Scotland, and others. Additionally, the second set of Snoopy toys was individually available in 1999 and has recently surfaced on eBay for $155. Last year, a complete set in the case was listed online for over $350. However, in 2023, you can now find the set priced as low as $155.
11. Disney Pixar The Incredibles (2004)
In 2004, McDonald’s presented a collection of eight toys inspired by the 2004 Disney/Pixar movie, The Incredibles. This set featured Mr. Incredible’s action figure accompanied by a small boulder base, Mrs. Incredible with her elastic motorcycle, Dash capable of spinning rapidly, Frozone gliding along on a sizable block of ice, and additional toys. The action figures were remarkably well-designed and precise, capturing the essence of the characters. Moreover, the animated commercial used to promote this collection was particularly impressive and engaging.
10. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Describing the Monsters, Inc. Happy Meal set as legendary would be entirely fitting. Its ability to encapsulate the lively and whimsical spirit of Monstropolis is impeccable, making these vibrant vintage toys utterly captivating. What adds to their charm is that many of these toys are accompanied by their own personalized door. Featuring beloved characters like Sully, Mike Wazowski, and the entire gang, the toy designs vividly bring these animated personalities to life, staying true to their inherent appeal. The set’s consistency and meticulous attention to detail unquestionably earn it a well-deserved spot – the tenth position, to be precise – on the list of the 15 best McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys Ever.
9. Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop Toys (1994)
One of the best McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, The Muppet Workshop Toys from Jim Henson was a highly sought-after collection of five McDonald’s Happy Meal items. While it didn’t feature Kermit or Miss Piggy, these characters radiate joy! Among them were Monster in Green, What-Not in Yellow, Bird in Blue, and Dog in Pink. What-Not stands out as my absolute favorite from the set. What’s impressive is the ability to mix and match various hats and accessories on these characters to customize their appearance. With each Happy Meal purchase, you could receive one of these delightful Muppet toys.
8. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1995)
Back in 1995, Power Rangers Mania was in full swing, leading to empty shelves and parents contacting Bandai directly for toys. While the frenzy wasn’t as intense for the Happy Meal toys, they still gained popularity. This fantastic collection comprised six toys: the Gold Ranger, Pink Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Blue Ranger, Red Ranger, and Black Ranger. I distinctly recall watching these advertised on TV and then pleading with my mom to take me to McDonald’s, where I ended up getting the Red Ranger.
7. Batman Returns Happy Meal Toys (1992)
During 1992, McDonald’s ran a promotional tie-in with the movie “Batman Returns,” offering Happy Meal toys showcasing characters and gadgets from the film. The collection comprised four toys to collect: Batman’s figure with the Batmobile, the Batmissile, Catwoman in her Cat Coupe, and Penguin with his Roto-Roadster. Among these, the Batmobile stood out as a favorite. This collection contributed to promoting Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Batman and gained popularity among both children and collectors, capitalizing on the film’s success and the enduring allure of the Batman franchise.
6. Disney’s Inspector Gadget (1999)
The Inspector Gadget set is impressive and quite unique. It comprises various components such as legs, arms, a head, and a chest, all of which come together to form a single character. To assemble a complete Inspector Gadget, one would need all eight toys from the set. The head bears a striking resemblance to Matthew Broderick, who portrayed Inspector Gadget in the 1999 movie. Additionally, pressing down on the head reveals a spark at the center of the chest. During the nineties, that was regarded as extremely advanced in technology!
5. Walt Disney’s Tarzan Happy Meal (1999)
The 1999 Tarzan McDonald’s Happy Meal showcased a diverse array of toys inspired by Disney’s animated movie “Tarzan.” Among these were engaging items tied to the film’s characters, like the Tarzan figure with a moving log, Terk the Gorilla featuring Flipping Action, and Jane with Snapping Action, among others. Over the past 25 years, the Tarzan set has established itself as a sought-after collection among enthusiasts, making it a potentially wise acquisition for collectors.
4. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2011)
The McDonald’s Happy Meal based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars consisted of a collection of six items to collect. This set featured various exciting elements, such as a glowing version of Anakin’s Lightsaber, Yoda’s levitator, a walking A-TE model, and a figurine of C-3PO. For Star Wars enthusiasts, this set is a definite must-have, offering engaging and appealing collectibles.
3. Dreamwork’s How to Train Your Dragon Part 2 (2014)
McDonald’s unveiled a fantastic collection of eight movie-themed toys in 2014, inspired by the characters from the animated film “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Among these were notable items such as a Toothless figurine featuring movable parts, Terrible Terror with a spinning gimmick, and Hookfang complete with wings. Crafted with the intention of captivating children and enthusiasts of the “How to Train Your Dragon” series, these toys provided entertaining interpretations of beloved characters and elements from the movie.
2. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (1994)
For those unfamiliar with the gaming realm, I’d like to highlight that Sonic The Hedgehog 3 stands as one of the finest Mega Drive Games ever created. In the McDonald’s Happy Meal set, there were five toys released: a wheeled launcher toy featuring Sonic the Hedgehog, a spinning Knuckles toy, a Tails launcher capable of flying, a wind-up Dr. Robotnik toy, and upon request, a yellow ball with Sonic and Tails designed for children under three years old. I distinctly recall yearning for these toys during my childhood, so as I grew older, I made sure to acquire them – and I succeeded!
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)
My ultimate choice for the best McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys of all time has to be the Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal toys. Back in 1990, McDonald’s featured a toy line to promote the widely popular Nintendo video game, Super Mario Bros. 3. This collection consisted of four main toys along with an additional U3 toy. Among them were the Spring-launched Raccoon Mario, Pull-back Luigi sitting on a cloud, Hopping Koopa Para-Troopa, and back-flipping Little Goomba. Pretty cool, isn’t it? Just imagine the incredible Super Mario Bros. battles you could stage with these toys! Presently, I only have the Luigi and the Goomba, but I’m eagerly looking forward to acquiring the other two.