Nostalgia

The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s 

Amanda Lynn
2.7k votes 614 voters 32.3k views 11 items

List Rules McDonald's Happy Meal toys released between 1980 and 1989 only. Vote up the ones you wish you'd held on to or bought in the first place..

Ah, the '80s: an era remembered for absurd hair, even more absurd clothing, and some of the best music and movies the world has ever known. (Because who doesn't love a good SynthAxe solo?) As the era to unleash unto America's children the first McDonald's Happy Meals, the '80s were also a golden time for the golden arches. But as great a discovery as dipping fries in a milkshake might have been for those '80s kids, that was only part of the story,  because there was a toy with that Happy Meal. And not just any old toy, but '80s Happy Meal toys. Since the '80s has proven itself an outrageous decade full of wonders, '80s McDonald's Happy Meal toys are clearly boss. Check out some of the best '80s McDonald's toys, in all their small-parts-hazard glory.

1
Changeables
Changeables is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

Does it get any more meta than receiving a plastic version of your meal for a toy? Fortunately, these aren't just plastic disappointments: they TRANSFORM. Not into Optimus Prime or anything with a recognizable trademark, but still. A RoboMcMuffin is a(n arguably unnecessary) thing you don't see every day.

A truly happy meal?
2
Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s
Photo:  McDonalds/Mattel

Next to LEGOs, Hot Wheels are probably the worst possible toy to step on. But as a Happy Meal toy? BEST. EVER. Presumably, if you were cool enough to collect all 14 in 1983, you coasted through the rest of your childhood like some sort of demigod.

A truly happy meal?
3
Fraggle Rock
Fraggle Rock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s
Photo:  FastFoodToyReviews/via Youtube

Has there ever been a more confusing nutritional message than vegetable cars with cookie wheels? Maybe when Congress decided pizza was a vegetable. But none of that really matters, because Fraggle Rock was awesome.

A truly happy meal?
4
Halloween Candy Buckets
Halloween Candy Buckets ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s
Photo: joestimemachine/eBay

Before pumpkin spiced everything took over our collective autumnal consciousness, McDonald's did its part with Halloween candy pails. And they seemed great — until you asked yourself why a candy pail could possibly need ventilation holes.

A truly happy meal?