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

Amanda Lynn
1.3k votes 289 voters 12.8k views 11 items

List Rules McDonald's Happy Meal toys released between 1980 and 1989 only. Upvote the ones you were most psyched to get.

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.

1 160 VOTES


Changeables is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s
Photo: Jenni53/Reddit

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.

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2 135 VOTES

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.

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3 134 VOTES

The McNugget Buddies

The McNugget Buddies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best McDonald's Happy Meal Toys of the '80s
Photo: Please Touch Museum

Perhaps capitalizing on the success of Mr. Potato Head, McDonald's decided to release its own lumpy brown character with dozens of faces: The McNugget Buddies (um, what? That sounds like the imaginary friends a kid would make from rat carcasses in a damp basement after a kidnapping).

Anyway, the existence of these creepily smiling, anthropomorphized slugs of processed chicken meat and skin kind of makes you wonder what a McDonald's-branded Toy Story movie might look like. Would the toys rally to make sure Andy never gives up on a diet of Happy Meals and childhood obesity?

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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.

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