My Mother The Collector: Happy Meal and other kid's meal toys.
One day, not too long ago, Happy Meals were truly happy. They were fattening, full of salt, had toys and did just what they were supposed to do: made us happy. I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying that most of us wanted kid’s meals because of the toys. I know that’s what made me ask for them!
McDonald’s first introduced toys to their Happy Meals in June of 1979. In the early years, the toys were erasers, spinning tops, stencils and bracelets. In 1987, Disney paired with McDonald’s to put toys representing their characters in the meals. Soon, other companies jumped on the bandwagon in order to promote their products. Beanie Babies, Transformers, Hello Kitty, and G.I Joe found their way into those colorful boxes. It was truly a good time to be a kid. What a life! You not only got a hamburger, fries, drink, and cookies, but a toy also awaited inside. Just make sure you finish your meal first! That’s what I always had to do!
My mother liked to collect...stuff. She never stuck to one thing, and most of the time, she found her collectibles at yard sales and auctions. While rummaging through some boxes in my Dad’s house the other day, I found a big box of toys and most of them were from Happy Meals and the like. I know she was not alone in collecting these toys because there’s a McDonald’s Collectors Club that’s been around for over 20 years. Imagine! Adults playing with toys! I should look them up because they sound like my kind of people!
Which makes me think, why don’t I get a toy when I order my meal? How about a Pink Panther plushie with my Chicken Alfredo or a Hot Wheels car with my steak and potatoes? I promise to eat my salad first and drink all my water or milk. I won’t even take it out of the package until I’m finished. Just let me put it on the table so I can look at it. Please?