We all remember our childhoods fondly for the memories that made us happy and some that shaped the adults we would become. Toys are the most fun part of any child’s life. Between starting to understand the world and getting used to the process of school, getting a new toy every now and then is the perfect necessity to make life less confusing. The fun items used to provide entertainment and amusement are sometimes too expensive for parents to afford. McDonald’s understood this and created the concept of a Happy Meal. It became a game changer in the fast food industry and appealed to children all over the world.
The Happy Meal consisted of a burger or chicken nuggets along with French fries, a drink and the most important aspect of the box – a toy. The idea of getting a toy along with a lunch made the idea become an instant success and it has lasted decades. Most of the toys weren’t overly complicated or pricy but that was the point. A small and fun toy would be guaranteed with every Happy Meal box. Many of the toys were in association with movies, television shows, video games and other popular brands among kids to make it even more appealing.
Through the years or even as long as decades, many of these toys have grown in value. McDonald’s wisely would have various sets of multiple toys to make their limited edition toys more important. The mysterious toy in each box meant it was difficult to get all of the toys in the set unless you kept purchasing more meals. The collectors to get all of the toys in a set or find a rare toy have saved them and are making good profits off of it today. We’ll look at the history of the free and cheap toys distributed by McDonald’s that are worth a lot more money today.
10 Muppet Babies
Everyone enjoys the merging of popular television series and McDonald’s toys. This particular Happy Meal toy consisted of four Muppet Babies toys that all children at the time wanted to get their hands on. The mystery of the Happy Meal toy made it a difficult to task to get all four but the collectors that did are selling them on eBay years later. All four toys are going for over $50 together. The price range is smaller than most of the other toys on this list but the fact that these toys are so basic make it nearly impossible to imagine the 50 bucks is needed to acquire them. Kermit the Frog on a skateboard is definitely worth it.
9 Snoopy's 50th Anniversary
Snoopy is the beloved dog of Charlie Brown in the legendary Peanuts cartoons and comics. The 50th Anniversary festivities saw McDonald’s make special toys commemorating the accomplishment. There were a select few toys made to look like parade floats featuring Snoopy as a way of celebrating the big moment. The complete collection is going for $100 online if you were lucky enough to get them all in your Happy Meals. Not only is it a rare collection to find but the designs are actually pretty cool. Peanuts fans will shell out the big bucks to show their love of Snoopy with this expensive old McDonald’s toy set.
8 Potato Head Kids
The legendary Mr. Potato Head was one of the more popular toys in past decades and McDonald’s used the brand power to create an exclusive toy for their Happy Meals. Potato Head kids were given away in the Happy Meals with various designs in 1987. There were twelve different designs making it that much more impossible to capture them through the Happy Meals unless you ate burgers every day. The complete set is going for $75 online and is very rare to find. Most of the online sellers have a variation of the twelve but very few have all of them.
7 Super Mario
Super Mario is one of the biggest video game brands of all time and it made perfect sense to combine it with McDonald’s for a special toy series. The eight toys are all well designed and a great collector’s edition series for any die-hard Nintendo fan. Six of the toys are Mario designs with various outfits or accessories. The other two are of Princess Peach and Yoshi. All of them look quite impressive and they are selling for $100 online today. You can buy quite a few Mario related video games for that price but some would prefer the rare items from McDonald’s Happy Meals.
6 Food Transformers
The Transformers concept was a dream for toy companies and this led McDonald’s to find a new way to sell their food through toys. Instead of the traditional Transformers, the Happy Meal gave away food Transformers. Burgers, fries, ice cream and chicken nugget boxes were just some of the options made available in one of the more creative ideas by McDonald’s. The set is going for $117 online today and still holds up as one of the most endearing toys from the Happy Meals. You won’t make as much money selling these as Michael Bay did with the Transformers movies but you’ll likely find more entertainment out of them.
5 101 Dalmatians
The 101 Dalmatians movies in 1996 didn’t leave a great legacy in the box office but the toy set with McDonald’s sure did. The collectors set is a giant box full of 101 toys of the various Dalmatians. This one definitely has been valuable since the toys were made and the complete set is going in the price range $100 to $200 today. McDonald’s did a great job with the details of the toys and the vast total of toys in the set makes it even rarer to have the entire set of. God bless anyone that had the time, patience and hunger to collect all 101 dogs. You deserve the money from this one.
4 Diener Keshi
I’ll be honest and admit I know absolutely nothing about these toys other than they are meant to be undersea aliens, but they are worth a lot of money. The late 70s toys were given away in Happy Meals and are going for $400 on eBay today. Only one seller can be found with the set online and it makes sense considering these were made thirty-seven years ago. The very rare toy collection doesn’t seem as valuable as others due to the lesser known toy being before most of our times as a child. It would have to be sold to a specific buyer that remembered the set from their childhood but it is definitely going for a high price.
3 Madame Alexander dolls
The Madame Alexander dolls were a huge hit in the girl demographic for McDonald’s and it led to one of the most popular Happy Meal toys. There have been many different collectors’ editions through the years with some being worth more money than others. The 2003 complete set of Madame Alexander dolls is worth $130 on eBay. There’s a large set of various Wizard of Oz dolls going for over $250. One specific Rapunzel doll has the asking price of $300 as one of the more expensive single items from a McDonald’s Happy Meal box. Many parents of little girls that kept their toys through the years should rummage through their collections right now.
The Furby toy was a phenomenon during the 90s in one of the more shocking rises of popularity at the time. Every kid wanted one and McDonald’s capitalized on the opportunity to get more customers by adding it to the Happy Meal boxes. There were numerous Furby toys out there with different designs, colors and facial expressions. There’s no exact number known for the complete set but someone once sold about 80 of them for $900. The best you find online today is an assorted lot of 43 different Furby figures for $100. Not bad when you do the compare rate between past sales.
1 Beanie Babies
The world of Beanie Babies is a mixed bag. The adorable toys were hoped to be a great investment but the problem is not all of the toys have created great value. Most of them are worthless at this point going for a few bucks online but a few became hot commodities commanding a lot of money. The TY Beanie Babies collection of four bears with different designs is currently going for $439 on eBay. The very rare Roary the Lion is currently listed at $750. Most of the toys on this list are sets that require many items but one stuffed lion going for 750 bucks is hitting the lottery when it comes to McDonald’s toys.