40 years of Happy Meals

Happy Birthday Happy Meal!

Yep, that iconic little red box of McDonald’s goodness is turning the big 4-0 this year on November 7. To celebrate it’s birthday from Nov. 7 to Nov. 11 all participating McDonald’s will be stashing awesome “throw back” toys in a special “Surprise Happy Meal”. While supplies last!

(This post is Sponsored by McDonald’s, all opinions are my own.)


These are some of the most popular Happy Meal toys from the last four decades and are bound to bring back some cool memories! There will be over a dozen different Happy Meal toys for you and your kids to collect.

St. Louis Area McDonald’s are celebrating the Happy Meal’s big birthday by giving away a FREE COOKIE with the purchase of any Happy Meal on Nov. 7th.

And no, there isn’t a warehouse full of old Happy Meal toys, these are reproductions.

happy meal throw back toy surprise box for it's 40th birthday

Here’s a list of toys you could find in a Happy Meal Nov. 7. to Nov. 11.

(FYI: These are the U.S. Toys. The promotion is world wide, but the selection varies a bit in other countries.)

  • Cowboy McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
  • Fireman McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
  • Mail Carrier McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
  • Hamburger Changeable (McDonald’s): 1989
  • Grimace (McDonald’s): 1990
  • Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable (McDonald’s): 1991
  • McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird (Mattel): 1993
  • Hamburglar (McDonald’s): 1995
  • Power Rangers (Hasbro): 1995
  • Space Jam Bugs Bunny (Warner Brothers): 1996
  • Patti the Platypus (Ty Beanie Baby): 1997
  • 101 Dalmatians – U.S. Exclusive (Disney): 1997
  • Tamagotchi (Bandai): 1998
  • My Little Pony (Hasbro): 1998
  • Furby (Hasbro): 1999
  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey – U.S. Exclusive (Disney): 2002
  • Hello Kitty (Sanrio): 2013

The First Happy Meal

The first U.S. Happy Meal came out in 1979 and had a box decorated like a circus wagon. The prizes were a selection of tops, stencils, wallets, puzzles and McDonaldland erasers. Do YOU remember getting one of these?

McDonalds info graphic

Remember when the Big Mac celebrated it’s 50th birthday? Good times indeed!