Five McAwesome vintage Happy Meal toys

And check out the vintage Happy Meal prices!
And check out the vintage Happy Meal prices!

On a recent visit to McDonald's I spied a Hello Kitty toy in a Happy Meal, and I was almost inspired to order a kid's meal myself. The McDonald's Happy Meal was by far the most brilliant marketing idea to ever light up the golden arches -- luring kids, and their parents' disposable incomes, into the stores. Everybody loves Happy Meals -- unless they are cranks who don't love anything -- for the little cheeseburgers, tiny boxes of McNuggets, diminutive jugs of milk and plastic bags of apple slices, but most of all for the toys at the bottom. And there have been some memorable, nostalgic and downright adorable Happy Meal toys over the years.

Here are the five most McAwesome Happy Meal toys: I wish I had them today.

See also: - Michelle Obama should stay the hell out of my Happy Meal! - Happy Meals do not decompose, and McDonald's not lovin' it - Asian Flavors vs. Happy Meals

I could never get that damn ice cream cone....
I could never get that damn ice cream cone....

5. The McChangeables 1989 was a pretty good year for Transformers -- or Go-Bots if you were poor -- and McD's was there with the cross-marketing (and not paying for copyrights), designing its own menu items to transform into....well, I was never really sure what they were supposed to be, but the transforming part was the important thing. To this day, I regret that I could never get my hands on the transforming ice cream cone toy, and I ended up with like seven Big Macs, four fries and two cheeseburgers. The neighbor kid next door had an ice cream cone toy -- and he made sure to keep it in his little sights at all times because I would have poached it if he hadn't.

Cheap, crappy and McAwesome.
Cheap, crappy and McAwesome.

4. McLunch Boxes These crappy, cheap, sticker-décor-capable lunch boxes were all the rage with munchkins in 1987 -- for about ten minutes. Parents and kids alike quickly discovered that the handles were always loose, there was no heat/cold lunch insulation, and if you actually used them more than a couple of times to actually take lunch to school, they broke. So '80s kids, myself included, used them for Crayon and/or pencil boxes, at least until the stickers got dirty and fell off, and all the fun went with them.

Watch out for the McPoison....
Watch out for the McPoison....

3. McPoison bracelets Okay, technically these were pre-official Happy Meal toys, and technically they weren't named "McPoison bracelets," but I managed to get a red one thanks to my older cousin, and my very favorite thing to do with it was fill the little plastic compartment with dry Kool-Aid powder, tell my little brother it was poison, and listen to him scream in horror as I would pretend to put it in his food. This was the absolute height of fun, at least until my folks figured out I was scaring the shit out of my sibling because he refused to eat, and I got whupped -- and got the bracelet permanently confiscated.


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