Although the promotion has long since ended, McDonald’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Boxes continue to make an impact on the resale market. If you managed to get your hands on any of these streetwear collaboration toys before they sold out everywhere, then you could be sitting on a little Golden Arches gold mine—that is, if you can bear to part with your Cactus Buddy.
What was in the McDonald’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Box again?
McDonald’s first launched the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, colloquially referred to by the public as the Adult Happy Meal, in early October. The box included a choice of either a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets Meal with fries and a drink, along with one of four collectible figurines.
The toys were artistically stylized versions of the classic McDonaldland characters Grimace, the Hamburglar, and Birdie, plus an all-new character named Cactus Buddy (dressed in full McDonald’s merch) to represent the CPFM collaboration. The figurines featured two sets of eyes each (a CPFM signature) and each had outstretched arms to symbolize friendship. The box meal cost roughly $10-13 and sold out everywhere quickly.
How much are the McDonald’s adult Happy Meal toys selling for now?
Per an email sent to The Takeout by Yellow Octopus, an Australian online gift store specializing in toys and gadgets, customers who bought the initial McDonald’s meal boxes stand to make a lot of money off the figurines.
Yellow Octopus combed through the online secondary marketplace to determine the level of sustained interest in these Happy Meal toys. For each of the four characters (Cactus Buddy, Birdy, Hamburglar, and Grimace), the brand pulled 20 current listings and 20 sold listings to find the average prices of each. The sample size may be a bit small, but it is telling to see the prices at which these toys are actually selling, not just being listed for—while we previously reported on listings at $10,000 and above for a single figurine, no one appeared to have actually purchased them.
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Based on eBay and Google Ads data, Cactus Buddy is earning resellers a whopping $918.91 in average profit. All the classic characters come in far below those profit margins: Hamburglar is $523.83, Grimace is $376.30, and poor Birdie, a stalwart of McDonaldland, is pulling in only $102 on average. (Still, a pretty good deal for something that only cost a Big Mac Meal’s worth of cash to obtain.)
It’s surprising to see that Cactus Buddy, out of the whole set of collectibles, is the most valuable. No disrespect to the Cactus Plant Flea Market brand, but the other three characters are a fixture of McDonald’s history and played a role in millions of childhood memories. They are arguably what made this nostalgic promotion so appealing to so many adult consumers in the first place. However, resellers seem to disagree heavily with this viewpoint; the people paying the steepest prices are likely to be those the most steeped in streetwear culture and trendy brands. In that case, Cactus Buddy might seem a lot more appealing as the original creation in the lineup.
No shame in the resale game, but I cannot wrap my head around paying more than $11 for these double-eyed toys that you can’t even pose. McDonald’s has reeled me in before with other nostalgic promotions—looking at you, McBoo—and of course, the brand will do so again. I don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars just because I missed out on this promotion. There’s always another one around the corner.
Every major fast food chain understands that nostalgia sells, so I have no doubt that the McDonaldland characters will make a comeback in some other form sometime soon. Maybe they’ll revert to one set of eyes, but have multiple limbs. Or maybe they’ll return in cookie form, as they have in Australia. Whatever the case, there’s no shortage of nostalgia under the Golden Arches, so I’m going to pass on these eBay listings.