You never forget your favorite Happy Meal toy

Photo: Jarretera (iStock)

From ’90s-themed pop-ups to ’80s-era logos, restaurants can’t wait to mine your nostalgic feelings for sweet, sweet profits. The latest corporate play, though, is actually a bit on the heartwarming side: To mark the 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal, McDonald’s will bring back retro Happy Meal toys from past eras for a limited time. Beginning November 7, kids—or rather, their parents—might be thrilled to find a Hot Wheels Thunderbird car or a My Little Pony.

USA Today has the full list of retro toys, which include a Tamagotchi, the Power Rangers, Fireman McNugget, and more. The earliest returning toys date to 1988, presumably because the ones before that were made with toxic lead paint or choking hazard pieces (kidding). More likely, the ’80s and ’90s toys are designed to appeal to the parents of current Happy Meal eaters who would themselves have been eating Happy Meals 20-30 years ago.

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One hope for the toys, though: Can we do away with the reductively gendered “do you want a girl or boy toy?” question I remember hearing as a kid in the ’90s? I’d open my meal to find a Barbie; my brother would find a Hot Wheels. I hope the toys are randomly allotted these days. That, or everyone gets a figurine of Grimace. Tell us in the comments if there are any beloved Happy Meal toys McDonald’s missed with this reboot.

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.