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By Morgan Raum
November 01, 2019 12:08 PM
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McDonald’s

Happy 40th birthday to the McDonald’s Happy Meal!

To celebrate the milestone, the fast-food chain is debuting a limited-edition Surprise Happy Meal, which will include some of their most iconic toys from the past four decades.

From November 7 to November 11 only, you’ll have the chance to snag one of 17 throwback toys, from Hot Wheels Thunderbirds from 1993 to Hello Kitty figurines from 2013. Perhaps you’ll get lucky and find a Furby from 1999, or maybe a Tamagotchi from 1998.

Regardless of what toy you end up getting, you should consider yourself lucky: Some of these toys were so rare back in the day that they’re still sought after by collectors and can be listed for $900 or more online.

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Some of the most valuable toys were those that collectors had to really work hard to find — like the 101 Dalmatians set that contained literally 101 different dog figurines. McDonald’s even released a special-edition case that you could use to collect them. Others were so popular that McDonald’s employees themselves were stealing them off the shelves.

The 1997 McDonald’s collaboration with Ty was one of the most popular of all-time — although the fast-food giant produced 100 million Teenie Beanie Babies, somehow that still wasn’t nearly enough. While the promotion was supposed to last five weeks long, the toys sold out in only two weeks. According to the New York Post, “McDonald’s stores were inundated with ’15 to 20, sometimes 25 calls every half-hour’ inquiring about availability.” McDonald’s had to cancel all scheduled TV advertising over concerns that “‘massive crowds were putting employees’ safety in jeopardy,'” and USA Weekend conducted a poll later that year that discovered 64% of Americans owned at least one Beanie Baby.

The Happy Meal itself will also be getting a makeover: Starting in 2020, McDonald’s USA will introduce a Reduced Sugar Low Fat Chocolate Milk. The new addition will have 25% less sugar than their own previous versions and other leading quick-service restaurants’ options.

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In total, 15 of the most popular McDonald’s Happy Meal toys will hit the shelves at participating locations in more than 90 countries, with two additional toys from Disney available exclusively in the United States. Here’s the full list of throwback toys:

  • 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

Happy hunting!

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