This was the only reason to go to McDonald’s.
25. Tinosaurs (1986)
Cute and colorful, these PVC dinosaurs (and cave people?) were a little different than your average Happy Meal toy as they were not a tie-in product for a TV show or movie.
24. Popoids (1984)
These toys were just a series of stretchy and bendy tubes that basically allowed you to create a either a spider or an octopus. Although since the tubes had the consistency of a Squeezit bottle, you had to be careful not to stretch them too far for fear of ripping.
23. Ronald McDonald Cloth Doll (1984)
A favorite since the 1970s, this toy was reintroduced in the 1980s to terrify a new generation of kids.
22. Halloween Pails (1985)
Sure, these were the suckiest things you could use to carry on candy on Halloween night; the handle would usually painfully lodge itself deep into your hand under the weight of the candy — that is if it didn’t pop off. But since the pails had cool designs and were from McDonald’s, they were an ’80s kids essential.
21. Mickey’s Birthdayland Race Cars (1989)
In honor of Mickey’s 60th birthday, Disney and McDonald’s partnered up to release these awesome little pullback racers, which, bonus, also came with a box you could turn into a tunnel.
20. Stompers 4×4 (1986)
What made these so special you ask? Well, unlike regular cars or pull racers, these bad boys ran on their own power, or an AA battery to be exact. So all you had to do was sit back and watch it drive in a straight-ish line before crashing into a wall.
19. Cinderella’s Jaq and Gus Plush Christmas Ornaments (1987)
OK, so technically not a toy, but these mice were too cool to just hang on the Christmas tree. Also, I’m sure pretty sure they never really released Jaq, ‘cause I was stuck with, like, six Gus ornaments.
18. Astrosniks (1984)
These toys made the perfect villains for your Smurf figures.
17. Hot Wheels (1983)
What’s better than a Hot Wheels car? A free one with your meal! You could NEVER have enough Hot Wheels.
16. Playmobil Figures (1982)
Playmobil figures were usually the toys that rich kids played with, so getting one from McDonalds was like winning the lotto.
15. Fry Kids (1989)
These were exceptionally detailed for fast-food toys. They also didn’t look as much like fries as they did colorful mops.
14. Kissyfur (1987)
Mickey D’s was the only place you could get toys from this seriously underrated cartoon.
13. Bambi Figurines (1988)
These toys were not only well made, but they also had various moving parts that made them infinitely posable. They also happened to have that distinct plastic smell that would never go away.
12. Berenstain Bears (1986)
Sure they got super dirty after the first time you played with them — thanks to their felt head and hands — but they were awesome and came with their own cool accessory. Also these things should’ve come with a warning that they were not meant for bath time.
11. McDonald’s Pullback Race Cars (1985)
What made these so special? First, they were perfectly sized and could easily fit into a child’s pocket. Second, their McDonald’s theme told all the other kids on the playground, “Yeah, my parents love and indulge me enough that they got me a Happy Meal.”
10. DuckTales Figures (1988)
DuckTales was the must-see late ’80s cartoon and these Happy Meal toys were an essential. Just looking at them makes me want to break out into the theme song (woo-oo!).
9. Garfield Vehicles (1989)
In the ’80s Garfield — thanks in large part to his Saturday morning cartoon Garfield and Friends — was actually really cool and kids wanted to play with his toys. Although he is bit more active in these figures than he was on the show (or the comic).
8. Mac Tonight “Moon Man” Figures (1988)
Let’s be honest, Mac Tonight was creepy as fuck! But these toys helped make him a little more bearable.
7. Oliver & Company (1988)
Was there anything greater than a Happy Meal Disney film tie-in? NOPE. These were made even more special because they weren’t just ordinary Happy Meal figures, oh no, these were finger puppets.
6. Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers Cars (1989)
Seriously, these things were great, not only were they cars, BUT you could interchange the parts (giving you hours of endless entertainment). The only thing that would have made them perfect was if you could actually pull the figures out.
5. McNugget Buddies (1988)
Where do I even begin? These things were awesome for various reasons. First, they were super unique. Second, they came with interchangeable accessories. Third, and most importantly, they were CHICKEN MCNUGGETS and every kid loved McNuggets.
4. The Little Mermaid (1989)
These were the most EPIC bath time toys you could ever have. I mean, where else could you truly recreate Ariel’s adventures?
3. Fraggle Rock (1988)
Every ’80s kid owned at least one of these. While Gobo might have been the most prized toy, it certainly wasn’t the best. That honor went to Wimbly, who also came with a Boober figure attached.
2. Muppet Babies (1987)
These were amazing. First and foremost, they were toys associated with the greatest cartoon of all time. Secondly, they not only came with their own cars, but you could actually pull the figures out and switch them around.
1. Changeables (1987)
Seriously, what kid didn’t want to play with food that turned into a robot? Yes, they were essentially Transformer knockoffs, but they’re still the coolest and most epic toy line McDonald’s has ever released.