From greasy posters to lazy finger puppets, we count ten of the worst toys to fall out of Happy Meal boxes!
10 – Michael Jordan Fitness Fun Range,
- McDonald’s has a long history of responding to health critics with lazily conceived ‘health’ promotions. This Michael Jordan Fitness Fun Happy Meals promotion was one of many examples.
- In 1991, the restaurant offered cheap plastic skipping ropes, plush balls, water bottles and stop watches with the basketball superstar’s likeness in an attempt to shed the company’s unhealthy image. Jordan once played pro baseball, but the impractically small plush footballs had exactly nothing to do with him.
- Nothing on the actual menu changed, but I’m sure some kids used their lame-o stop watches to stage some epic cheeseburger eating contests. Winner gets a jumbo-sized Coke!
9 – Airport Toy,
- Apparently the idea here was that kids could open up their Happy Meal boxes and turn them into an airport. The set included four coloured planes piloted by McDonald’s motley crew of unlicensed pilots, and the presumably rarer green hamburger helicopter.
- Unfortunately the idea was better suited to cereal boxes, and the toy quality was extremely poor, with many calling it the cheapest McDonald’s toy of all time. A high-flying disaster.
8 – Ronald McDonald Glove Puppet,
- Another low point for Happy Meal collectibles. These shoddily drawn hand puppets barely resembled Ronald McDonald and were obviously an afterthought. I mean, a cheap plastic hand puppet? What kid would want that? Might as well give them an empty box and market it as ‘imagination’.
- Most McDonald’s locations simply used this toy as a back-up when they ran out of whatever hot new Pixar toy was offered that week.
- McDonald’s toys vary in quality, but this was definitely on the low end of the scale. You just know a warehouse of Guatemalan families made them under terrible working conditions. Threat of deportation is a powerful motivator.
7 – Gardening Toys,
- Forget bright colours and flashy games! According to out-of-touch CEOs, there’s nothing kids love more than patiently raising inanimate plants. They go absolutely bananas for it. Look at that grass grow, Timmy! You’re doing a great job with those gardenias, Sally!
- Even for the minority of kids with green thumbs (you know, the pot dealers of tomorrow), McDonald’s range of gardening toys were woefully lame.
- The bird feeder was too small for any creature to eat from, the watering can held about a thimble of water and the gardening tools would snap if you even breathed on them.
6 – Shark Tale Jellyfish,
- Part dildo, part magic mushroom – all misguided clusterfuck. This movie tie-in jellyfish supposedly comes from the movie Shark Tale but I think it actually comes from McDonald’s Academy of Bad Toy Design.