Once upon a time McDonald’s tie ins were memorable, sometimes weird, toys and prizes that came in every box of a Happy Meal. A lot of times, McDonald’s would appeal to both boys and girls, but most of the time, their toys appealed to the broader demographic and even became collectibles for some adults. McDonald’s in the past provide quality toys, which included the Halloween pails that came in three varieties, and the Michael Jordan sports toys. It’s a shock these toys were so quality considering the low price of the meals touted toward kids. Even the happy meal boxes were a good time to be had. Here, we think back to our top 5 favorite McDonald’s Movie Tie Ins, and how creative they were in their heyday.
What are some of your favorites?
“Batman Forever” Glass Mugs (1994)
Everything about “Batman Forever” was a lot of fun–except the movie, itself. One of the best McDonald’s tie-ins were the glass mugs you could buy with your meals. My dad was nice enough to buy my brother and our own mugs. I was fortunate enough to get a Batman one, while my brother got the Riddler, and we looked for any excuse to drink from them. They were gorgeous and beautifully designed, and to this day a great memory, despite the terrible film it related to. We also had the “Batman Returns” soda cups with the lids that doubled as Frisbee discs, but truth be told while the art was fantastic for those cups, the glass mugs were always a stand out memory for us.
Disney always gave consumers some of the best premiums and happy meal toys, and they always seemed to pride themselves in quality prizes you could play with for a very long time. One of the best were the “Jungle Book” wind up toys that I still fondly recall playing with, years after its initial promotion. With four characters from the movie, I remember Baloo wound up to look as if he was dancing, Louie would flip over with his big arms, Shere Kahn would slide and pounce, and Kaa the snake would strike with its movable head while moving. My cousin had the flipping Louie, and we’d make it flip over and over until our fingers were scarred from turning the small dial in the back.
Super Looney Tunes (1991)
Super Looney Tunes took the Bugs Bunny Superman connection from the old movie shorts, and took advantage of the Warner Bros./DC Comics ownership, to bring fans four really fun and cute Super Looney Tunes toys. They were four seemingly normal Looney tunes toys that could be given their own DC superhero themed costume that made them ripe for adventure and crime fighting. Bugs was SuperBugs, Petuna Pig was Wonder Pig, Taz was Taz Flash, and Daffy was Bat Duck. As a Looney Tunes and comic book fanatic, these toys were incredible to me. Of course, I only ever got Bat Duck, even though I was desperate to get SuperBugs.
Little Mermaid Bath Toys (1989)
Once again, when Disney promoted a movie for fans, they gave them their money’s worth. In 1989, along with the hit movie, Disney gave fans their own collection of four entertaining bath toys for kids that were suited for hours of bath fun. Ariel could float on the surface of the water, Eric came in his own floatable boat, Flounder was a plastic squeeze toy that could spit actual water, and Ursula could stick to the walls.
McDonald’s Disney Masterpiece Collection (1996)
Though the boxes looked like they were the same material from the Valentine’s chocolate boxes with different color schemes, the packaging for this series of toys were meant to look like the obscenely oversize Disney boxes from the VHS era. Everyone remembers the large white boxes that took up a large portion of shelf space and could barely fit in normal shelves. Disney commemorated another anniversary with a large line of Masterpiece toys, all action figures packages in their white boxes. These toys had accessories and real hair, whenever applicable to the character, and had a variety of over a dozen, if I remember correctly. I’d stopped buying the kids meals a year before this promotion, but my aunt and cousin bought as much of these as possible. Though the commercials always urged buyers to collect them all, our local McD’s only had promotions for four weeks, so getting them all was always a pipe dream.