Home / Food n Brew / They’re Back! McDonald’s Introduces the Limited-Edition Surprise Happy Meal, Featuring Iconic Throwback Toys from the Past 40 Years

They’re Back! McDonald’s Introduces the Limited-Edition Surprise Happy Meal, Featuring Iconic Throwback Toys from the Past 40 Years

Chicago IL— To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first-ever Happy Meal, McDonald’s is launching the limited-edition Surprise Happy Meal with some of its most popular Happy Meal toys from the last four decades. The Surprise Happy Meal will be available in more than 90 countries around the world for a limited time at participating McDonald’s restaurants beginning Thursday, Nov. 7 through Monday, Nov. 11, while supplies last.

The roster includes beloved toys across the globe.

U.S. families can collect one of the 17 iconic toys in the Surprise Happy Meal, including:

  • 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
  • 101 Dalmatians (Disney): 1997
  • Patti the Platypus (Ty Beanie Baby): 1997
  • Tamagotchi (Bandai): 1998
  • My Little Pony (Hasbro): 1998
  • Furby (Hasbro): 1999
  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey (Disney): 2002
  • Hello Kitty (Sanrio): 2013

“Since the Happy Meal was introduced on the menu, it quickly became synonymous with our brand,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s CEO. “Today, this iconic red box creates delicious, lasting memories for billions of families annually across the world.”

First introduced as a Circus Wagon Happy Meal in June 1979 nationally in the U.S., the early iterations of the Happy Meal featured a decorative box including various toys, such as a spinning top and McDonaldland character erasers. The Happy Meal global footprint has expanded to more than 38,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries around the globe —with the iconic toy still a beloved staple—serving as a symbol of surprise, playfulness and fun.

“Parents tell us how fondly they recall their favorite toys,” said Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s Senior Vice President, Global Marketing. “So, unboxing the Surprise Happy Meal together creates a real moment of bonding with their children. We hope these toys are something that they will treasure and remember.”

In addition to creating fun moments, the Happy Meal is well-loved for providing delicious favorites like Chicken McNuggets and hamburgers. Over the years, many new, balanced choices have been added to the Happy Meal so parents can feel good about the options they’re feeding their families. Globally, McDonald’s has served more than 6.4 billion fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy and water options in Happy Meals since 2013, and its commitment has evolved to the global Happy Meal goals announced in 2018.

Through this global Surprise Happy Meal event, fans of all ages are invited to join in the fun and discover what old or new favorite awaits them.


About Southern California McDonald’s

The McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California is comprised of more than 600 franchised and company-owned McDonald’s restaurants in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

 About McDonalds

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.