Aside from being allowed to eat delicious things that have absolutely no business being inside a human body, the best part of visiting Mcdonald’s as a kid is easily the toys. No other destination offers the sustenance of a sit-down restaurant, coupled with the thrills of a toy shop. No wonder that the Happy Meal has become a modern fast-food icon.
But, despite its storied status at the pinnacle of junk, these are hard times for McDonald’s most famous child-friendly export. 40 years after they first hit restaurants, recent years have seen sales plummet as parents become more health-conscious and less willing to cave into demands for a McNugget. The brand has tried to change tack and offer more healthy alternatives, even pledging to cap Happy Meal calories at 600 by 2022, but more still needed to be done. As a result, McDonald’s has decided to do something drastic.
In a bid to appeal to both children and nostalgic parents, as well as celebrate the menu item's ruby anniversary, the company has decided to reintroduce a range of classic Happy Meal toys into their lineup. As part of a dramatic revamp, customers can now get their hands on a range of sought after toys, including Furbies, Grimace and Hamburglar, and Patti the Platypus.
Watch As Kids Taste Test McDonald's New Vegetarian Happy Meal:
In a statement provided to reporters, Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s senior vice president of global marketing, revealed that parents have been telling the brand “how fondly” they feel about the old toys. He elaborated:
“...unboxing the Surprise Happy Meal together creates a real moment of bonding with (parents and) their children. We hope these toys are something that they will treasure and remember.”
However, other observers had a more cynical view of the move. Tim Powell, managing principal at industry consultancy Foodservice IP in Chicago, described the promotion push as “most likely...a ploy to get lapsed users back who've graduated to fast-casual and second mortgages.” Time will tell whether or not it ultimately proves successful.