McDonald's began giving away promotional items as early as the 1960s. The first item was a simple paper hat given to customers, but it wasn't until the 1970s that McDonald's began to release collectables on a regular basis. The first Happy Meal was introduced in 1979, and it included a Star Trek toy in the box. This marked the beginning of a new era for McDonald's collectibles.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, McDonald's released a wide variety of Happy Meal toys, including popular franchises like Disney, Looney Tunes, and Barbie. These toys became highly sought after by collectors, and some of the rarer items can fetch high prices on the secondary market to this day. McDonald's Happy Meal toys have always been popular with kids, and some adults even collect them as a nostalgic reminder of their childhood.
In 1996, McDonald's released one of its most popular collectibles of all time: the Beanie Baby. These tiny stuffed animals became a global sensation, and customers would line up for hours just to get their hands on one. McDonald's released a new set of Beanie Babies every year until 1999, and they remain highly collectible to this day. Some rare Beanie Babies from McDonald's promotions can sell for thousands of dollars.
In the 2000s, McDonald's continued to release Happy Meal toys featuring popular franchises like Pokémon, Shrek, and Star Wars. The company also released limited edition merchandise, such as Monopoly game pieces and Coca-Cola glasses, which quickly became highly sought after by collectors.
In more recent years, McDonald's has partnered with Funko to release a series of highly collectible Pop! Vinyl figures. The first McDonald's Pop! Vinyl was released in 2019 and featured the iconic McDonald's mascot, Ronald McDonald. Since then, McDonald's has released a variety of different Pop! Vinyl figures, including Grimace, Hamburglar, and Mayor McCheese.
The McDonald's Pop! Vinyl figures have been highly popular with collectors, and some of the rarer items can fetch high prices on the secondary market. One of the most sought-after McDonald's Pop! Vinyl figures is the limited edition Metallic Set, which features metallic versions of Ronald McDonald, Grimace, and Hamburglar.
So, what is it about McDonald's collectibles that makes them so popular? For one, they tap into our nostalgia for childhood memories of eating at McDonald's and playing with Happy Meal toys. Additionally, many of the items are highly collectible and rare, making them valuable to collectors.
McDonald's collectables are also highly accessible. Unlike some other collectibles that may only be available through certain channels, McDonald's toys and merchandise are available to anyone who visits a McDonald's restaurant. This makes them easy to collect and allows fans to build their collection over time.
McDonald's has a rich history of releasing collectables that have captured the hearts of fans and collectors around the world. From Happy Meal toys to limited edition merchandise and Funko Pop! Vinyls, McDonald's has something for everyone.
Have you ever collected Happy Meal toys? What about McDonald's Pop! Vinyls? Leave us a comment!