Friday, July 17, 2009

306.093 Happy Birthday Happy Meals!

Another pop culture icon, the McDonald's Happy Meal is 30 years old today. Probably one of the best market gimmicks to come down the pike. And we swallowed it hook, lime and sinker, didn't we!

My older daughter is just young enough to say she has never know the world without Happy Meals...and believe me, my two girls had their share of them and all the cute little prizes. I think I finally got rid of (or passed on) the last of them during my last move.

The report I saw this morning said over 200 billion Happy Meals have been served. The most popular toys were the Beany Babies (100 million of those) and in their honor, the company is issuing a new set to commemorate the anniversary. I do have to say that was also one of the saddest things I have ever seen. When a new Beany Baby was coming out, people would line up in the drive-thru, order multiple meals to receive the toys, and as they drove out, dump bags and bags and bags of uneaten food! I HOPE that scene is not repeated.

The company also launched a Happy Meals website last year. If you don't have munchkins in your house and don't know about it, it probably is worth looking at, if, for no other reason than a nostalgic look back. Come on, if you are less than 40, you know you had your fair share, and if you are not, you have had kids who did!

McDonald's Happy Meal 30th Birthday - ABC News

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Mamalibearian said...

30 years! wow! I never had a Happy Meal as a child because I'm so old, but I've purchased about a million for my boys! Between the 2 of them, we had all the Beanie Babies, too. Until they decided one day to examine the insides and compare and contrast. When I found them, they had "dissected" about 10 of them. Oh my! Now I want the new ones!

Kathy said...

We still have a box full of old Happy Meal toys. Every now and then I ask my now teenaged girls to go through them and get rid of the ones without sentimental value, so the toys get culled a little at a time. Now I'm even starting to use them at school for a little raffle thing my Theatre classes do every Friday. It's always amazing to me how easy it is to thrill 13 year- olds!

L'l Bit said...

Some of the Happy Meal toys are collectors items. I am holding onto a box full of them hoping to reap rewards sometime in the future!

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently discussing about how we as a society are so hooked onto electronics. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory falls, the possibility of transferring our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.

(Posted on Ting2 for R4i Nintendo DS.)