Today, every time a family heads to a McDonald’s, it’s more than likely that their child would ask for a Happy Meal. It’s no wonder that according to data firm Sense360, the fast food giant is able to sell as many as 250 Happy Meals every three seconds.
According to a report from Time, the Happy Meal has been around since 1979. Back then, it came standard with a cheeseburger or hamburger, along with some cookies, French fries, and a soft drink. But perhaps, more than the food itself, a child is always looking forward to getting that special toy surprise inside.
Over the years, these Happy Meal toys have gone through quite an evolution. And while we admit that some of these toys look great, there are also toys that are quite scary for children.
19 The Cat from The Cat and Dog Collection
At one point, McDonald’s decided to come out with a The Cat and Dog Collection for its Happy Meal. And while the dog toys in this collection are cute and even cuddly, the cat toy is just rather disturbing. Instead of being cute and furry, this one looks like it is ready to give you and your children a fright in the middle of the night.
18 Creepy Jelly Fish
Sure, in reality, jellyfishes are amazing creatures to watch. And so, with the release of the movie “Shark Tale,” the fast food giant also made sure to include the jellyfish characters in their inspired line of Happy Meal toys. However, it looks like something went horribly wrong somewhere in between designing the toy and finally manufacturing it.
17 Ronald McDonald Mask
According to Babble Top, this Ronald McDonald mask was included in children’s Happy Meals back in 1974. From the look of it though, the mask doesn’t portray a happy and friendly clown. Instead, it reminds us of the clown from “IT,” sinister, vicious and always on the lookout for young victims.
16 Furby Toys
In a way, these McDonald’s Happy Meal Furby toys resemble little birds. However, there’s nothing cute about these creatures. For starters, their ears make them look like bats. And then, they’ve got these gigantic eyes and large beaks. In the end, if a child happened upon these toys in the dark, they might think it’s a creature coming to take them away.
15 'Wizard of Oz' Dolls
Several years ago, McDonald’s thought it would be a good idea to create a group of dolls that were based on some characters from “The Wizard of Oz” for its Happy Meal. And while doll collectors and movie fanatics certainly appreciate these toys, we believe that they simply look too scary for any child. This is especially true for The Wicket Witch of the West, The Tin Man, and Scarecrow.
14 Sky Dancers
We’re not exactly sure what McDonald’s was thinking when they came out with this one. If you look closely, these Happy Meal toys are figures of people that appear to only have a single leg. Any way that you look at it, it’s just plain weird. And because of this, it can easily give any child nightmares.
13 McNugget Buddies
We believe that the idea behind these McNugget Buddies was for children to imagine that their favorite chicken McNuggets could become so much more than food. That means they can suddenly transform into creatures that could possibly walk and talk. We don’t know about you, but we find this idea pretty disturbing.
12 Fry Kids
The original Fry Kids from the McDonald’s Happy Meals were also known as Goblins. Basically, they don’t resemble anything like French Fries. Instead, they were these fuzzy creatures that had weirdly shaped head and very thin legs. At the same time, they only had eyes on their face. Later on, another version was done to include eyebrows. However, the entire face was never completed.
11 Avatar Toys
As you may know, McDonald’s is one fast food company that is quite fond of doing movie tie-ins to benefit its Happy Meal product. Hence, when the hit sci-fi movie “Avatar” came out, they jumped at the chance of making a line of toys to resemble some of the characters. Unfortunately, they don’t look much like the characters onscreen. Hence, they just look like creatures that can cause nightmares.
Back in 1990, the fast food giant decided to come out with a line of Happy Meal toys known as FoodFundamentals. According to Nexter, “McDonald’s thought that instead of adding fruits to their menu they can help kids eat more healthy by creating anthropomorphic Happy Meal toys of food item.” There was a wheat bread sandwich named Otis and an apple named Ruby. Overall, these things looked quite creepy.
9 Halloween Birdie
Sure, Birdie is among the most recognizable characters in McDonald’s. And so, kids may have gotten so excited that Birdie was going to get a Halloween costume as part of a new Happy Meal toy collection. However, Birdie ended up with a large square hole in her chest. And we believe any parent would have a hard time explaining to children what it’s for.
8 Halloween Hamburglar
Over the years, McDonald’s has decided to come out with various Halloween-inspired toys for its Happy Meal. And in 1998, it decided that its character Hamburglar would be given a face mask that made him appear like a terrifying witch. To make things worse, it also appears like a purple spider is crawling on his face.
7 Swearing Minions
No one can deny that the minions from the ‘Despicable Me’ film franchise are quite cute and lovable. And so, it’s no wonder that McDonald’s decided to feature them as a Happy Meal toy. Even better, they decided to make this minion talk. However, some parents are claiming that these minions appear to be saying a curse word.
The idea behind the Changeables line of toys is pretty straightforward. Basically, McDonald’s wanted to present the idea that their food items can transform into something else. Hence, the French fries, burgers and even the box of Happy Meal itself can turn into a creature. Now, if you really think about it, that’s quite creepy.
5 Diener Keshi Rubber Toys
These rubber figures were reportedly a big hit back in the 70s and 80s. And apparently, these Diener Keshi figures came in several figures over the years. These included dinosaurs, circus characters, cars, sea creatures and more. However, these things are quite small that they are definite choking hazards. According to Mental Floss, a set of these was selling for as much as $80 back in 2017.
4 Inspector Gadget
Even in recent years, the show ‘Inspector Gadget’ has been quite a hit with children. Several years ago, ‘Inspector Gadget’ was a much more popular animated television show that went on to inspire a movie. Well, it looks like McDonald’s wanted to take advantage of the popularity and included an ‘Inspector Gadget’ toy in the Happy Meal. Sadly, however, it suffers from poor proportions so it’s quite creepy.
3 Hello Kitty Whistles
The Hello Kitty Whistles is one Happy Meal toy that became popular for all the wrong reasons. Back in 2014, it was announced that the fast food giant was recalling the toys because it presented a serious choking hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “McDonald's has received two reports of children who coughed out pieces of the whistle that they had sucked into their mouths, including one child who received medical attention.”
Sure, kids, especially little boys, love dinosaur toys. And so, it completely understandable that McDonald’s would want to put some inside their Happy Meal. However, their version of plastic dinosaur toys is really pretty disturbing. For starters, a lot of them look more like crocodiles, than dinosaurs. On the other hand, their version of a baby dinosaur resembles a creature from “E.T.”
1 Play-Doh Mini Packs
Back in the 80s, McDonald’s decided to include some Play-Doh mini packs inside their Happy Meal. Moreover, the toy also came with a mold so that children can only create their favorite McDonald’s food out of this stuff. And while to some extent, the idea is enjoyable, we must say that there’s a big chance that a child would also ingest the toy while playing.
Reference: Sense360, TIME, Mental Floss, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Babble Top