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McDonald's 40th Anniversary Happy Meal Review

Excited about the news of retro toys from our childhood, my wife and I made it a point to head out and get the limited time McDonald's 40th Anniversary Surprise Happy Meal.  Now, since at the moment we are a few (three) months away from our first child, the two of us haven't purchased a Happy Meal in probably 20 or 25 years. 

Boy, were we surprised how the Happy Meal has changed.  You can only order a Hamburger, a 4 piece, or a 6 piece chicken nugget meal.  Really?  A cheeseburger is unavailable for purchase.  Of all the things making children fat today... a slice of American cheese ain't it, folks.  

Anyway, we each ordered the 4 piece McNugget meal.  The cashier asked if we wanted Apple Slices and Apple Juice.  I love apples, so I said sure but I'd rather a Diet Coke.  Nope, can't do that with a Happy Meal either.  Ok, fine, that I can sort of understand so I said I'd rather have water.  We were charged an extra $1 a piece for a miniature bottle of water.  Really?  So you can't have soda because it's a sugary drink but we'll give you apple juice (a very sugary juice) but water is an extra cost?

I'm sure those of you with kids or anyone who has purchased a Happy Meal in the past 20 years are perplexed by our reaction to this but without turning this blog political... what kind of nanny state nonsense is this?

Back to the retro review:

We were both very pleased to see that the cardboard box of yesteryear was back!  Perhaps it was just a regional thing here in the New York area, but the last we could both remember Happy Meals ceased use of the cardboard box and were handed out in regular paper bags.  The box featured the familiar Golden Arches for the handles and was covered with special 40th Anniversary graphics;  Power Rangers, Furbies, Beanie Babies, McNugget gang, and My Little Pony just to name a few.

Opening our Happy Meal box, we discovered the Apple Slices, Chicken McNuggets, an adorable little container of french fries, and our surprise toy!  We had been hoping for two different toys but unfortunately we had both received the same one.  

On the white plastic bag, it read "Surprise Happy Meal Toy #2 - from 1988!"  

Of all the toys that were advertised, we both were happy to get the McNugget Cowboy!  These McNugget gang characters were some of our most memorable as a child, and as a matter of fact, some of the only ones we still have from our childhood.  I will say, the difference between the 2019 version and the 1988 version is the quality of plastic.  The 2019 version is a very hard plastic while I remember the original 1988 version being a softer almost rubbery kind of plastic.  The cowboy hat is removable and is made of the same hard plastic.  The bandanna is also hard plastic while the original was made of rubber.  It had snaps to tighten the belt around the McNugget or could be removed completely.  This 2019 version is molded plastic and has the "snaps" but is formed in solid plastic.

All in all, I'm pleased that we decided to get the 40th Anniversary Happy Meal.  Changes to the actual meal selection aside, we really made the trip to the local McDonald's just to relive the nostalgia of getting a Happy Meal and the excitement of getting a toy inside that iconic cardboard box.  

What made it even better though was that this time around the toy was a memorable one from yesteryear!