McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys from the 80s- 1980

Happy Meals came about in 1977 from the ideas of Dick Brams, regional manager in St. Louis. The originals had a burger, fries, cookies and a promotional toy in a decorated cardboard box. These early boxes were round-topped sort of like a lunch pail but these were dropped to make a more stackable carton. The Circus Wagon was the first official Happy Meal, making kids happy in 1979. Through the years Happy Meals have come in plenty of novel packaging including sand pails with shovels or trick or treat pails. For nearly every toy line promotion that comes with a Happy Meal there is also an under 3 years safe version you can ask for.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list nor a price guide. There are several excellent books and websites out there that are great reads for the serious collector as well as types like me who just like to reminisce. Please check out my references at the end of this page for some awesome information on toys and boxes, test toys, toys that were recalled or discarded, international toys, store displays, crew uniforms, premiums and giveaways that are too exhaustive to get into here.

1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990-1993

1980

Safari Adventure by DEINER- Tiger, Rhino, Monkey, Alligator, Gorilla, Hippo, Elephant, Lion
McDonaldland Pennants– Ronald McDonald, Grimmace
Undersea figures by DEINER- Seal, Tiger Shark, Sea Turtle, Whale, Whale Shark, Walrus, Crocodile, Great White Shark, Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Penguin
Look-Look books– Animals that fly, Cats in the wild, Animals of the sea, The biggest animal
Dallas Cowboys football cards on meal cartons- Chuck Howley/ Don Perkins, Don Meredith / Bob Lily, Roger Staubach / W. Garrison
Door alarm w/ balloon
Little Savers fold up bank with Ronald McDonald
McDonaldland Jalopy cars– Birdie, Hamburglar, Ronald McDonald
McDonaldland cookie cutters/ moulds –  Ronald McDonald, Grimace
McDonaldland  flip top game
McDonaldland fun moulds– Ronald McDonald, Fry Guy, Mayor McCheese, Birdie
Ronald McDonald party hat
Ronald McDonald Tip ‘N Tilt game
Megaphone ring whistle
Ronald McDonald popsicle mould
McDonaldland cars
McDonaldland character pens on lanyards– Big Mac, Grimace, Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar
McDonaldland  sponges- Grimace, Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar
Ronald McDonald acrobat
Ronald McDonald frisbee
McDonald’s Fry ‘n the Sky kite
Captain Crook Fishin Fun game
Ronald McDonald Who’s in the Zoo? game
Letterland Stationary (3 writing sheets/ 3 seals) – Ronald McDonald / The Professor, Captain Big Mac / Grimace / Fry Guy
Ronald McDonald w/ Fry Guy light switch cover “Turn me OFF when you’re out!”
1980 Olympics Javelin Throw w/ paper distance markers
Styro-Gliders – Space Cruiser USA, Ronald Styro-Glider, Ronald McDonald Airlines, Ronald McDonald Airplane
McDonaldland Sunglasses– Ronald, Grimace, Hamburglar, Birdie

Other promotion items in 1980

Big Ronald McDonald sugar cookie
45 RPM record- Ronald McDonald and Friends – songs, “Share a Song from Your Heart” and “F-R-I-E-N-D-S” benefitted Muscular Dystrophy
ZOO Happy Cups– free with purchase of a shake- Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Hamburglar, Captain Crook
78 RPM record- Ronald McDonald visits America w/ storybook
Yellow Plastic McDonaldland Adventure Series cups-  Ronald McDonald saves the falling stars, Grimace climbs a mountain,  Hamburglar hooks the hamburgers, Big Mac nets the Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese rides a runaway train, Captain Crook sails the Bounding Main
Yellow Happy Cup– Ronald McDonald and Grimace
78 RPM record– Kids Radio Birthday Party starring Ronald McDonald, Dee-Jay
78 RPM record– Kids Radio Rainy Day Fun Starring Ronald McDonald, Dee-Jay
Free McChicken Sandwich for Dad coupon for Father’s Day 1980
Easter 1980 egg art wrappers- Ronald McDonald, Grimace
Valentine’s Day 1980 cookie box sleeves
Ronald McDonald Gift Wrap set w/purchase of $5 book of McDonalds gift Certificates
1980 Ronald McDonald colouring calendar w/coupons
McDonaldland  Fun Times quarterly magazine
McDonald’s Barbie by Mattel in McDonald’s uniform, 9″
McKids overnight bag – Birdie and Hamburglar on bike, 15 1/2″ x 10″ x 5″
McDonald’s logo plastic apron
Stuffed McKids Ronald McDonald backpack 12 x 22″
Ronald McDonald red costume wig
Sam the Olympic eagle ball cap
USA Olympic and McDonald’s logo ball cap
Camp Snoopy ball cap
McDonald’s logo scarf – knit
Ronald McDonald handkerchief 14″
Ronald McDonald mini-kite
McDonaldland Scribble pad 6×9″
Lifelike Build-ems scale resturant model
Record, Ronald McDonald and Friends
Frisbees– Ronald McDonald white 8″, Sundae Sailer,  Ronald McDonald and Fry Guys 9″, Ring flyer 9 1/2″, Ronald McDonald and Fry Guys 9″
Glasses, red plastic “see-behind”
1980 Olympic Flag 12″
Kites–  Movin’ On,  Fly’n the Sky 40″,  Nobody Can Do It 3′
McDonaldland Adventure series glasses

Resources:

Images in the toy pages are courtesy McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys from the Eighties – Joyce & Terry Losonksy
And courtesy McDonald’s Collectibles 2nd Ed.– Gery Henriques & Audre Duvall

Other resources:
McCollecting – Gery Henriques & Audre Duvall 1st Ed.
McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys in the U.S.A– Joyce & Terry Losonksy
McDonald’s Glassware – Joyce & Terry Losonksy
McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys Around the World – Joyce & Terry Losonksy

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