I have wanted one of these forever! I mean that, like forever. Here’s the problem. I didn’t know what to call them. What it is if you aren’t sure is a Mcdonald’s Happy Meal Spaceship. It’s the first Happy Meal that I ever remember getting back when I lived in Illinois. This was way back in 1982.
See, when I would do searches on it I was always looking for Mcdonald’s Happy Meal UFO. That’s what I remember them being called. U.F.O’s, when in reality they are called, McDonald’s Happy Meal Spaceships. That’s a good name too.
This was the one that I had and I had if for YEARS! I mean that, years. I loved the shape of it and I loved that it was green. That’s my favorite color. I do prefer a darker shade, more like forest as opposed to neon but Green is Green, I guess.
What I really loved about it though was that besides carrying hamburgers and fries it also made for a really great action figure space ship! See, it opens and you can put dudes inside! How great is that? Totally great!
It doesn’t have seats or anything, that’d be too much to ask for but you could fit a whole grip of figures in there. I remember that my Fisher Price Adventure People would zip around the living room inside of here and later my Star Wars dudes did the same thing. I had a bunch of Star Wars guys but only had one ship, Darth Vader’s Tie-Fighter so when Luke wanted to fight back against The Empire he did it inside of a Happy Meal..
Another cool thing about it was that it floated so it also got to double up as a boat when it was bathtub play time. Now that I think about it Mcdonald’s eventually made boat Happy Meals too. I’m not sure if I ever had one. If I did, it didn’t make the impact on my life that this green space ship did.
I was lucky enough to get this at an Ebay Auction. The sale ended on July 4th so I picked it up for only a couple of dollars while everyone else was out enjoying fireworks and BBQs. I don’t regret it at all.
Here is a TV Spot for these awesome Happy Meals. It’ll really bring you back if you happen to be from that era or it’ll take you there if you’ve never been. Either way, it’s great.
Just the other day one of my co-workers and friends at the Arkadia Retrocade sent me a text with the image you see above attached.
As you can tell from the headline on this post these are vintage 1980s Happy Meal trays from McDonald’s. They were produced by Simon Marketing Inc. for the fast food chain but beyond that I have found very little information on these beauties.
I’m thinking they must be from around 1985 at least as the Hamburglar has already had made the switch to the more kid friendly-version of the hamburger thief. Long after he was introduced as the Lone Jogger!
[Via] The Burger Nerd
Plus Captain Crook sadly was phased out around 1987 and this tray shows him in his original outfit although perhaps a little less sinister than his appearance in McDonaldland as a villain.
1985 was around the last time we saw the likes of his honor, Mayor McCheese as well as the stalwart Officer Big Mac.
Of course Grimace is always Grimace.
Now I would love to crow and say that my friend picked these up for me…but that isn’t the case…at least I know they are in a good home, the only one that wasn’t available when she picked these up was the Ronald McDonald tray. I think eBay can take care of that though!
What about you readers? Do you have any fond recollections of these Happy Meal trays?
In 1989, McDonald’s began giving away “Funny Fry Friends” in Happy Meals. The Funny Fry Friends were hipper and cooler versions of the Fry Guys (who were always a little weird in the first place). This past weekend I ran across a complete collection of the Funny Fry Guys still in their original McDonald’s display case.
I don’t have the room to start collecting displays (although I do have a couple of Star Wars displays from various fast food giveaways…) so this one (which was priced at $100 even) is still there, if anyone’s interested. The display appears to have lasted a lot longer than the hip-hop fry guy routine did.
I think I would have made a great addition to the staff of the Happy Meal workshop. I am very good at coming up with pointless single use inventions and I assume I would have an unlimited cheeseburger budget to get all of my work done. Sadly when I told my guidance counselor about my goals back in High School, he just laughed at me and said I couldn’t get that job.
Later I found out that he got his kid an internship in the workshop. Jerk…
Around 1980, McDonalds teamed up with Diener to release a series of plastic toy figures with their Happy Meals. They had a bunch of different types in that release, but none are as well remembered as The Space Creatures. 8 brilliantly colored figures (in 5 colors) that have been cherished for nearly 30 years.
You can find more of Sean’s work at his website and look for more of his work to appear here on the Retroist regularly.