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!
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?
I remember after watching the Black Hole in the theaters for the first time, my Father took me to McDonald’s so that I could run off a little excess energy at the indoor McDonaldland playground. While I was happily climbing around the insides of the Officer Big Mac Climb-In Jail Playground…
…I struck up a fleeting friendship with two brothers that were doing the same. While we all imagined we were inside of the Millennium Falcon instead of Officer Big Mac they informed me they were going to see the Black Hole after they were done playing. I told them how much I liked the movie and even at that age I resisted spoiling the film for them but I did warn them how scary the towering robot Maximilian was.
I never met the two brothers again but I certainly hoped they ended up liking the Black Hole as much as I did.
One of the things I enjoy most about swap meets and antiques fairs is the chance to run into some long-forgotten toy from my past. That happened to me today as I stumbled across this McDonaldland Playset. I never owned this toy – or any of the individual dolls/action figures. But, I remember begging my mother for them. Only later did it occur to me that my mother, a nutritionist by trade, may not have been the biggest fan of McDonalds toys. That said, we still managed to eat at McDonalds every so often – and I envisioned using this playset to recreate all the excitement of the restaurant.
Now that I’m older, I’m a bit puzzled by the inclusion of the train in McDonaldland. Perhaps the train was featured in some commercials? More likely it was just added to give the characters something to do aside from eat at McDonalds. The children on the box seem a bit perplexed as to how to play with this toy too. They seem content to just look upon its glory.