Check Out These 1980s McDonald’s Happy Meal Trays!

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!
Hamburglar - Happy Meals Tray

[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.
Captain Crook - Happy Meals Tray

1985 was around the last time we saw the likes of his honor, Mayor McCheese as well as the stalwart Officer Big Mac.
Mayor McCheese - Happy Meal Tray

Office Big Mac - Happy Meals Tray

Of course Grimace is always Grimace.
Grimace - Happy Meals Tray

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!
Ronald McDonald - Happy Meals Tray

What about you readers? Do you have any fond recollections of these Happy Meal trays?

McDonalds Cactus Canyon Lunchbox

Sheriff Ronald McDonalds Cactus Canyon Lunchbox

Here’s one of the lunchboxes I picked up last week while out and about, the McDonalds Cactus Canyon Lunchbox. I can’t wait to cram a McBLT in this thing and take it to work for lunch. Many classic lunchboxes told a story, and this one is no exception. On the front of the lunchbox you can see Ronald McDonald as “the Sheriff,” relaxing on the front porch as an excited Birdie is approaching him. I think every day Birdie is not turned into a 20 piece box of McNuggets, Birdie should be excited.

Read about McDonalds Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich

Around the edges of the lunchbox you can follow the story. On one side of the lunchbox Birdie leads Ronald and the gang to an empty safe. The other size shows the Hamburgler making his escape, and the top shows a Hamburgler wanted poster. On the back of the lunchbox we can see how the story of the McDonalds Cactus Canyon Lunchbox ends.

McDonalds Cactus Canyon Lunchbox

How this story end


As the Fry Guys stand guard and Mayor McCheese assumes his “stick-up” pose, it’s Grimace we see here saving the day using his lasso. Noticeably missing in this wild west setting are any guns. My favorite part of the back is Ronald himself, who instead of helping apprehend the Hamburgler, simply gestures towards the crook’s getaway stagecoach as if to say, “See what kind of McCrap I have to put up with in Cactus Canton?”

Hanging with Ronald

As a reader of the Retroist, I think October is my favorite month. I love seeing and reading about people’s retro Halloween stories, decorations, and costumes.

As a writer for the Retroist, I think November is my favorite month. Like the rest of the staff writers I try to keep my October posts Halloween related, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t find lots of non-Halloween related retro things to share last month as well! As a result, November becomes a busy month for me as I have a stash of things waiting to share with you all, as well as whatever retro-related news items may pop up on my radar.

Here’s to a great McMonth!

Somewhere near the Ozarks …

Halloween and McDonald’s

We’ve talked a little bit this month about what constitutes bad Halloween treats (pencils, pencil erasers, toothbrushes), but what about … gift certificates?

I remember receiving McDonald’s Gift Certificates a few times in the late 70s and early 80s, back in my prime trick-or-treating years. The 1979 commercial below says that the gift certificates were good for a free drink, but I seem to remember receiving some that were good for a sundae as well.

If you didn’t have a pillow sack or some other cool bucket to stash your goods in, you could always pick up one of these plastic carriers from McDonald’s.

At least one year, McDonald’s dressed up the McNuggets in various Halloween outfits.

This commercial coincided with McNugget Happy Meal toys in similar Halloween-themed costumes.

halloween-mcnuggets