When you were much younger, did you drive your parents crazy for a McDonald's Happy Meal? Are you still buying Happy Meals? Maybe some of their more recent partnerships such as last year's Cactus Plant Flea Market collaboration has you feeling nostalgic! If you’re like me, you were always asking for them when your parents drove you places. Either way, this is a great time to look back at the 20 most valuable Happy Meal toys of all time! Let's see if you owned or still own any of these Happy Meal grails, and in the meantime if you can also check out a general history on McDonalds and all of their celebrity meals to date if you wish.
The 22 Most Valuable Happy Meal Toys From McDonald's
In a land full of happy meal toys, what are the best?
22. Potato Head Kids (1987)
Ah, the Mr. Potato Head Kids. These toys were from the animated Potato Head Kids show that aired from 1986 to 1987. The Happy Meal Miniature Mr. Potato Head toys are difficult to find sealed copies; the loose ones, however, are relatively inexpensive, with a set of 9 currently starting at $22.80 on eBay at the moment.
21. Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Despicable Me Minions took over the Happy Meal craze in 2013. The toys were made available at the same time as the movie release, which ended up the 2nd highest-grossing animated movie at the time. The Minions came in a set of 8, and recent sales are around $35.00.
20. Fraggle Rock (1987)
Price: $60 or less
Fraggle Rock was a part of the Muppet Universe and was immensely popular in the late 1980s. Surprisingly, you can complete this set on eBay for less than $60.00, and as low as $20 for an unpackaged used set from 1988.
19. Furby (2000)
Furby! The 1998 toy line was a massive success that led to two separate McDonald’s Happy Meal toy lines. The 2nd Furby toy line, the 2000 set of 12 Furby key chains, is the more valuable of the two today. The most recent complete sealed set sold was for $69.00, but at the moment there's one going for $149, which also includes the boxes.
18. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)
Price: $69.95 or less
The most popular video game character had to make his way to Happy Meals, right? Absolutely! Super Mario made his first appearance in 1990 as a set of 4, including Luigi, Little Goomba & Koopa Paratroopa. The most recent set sold was in April 2022 for $69.95. There are still complete sets available near that price or even for less at $30.
17. Inspector Gadget (1999)
The Inspector Gadget set is unique. This is the first set on the list that is built into one character. You would have to have all 8 pieces to make the full Inspector Gadget, which is currently available around $50.00-$70.00 on eBay.
16. Star Trek Meal (1979-1980)
This is certainly one of the more unique Happy Meal promotions. There were 5 custom Happy Meal boxes for Star Trek, which included games & comics for the Movie. One of the notable scenes on the boxes was the death of 2 crewmembers. Imagine that being on a happy meal box today.
The toys available with the Happy Meals were a Star Trek Video Communicator, Star Trek Rings, which snapped together & a board game where you go through outer space on the Enterprise. You can currently get a full set of for roughly $150.
15. 101 Dalmatians (1997-1998)
This is probably the coolest set McDonald’s ever released as part of Happy Meals. The 101 Dalmatians were available in happy meals, but there was also the caveat that you could win the whole collection as part of a McDonald's program that promoted the movie 101 Dalmatians. The set is known to go as high as $96, but there's currently a complete set available for $23.99. With that said, it can also go as high as $209.97 on the current market.
14. 1993 Barbie Set
This set is interesting in that the concept would never fly today. McDonalds and Mattel did this collaboration at the same time they were handing out Hot Wheels toys in the Happy Meal boxes. Children were asked to choose between a "boys toy" and a "girls toy".
This set sold for $105 on eBay, but with them all looking pristine in their original boxes, I wonder if the buyer got a steal! If you are still on the hunt for this set, you can grab it for $5 more via eBay.
13. Changeables - Transforming Food
When I mentioned the most valuable Happy Meal Toys, my father immediately picked the Changeables. These toys would change into dinosaurs and robots from items on the menu. Recently a sealed set of 8 Changeables from 1989 sold for $100.00, which is line with the current asking price of $120 on eBay.
12. Clone Wars Happy Meal Box (2008)
Star Wars finally makes the list! This set is based on the animated Clone Wars show that aired from 2008-09. The Clone Wars complete set of 18 is quite reasonable despite being 13 years old. You can complete the set for under $60.00 if you can find a lot available. The cardboard boxes that the Happy Meal came in are also desirable, selling for $29.99 recently.
11. Pokémon 25th Anniversary Pikachu holo #25 PSA 10
To end this countdown, we have to go with the Pokémon 25th Anniversary Packs that were available in the Happy Meals. Why? The craze for packs and cases of packs was ridiculous; people were making offers to store managers and doing their best to buy cases and flip them for insane markups.
Simply put, these cards/packs are #1 on the list because a PSA 10 graded Holographic Pikachu sold for $445 on eBay in July. However, they are currently selling for around $150. While that's certainly trending in the wrong direction, it's still not a bad return on what was supposed to just be a fun Happy Meal giveaway.
Regardless, of whether this card is worth $100 or $400 (if graded a pristine PSA 10) today, it's still more than most other single item on this list.
Over 42 years, McDonald’s has included toys in Happy Meals, and yet one of their most valuable is a Pikachu Card that’s just over a year old, which illustrates just how powerful and collectible the Pokémon brand is.
10. 2013 NFL Rush Zone (Complete Set)
NFL Rush Zone was an animated show on Nickelodeon that only ran for three seasons and focused on an 11-year-old San Diego Chargers fan (Ish) that protected a power source which was hidden in all 32 NFL stadiums. NFL stars and head coaches such as Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Mike Tomlin made guest appearances on the show, and every NFL team was represented by one of the "Rusherz", a race of humanoid aliens that in some way resembled the logo or the city.
As weird as that concept sounds, this set going for $225 is proof that you can pretty much sell anything with an NFL logo on it, but it should be noted that you can now currently grab the entire set starting at $39.33.
9. McDonald's Lego Bionicle Set (2001)
It should come as no surprise that this very popular set from 2001 continues to be one of McDonald's most popular and best-selling Happy Meal sets. The full set comes complete with each character and there signature disks, which you can currently find via eBay for $235.99.
8. Snoopy (1998-1999)
The Snoopy World Tour came with 28 figures and was available as a complete set in a case designed as Snoopy’s house. Each toy represented a different country. The 2nd set of Snoopy toys was also available individually in 1999, and recently listed on eBay for $155. There was one complete set in the case listed currently on eBay for over $350.00 last year, but you can now find the set as low as $155 in 2023.
7. Power Rangers (1995)
The Power Rangers Mania was real, with demand causing shelves to be empty and families calling Bandai direct demanding toys. The demand wasn’t nearly that great for the Happy Meal toys, but they were popular. I remember having each one and enjoying a lot of happy meals when these were released. A full set is currently going for about $150, but has been known to go as high as $350 for an unused.
6. Underwater Monsters By Diener Keshi (1979)
The first two sets of toys made available in Happy Meals were from Diener Keshi. Both were also multi-purposed as toys & erasers. Loose sets fetch over $40.00, and sealed sets, which are very rare, are valued at over $400.00.
5. Robots By Diener Keshi (1979)
Like the Underwater Monsters, Diener Keshi also made the Robots. These are the first toys available for Happy Meals and the first Keshi toys shipped to the USA. The set contains 14 figures, and some are still available loose on eBay. A sealed set would also fetch north of $400.00, like the Underwater Monsters.
4. Tarzan Happy Meal (1999)
Price: $450 and up
The Tarzan Happy Meal bounces back and forth expense wise on the market. It's been known to get as high as $450 in mint condition (basically brand new and untouched), but there's currently an auction going on, that starts at $25.95 for the individual pieces packaged. Either way, this the Tarzan has proven over the last 25 years to be a valuable one.
3. "Cactus Plant Flea Market" Adult Happy Meal Toys
Adult Happy Meals might seem ridiculous to some people, but I disagree. You're never too old for a Happy Meal!
McDonald's linked up with Cactus Plant Flea Market for this collaboration that features four figures, Grimace, the Hamburglar, Birdie and Cactus Buddy. There is also a website where you can purchase some gear that celebrates the collab!
"We're taking one of the most nostalgic McDonald's experiences and literally repackaging it in a new way that's hyper-relevant for our adult fans," said Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA's chief marketing and customer experience officer, in a statement.
This set of all four figures is selling for $550, which is quite a return on the tasty investment.
2. Hot Wheels (1983)
The McDonald's Hot Wheels are the most underrated of all the toys listed. Sealed vintage hot wheels have been climbing in value steadily, and the 1983 McDonald’s set is no different. The Hot Wheels McDonald's Happy Meal has been known to be valued as much as $850, and of all the items on this list, these are likely to be the most valuable moving forward, which is proven by the current asking price of $489.99.
1. TY’s Teenie Beanie Baby Boos (1999)
If you weren’t around for the Beanie Baby craze, let me just say it was worse than the Pokémon Packs being sold earlier this year. Parents were buying out all the Teenie Beanie Babies at McDonald’s, and with limited supply, there were multiple incidents that led to injuries and arrests. One McDonald’s employee was charged with theft after being caught stealing $6,000.00 worth of them.
The Teenie Beanie Babies were smaller versions of the Beanie Babies and were available in Happy Meals or individually for sale at $2.00 each. Sealed versions of the original Teenie Beanie Babies fetch over $50.00, and as a set, they are worth over $1,000.00. Not bad for 22-year-old Happy Meal Toys.
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