Retro Ramblings Weekly: McDonald’s Happy Meal

In this week’s episode of the TRN Podcast, you’re gonna hear Jason and I do a lot of talking about McDonald’s Happy Meals through the years.  We each gave a list of our favorites, but I have WAY more favorites than I could list there, so I thought I would add one to the column this week.  Lucky you.

So on the pod, one of my picks was the Berenstain Bears toys from 1987.  That wasn’t the only time that McDonald’s paired up with the legendary Bears.  In 1990, they hooked up again so kids everywhere could get their hands on some exclusive books from the popular line.  They released eight new titles through the partnership, and each one was branded with the McDonald’s logo in the bottom corner of the front cover.

I was an avid reader of the Berenstain Bear books, so I was loving the fact that I could get my fix just by getting a Happy Meal.  I ended up getting several of the titles to add to my already large collection.  I can’t overstate just how great it was to go pick up a Happy Meal, take it home and settle in to read the new book, while at the same time enjoying the delicious cheeseburger and golden french fries.

Normally when my Mom and I would go to McDonald’s to eat, we would always sit there at the restaurant and enjoy the meal, but these Happy Meals were different.  She gave in and we took our food home to eat while the Berenstain Bears books promotion was going on.  There was another time she agreed to do this as well, but it wasn’t for a Happy Meal, and I’ll save that story for another time.

My strong nostalgiac feelings for McDonald’s come from all the times just my Mom and I went to McDonalds by ourselves.  She would take me out on Saturday afternoons when my old man was traveling.  I would have a Happy Meal, and she would have a Big Mac meal.  As I got older, I started partaking in the Big Mac myself.  But in the early days, we would sit together and eat our preferred meal, and then she would let me play on the playground for a while.  After playtime was over, she would usually spring for a hot caramel sundae before we hit the road.

Those times with her at McDonald’s are some of my favorite memories, and helps stoke my love of the Happy Meal.  Be sure to listen to this week’s pod to hear my five favorite Happy Meals, and then swing over to our Patreon page to see another five Happy Meals that I loved.

Things I Think I Think This Week…

Pringles Turducken

I think… that Pringles pulled a ridiculous stunt this week with their online exclusive sale of the Friendsgiving Turducken pack of chips.  For those of you who aren’t aware, they released a special Thanksgiving set of chips featuring a Turkey flavor, a Chicken flavor, and a Duck flavor.  The idea being that you could stack the three flavors and create a Turducken flavor.  The six-pack also included a Stuffing flavor, a Cranberry Sauce flavor, and a Pumpkin Pie flavored chip.  Now while this sounds awesome, their execution was not.  They weren’t ready for the demand, and the site crashed before the sale even started at noon.  Everyone I was online with at the time was having no luck getting the site to work to order their chips.  Then, all of a sudden, they posted on their Twitter page that they were sold out.  But the worst offense was what came after.  Everyone who responded to them on Twitter was sent an advertisement for their limited edition Roasted Turkey flavor that is in stores now.  At the same time, there were folks listing the Turducken sets on ebay for north of $100 each.  This whole fiasco was such a disappointment, and I would have thought a company like Pringles would have cared more for their fans and customers than to pull off a shit deal like this.

I think… that if you like what we do here at TRN, then you’re really going to like our new YouTube series debuting this week called Wax Pack Flashback.  Every week, I’m going to be opening an old pack of trading cards, and you get to share in the fun and watch from over my shoulder.  If you’re not already subscribed to our YouTube channel, head over when you’re done here and subscribe so you get the notifications when new episodes drop each week.  You can watch the preview for the new show below.

I think… that it feels like I’m rushing towards Thanksgiving and Christmas at warp speed, which I don’t like.  I like to be able to savor the seasons and make them last as long as possible, but this year, time is flying by.  I just hope I can find the time to watch all the classic Christmas movies and TV shows I love before time runs out.  I’ve got to get through all the classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Christmas Vacation.  Not to mention Christmas episodes of classic TV shows like The Brady Bunch, Newhart, and Taxi.  It’s such a wonderful season and I want to make the most of it.

I think… that you still have plenty of time to pick up some retro-theme minifigures from before you finish your Christmas shopping.  We still have sets of TMNT, MOTU, ThunderCats, Power Rangers, Stranger Things, and more, as well as individual figures from all of your favorite properties like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and many more.  Stop by our ebay store and have a look!

I think…that it’s an incredible fact that Robert Morris, aka The Marlboro Man, never smoked.  I’m sure he was always under a lot of pressure to be seen out in public puffing on a Marlboro, but he never caved.  The standard-bearer for the classic cowboy look, he passed away this week at 90 years old.  May he rest in peace.

I think…you may enjoy a classic ad for the Thanksgiving season a little early, so here is an ad for Miracle Baste turkeys.  “Butter makes it taste much better…naturally.”  Amen sister.  Amen.

About Mickey Yarber 198 Articles
Sometimes referred to as The Retro Rambler...I was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. I love to share all the fun stuff from those years via articles and videos, and occasionally make un-needed appearances on various podcasts. I can also catch quarters off my elbow. Email to book me for your next corporate event.