Top 10 Happy Meal Toy Fails



Top 10 Happy Meal Toy Fails

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nancy Roberge-Renaud
These Happy Meal toys made some people very angry. For this list, we'll be looking at some of the Happy Meal toys that were disappointing, not functional, or just bizarre. Our countdown includes “American Idol” Mp3 Player, “Mighty Ducks” Pucks, “Spider-Man 2” Girl Toys, and more!

Top 10 Happy Meal Toy Fails

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Happy Meal Toy Fails.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the Happy Meal toys that were disappointing, not functional, or just bizarre.

Which Happy Meal toy disappointed you as a child? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “American Idol” Mp3 Player

Premiering in 2002, “American Idol” was arguably at the height of its popularity by 2007. So, why not have Happy Meal toys based on the hit show? Well, there are a number of reasons why not. The demographic for “Idol” was perhaps a little higher than Happy Meal age, and we can only assume that very young children had no idea what the toys were about. There were a number of options, but the “Mp3 Player” has to be among the worst. A thin, IPod-semblant piece of plastic that played the “Idol” theme over and over again! Yay? In second place for terrible Idol toys, the music-themed figurines. Disco Dave, anyone? Right, young children? Disco?

#9: McDonald’s Character Glove Puppets

Puppets are a timeless classic, and have been around for centuries. Unfortunately, some puppets are just disposable letdowns. Such were the “glove puppets” offered by McDonald’s in the 1980s. They were basically just plastic bags with drawings of the restaurant’s characters on them. Woohoo? Not only did they look like cheap sandwich bags, but they were also an obvious choking hazard. It’s probably the laziest item on this list, and we’re sincerely hoping there will never be an encore of these. We’d rather be disappointed by some of the other entries on this list.

#8: Zizzle iZ

Sometimes an attempt at “the next big thing” just doesn’t quite work out. At the end of 2005, toy company Zizzle released the “iZ,” which was an interactive-music-speaker-dancing… thing. The company had hoped to have the “next Furby” on their hands. Well, the creepy factor was there, that’s for sure. McDonald’s offered the toys in 2006, hoping to get an early trip on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, iZ-es did not take off, presumably because they were creepy and children just couldn’t get into them at all. Can you blame them? Zizzle iZ-es look like emaciated Mr. Potato Heads crying out for help.

#7: Toothbrush & Toothpaste

This is kind of a predictable failure. You know what kids get really excited about? Dental hygiene! In 1983, McDonald’s had the interesting idea to forgo Happy Meal toys for a toothbrush and toothpaste! Sure, brushing is important and all that. And 9 out of 10 dentists were probably happy. But we can only imagine the endless looks of disappointment on children’s faces, followed by the same looks on parents’ faces when they realized they’d have to find alternative forms of entertainment during the meal, on top of managing their children’s disappointment. The Happy Meal is supposed to make children happy. Leave the boring stuff to parents, please.

#6: “Mighty Ducks” Pucks

In 1992, the film “The Mighty Ducks” was reasonably well-received, and led to an animated series in 1996. The animated series was the inspiration behind the McDonald’s Mighty Ducks Pucks, which were hockey pucks adorned with characters from the series. That’s all fine and good, but McDonald’s decided to show their ignorance of how the sport is played when they advertised the pucks as functional, i.e. one could actually play hockey with them. Sure, you could… but the plastic duck would shatter quite quickly, littering the ice with tiny duck parts and ruining the toy in one pass.

#5: McDonald’s Character Sunglasses

Some of the past Mcdonald's Happy Meal toys seem like cop-outs. When there wasn’t much to promote film or cartoon-wise, Mcdonald's would release toys based on its characters. These were hit or miss, and this entry is a definite miss. In 1989, children could find some cheap, plastic sunglasses in their Happy Meals. Each pair was adorned with either Ronald, Grimace, Birdie, or the Hamburgler. Each pair was also wildly unattractive, and could make anyone look like… well a person wearing hideous sunglasses. Not to mention the Ronald ones are basically terrifying, with their Pennywise vibes. These are some sunglasses you’ll want to wear at night, so no one can see them.

#4: Popoids

You know what kids love? A bunch of meaningless pieces of plastic they can connect to create… Well, nothing. Popoids were pretty much just that. A collection of strange, tubular pieces of plastic, connecting to some wheels and balls or cubes or… we have no idea. Not only were these a potential choking hazard for the younger Happy Meal audience, but they were very dull as well. There’s no way anyone can get hours of fun out of 3 pieces of interconnecting plastic. They tried to promote them on commercials, claiming you could connect them all to make “crazy creatures.” But what’s really missing here is the “crazy” fun.

#3: Tickle Feather Sponge

In 1982, children could delight in opening their Happy Meals to find… a “tickle feather sponge”. This seems like a joke, but it’s absolutely something that was offered by the fast food chain. It was a long yellow foam cutout, featuring the image of a feather, and intended for use in tickling. No, we’re really not kidding. This was a real thing. Other than the potential inappropriate undertones, who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? You know what kids really need? A way to harass each other and their parents with a piece of foam, that quite honestly looks like it probably exfoliates rather than tickles. Much better than an actual toy.

#2: “Spider-Man 2” Girl Toys

Sometimes, the big film of the summer is believed to have a predominantly male audience, and McDonald’s just has to make do, apparently. So, what about girls? Just give them the same toys? Of course not… we need pink, purple, and hearts, stat! In 2014, the big blockbuster was “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and Mickey D’s got in on that action. However, rather than just offer the same toys for everyone, they had separate toys for girls and boys. The “girl” toys were basically just Spider-Man stuff, coloured pink and purple, and featured a headband and wallet, among other things. Honestly, even if they were to offer 2 versions of the toys, perhaps don’t do it in a stereotypical, lazy way.

Before we unveil our top pick, here’s one honorable mention:

Batman Returns
These Family-Friendly Toys in Support of a Not-so-Family-Friendly Movie Outraged Parents

#1: Cursing Minions

Kids love Minions. Anyone who knows or has children will have heard endless impersonations and endless repetitions of the word “banana.” So, unsurprisingly, McDonald’s got in on that action, and in 2015, offered a collection of talking Minions figurines. Now, the Minions speak “Minionese,” which is really a mix of common English words and nonsense. However, when you have a small, plastic figurine say some of these Minion words, there’s a slight… loss in translation. Parents were understandably upset when it seemed that their children’s toys started to exclaim an expletive, as in “What the blank!” Fill in the blank, yourselves, friends.