Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Family Get Away Experience with McDonald's.

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and McDonald's.



Last month I was invited by McDonald's to attend a The Family Time, Happy Time Getaway in Oak Brook, Illinois. I did not hesitate to say yes.

McDonald's was a part of my childhood-- there was one across the street from my parents neighborhood. I had many happy memories there. I remember washing cars to earn enough money so I could treat my family to burgers and fries. I remember walking there to have ice cream cones with friends. I remember trips with my grandparents to have burgers and fries.

I was thrilled to participate in this event, especially because my entire family was invited. That, like, never happens.

I was impressed with McDonald's from the very start. The event was organized-- packed with information and fun activities for the family.

There was a nature scavenger hunt.

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There was bean bag tossing with Ronald McDonald.

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There was a cool "in the kitchen" with Chef Dan Coudreaut experience, where we got to make fruit kabobs and smoothies with our children.

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It wasn't all fun and games. The adults spent hours learning everything there is to know about the company. We were told nothing was off limits, we could ask any questions and write about everything that we saw, heard, learned.

Before this experience, I had no idea how much thought goes into menu items. We took part in a "sensory taste test" in which we learned the aspects McDonald's considers when making menu items. This was by far my favorite part of the trip and I'm not just saying that because I got to eat a McGriddle AND an Egg McMuffin. It was a completely different experience biting into an Egg McMuffin once they explained how "sensory science" works-- appearance, texture, aroma, taste, and even the sound food makes when you bite. It was kind of amazing to me how good my food tasted when I paid attention to those things. (And when my food wasn't drowning in ketchup.)

There was a lot of focus on Happy Meals and McDonald's commitment to giving kid's healthier choices. My kids love McDonald's and we eat there a few times a month. Mostly because it's convenient, but also because mommy loves their diet coke. As a parent, I appreciate the healthier choices, such as the apple dippers and milk instead of soda. McDonald's assured us that they understand parents are concerned with things like sugar and sodium and are constantly working to improve the nutrition of their products. Even if McDonald's is not something we eat regularly, (it's more of a treat, a couple times a month) I do feel more secure in my decision to let my children have a meal there knowing how much thought and consideration goes into the menu and knowing that they are continually striving to improve based on customer feedback.


The most moving part of the experience for me and my family was visiting a Ronald McDonald House in Chicago. It was wonderful to see firsthand the amazing home this charity provides for families in their time of need. From home cooked meals to a clean, peaceful environments- this place is a refuge for families facing the most stressful of times. (As of June 25th a portion of each Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meals sales are now benefiting RMHC)

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This is experience was a positive and informative one for both me and my family. My husband and I appreciated how much consideration went into the care of our children and to ensure that they had a good time and were well fed. I appreciated McDonald's willingness to answer any and all questions that each blogger asked.

McDonald's has given me a Family Fun Prize pack (worth $100) to giveaway to one of you. To enter to win, simply leave a comment telling me what you're favorite Happy Meal toy was as a child. ([confession]my favorite Happy Meal toys were the Ty Beanie Babies, which of course means I was not a child when they came out. I still have them in a box in the garage./[confession]) You may also ask me any question you may have about my experience (that will count as an entry) and I will be happy to answer! You must include your email address in the comment in order to be eligible. You can read the giveaway rules here. Please visit BlogHer to read more stories from the weekend and more chances to win!

(Comments are now closed)

164 comments:

  1. The little chicken nugget guys you could dress in the different costumes was my favorite McDonalds toy when I was younger.Love McDonalds!

    autum22(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Anything with a doll was fun. As an adult, I thought it was neat when they had Wizard of Oz Happy Meal toys.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  3. McDonald's Mini Beanie Babies! We stopped at many, many McDonald's when we were on road-trips so that we could collect as many as possible.

    ja9elizabeth at yahoo dot com

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  4. Back in the day, they did a promotion with the California Raisins. Good times. Loved those.

    havestrollerwilltravel [at] gmail [dot] com

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  5. I would say the mini beanie baies were the best .

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  6. I didn't grow up with McDonalds but now I think the Shrek toys are the coolest

    sylvie.williams at gmail dot com

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  7. I remember this so clearly... it was a watch like toy that opened up to reveal a secret compartment behind the face of the watch... it was kind of a big deal. I imagined all the things I could sneak to school. In reality it would never stay closed if something was in it.

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  8. I loved the little Barbie minatures. I had an evening gown Barbie and my sister got a Ballarina Barbie. We loved those things!

    theon115 @ gmail . com

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  9. Although I was not a kid, I remember driving myself for Happy Meals to get the Ty Mini Beanies. Loved them and still have them.

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  10. I think the 101 Dalmation toys were the coolest!

    laprewitt1@hotmail.com

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  11. the mini beanie babies! loved those and stopped at all the Mc Donalds in the area for them!
    Thank you!
    Kim T (jstkat0711@aol.com)

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  12. I remember the little Chicken nugget figures. Those are the only ones that stick out in my mind.

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  13. I can't remember back to which toy I remember....it was quite a while ago but I know when I started taking my girls there the beanie babies were awfully adorable, and the mini madame alexander dolls. I liked them so much I'd order a happy meal for myself.

    It was a lot of fun and affordable too.

    Tammy
    jtmmmatthews@msn.com

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  14. My favorite Happy Meal toy was Barbie.


    charisscharity at yahoo dot com

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  15. MY FAV TOY WAS THE TEENIE BEANIE BABIES! kytah00@yahoo.com

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  16. My Favorite toy was the barbie!

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  17. I really can't remember the favorite happy meal toy, but I remember my favorite McDonalds we always went to as a child. It was one in Meridian, MS that had a piano in it that played "on its on". That always amazed me as a child.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win such a neat prize!
    Jennifer
    jenmom1707@yahoo.com

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  18. Wow, I'm not sure I can remember that far back. I usually loved any princess dolls.

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  19. I don't remember Happy Meal Toys but I do remember getting drinking glasses with the McDonalds' characters on them, and my favorite was Grimace!
    We stayed in a Ronald McDonald house when our daughter had heart surgery and it was one of the biggest blessings we could imagine. They are so, so worth donating to!

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  20. I fondly remember me and my granddad always going in for a Filet-O-Fish when I was a little kid. I've since moved on to Big Mac's as an adult and my kids love the plain cheeseburgers! It's nice that Mcdonalds is something that hasn't changed much through the years. I have to admit that I still get excited to get the toys now. In fact when the How to Train Your Dragon toys came out I always bought an extra so I wouldn't have to share ;)
    bigwhig(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. I love McDonald's! McDonald's is my fist choice.They have good healthy options for kids.
    Amanda

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  22. Since the Happy Meal Toys started in the late 70's, I didn't get to enjoy them until my son was born in 1984. The only ones that I personally was excited about and collected were the Ty Beanies. I can't tell you how many McDonald's I went to collect the sets!

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  23. I too remember the little chicken nugget figures with removable hats, etc. lol

    I'm old enough to remember the plastic hand puppets and the calendars they gave out early!! fun memories!

    I love your photos..especially that fruit kabob one..you're a great photographer:)

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. i loved the beanie babies. my mom went all over trying to collect them all for us.

    ryanashnryley@yahoo.com

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  25. Oh mine were absolutely anything Barbie!!!!

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  26. I loved the McNuggets that you could dress up in Halloween costumes. We collected them when my son was young. He is now a young adult, but I still put them out every Halloween! Love them.

    jpena277@sbcglobal.net

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  27. By the way, did you ask them what they do to make that Diet Coke so good??? I think I am addicted. No one else's Diet Coke comes even close.

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  28. I remember the plates they had where you could get Ronald McDonald on one, the Hamburglar on the other. I was really little when they came out. OK, I feel old.

    Did anybody ask them about fallout from Supersize Me and criticism of moms (like me) that sometimes take their kids to McD's?

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  29. I loved the 101 Dalmatian toys my kiddos got in their happy meals and also the cute little barbies!!! I am too old to have enjoyed the toys myself...hehehehe

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  30. The 101 Dalmatians! My kids loved them and I am saving them for some grandchildren...hopefully!

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  31. I loved the chicken mcnugget toy... I think you could dress them.
    -Erin
    ladystargazer(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  32. Goodness, I think we had just about every McDonald toy from the late 90's. However; my memory of this corporation is not their food or toys(although I love, love, love thier fries) but the generosity of the staff and numerous volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia. A two week stay in the Children's Hospital became an 8 week stay in the ICU for my daughter. It was touch and go for her as she struggled back from major organ failure and the staff and volunteers were amazing in thier support as we struggled with putting one foot in front of the other. This may not what you expected to hear Yvonne but it sure beats any toy in my mind.

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  33. When I was a kid you could get your happy meal in a boat or ship (plastic of course) and you could decorate it with stickers! I always loved how we could get the boat meals during the summer or the Halloween buckets and I was always excited to go during those times...I loved those things more than any of the toys they offered!

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  34. I don't remember getting happy meals as a kid so I will ask a question.

    Since you got to make smoothies, can you tell me exactly what goes in them? Is it really fruit, yogurt, and milk? Or do they add some type of fruit concentrate syrup? I absolutely love yogurt & fruit smoothies for breakfast but would not want a super sweet one that didn't taste somewhat healthy.

    (andsosheblog at gmail.com)

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  35. Definitely the Beanie Babies but I love the mini Madame Alexander dolls as well.

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  36. I remember the glasses that McD's used to give out - I loved those. Also the mini beanie babies. We've use the Ronald McDonald house also and it was a blessing.

    Shambay(at)aol(dot)com

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  37. I remember collecting the dalamation dog toys for a friend - she collected all but 7 if I remember right.

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  38. It's not from my childhood but they have Toddler toys (did you know you could ask for an under 3 year old toy that is safer for a small child?) and we got a Peek-a-block that has Ronald McDonald in it. We all love it.

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  39. My favorite I just got last year from hotel for dogs Its a miniature dog that looks exactly like my dog And she is my baby girl.

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  40. I loved the mini Cabbage Patch Kids.

    stepmomof2@charter.net

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  41. I'd have to go with the Barbie Happy Meals!! I was barbie crazy when I was a kid... I had almost everything they made from the poolside, to the 3 story barbie house... plus all the cloths! I was spoiled! :)

    As an adult - I LOVE the Shrek toys! :):)

    ...

    But one thing I really love - is McDonald's offers little children age appropriate toys. :)

    princesspurple (AT) msn (dot) com

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  42. The potato heads! They had all these different ones and I LOVED them.

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  43. My grandparents lived on the East Coast and we lived in the Bay Area of California. I cannot tell you how frickin' excited we were to receive from them for our birthdays or Christmas those McDonald's Gift Certificate coupons in a little booklet. It was like the highlight of our lives! And when my grandparents would visit, their favorite place to take us for a treat was to McDonald's for a Hot Fudge (or Hot Caramel) Sundae (no one did Strawberry). I do not recall any of the toys for the Happy Meals, but my God, the coupon book was GREAT! Oh, how I miss my Grammy and Grampy. Great memories!!

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  44. My favorite were these little transforming toys from the early-mid 80s (I was young, so no real concept of time). They appeared to be a burger, box of chicken nuggets, fries, etc. Twist them the right way and, BOOM, robots! Or did they turn into cars? Hmm... At any rate, they were the absolute coolest Happy Meal toys ever.

    iheartducttape AT gmail DOT com

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  45. Mine were the Smurf figurines. Yep, I went old school on ya!!

    Judyjford@yahoo.com

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  46. I can't recall if there even were Happy Meals when I first was taken to Mc'D's -- and to eat there was a huge deal to all my siblings, we rarely ate out ~ except on the porch! ;P My favorite toy - and I admit, as an adult - were the Madame Alexander Dolls! I collected many and have passed them on to friend's daughters - as I have all boys, and for some reason they were not interested. :P

    You were in Chicago and didn't let us know!! I hope it wasn't too humid and you got to see some sites!

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  47. I grew up in England so there were no McDonalds in every town. My first McDonalds memory is going there with my best friend from childhood, the grandson of our next door neighbour who was an adult but had been in a motorcycle accident (and had brain injuries)so was childlike in a lot of ways. He was the brother I never had.
    As for favourite toy, that has to be the "Indiana Jones" toys from a couple of years ago. I'm a huge Harrison Ford fan, so collect anything and everything I can! :)
    lcsd114 at hotmail dot com

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  48. I still have the toy Chicken Nuggets that I could dress up as Ronald McDonald, Count Dracula, a Princess or a Diva, Elvis, and an octopus and used to put them up in my classroom as a decoration during Halloween. These have lasted a long time. I also liked the Ty Beanie Babies and the Madame Alexander Dolls. I always love Happy Meal toys that I can use in the classroom to demonstrate various scientic principles.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

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  49. I loved it when McDonald's used to give out little stuffed reindeers when you purchased a $5 book of coupons for stocking stuffers at Christmas time. Why do they not do this any more? Recently, one of the clerks at a local McDonald's had on a Shrek ball cap. Do they make these available for purchase by the customers? I would like to make a comment that I really appreciate the McDonald's coupons when they have them in the newspaper. It was a good way to get me to try something new.

    This is a loaded question. What can a teacher do when she knows that her students are being kept after curfew at work? I have students who are falling asleep in class because they work so late (and it is not just McDonald's). Our small town has a curfew for teenagers that the managers or schedulers of the workers should be aware of when using teenagers. I do not want to get my students' hours cut, but I am trying to get them home a little sooner.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

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  50. When I was a kid there weren't any kid's meals - there weren't even any McDonald's! (I'm older than dirt.) I am very impressed that they were so open with the bloggers and even more impressed that your entire family was invited to participate.

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  51. I have a vivid memory of playing with a Hamburgler riding a big wheel. I also loved anything doll-ish.

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  52. For me it was definitely the mini Ty beanie babies too, and I also still have them all (along with *many* regular size beanie babies and beanie buddies) in boxes under my bed! I also have so many great memories taking my 4 children there as a treat when they were little. Still love their fries and sweet tea and the top of the list caramel sundae (NO nuts!)

    Alice the Brit,
    avb at alicethebrit dot com
    who also grew up in England so did not experience her first McDonalds experience until I came to Florida at age 18

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  53. For me Beanies- for my kids the original toy story dolls.
    Thanks for the post! I am taking my Girl Scouts to a Ronald Mcdonald House to make dinner in about a month and I enjoyed seeing the pictures.
    momofgirlygirls@yahoo.com
    Stephanie

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  54. I honestly don't remember McD's happy meal toys when I was a kid. I guess because by the time we got our local McD's, I was already a teen. But I loved when the did Toy Story about 10 years ago. My SIL and I were crazy trying to get certain ones for our kids.

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  55. Even though I wasn't a child myself, the mini Beanie Babies were the best. My husband and I drove to all the McD's in our area to get them all for our kids (who were too young to appreciate them). Now (as a teacher off in the summer) I go to McD every day for the world's best Diet Coke - for $1.00!
    From Amy
    makluemke@gcctv.com

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  56. I never got to go to McDonald's when I was a kid. *sob* But I'd like the opportunity to win anyway!

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  57. I liked the Barbies and My Little Ponies best and my daughters now do, too! My son loves the Lego cars that break into three pieces when they crash!

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  58. When I first went to McDonald's, they only offered hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and soda! What I remember the most is that the cashiers had to add up your total on a notepad (fairly easy since I think most things cost a quarter), and then look on a laminated card to figure the tax. Could you imagine today's kids having to do that?

    Bobbie

    Bobbiejjj@aol.com

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  59. I loved the Halloween bucket..does anyone remember those? I would love if they did them again. I always loved the green witch! My husband remembers them too!

    Also, the tranformer like things that became chicken nuggets, shakes, etc...

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  60. Yes, the mini beanie babies! I think I still have a few. So Cute!

    Suzy Q
    sumarel@gmail.com

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  61. I definitely loved mini beanie babies, that was right when I was the age to love the big ones too! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

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  62. I don't remember happy meals-I don't think I went to McD's until high school. We always went to Bob's when I was little. But now-I'm just as excited for the movie characters as my daughter!

    Anyway-Carissa? The smoothies are made with a "fruit Blend"-which contains fruit, juices, sugar and preservatives. And it's lowfat yogurt which likely also has added sugar. The small one has more than 50grams of sugar. Which is unfortunate-I won't be getting any of those.

    carrolju@ohsu.edu

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  63. I honestly don't remember, but I do remember attending many birthday parties there as a kid... loved the Micky D's cakes.
    ktleon@cox.net

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  64. I don't think they had Happy Meals when I was little. I always got the Filet-O-Fish without tartar sauce and it took about an hour and a half for them to cook it. And those fries! I still dream about the fries cooked in that...I don't even know what it was. Heroin? Those fries were amazing. I had a Hamburgler doll and a Grimace doll that I loved. I had my 9th birthday party at a McDonald's in Knoxville TN. We had to drive almost 45 minutes to get there and it is the only birthday party I remember from my childhood!
    imavol_2000@yahoo.com

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  65. My favorite Happy Meal toy was Hello Kitty that I got from a trip to Asia as a child.

    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  66. My favorite toys were the Transformer toys, the OLD ones that were fries, milkshake, etc. that transformed. These were early to mid 1980's.

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  67. I know we had the plates and glasses. We don't eat there anymore...did you ask them why the food never breaks down? No mold on a hamburger bun after 6 weeks is just creepy.

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  68. I never got a Happy Meal toy as a child (Man, I am old), since the Happy Meal came out when I was a way too cool (haha) almost-teen. But when my son was little, they had Peter Pan toys that all fit together to build a pirate ship that I loved.

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  69. I can't remember the toys from my childhood - but I drove to every McDonalds in a 25 mile radius, what seemed like daily, in search of all the Pixar/Disney "Cars" for my 2 boys. We still have them all and rank as my oldest son's favorite toys.

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  70. I loved the little transformer like toys, one was a happy meal box, but it transformed into a dinosaur or something. I also loved the Super Mario toys, I think I still have one of my Goombas around here.

    the_tars@att.net

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  71. I also loved the Ty Beanie Babies. I was 20-21 when they came out and I still have the entire set! McDonalds has always been a big part of my life. My family went to the "Grand Opening" day of McD's in my town when I was 6 or 7. I attended many birthday parties there as a kid. I even worked there as a teenager. I still go to McD's about once a week!

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  72. i always like the animated toys that you could actually do something with or it did something.all kids like to interact with thier toys. im sure my faVORITE ONE WAS A DOLL OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, I REALLY DONT REMEMBER ANYONE IN PARTICULAR THOUGH. WE DIDNT GO TO MCDONALDS THAT MUCH WHEN I WAS GROWING UP!

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  73. jessica B from Pittsburgh, PA. jessica3b1@hotmail.com

    my favorite toy was the muppet babies. kermit was on the rocking horse with wheels, miss piggy was in the pink car. i just loved them!!

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  74. Sticemichelle@aol.com
    I still have the Great Muppet Caper glasses set from McDonalds when I was a kid....I don't use them they are only to look at...lol

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  75. I remember when Happy Meals were first coming out and they had a Blue Nylon Backpack that they were giving out--we thought it was the coolest thing.

    Now as an adult I loved the Ty Babies!

    afarmer24@verizon.net

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  76. Favorite toys? Hrmmm...Hamburgler car! I loved that thing....I had like three of them! =) On a side note, we LOVE McDonalds. It's in our Saturday ritual of grocery shopping....a little McDs either for breakfast or lunch (always happy meals for all of us!) and we are on our way!

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  77. My favorite was the just figuring out the puzzles on the happy meal container. I used to love working my ways around the box! I liked the Beanie Babies too though, if I had to pick a favorite toy. They were cute! jessielikewhat@yahoo Thanks for the opportunity!

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  78. Of course I was an adult when I realized Happy Meals were an easy perfectly portioned option for me (and I even got a toy!). My favorite toys were the mini LEGO sets that you could build!

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  79. This is my second comment, first did not include email which is
    RBottonister @ yahoo . com
    McDonald's did not start serving happy meals until the late '70's when I was out drinking in bars, not eating happy meals. I don't even remember any McDonald's at all when I was growing up... As teenagers, how were the boys, were they happily entertained?

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  80. The Muppet glasses! My kids also loved the Spy Kids toys, we love some Mickey D's!

    Tiffany in Texas radiohamilton@yahoo.com

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  81. My favorites were the Halloween buckets too. There were 4 of us so we could get them all. I also remember the dress-up chicken nuggets - wow, trip down memory lane!

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  82. i don't remember much about the toys i got, but i liked collecting the etched glasses

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  83. Mariah from South Dakota mp1181@hotmail.comAugust 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    I loved, loved, loved the barbies. I was so intrigued by their little tiny heads.

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  84. I remember some type of drinking glasses - my memory is horrible.

    realgreenacres @ frontiernet . net

    McDonald's was a regular thing in my childhood - went there every week when we went grocery shopping. I love that there are more choices now, but I have to admit I pick McDonald's fries over apple dippers every time, and I don't blame the kids for doing it too!

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  85. I remember some type of drinking glasses ... my memory is horrible!

    realgreenacres @ frontiernet . net

    We went to McDonald's ever week growing up, on grocery shopping day. Definitely brings back good memories, and my kids go a couple of times a month too! And I don't blame them for choosing the fries over the apple dippers, I would too!

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  86. My favorite was the orangutan from the Jungle Book! His arms could be would up, and then they would spin & move him around. This was the FIRST Happy Meal toy that I got that MOVED! It just blew me away. (No longer an inanimate action figure Barbie, etc.)

    Kids these days have no idea what they have... I could not believe my eyes when the HM toys started having lights, batteries & mini computer screens inside of them!!

    Happy Meals were a real treat to me back then. :) Thanks for the post.

    -Jenelle
    cherribomb777 at yahoo (dot) com

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  87. ecchs@hotmail.com

    The Grimace drinking glass was by FAR my favourite...even though he was kind of creepy.

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  88. I don't remember a specific toy, but I STILL miss their cherry pies. Apple just doesn't do it for me :-) Did you ask them why they discontinued them??? heehee
    Melody

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  89. Happy Meals weren't introduced until 1979,when I was a Freshman in high school. However in the 70s, they did give away lots of special purchase promotional items such as toys with the McDonalds characters - Ronald McDonald, Hamburgler, Grimace, etc. We had both the large and small Ronald McDonald stuffed characters, plastic hand puppets, frisbees, etc. My favorite (which I still have) were dayglo plastic watch-like bracelets that had a little compartment to put things in.

    When both my sister and I had kids, we totally got into the McDonald's happy meal toys again. We collected all of the Pixar movie toys, and I think my favorites were from Bugs Life. Super cool!!

    My kids are 9 * 10, and they still love McDonalds and especially the TOYS!

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  90. I have to say the Barbie toys.

    ohritz(@)yahoo.com

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  91. They didn't have happy meals when I was a kid. :sigh: My favorite as an adult was a Little Tykes car that my son called the BUS. He had to have his BUS to go to sleep, to go anywhere in the stroller.

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  92. Tonuala...I have the same memory of driving all around town looking for all of The Incredibles toys...my kids strapped into their car seats, getting excited when we found one we didn't have yet. Sounds a little pathetic, but when you're a stay-at-home-mom, you need to get creative with the adventures!

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  93. When my daughter was a toddler (she's 26 now!), I LOVED the muppet toys! I have a MOVING box full of them in the attic.

    And the beanie babies...well, let's just say I know where every Mc Donald's is on I10 within a day's drive of Houston! lol...

    bj_texan@yahoo.com

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  94. And here's my question: Are they planning to come out with a leaner burger or veggie burger in the near future?

    bj_texan@yahoo.com

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  95. somehow I remember Garfield toys, but I'm not sure if I actually got those from the Happy Meals or stole them from my older cousin's collection of McD's toys!
    paleale2005@yahoo.com

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  96. So when we were kids growing up, we didn't get Happy Meals. Ever. We ordered a hamburger or cheeseburger and that was it. It was more of a budget thing. I'm sure my parents would have LOVED to indulge us. I remember being so thrilled to get my first Happy Meal toy at around age 10 or 11 at a friends birthday party. It was a boat that floated in the tub and it came with stickers you put on it that had all the McDonals figures on it. My favorite toys for my kids so far have been the CARS movie cars and the Hummer trucks. We've held on to those babies and they still get good use out of them. Which makes me happy because I feel like I'm just helping fill land fills with the other toys. :(

    p.s. Hint to anybody who likes ice cream. Try their snack size Reese's McFlurries and ask them to mix extra hot fudge in. Oh yum! Oh... and a little whipped cream and chocolate on top now that they have those for drinks really is a pretty yummy addition, too. ;)

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  97. I loved the mini beanie's too.

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  98. Hola Y,

    My dad had a second job when I was growing up. He worked about five hours every night at our local Mc D's, I remember waiting up most nights to see if he brought anything home. I can honestly say that my favorite was when he brought home a book with a little puppy on it, he not only gave it to me but he sat on my bed, tucked me in and read it to me. Loved it.

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  99. d'oh! forgot my email... diazfamily@gmail.com

    my fav was the book with puppy on it that dad brought home!

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  100. I tweeted! http://twitter.com/LisaSVance/status/20300779507

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  101. keeneblair@yahoo.comAugust 4, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    My DH often goes with a church group to cook meals for families staying at Ronald McDonald houses near Children's hopsital of Philly. Did you learn more about those? Are more being built, and what part does the foundation play .....do they build, maintain and provide some food?

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  102. oops... forgot to leave my e-mail. it's: craignlani at juno dot com

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  103. As a kid with a stay-at-home mom who cooked fresh meals daily, we did not go out for fast food very often. I don't specifically remember Happy Meal toys but I do still have the books that were given out by McDonals in the late '70's/early '80's- The Three Muskateers, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Part of our family cupboard contained the mugs given out in the mid '80's with the Hamburgelar and other McDonald characters. anncan2@verizon.net

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  104. That sounds like an awesome trip. My son won't eat the healthy options at McD's but at least they're there... sometimes I get myself the Apple Dippers!!

    Anyway I'm in the crowd who didn't have the Happy Meal toys growing up, but I do remember when they first came out with McNuggets they had all kinds of cool giveaways. My fave was the little notepads with a pic of a chicken and the words, "Chicken Scratch." I bet I still have a piece of that paper around somewhere. My son's faves have to have been the Cars movie toys. My email - sjholtny (at) aol dot com

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  105. I loved the Halloween Chicken McNuggets in costumes -- Loved them!

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  106. When I was little, I swear I had the REAL Ronald McDonald at my birthday party. Good memory. I have to say that McDonald's has given consumers great new options on their menu. I appreciate this because as much as I love their fries, the apples are a better choice for me. THANKS!

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  107. Lived the beanie babies craze with my kids. They are now in their 20's. And we still have the beanie babies!

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  108. My favorite was the toy buckets they had around Halloween time, that you could use for your candy bucket. The Ghost was always my fave.

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  109. Happy Meals had only come about as I was growing up. I really have no memories about them. My daughter's favorite is: Shrek 4 character.

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  110. confessing along with you--I have all the beanie babies also...whatever happened to all the money I thought I could get by selling them on ebay? Oh well, gotta love McDonalds for being so current and hip!

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  111. Wow..I don't think I remember McDonald's toys from when I was a kid. Did they have them? LOL We rarely ate out when I was kid because we don't have much money. I like it when they have the hotwheels type cars. :)
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  112. Oh no. I do not remember having a happy meal toy as a child. I came from a large family and never really got anything like that. I can say that my kids got happy meals and love they toys they got. my child loves her My Little Pony toy.

    letessha@yahoo.com

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  113. Anyone remember getting the California Raisins? I still have one....I'm pretty sure it was from McD's.

    kristi.aucoin@yahoo.com

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  114. Not sure if you got my comment with my e-mail. i'm the poster "lani" up there who wins the prize for the longest comment. :{ E-mail is craignlani at juno dot com. Thanks.

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  115. Did they say why they don't serve breakfast all day? I'd love an Egg McMuffin every so often in the evening! (or sometimes at 11am which is too late!)

    couponboss at gmail dot com

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  116. I loved the beanie babies too.
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

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  117. I got a poster of the Australian Cricket Team that I loved!
    michelejdaley at gmail dot com

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  118. I definitely loved the mini beanie babies. I collected the big ones so the smaller ones were cute and fun.

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

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  119. One of my favorite toys was the shrek toys my kids got. Its been so long I can't remember that far back for one I got as a kid.

    bttrflies4me at msn dot com

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  120. i also loved the beanie babies and i think i have some in the storage building as well. mc donalds is a great place.

    lmurley2000@yahoo.com

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  121. I don't remember the toys, but I do remember the cookies. I loved those cookies! I do remember the glasses and collecting all of those with the different characters on them.

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  122. i love the happy meal toys. i guess my fav was the barbie toys. thanks


    ginnn7(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  123. i can't rmember any specifically as a child, but my sister went back on several occasions last yr to score my son the ronald mc donald doll...which we still have and we also love our french fry cell phone
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

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  124. I love them all! But when the Beanie babies came out....OH MY GOSH!!! I was buying my kids Happy Meals like crazy!

    Yes, I need help! haha

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  125. I still have my Beanie Babies sealed in the baggies! They were supposed to pay for my kids' college educations!

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  126. I liked the trick or treat buckets they they used to have near Halloween. I remember these from when my kids were small in the 80s.
    jedoggett@embarqmail.com

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  127. I would be interested to know if anyone asked, or if they addressed, how they market to children.

    Dana
    d.mahoney@earthlink.net

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  128. My question is What was your favorite food you ate while you were there? What was your kids' favorite?

    kerrie@mayansfamily.com

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  129. My favorite were the Ty Beanie Babies too! I have 2 sitting on my desk right now, the iguana and the crab. I also have a bunch of the Ty Beanie Bears somewhere around here. I love the Happy Meal Toys.

    The pictures you took are fantastic.

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  130. Oh gosh, I have so many favorite happy meal toy memories growing up but I will have to say the pumpkin shaped pals were always fun, it was a sign that halloween was close and I still have so many of those treat holders still to this day. McDonald's always had the best toys and still do!

    shannyiphone(at)gmail(dot)com

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  131. Question to you regarding the trip:

    What was one thing that you learned that you went "wow" I didn't know that about McDonalds that you think the rest of us should know too?

    shannyiphone(at)gmail(dot)com

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  132. I loved the one where the meal came in a plastic star wars ship and came with stickers that you got to put on the ship. That was cool.

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  133. Mine was a Garfield on a skateboard from the late 80s. I still HAVE the Garfield, but his skateboard has long since been lost.

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  134. Really my fav thing from mcD's is the Coke Glasses that they just had recently.. I only received one before they ran out. It's my FAVORITE glass, I use it constantly and want MORE!!! csalbego@gmail.com

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  135. The best happy meal toys were always the halloween buckets that were used for trick-or-treating. One year, I got one of each, and I kept them for years.

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  136. Ok well as a kid my fav happy meal toy was the mini barbie dolls and as an adult the square disney glasses,we just broke one and i thought my husband was going to have a meltdown.

    Tiffanyharrison@gmail.com

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  137. I don't know if this counts as a toy, but during the Olympics one year (96?), you were able to buy glasses. I think they were square? I loved them, and remember thinking they were so much more "sophisticated" than my mother's old glasses. I was so weird -- they were kind of tacky!

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  138. the Halloween buckets!! I didn't normally get happy meals or to eat out but I remember my parents would get me one around Halloween :)

    christine@envail.com

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  139. I don't think Happy Meals existed when I was a kid, but I still remember when McDonald's did a promotion for the movie Inspector Gadget. We collected all the pieces and it combined to make a big Inspector Gadget guy with working parts!

    table4five@gmail.com

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  140. I loved the creepy crawlers!

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  141. Ty Beanies Babies and the Halloween buckets.

    SWEETANGL5632@AOL.COM

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  142. I loved the halloween buckets and the character glasses.

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  143. I loved the mini barbies and the transformers too!
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

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  144. I loved the glasses they used to have!
    doot65ATcomcastDOTnet

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  145. While I was growing up the nearest McDonald's was 45 miles away. That might explain why I would get a Big Mac, fish fillet, and fries everytime...it was a treat! Yes, I always got an extra sandwich to take home. Thankfully I now have one a mile away. Confession-I will get food there if my little one really wants the toy they have:)
    Her favorite toy from McDonalds are the dinosaurs!

    hclaire05@hotmail.com

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  146. Loved the California Raisin figures (still have them in a box somewhere) tspencer@elmore.rr.com

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  147. McDonalds has always been my favorite fast food. We didn't get it too often as kids, so it was such a special treat.

    I think the little Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz characters are my favorites. :)

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  148. My favorites were the transformer toys. I remember one shaped like a cheeseburger. It was my favorite!

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  149. I loved the Beanie Babies too! I still have two big plastic bins filled with Happy Meal Toys. Now I want to go open them up and play :-)

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  150. I loved collecting those mini Beanie Babies

    karinaroselee(at)gmail.com

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  151. I loved the little Barbie dolls I used to use them as my Barbies kids when I was little.
    jjudy05@hotmail.com

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  152. My favorite were the glasses with characters on them. I also liked the barbies.

    JessicaL1125@yahoo.com

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  153. Oh my gosh, you just reminded me I still have those mini TY beanie babies stashed away in the china cabinet. Why there? I have no idea. I was pre-happy meals. I was the generation of Ronald McDonald plastic hand puppets so lets go with that as my favorite.

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  154. The Beanie Babies. When I was younger, a friend who worked at McDonald's collected them all for me. He passed away in the Station Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island but I still have all those little beanie babies that remind me that he was thinking of me.

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  155. My favor were the polly pocket polly world toy.

    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

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  156. I remember when Transformers were the Happy Meal toys! And not the Shia LeBeouf Transformers, either. I'm talking about the original Transformers circa 1980-something. Awwh, yeah.

    And I just found a picture! http://thorndon.co.nz/thorndon/foodchange.jpg Hi, I am geeking out about Happy Meal toys right now.

    And did you know there is a Happy Meal MUSEUM? http://martinaquino.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/the-happy-meal-museum-at-mcdonalds-bacolod/

    Dude.

    kladish(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  157. I always enjoyed the beanie babies! badgruv @ netzero.com

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  158. When I was a child, they didn't have happy meals (it was that long ago) I just loved the fries & hamburger. Thanks for the contest.

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  159. When I was a kid I remember the burger that turned into a robot

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  160. I loved the furby because I couldnt get the real thing

    shopgurl101 at gmail dot com

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  161. The MUPPET BABY toys! We used to visit my grandma and she used to have me order a fish sandwich from the local McDonald's that was only a few blocks away. And now..I am craving some fries..mmmmm

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  162. Both of my daughters - AND - my oldest grandson worked McD's for their first jobs - oldest daughter even attended Burger U in Seattle. :)

    Fav toys I collected - and still have - were the beanies during an election year - have the elephant AND donkey - and an Uncle Sam bear. Love my MickieDs

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