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How Are the Toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals Changing?

McDonald's Happy Meals are evolving with the times, embracing sustainability and technology. The iconic toys are transitioning to more eco-friendly materials and incorporating interactive digital elements, reflecting a commitment to environmental responsibility and modern play experiences. As these changes unfold, they're shaping the future of fast-food entertainment. How will this impact your next Happy Meal? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

McDonald's Happy Meals are going to get happier, at least as far as the environment is concerned. The fast food giant has been phasing out the fossil fuel-based plastic toys in its kids' meals since 2018, with the ultimate goal of eliminating 90 percent of the unsustainable material by 2025.

Happy Meals, which first showed up on McDonald's menus in 1979, have grown into a mini-monopoly of their own. As of 2021, more than 100 countries around the world collectively sell more than a billion Happy Meal toys every year. According to McDonald's, the move is a reflection of the growing demand from both children and parents for more environmentally sustainable products. McDonald's has also vowed to reduce the greenhouse gases that its restaurants and offices emit into the atmosphere by one-third by 2030.

How about those Happy Meals:

  • Originally, Happy Meals contained either an ID bracelet, a wallet, an eraser, a stencil, a puzzle, or a top.

  • The idea for Happy Meals originated in Guatemala, where a store owner offered a "Menu Ronald" for children.

  • Annually, McDonald's sells more toys than any other maker, including Hasbro and Mattel.

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    • By 2025, McDonald’s aims to reduce the amount of fossil fuel-based plastic in its Happy Meal toys by 90%.
      By: Elsie Hui
      By 2025, McDonald’s aims to reduce the amount of fossil fuel-based plastic in its Happy Meal toys by 90%.