The appeal of the new McDonald’s adult happy meal

McDonalds adult happy meals


Katie Zee, Journalist

McDonald’s announced that happy meals geared towards adults were coming out in early October. They have since sold out in many locations, including Whitewater. This begs the questions: what makes these meals so popular, and why are they selling out so quickly? 

First, we must talk about what makes a happy meal “adult” in the first place. Well, it may come down to the nostalgic toys offered in the meals. Cactus Plant Flea Market, a streetwear brand, partnered with McDonalds to recreate the classic toys with a new twist. Let’s take a dive into each toy and the history behind the nostalgia. 

The Hamburglar was first known as the “Lone Jogger” when the character was first introduced in the 1970s. He was less cutesy and more scary, as he was shown as being older and was cast as a villain. In the next decade, his image changed into a red-headed child who was mischievous and loveable.  

Grimace has a similar story to the Hamburglar in that Grimace was also less lovable when he was first introduced. He sported four arms and had an unfriendly demeanor. McDonalds quickly changed the character into the cute purple blob we know and love today. 

Birdie the Early Bird is the third classic character brought back for the Cactus Plant Flea Market meal. She was introduced in 1980 and was created to promote McDonald’s breakfast (hence why she’s called “Early Bird”). Russi Taylor, who also voiced Minnie Mouse, was the voice actress for Birdie in the commercials. 

The fourth toy is actually not a classic character. Rather, it’s a yellow, blobby figure in a McDonald’s shirt and hat. The toy is most likely an ode to Cactus Plant Flea Market’s signature style of trippy designs. That’s where the twist comes into play with the rest of the toys as well. Most notably, the characters all have four eyes and appear to have a soft, clay-like form, even though they are made of hard plastic. They almost look as if they were made by a child, which could feed into the nostalgic appeal. But whatever the reason, the masses clearly took a liking to the meal because stock sold out rapidly. 

Don’t be too sad if you can’t seem to get your hands on a Cactus Plant Flea Market meal because McDonald’s recently announced another fan-favorite that is making a comeback. Starting Oct. 18. be on the lookout for the Halloween Happy Meal!