ebay user hideho
ebay user hideho

15 Happy Meal Toys Worth Big Bucks on eBay

ebay user hideho
ebay user hideho

It's time to go through the attic, the garage, and the boxes at your parents' house. If you saved your old Happy Meal toys, you could be sitting on a goldmine.

1. HAPPY MEAL CHANGEABLES // UP TO $140

A photo of transformed McDonalds Changeables Happy Meal toys.
ebay user kp11912003

These toys may have looked like mini versions of McDonald's fare, including a container of fries, a carton of chicken nuggets, and a milk shake, but with the right touch, they transformed into mini robots. The 1987 series was popular enough that McDonald's revisited the idea in 1989 and 1990. An assortment of the little guys are being sold for anywhere from $20 to $70, with one complete and sealed lot recently selling for $140.

2. MONSTERS, INC. // UP TO $100

A set of Monsters, Inc. toys in their packages.
eBay user 4bloomers

Five years before Disney put the brakes on its relationship with McDonald's (reportedly due to the health implications of fast food, although both sides denied this), they teamed up to promote the newly released feature Monsters, Inc., releasing a set of 10 toys with glow-in-the-dark pieces alongside doors or similar props. Individual pieces can easily sell for $5 a piece, but a complete, unopened set of the limited release toys can be yours for $100.

3. 101 DALMATIANS // UP TO $70

A box of 101 Dalmations Happy Meal Toys.
eBay user kingdaddy50

There’s a reason this complete set from 1996 is worth up to $70—there were literally 101 of them to collect. McDonald’s even released a special case to contain the pack of puppies.

4. 102 DALMATIANS // UP TO $70

A 102 Dalmations box for sale on eBay.
eBay user danddscifi

If you missed the first promotion, you got another shot at success in 2000: The 1996 tie-in was so successful, Disney and McDonald’s teamed up again for 102 Dalmatians—and a complete set of the pups will net you $70.

5. MADAME ALEXANDER DOLLS // MORE THAN $80

A set of 7 small Madame Alexander dolls dressed like Wizard of Oz characters.

eBay user piranhabt

Full-size Madame Alexander dolls are hot items among collectors—vintage dolls in good condition can sell for well over $1000. The Happy Meal-sized versions aren’t worth quite as much, but they’re still a decent return on the price of a Happy Meal. McDonald’s and Madame Alexander have teamed up several times over the years, but the Wizard of Oz collection from 2007/8 seems to be worth the most—they've sold for more than $80. (Someone put an autographed set up for sale for $599, but it didn't sell.)

6. DIENER KESHI // UP TO $80

Produced in the late '70s and early '80s, Diener Keshi figures are some of the earliest examples of Happy Meal toys. There were several series of the little rubber creatures, including sea creatures, dinosaurs, circus characters, and cars. Some sets are being sold for up to $80.

7. MCFURBYS // UP TO $899

126 mini Furby toys laid out in rows on a wooden table.

eBay user beyondtetra

McDonald's wholeheartedly embraced the Furby craze of the late '90s. From March 22 to April 22, 1999, collectors could get 80 different mini-Furbys with their Happy Meals. A whole set was put up for sale for $899. That one didn't sell, but a lot of 126 toys—not in mint condition—went for $75. While the 2016 release of Furby Connect brought a matching Happy Meal promotion along with it, it didn't quite have the same impact as the 1999 release.

8. POTATO HEAD KIDS // UP TO $80

Four Potato Head Kids Happy Meal toys.
eBay user avintageguy

Long before Toy Story brought Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head back into vogue, McDonald's made Potato Head Kids—little plastic spuds with removable pieces and a lot of personality—for its Happy Meals. Partial sets frequently go for $20 to $30, and a full set of 12, even with a few pieces missing, is on sale for $80.

9. SNOOPY WORLD TOUR // UP TO $200

A box of Snoopy Happy Meal toys in their bags.
eBay user esquiredeals

This promotion hit Asian markets in the late '90s, and, like the 101 and 102 Dalmatians series, this one came with a special display case to house the whole collection. A full box, complete with 28 international-themed Snoopy figurines, can set you back nearly $200 on eBay. (If you're curious, the themes are Fiji, Ireland, Mexico, Jamaica, China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela, USA, New Zealand, Indonesia, Poland, Romania, Trinidad, Macao, Thailand, Yugoslavia, Japan, Australia, Panama, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Hawaii, Holland, Finland, Korea, and Taiwan.)

10. SNOOPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY // UP TO $60


eBay user kanna01anna

Apparently there's always a market for Snoopy. The year 2000 marked Snoopy's 50th anniversary, and to celebrate, McDonald's released a series of toy parade cars, including Cyber Snoopy, Jammin' Snoopy, and Journey Into Space Snoopy. If you've got the complete set still in the bags, you just might have close to $60 on your hands. Unwrapped and slightly used may still be worth $43.99.

11. TEENIE BEANIE BABIES // UP TO $100

A grid of McDonald's Happy Meal beanie baby toys, including several themed like McDonald's characters.

eBay user vnwithers

Even McDonald's got caught up in the Beanie Babies craze that swept the world in the 1990s. The fast food giant's partnership with Ty in 1997 was so hot that employees stole boxes of Beanies and phone lines were flooded by customers asking about the latest shipment. McDonald’s ran other Teenie Beanie promotions after the '90s ended, but none was as crazed as the first. In 2004, McDonald's employees were able to order a collector's set commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Happy Meal, featuring Beanies named Golden Arches, Big Red Shoe, McNuggets, Fries, Burger, Happy Meal, and Shake. The set also included a few themed after Ronald McDonald himself, and his McDonaldland pals Grimace, Hamburglar, and Birdie. (What, no Mayor McCheese?) The limited edition box with beanies still in their packages was listed at $100.

12. POWER RANGERS // UP TO $40

A set of 1994 Power Rangers Happy Meal toys in bags.
eBay user kateunc2

Like Teenie Beanie Babies, Power Rangers has teamed up with McDonald's several times over the years to promote various projects and movies. Having any of those sets can earn you some extra cash—a set of 11 toys sold for for $35, while nine toys from 1994 were listed for $32.50.

13. MCNUGGET BUDDIES // UP TO $35

A set of McNugget buddies in Halloween costumes.
eBay user mcjantone

McNugget Buddies—anthropomorphic chicken nuggets dressed to impress—were intermittently featured in Happy Meals from 1988 to the mid-’90s. The nostalgia factor probably drives the price up on these bite-sized toys: Six of the Halloween-themed Buddies sell for $35, and certain figures might be worth more, like this McNugget dressed as a dragon for $18.99.

14. MR. MEN // UP TO $89.99

A purple Mr. Men Happy Meal toy.
eBay user ryehill_retail

If you have a complete set of these Roger Hargreaves Happy Meal characters, your friends might start calling you Mr. Rich. (Or at least "Mr. Lunch-Is-On-Me.") The Mr. Men have been featured in several McDonald's promotions across the world, including plush and plastic versions. This lot of 40 plushies is going for $89.99.

15. A FULL SET OF MINIONS // UP TO $399 FOR MULTIPLE SETS

Rows of McDonald's Minion happy meal toys on a wooden background.

eBay user bob_the_spy

McDonald’s has released Minions toys to coincide with a few of the Despicable Me movies and the Minions spinoff, with the most recent set showing up in Happy Meals just a few months ago. If you have a complete set of any of them or a combination of all of them (or a rare foreign example), you’ll definitely make a few bucks.

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Courtesy of Royal Treasure Chest
If You Love Antique Stores, This Subscription Box Is For You
Courtesy of Royal Treasure Chest
Courtesy of Royal Treasure Chest

Do you love wandering the aisles of antique malls, shopping at vintage clothing stores, and filling your home with knick-knacks and ephemera from the past? Then this subscription box is for you.

Royal Treasure Chest is a curated monthly subscription that sends a package full of vintage goodies to your door, thoughtfully hand-picked based on your personal taste. The subscription box offering is an extension of Royal Treasure, an online vintage shop with a presence on Etsy and eBay and run by wife-and-husband team Denise and Royal.

Prices start at $15 for a monthly single-item box. Also available is a $40 plan (three items) and a $60 plan (five items). Your box is highly customizable. First, you select your category (or categories) from the following options: Beautiful old hardcover books, curios and knick-knacks, jewelry, tie bars and cufflinks, paper ephemera (like postcards or photographs), and ladies' or gentlemen's accessories. Then you can go into detail about your style, favorite eras, and likes and dislikes. That means it's great for indecisive people who want to treat themselves to a box of nice things every month.

To find the vintage collectibles, Royal Treasure's Pittsburgh-based team travels to estate sales in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. Every box comes with a note printed on parchment paper recounting where your new treasures were found and gives details about the families that once owned them. (The grandfather was a World War I fighter pilot! This family of dance instructors counted a young Gene Kelly among their pupils!) It reads like a letter from a friend and gives a homespun feel to the whole operation.

I subscribed to the $40 plan and loved the items I got. Every box also included a bonus postcard with a message written by someone from another era. I definitely took Royal Treasure up on the opportunity to go into detail about my taste. One of the things I wrote was that I like dogs, and I got a lot of dog-themed stuff that made me smile. In one month's box, I got a porcelain dog figurine as well as a trinket box and a decorative plate with country scenes on them. I liked the puppy statuette and thought the box and plate were nice enough, but then I looked closer and realized they each had a tiny dog cavorting around the landscape and I appreciated them even more. Now that's attention to detail.

vintage clothes
Courtesy of Royal Treasure Chest
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Mathew Tucciarone
Candytopia, the Interactive Art Installation Made of Sweet Treats, Is Coming to New York City
Mathew Tucciarone
Mathew Tucciarone

A colorful exhibition is sharing some eye candy—and actual candy—with visitors. The sweet art pop-up, called Candytopia, is heading to New York City this summer following successful stints in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Gothamist reports.

Candytopia feels a little like Willy Wonka’s chocolate room. More than a dozen rooms with psychedelic backdrops will be on view, as well as candy-inspired interpretations of famous artworks such as Mona Lisa and The Thinker. The installation is the brainchild of Jackie Sorkin, the star of TLC’s Candy Queen.

Many of the art installations are made from actual candy, but unlike Wonka’s lickable wallpaper, visitors will have to keep their hands and tongues to themselves. Instead, guests will be given samples of various sweet treats like gummies, chocolates, and “nostalgic favorites.”

Forbes named Candytopia one of the best pop-up museums to visit in 2018. New York City seems the perfect place for the exhibit, having formerly hosted other food-inspired pop-ups like the Museum of Pizza and the Museum of Ice Cream.

Candytopia will debut in New York City on August 15 at Penn Plaza at 145 West 32nd Street. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and they can be ordered on Candytopia’s website. Private events and birthday parties can also be arranged.

Keep scrolling to see some more installations from Candytopia.

A wing of the Candytopia exhibit
Mathew Tucciarone

An Egyptian-inspired statue made of candy
Mathew Tucciarone

A candy version of the Mona Lisa
Mathew Tucciarone

A shark statue
Mathew Tucciarone

[h/t Gothamist]

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