McDonald’s now has Happy Meals for adults

The new campaign targets nostalgic adults who used to love getting Happy Meals as a kid. The collectibles, however, are not very kid-friendly.


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 10/04/2022

The giant fast-food chain is betting on nostalgia and a collaboration with CPFM.

Happy Meals
McDonald’s is releasing Happy Meals for adults. Source: Adobe Stock.

The world’s most known fast-food chain, McDonald’s, announced last week that it would soon be releasing a Happy Meals for adults. The new product came to stores last Monday at a nationwide scale. These Happy Meals are part of a collaboration with fashion brand Cactus Plant Flea Market (CPFM for short). 

By purchasing a Happy Meal, people will get one of four collectible figurines of classic McDonald’s mascots. Birdie, Grimace and the Hamburglar all come with new designs and with a new friend called Cactus Buddy. 

Cactus Plant Flea Market is a fashion brand known in its segment for its playful  and eccentric graphic clothing. The figurines that come with the new Happy Meals all have a distorted look. Which is far from the childish and lovely look most people remember them. 

Happy Meals exist mostly as a special way to lure kids in. So, naturally, when the news broke that McDonald’s was going to market Happy Meals for adults, social media didn’t hesitate in making jokes about it. On Twitter, one person went as far as to say that this new creation was an endpoint of American culture.

It might seem weird seeing adults lineup at McDonald’s to get an “adult Happy Meal”. However, the idea actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. 

Collecting figurines and the nostalgic sentiment of Happy Meals

Happy Meals
Nostalgia plays a big part in the new release. Source: Adobe Stock.

Truth be told, an entire generation was shaped by the slightly ugly and plastic-y aesthetics that characterized all of McDonald’s toys. Not only that, but certain trends have also normalized the adult consumption of collectible toys that were previously marketed to children.

A well known example of that is Funko Pops. Funko released its pop culture figurines back in 1998, and over the years, the brand became a big hit in consumer trends and adults. Financial experts believe that the company will reach over $1 billion in revenue within the next five years. 

So, these new Happy Meal toys are just another type of collectible. Most millennials are a part of a generation who grew up begging their parents for McDonald’s trips. And mostly so they could get Pokemón figurines or little Sonic minigames.  

A representative of McDonald’s said that the marketing team took one of the most nostalgic experiences provided by the fast-food chain and turned it into a relevant thing for adults. And McDonald’s surely hit the nail in the head in the sense that it really can cash in on the nostalgic feelings of these consumers who grew up with Happy Meals.  

These new Happy Meals for adults are now available at most McDonald’s stores for a limited period. Prices may vary according to the order.

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About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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