Remember When?: Kids' Meal Toys Were for the Gamers

Being a kid and being a gamer go hand in hand. All kids like video games. It’s not until we’re older that we decide gaming is no longer a “cool” thing to do. Being a kid also meant that we loved getting kids’ meals. With that said, remember when the fast food place had kids’ meal toys that were video game themed or oriented? It was like killing three birds with one stone. You got to eat, you got to play with a toy, and it satisfied your gamer side, too. What more could you possibly want being a gamer kid. Over the years, I have gotten the kids’ meal toys when they were associated with a certain video game at various fast food restaurants and I would just like to share some of the toys with you. I never went really hard at collecting every single toy each time they offered them, so it’s not much. I only have a handful to share.

I had Knuckles and Robotnik

This first one isn’t even a photo taken by me, but I did at one time own the Knuckles and the Robotnik toy. I felt I had to share this one because this was probably the earliest toys I have ever gotten that had to do with video games. During that time, I remember being so upset that I never got the cool flying Tails one, but I’m slowly getting over it. These four toys were offered at McDonald’s in 1994 and I don’t think I have them anymore. They are either put away with the rest of my old toys (yes I hold on to precious child memories) or thrown away. Hopefully, it isn’t the latter.

I’m surprised the batteries still works

In 1999, Burger King had something we should all remember, Pokémon toys. There were a bunch of them, but unfortunately not all 150 of them. Each toy came in a big plastic Pokéball, which actually turned out to be hazardous. So hazardous that they were recalled, and kids were offered fries in exchange for these Pokéballs. Forget that! I would rather see a toddler choke than to get ripped off trading in my super sweet Pokéball for stupid fries. (Just kidding guys…that’s awful)

Sorry about the picture not being very clear

In 2002, Wendy’s had Mario themed toys available for all the gamer kids out there. I had gotten this Mario Kart: Super Circuit toy pictured above, and the toy makes absolutely no sense. There are two item boxes, one of which has a green 1-up mushroom, an item never obtained in any Mario Kart title, the race cars are just regular ordinary race cars with no Mario characters whatsoever, and Mario is waving a racing flag and his face is square in the middle of the track, too. At least they got the banana peel right.

So cute

Again in 2002, Burger King had Nintendo character toys that featured characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong and Kirby. I was able to snag me a Kirby spinning top toy and it’s a pretty cool toy if I do say so myself. He’s round and spins as much as I want him to. What more can I want?

I couldn’t find the red wheel

Lastly, I have a Wii toy from 2008 and it’s from Burger King, again. This one is a spinning, flying wind up toy that is probably does exactly what the Tails toy I mentioned earlier did. You wind up the red wheel and press ‘A’ on the distorted Wii controller to let it loose. I have had this toy lying around my house for a while now, and for some reason it is something someone always has to touch. I don’t see how flying wheels have anything to do with Nintendo Wii, but at least my friends like it.

There you have it. Some years of video game toys at our favorite fast food restaurants. I’m sure there are lots of toys in between the years I mentioned that can be easily googled. But I simply grabbed what I had lying around and wanted to share them with all of you. Hope you dig up some of your stuff, too.

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François Chang

Working on the DualShockers staff as both an editor and community manager since late 2009, François is absolutely no stranger to the videogame industry. He is a graduate from the City College of New York, and has his Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. His next step is to obtain his Master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Before starting his career, François has been gaming since the age of 2 with Super Mario World, and he has never looked back since. Gaming may be his profession, but it has always been his passion.

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