McDonald’s has been one of the fastest-growing fast-food chains around the world. With over 39,000 outlets in over 119 countries, it is a constant that you can find anywhere you travel around the world. However, it is not as constant when compared to the timeline. There have been a lot of changes that the fast-food chain has made to its outlets and menu over time. With passing time, you may not have noticed any of these changes but when you compare the outlets that you see today with the pictures from the 80s and the 90s. You will truly appreciate some of these changes because they are more modern and in tune with the times but you will surely be left with some feeling of nostalgia over the outlets from the past.
The Hamburger Chairs
Surely if you had visited the outlets back then, you would remember the chairs shaped like hamburgers. They were a lot of fun since you could just spin around endlessly on the chairs while relishing every little flavor in the food. Happier times!
The irony here is that back then, eating McDonald’s as often as people did was a sort of prison sentence. There wasn’t the same nutritional information available back then as there is now. So we ate the burgers willingly, without realizing the harm that we were causing our bodies.
The Big Twist Cone
I have to admit, this one was hard to say no to. It was incredibly cheap, very delicious, and always hit the spot. I can remember a few hot days at the drive-thru with my family in the ’90s. These were some of the delicacies that your parents would say they would buy you if you behaved properly.
I believe this was McDonald’s first attempt at putting something healthy on the menu. Unfortunately, when you added up all the calories from the dressing and the toppings, it really wasn’t healthy at all. Good try Ronald.
The Mac Tonight Commercial
This is surely going to bring back a lot of nostalgia. We remember sitting down in front of the television and waiting for the commercials just so that we could watch the Mac Tonight commercial. We are also sure that you would just start singing along with the commercial if it airs again.
Once again, I think that these transformer toys from the ’80s were the coolest toys that ever came in a happy meal. They were something you could take home and play with again and again. And no doubt you wanted to try and get every single one if you could.
Highchair For Babies
No child was too young for McDonald’s to market to. The sooner they could get you hooked on their food the better. This highchair from the ’90s says it all. After all, why should adults be dining on Happy Meals when babies could enjoy them too?
McDonald’s may have been ahead of the curve when it came to reusable cups. Fast food joints are known to be extremely wasteful with all of their single-use containers. If only Mickey D’s had continued this trend.
The Nugget Crew
These little guys would have given Ronald’s crew a run for their money if they ever played against each other in some kind of sport. I remember having a few of these growing up. I never did collect them all though.
This one was definitely before my time. I don’t think I ever listened to a record until they became cool again a few years ago. I wonder how many of these McRecords made it into private collections in the ’80s and how much would they be worth in today’s money?
Nothing says McDonald’s in the ’90s like sitting on a burger while you knock back some fries. You can see that some chairs are regular and meant for the adults to sit at. This was one of many of McDonald’s ploys to get kids excited about eating here.
Super Mario Happy Meals
The Mario game even looks pixelated on the cardboard box. This is a great example of how far McDonald’s (and videogames) have come since the ’80s. Nothing like using an old Nintendo controller with greasy fry-fingers.
The Welcoming Mural
Whoever painted this mural wisely added some normal human kids in there with the McDonald’s crew. It made you feel like you were welcomed and a part of the gang. I’d be much more inclined to buy a burger from my friends than from complete strangers.
Mickey Mouse Cups
McDonald’s was smart to partner with some of the big-name entertainment companies for kids. If you were a fan of Mickey Mouse and saw that Ronald Mcdonald was too, then you would surely ask mom for a happy meal for dinner.
Play While You Eat
As a parent, the two most time-consuming tasks are feeding and entertaining your kid. So why not take them to a place that allows you to do both at the same time? Well played, ’80s McDonalds, you got that one right.
Winning Big Macs
There was a time when you could collect gold medals and then win Big Macs in the outlets. People used to be crazy when they were out collecting the medals just so that they could get a free meal. We wonder if the chain brought up the offer again, how much boost in sales would they see?
When they started putting Hotwheels in happy meals, I was hooked. I used to have a Hotwheels track running all around my room. And when I found out I could get some nuggets and a new car, I was in little kid heaven.
The Bear Collection
Many of the happy meal collectibles are still around to buy. This set of bears is on eBay. Who knew that what used to come for free in a box of fries would someday be worth something?
This was one of my favorite movies as a kid. But I don’t think I remember when they offered these toys in the happy meals. I did know about it, I would have gone there.
Play Toys In McDonald’s
Once again we see Mickey D’s teaming up with an entertainment juggernaut: Fisher-Price. Kids in the ’80s and ’90s never got those golden arches out of their minds. It was always time for McDonald’s.
Remember these? You had to keep going back to try and get all the different types of dinos. But somehow, you always seemed to get the same one as last time. It was a really sad moment when you kept on getting the same dinosaur again and again.
Ronald Attending Customers
It seems like the guys at McDonald’s tried to put old Ronald anywhere they could back then. It makes sense though. You can’t help but crave a Big Mac when you see that freaky clown. This sort of image connection is what gave McDonald’s a reputation for being the most fun place around.
Spooky Gift Certificates
I remember getting one of these in my candy bag one year while I was trick-or-treating. I was bummed at first, thinking it was just a piece of paper. But when I opened it up, my smile returned. Please bring them back McDonald’s.
The Good Toys
It seems like the toys have gotten worse since the ’80s. They really used to put in effort in order to give you something you’d enjoy. I’m not sure what comes in the happy meals today, but I can guarantee they aren’t as cool as these transformers.
Disney Action Figures
As a kid, I was hooked on Disney movies. So when I found out that they were giving the action figures away in happy meals, I had to get one. McDonald’s sure had their child-marketing on point back then.
Nothing says 1989 like a birthday party at McDonald’s. They had the playpen, the ice cream, and even the entertainers. Something tells me a McDonald’s birthday nowadays wouldn’t be quite as fun.
Remember the good old days when you could eat non-nutritious food and smoke cigarettes at the same time? Things sure have changed since the ’80s. I doubt McDonald’s wants to be known for supporting smoking these days.
The Collectible Plates
Hercules aired in 1997 and McDonald’s was all over it. They jumped on the Disney hype and made collectible plates for you to get at the store. I like the Zeus plate the best.
Bugs Bunny Racecars
McDonald’s was good about offering toys with multiple options. That way, you couldn’t just get one happy meal and be satisfied. You had to keep buying meals until you had all the characters.
Ronald Hand Puppet
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, there weren’t all of these high-tech toys that kids have now. You used to have to use your imagination a lot more. This hand-puppet was able to provide entertainment for hours on end.
Teenie Beenie Babies
I remember this one hooking my sisters. They collected the regular size Beanie Babies but when they heard that McDonald’s had some tiny ones, they begged our parents for a happy meal. I think my parents still have that little flamingo laying somewhere around their house.
The Low Prices
Something that surprised me the last time I stopped at a Mcdonald’s was how expensive the food is. I remember these prices here. I think now it’s almost $10 for a Big Mac meal.
The Golden Arch Water Dispenser
McDonald’s found a way to put their name on the most essential thing that we put into our bodies–water. It seems like back then, you couldn’t go anywhere or eat/drink anything without thinking of or seeing those golden arches somewhere.
These monster nuggets were iconic back in the ’80s and ’90s around Halloween time. They got us kids ready for our favorite holiday while reminding us where we could get our favorite meal. There was always a hidden agenda with these toys.
One of the biggest movies in the ’90s was Batman. We loved watching as kids and somehow McDonald’s knew that. Once they offered Batman cups, we couldn’t help but ask our parents to take us on a trip to the drive-thru.