McDonalds Has The World Collecting

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In the US Happy Meals have been available since 1977. Hundreds of millions of Happy Meal
items have been produced. These items are given away free to customers purchasing the children’s
Happy Meal, and are often called premiums. Some items are also available to buy, and some are
available free such as flags and place mats. As McDonalds expanded outside the US, Happy Meals
and other memorabilia began to be available elsewhere such as in the UK, Australia, Japan
and Hong Kong. There is now an enormous amount of material for the avid collector to acquire,
with variations and country specific items adding to this variety.

Happy Meal Band
The quality of the Happy Meal toys and packaging has always been recognised, and in recent
years a growing number of licenses have been granted giving the McDonalds collector more variety than ever.
It has been noted that a good promotion will attract a lot more parents through the door with children.
Popular names such as Disney, Barbie, NASCAR and Star Wars help increase awareness and the collectability of the toys.

Two well publicised ‘Teenie Beanie Baby’ promotions in the US created a huge amount of interest, in
the first a 100 million toys sold out in two weeks, the second was even more popular. A recent Winnie
the Pooh promotion in Hong Kong also caused a great deal of worldwide interest, and the 101 Dalmatians
promotion where 101 different toys were available still has collectors hunting. These free toys
are increasing in value and in the short term it looks like that trend will continue.

Somke Teenie Beanies
Most promotions do not generate such interest and dramatic increases in value. The majority of new toys unless
kept mint in their original packet and with the Happy Meal box (if available) may never have any
significant value. It is often the case that the Happy Meal box can be of more value than the toy.
Different promotions around the world with sometimes different toys and merchandise mean that
collectors have a hard time (impossible) collecting everything. Country specific toys are of greater
value to collectors in other countries. A Smurf promotion in the US was repeated in the UK, however,
one the of Smurfs available (holding a Happy Meal box) was not available in the US. This has meant
that this Smurf is quite sort after in the US.

McDonalds memorabilia and collectibles do pre-date the Happy Meal. Marketing promotions
for McDonald’s restaurants have featured their mascot Ronald McDonald and other characters
for well over twenty years, and early toys and material is very sort after. Collectors
might specialise in a certain type of toy such as Disney related or wind up. As technology
and production costs increase some toys are becoming more elaborate with mechanical and
lighted parts. As with most toy collecting things that move, light up or play a tune are
more sort after and potentially of more value.

In September, McDonalds released their first adult meal, available in China, New Zealand and the
Middle East. It feature 28 different Snoopy’s, one avilable each day in different attire. They
were available free with a value meal. This could be a huge new concept and will hopefully
be repeated elsewhere. How many adults would like Star Trek, X-Files and other collectibles?
McDonalds really does have the world collecting.

The Official McDonalds Web Site

McDonalds & Premiums Group

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