McDonald's Is Selling Adult Happy Meals that Double as Streetwear Collaborations
One of the hardest parts of growing up was realizing we were too old for Happy Meals. Why does being an adult mean you can't get a little toy with your hamburger?
Clearly, McDonald's feels the same way to some extent, since it created a Happy Meal for adults—specifically adults who are into nostalgia and streetwear.
The whole thing is a collaboration with designer Cynthia Lu's Cactus Plant Flea Market brand, and ties in the classic McDonald's mascots like the Hamburglar and Grimace while using design motifs from Cactus Plant Flea Market (like having four eyes).
tell me ur fave and i’ll tell u mine pic.twitter.com/msuxetDvws
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) September 27, 2022
Starting Oct. 3, grownups can go to McDonald's and get either a Big Mac or Chicken McNugget version of the box, and receive a collectible figurine of one of those mascots with reimagined faces. They also created a new character specifically for this promotion: Cactus Buddy. And, of course, the whole thing comes in a special edition cardboard box.
Loving it! The Hamburglar is back at McDonald's. But this time, it's just for adults. McDonald's is bringing back its family of recognizable figurines in a new adult Happy Meal, which, yes, includes the toys! 😄 https://t.co/KHUtHY85aW pic.twitter.com/CA7kZgN4kL
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) September 28, 2022
“We’re taking one of the most nostalgic McDonald’s experiences and literally repackaging it in a new way that’s hyper-relevant for our adult fans,” said Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA chief marketing and customer experience officer, according to CNN.
This seems like a natural continuation of what McDonald's and other fast food brands have been doing with musicians—creating special edition meal deals with related merchandise. After a while, that idea could start to get stale and people become fatigued with just another artist getting their own meal and expensive T-shirts.
In fact, McDonald's and Travis Scott created co-branded merchandise with Cactus Plant Flea Market in 2020, which featured a cartoon version of Travis Scott and referenced purchasing the Travis Scott Meal in 2020.
By specifically branding this like a Happy Meal for adults and appealing to nostalgia by bringing back characters from our youth (with an exclusive twist, of course) McDonald's breathes some new life into the idea of merchandise partnerships and promotional giveaways.
Whether this pops off like the Pokemon card giveaway did remains to be seen. We could definitely see boxes of these toys mysteriously end up on resale sites before they even make their way into the meal. We could also see the commemorative boxes end up as collector's items like greasy BTS bags.