My family and I just got back from a nice vacation at my parents’ lake house in Michigan. While there, I went through a lot of my things that were packed up from our old house that I hadn’t seen in around a decade. I came back with a backpack full of great material for future blog posts, but also spotted an old favorite that I wanted to include here on TCT: McDonald’s Changeables. These were little robot-like toys that came in Happy Meals that took a page or ten from the Transformers playbook.
I’ve got to say, while I don’t remember the actual commercial above, it’s pretty darn impressive. They fully went for the T-Formers vibe and would have easily tricked Young Me into thinking that these were actually part of the Robots In Disguise’ Universe. This spot was more in line with what I remember from those days. Less animated, but still fun.
As it happens, one of my favorite pop culture blogs Dinosaur Dracula just did a post about the three sets of toys that you should definitely go check out if the above commercial gave you all kinds of flashbacks. I had no idea they did three different waves, but do have a few still hanging around including the Big Breakfast and Styrofoam container burger guy. The fry guy has a prominent place on my desk when my daughter doesn’t make off with him.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Muppet Babies lately. Part of that is because I recently re-listened to The Muppets soundtrack and then watched the movie again, but also because I heard Dave Coulier on a recent episode of Talkin’ Toons With Rob Paulsen and he apparently did a lot of those voices. I mentioned in a post how I realized most of my Muppets knowledge comes from the animated adventures of their younger selves. I wish the series was available on DVD so I could show my kid. I remember it being pretty fun with plenty of movie, TV and book parodies to help introduce her to a different generation of entertainment.
The last piece of the recent Muppet Babies puzzle was the fact that my in-laws gave my daughter a little toy Fozzy toy that I remember coming with McDonald’s Happy Meals way back in the day. So, I figured that would make for an interesting TCT. The commercial’s definitely an interesting animal. It’s from Canada, so I’m not sure if it’s different than the one that ran in the States (I have no memories of this particular one). However, I do remember these toys. I had quite a few and even realized that the Fozzy my inlaws actually gave Lu came with Kermit’s skateboard instead of his horse. Funny how the two pieces were in close proximity to each other all these years.
As an added bonus, check out the above McD’s commercial for the Christmas-themed stuffed Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzy. I want to say all three of these are living in a box somewhere in my parents’ house. I don’t have much to say about this one aside from the fact that the tiny box in the beginning of the commercial could have probably been placed a little better. Did Ronald McDonald beat the Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake to a joke by a few decades? “Step one, cut a hole in the box…”
As I said in my review of the movie, Batman Returns was the Batman flick I loved most as a kid, watching it over and over on VHS. I was so into it that I amassed a pretty large collection of Batman figures and toys, including some of these McDonald’s Happy Meal vehicles. I know for sure that I have the spring-loaded Batmobile and the tail-waving Catwoman car and think they’re probably in a box somewhere. I also love in the commercial how excited and not at all terrified the kids are upon seeing the tank-like Batmobile AND how irresponsible the dad is in following it. Stay away, dude, that car ain’t going anywhere you want your kids at.
I intended to shine my meager spotlight on the commercial from Marvel’s Secret Wars with the crazy vehicles, but it wouldn’t load. And, when things don’t load right away on YouTube, I’m three other videos deep by the time it would have taken for that first one to load. That’s what got me to this commercial for the Super Mario Bros. 3 toys from McDonald’s. If memory serves, I had both the flipping Goomba and the suction/spring Mario. Better yet, I remember going and getting my copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 from Toys R Us. It was the first day it came out and we had one of those papers with the name of the game on it that you had to take up to the register and switch out (along with some money) for the game. It was really early and I was 7. If Wikipedia is to be believed and I really was there on the first day, that would have put this all on February 12, 1990, 6 days after my birthday. What an awesome birthday present. I am a huge fan of that game, and how mind blowing were the frog, raccoon and Tanooki suits? Very cool, but not as cool as the hard-to-find Hammer Brother Mario suit. As a kid I spent big chunks of time drawing those characters. Anyway, I loved Super Mario Bros. and am having an awesome time playing my way through New Super Mario Bros. Wii which I am loving at every turn. None of which has much to do with these toys themselves, but I figured I’d get that story out now instead of later when I’m talking about the Wii game, which I can then link back to this. Kinda meta, right?