Back in 1991 McDonald’s was already looking to the future, with Back to the Future Happy Meal Toys. They had a set of four different toys, all based off of the CBS Cartoon that was airing at the same time, and feature animated characterizations as designs for all the figures.
They even got a great commercial shot like the live action segments of the cartoon featuring Dan Castellaneta as the voice of Doc Brown as he did in the voice in the cartoon as well, let’s take a look at the ad.
This was back in the good old days when a Happy Meal was a great deal at only $1.99, and was a simple burger, fries and drink, none of that GoGurt or Apple Slices here.
The store as well featured some great advertising for the promotion, from Display stands with the toys and a sample box, as well as hanging ads, this was the way to push toys into the hands of the masses.
There was as well four different Happy Meal boxes, each that featured jokes, games, and punch-out sections to make the box a part of the play experience with each of the toys, these are something I’ll have to continue to search for to make my set complete, but until then I’ve at least got these great figures so let’s take a look at them.
First up we have the figure everyone wanted for their collection Doc’s DeLorean, featuring Doc popping out of the window of the Time Machine. This is a great little representation of the car, and the first I ever had in my collection as there wasn’t a big market for figures from the films at the time. When you would run the car on a surface, fast and hard, the back section would spark like it was traveling through time, which is a great thing to have to really sell this toy, but that wasn’t what caused all the hub bub, there was a recall on this toy, as it was found that little kids were able to remove the back tires and since this caused a possible choking hazard, they allowed people to trade the toy in for something else, and stopped selling it, so this one should be a harder one to find. I tried to remove the back tires on mine, which I was able to do, but you all can rest easily, I did not choke on them, no matter how delicious they looked.
Next we had Doc’s son Verne and his Junkmobile, which looks to be like his early attempt at creation like his old pop, featuring a bathtub with lightning bolt down the side and what seems to be a toboggan and wood box holding it in place, and some wheels and such, and it seems to be the ultimate run away from home vehicle, as he’s got some books and his teddy bear in the back of the tub to take with him, maybe he’s embarrassed about being caught on camera in BTTF 3 playing with himself, maybe it’s cause he was just not going to take Doc and Clara’s rules about time travel, but with the push down and roll action this one has wherever he’s going, he’s going to get there quick.
Here is action figure proof that Hoverboards do exist, anyone that tells you differently well they can go and make like a tree and get the hell out of here. Marty’s Hoverboard is a nice little figure featuring the cartoon Marty floating on some crazy clouds as he Hoverboards to his hearts content. I do wish he was in more of a skating pose, and not that he’s kneeling down, cause we’ve seen him float on water and not get scared, but this pose just doesn’t do it all justice. The figure does have basic wheels on the bottom to allow him to skate around, but no other actions, I think this could’ve used a pull back feature that would’ve really let it shine, but is great as is, I’m just being a picky Biff about it.
And last up in the series we have Einstein’s Traveling Train, featuring Einstein at the helm of this crazy translucent blue train, with rolling wheels. This is a weird one as I’ve never seen a dog drive a train, I think it would’ve been more fitting to have Clara in this one, and would’ve aimed one of the toys towards girls as they weren’t doing the boy/girl sets like they do now, but with that smile he’s got, everyone had to know he was having a blast flying through time meeting all his heroes like Lassie and Benji and sharing a bowl of water with them.
Well there we have it, 1991’s McDonald’s Back to the Future Happy Meal toys, a great set of figures for any time traveling fan, and are quite easy to find on the market and thrift stores, if you have that empty space on your BTTF shelf, these would be a great way to fill it in.
Until next time, we’ll see you in the Future.