‘80s Pop Culture Icons as McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

McDonald’s launched the Happy Meal across the US in 1979, and it will forever feel very ‘80s. (Especially if you grew up in the 1980s.) Like so many ‘80s icons, the Happy Meal’s combination of tasty concept and slick packaging make it a design classic. The Toy Zone, a toy retailer, worked with CGI artist Jan Koudela to cook up imaginary Happy Meal toys and boxes in the style of our favorite and most iconic ‘80s screen heroes.

Top Gun

“Sometimes serving your country and quietly believing yourself to be “the best of the best” is not enough. Sometimes you want a trophy that says TOP GUN on it, too. When you’re casting that kind of arrogance, only one man will do: The Cruiser!”

More: The Toy Zone, Jan Koudela

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Matthew Broderick wasn’t a bad boy. Okay, so he nearly triggered global thermonuclear war in WarGames. And he became the poster boy for playing truant as Ferris Bueller. But these against-type roles worked just because he looks kind of smart and reasonable.”

The Shining

“Do you remember the Batman Returns Happy Meal? Millions of traumatized ‘90s kids can’t forget it. As it turned out, Batman Returns wasn’t a kids film, nor very ‘happy.’ “I think I upset McDonald’s,” recalls director Tim Burton. “[They asked] ‘What’s that black stuff coming out of the Penguin’s mouth. We can’t sell Happy Meals with that!’”

Sadly, a Stephen King Happy Meal would probably suffer the same fate. A shame, cos Dads in McDonald’s across the States would have loved tearing a tiny, ax-wielding Jack Nicholson out of the Happy Meal box and yelling, “Here’s… Ronny! McDonny!” at their confused offspring.”

The A-Team

“Our A-Team project posed a unique problem for our design team: which member of the “crack commando unit sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit” would be in the box? Leader ‘Hannibal’ Smith might have been our choice in the ‘80s. But, since his most iconic feature is his thinking cigar, we decided that wouldn’t cut it in a kid’s toy for the ‘20s.

With B.A.’s gold chains, muscles, and mohawk, it had to be Sergeant Bosco Baracus, instead. After all, “Bad Attitude” famously prefers milk to less unwholesome drinks and was tricked onto a plane when Murdoch pulled the ol’ switcheroo on his burger. Drink your milkshake, sucka!”

The Breakfast Club

“There’s a whole other piece to be done about “X Molly Ringwald Princesses.” But in the meantime, we’ve chosen her Breakfast Club character for our Happy Meal take on John Hughes’ Brat Pack-defining high school movie. After all, she was affectionately labeled a ‘princess’ by Brian (the Brain), played by fellow Brat Packer Anthony Michael Hall.

The Princess and the Brain are put in detention with three other high school archetypes (The Criminal, The Athlete, and The Goth ‘Basket Case’). The Princess’s only crime? Skipping school to go shopping. Guess she was too old to pick up the My Little Pony bookmark that was in Happy Meals at the time (1985), though.”

Knight Rider

“The ‘tough guy with iconic vehicle’ franchise was hot stuff in the 1980s. But while Street Hawk had awesome graphics and Airwolf had that theme tune, Knight Rider had a not-so-secret weapon: The ‘Hoff.

David Hasselhoff played Michael Knight, an undercover FLAG agent with a talking Pontiac Firebird called KITT. (Acronyms were also big in the 1980s.) This was the show that made Hasselhoff a household name. And his perpetual low-buttoned shirt gave a preview of Hasselhoff’s next iconic role in lifeguard soap opera Baywatch.”

My Neighbor Totoro

“Disney and McDonald’s have been partnering up for as long as children have been eating processed food, but we really wanted to see them get onboard with Studio Ghibli. Disney and Studio Ghibli have a history of quibbling, but whatever side of the fence you fall, this collab is fire. Now, if there’s one thing the world’s not short of, it’s Totoro merchandise. But McDonald’s is short of intercultural toys. Sure, McDonald’s Japan has its own range of locally-inspired ‘Happy Set’ toys such as Cinnamoroll and Sumikko Gurashi. (You can even swap your toy for a book if your kids are more literarily inclined.) But what does an American have to do to get a slice of kawaii with their burger?”

Blade Runner

“McDonald’s wasn’t the first fast food joint to issue a movie tie-in kid’s meal. Burger Chef released a Star Wars Funmeal in 1978 when there was still only one Star Wars movie! But imagine if McDonald’s continued the science-fiction streak that began with the 1979 Star Trek Happy Meal tie-in by putting a grizzled Harrison Ford/Rick Deckard in lunchboxes…

The original Blade Runner came out three years after Star Trek. The Philip K. Dick adaptation achieved only moderate box office success at the time, and it took years to develop first a cult and then a mainstream following. For this reason, TheToyZone reckons the Blade Runner Happy Meal toy would be super-valuable and hard to find these days – a bit like those pesky replicants.”

Labyrinth

“You can tell a lot about a person by asking them to name one iconic movie from the ‘80s. If they say Labyrinth, they’re probably a bit of a dreamer, a bit of a dancer, and a lot of a David Bowie fan. Bowie wasn’t the world’s greatest actor, but he wore a wig and bizarro-costume like nobody else. That’s why Labyrinth is his most memorable screen role.”

SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/09/80s-pop-culture-icons-as-mcdonalds-happy-meal-toys/

The Creepy Doll Adoption Agency

So you’ve inherited your grandmother’s precious dolls, which she cherished, but you can’t stand them because they look so creepy? You aren’t alone, as many people end up with dolls that are ugly, haunted, or give off uncanny valley vibes. You could toss them, but that’s neither respectful to grandma nor is it environmentally-friendly. What to do?

Sara and Brian have found their niche in recycling. They run a program called Unsettling Toy Removal and Rehoming, in which they take in your unwanted dolls and offer them to people who are not so bothered. If you’re interested, you can look through the dolls that are available, or for a real horror show, scroll down to see their collection.

More: Unsettling Toy Removal and Rehoming, Instagram h/t: sadanduseless




























































SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/09/the-creepy-doll-adoption-agency/

Toymaker Creates Creepy But Cute Toys

According to an artist, LeleaCreatures: “Hello! I am lelea_creatures, and I am an aspiring toymaker. I want to share some of my recent work with you! All dolls are handmade as a single copy from polymer clay and artificial fur, filled with padding polyester. I will be very happy to receive support!”

More: Instagram, Etsy, DeviantArt h/t: boredpanda
























































SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/07/toymaker-creates-creepy-but-cute-toys/

The Earthquake Tower by Remco, ca. 1974

Billed as “the world’s largest playset” and standing a whopping five feet tall, the Remco Earthquake Tower was a mash-up of the biggest Hollywood hits of 1974: The Towering Inferno and Earthquake.

h/t: vintag.es

Remco sold it as a sort of rescue game, your goal was to save as many civilians as you could using your copter and fire truck. Remco even included a floppy vinyl record of explosions, sirens, and perilous music to help you simulate this environment; it is, however, tastefully bereft of screams.




SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/07/the-earthquake-tower-by-remco-ca-1974/

Terrifying Plush Toys by Anna Sternik

UK-based artist Anna Sternik creates truly terrifying plush toys for kids, and sells them on her Etsy store. Featured below are some of her unholy creations. Let us know in the comments if you’d allow to play your kid with these!

More: Facebook, Etsy h/t: sadanduseless
























































SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/05/terrifying-plush-toys-by-anna-sternik/

Artist Repaints Dolls In A More Realistic Way

Dolls are a beloved toy out there and most kids love to play with them, although sometimes, people take their fondness for dolls into adulthood and never grow out of them. It is quite trendy today to recreate dolls and repaint their faces to make them look more detailed and realistic, and that is exactly what Spanish artist José Francisco Cerezo Roldan does.

More: Instagram h/t: boredpanda

José removes the makeup that doll companies put on and paints his beautiful version. He enjoys creating celebrities and characters from TV shows, books, and movies. The artist makes the dolls look more like human beings and less like big-eyed cartoons with unrealistic proportions.

The artist usually turns the dolls into celebrities or well-known characters from pop culture, movies, and TV shows. He seems to really enjoy pop stars, especially Britney Spears and Beyonce, since we see a lot of dolls resembling them on his page. There are also a lot of renditions of Khaleesi, a character from Game of Thrones. The most popular one is Anne Hathaway’s character White Queen in Alice in Wonderland. José does a really good job at capturing the likeness of people and it’s usually pretty easy to recognize who it is.

If you’re wondering, ‘why bother repainting dolls at all?’ There’s a simple answer: The mass-produced dolls that we see in the shop are usually very plain and have completely unrealistic features. So doll artists have taken it upon themselves to create dolls with more detail and realism. There is a lot that goes into remaking dolls. Some even thread new hair for them, make clothes, even sculpt brand new bodies. There are many videos and tutorials on how to remake dolls. Some people find it relaxing to watch the process. So it’s also a pretty relaxing hobby to have. Most of these artists sell the revamped dolls and make a living off of it.


























SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/03/artist-repaints-dolls-in-a-more-realistic-way/

Hilariously Bad Bootleg Toys

Bootleg toys… lovingly recreated (ripped-off) in the nicest (cheapest) way possible, disappointing kids all over the world since like a long time ago.

h/t: sadanduseless























SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/02/hilariously-bad-bootleg-toys/

Toy Jared Middleto Photographer Uses Practical Effects for Amazing Action Photos

Jared Middleton (AKA Sirdork) is a toy photographer who brings miniature scenes to life using practical effects. His photos are created by carefully setting up scenes with action figures and then adding in things like water, snow, dirt, and sparklers to complete the look.

More: Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, Youtube h/t: petapixel





















































SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2021/01/toy-jared-middleto-photographer-uses-practical-effects-for-amazing-action-photos/

Meet The Original ‘Shave and Play’ Barbie – The Weird and Funny Pandemic 2020 Present

Need a gag gift that will be the hit of the party?!!! Get The Original Shave & Play Borbie!!! You’ve played with regular Barbie, but this is Shave & Play Borbie…and she is unlike any other doll you’ve played with! She is FURRY and ready for a trim! Whip out the razor (included) and give her a style all her own! Borbie will love her new, silky smooth, hair-free self! More: Shop @

Source

SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2020/10/meet-the-original-shave-and-play-barbie-the-weird-and-funny-pandemic-2020-present/

Lego Lost At Sea: An Online Museum Of Plastic Toys Lost At Sea In 1997

In 1997, nearly 5 million bits of Lego, much of it sea themed, fell into the ocean when a huge wave hit the cargo ship Tokio Express, washing 62 containers overboard. Among the pieces lost were tiny minifig heads, their faces now mostly blank after decades at sea. All discovered on Cornish beaches. More: Instagram h/t: messynessychic Plastic finds from Cornish beaches...

Source

SOURCE: https://designyoutrust.com/2020/04/lego-lost-at-sea-an-online-museum-of-plastic-toys-lost-at-sea-in-1997/