McDonald’s toy scalping has reached new heights with the introduction of the Adult Happy Meal
Opening a McDonalds (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report Happy Meal is a quintessential part of many people’s childhood memories. The box always featured neat little puzzles featuring characters from whatever kids’ franchise McDonald’s had partnered with. But the real prize, of course, was the toy at the bottom of the box.
McDonalds Happy Meal toys also have a history of turning into collectibles. In 1997, McDonalds partnered with breakout toymaker H. Ty Warner to fill Happy Meals with Teenie Beenie Babies: mini versions of the signature bean-filled stuffed animals that took the 90s by storm.
It was expected that the little toys would sell out in a mere five weeks, but on the day of release, McDonalds locations were swarmed with collectors trying to get their hands on the Beanies. Some collectors even went so far as to tell the employees to keep the food that comes in the Happy Meal–they just wanted the toys. All 100 million toys were gone in two weeks. Collectible investors were hoping to resell the toys for the hundreds or even thousands of dollars–and to be fair, some of the full-sized retired Beanie Babies were fetching those prices in the aughts of Beanie-mania.
In 2021, a similar instance occurred when the Happy Meal came with its own Pokémon cards. After stores in the U.S. saw scalpers reselling cards online with a high markup, McDonalds locations in the U.K. had to set limits on the cards’ distribution to customers. Today, McDonalds is seeing the same wildly high demand when it comes to a new toy collaboration. Only this one is aimed at adults.
The New Adult Happy Meal
Fans of the iconic red box with the golden arches were recently introduced to the Adult Happy Meal. It’s a Big Mac or a 10-piece Chicken McNugget with fries and a drink. And of course, there’s also a neat little toy inside.
The toy is one of four collectible figures from Cactus Plant Flea Market, a popular streetwear brand whose mysterious press presence drums up a great deal of anticipation surrounding its limited releases. Cactus Plant Flea Market (known as CPFM for short) has teamed up with McDonalds before to release limited-edition hoodies, t-shirts, and other swag.
Now, the designer brand can add toys to its list of offerings. Earlier this month the company’s small collectible figures of the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie, and the CPFM-original character Cactus Buddy! hit the McDonalds menu with much fanfare. The countdown for the toys’ release, along with a second line of CPFM McDonalds-themed fashion gear, was promoted on the site the same way other product drops occur, creating an exciting countdown situation for fans of the brand.
Adult Happy Meal Toys are Listing for Big Dollars
After its release on October 3, the CPFM Adult Happy Meal sold out pretty quickly, lasting less than a day in some locations. Fans of McDonalds-themed nostalgia can now drive through for the re-release of the classic Halloween Pails so many of us used as kids when trick-or-treating.
But the legacy of the CPFM-McDonalds collab lives on thanks to eBay. Some scalpers are listing cases of unopened toys with some pretty high ticket prices. While individual toys are listing between $19-$25, some sellers are asking more than $100 for a complete, unopened set.
Some listings are actually trying to sell by the case. One eBay listing advertises a 150-count case of unopened toys for $2,400. There are seven of these cases available and one has already sold. Of course, there are those with loftier ambitions trying to offload their CPFM toys. Another seller has listed one single unopened toy of an unknown character with a starting bid of $25,000. There are, as of now, no bidders on that particular item.
Topping out the listings so far is on from a seller in Kingsport, Tennessee who is selling “2022 McDonald’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Adult Happy Meal Toys Full Set 4 Sealed” with a minimum bid of $1 million. The auction’s on for another 6 days and had drawn 7 watchers as of late on Oct. 20. The listing notes that the seller “does not accept returns.”