Below: A sampling of the greatest McDonald’s collectibles currently on eBay.
Deciding on a mere six items was no easy task. When you hear “McDonald’s collectibles,” you probably just think of Happy Meal toys. Those are on eBay, of course, but they’re joined by everything from seven foot restaurant statues to tiny slips of promotional paper that had no right to survive for 30 years. Pretty much every McDonald’s “thing” in history is on eBay, right now.
…but these are six of my favorites:
Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal Display!
Asking Price: $199.99
There aren’t many Happy Meal toys that go for more than a few dollars a pop, but the original restaurant displays can sell for small fortunes. In this particular case, it’s hard to argue with the price. If you’re an old school Nintendo nut, is there anything more ephemerally awesome than the original Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal display?
The 1989 toy set is one of the most beloved in Happy Meal history, cracking most fans’ “Top 5” lists. Still, since all four toys can be procured in mint shape for around ten bucks, you’re mostly paying for the display, which beautifully recreates the Nintendo game as a three-dimensional “playset.” You could almost certainly find it for less than $200 with some digging, but this one won’t ever come cheap.
Officer Big Mac Statue!
Asking Price: $2950
I could’ve easily populated this whole list with ancient McDonaldland character statues, which are on eBay in volume and are undeniably the coolest pieces of memorabilia a McFan could hope to own. Back when standalone McDonald’s establishments commonly acted as miniature amusement parks, statues like this would dot the landscape and make kids feel like they were on some amazing alien planet.
If I had to pick just one from the current options, it’d be Officer Big Mac. Among McDonaldland’s most impossibly bizarre citizens, he was scarcely seen even by the time I was a kid, but was much more frequently featured during the ‘70s.
The asking price sounds ludicrous, but the statue is seven feet tall, completely solid, and likely several hundred pounds. To give you some idea of how much I want this thing, the whole impetus for this article was me thinking about what I would’ve bought had I won last week’s Powerball jackpot.
Million Dollar Menu Song Album!
Asking Price: $16.99
I’m showing my age again, but I have tremendous memories of McDonald’s “Million Dollar Menu Song” contest, from 1988. As I recall, the paper-thin records were distributed with Sunday newspapers, so pretty much everybody had one.
The song was essentially the Pokerap, but with McDonald’s food items instead of Pokemon. If your record played the entire tune, BAM, you won a million dollars. More often, the chorus of singers would crap out midway through, signaling a loser.
This was just one of many McDonald’s promotions that became weird cultural phenomenons, so if any of you younger readers don’t understand why people my age seem to have such a fascination with the place, it’s stuff like this.
Mac Tonight Foam Puppet!
Asking Price: $270
Ah, I had this! God knows why, but I’m sure I did. It’s pretty hard to forget what was basically Mac Tonight’s head as a Nerf football.
This wasn’t a restaurant giveaway, nor something even sold at McDonald’s. I believe it would’ve been found in stores like Spencer’s, back during that tiny window when Mac Tonight was so popular that he practically transcended McD’s to become his own little brand.
The sheer needlessness of the toy is also its biggest draw. I didn’t understand the word “kitsch” until I was in my late teens, but this ridiculous Mac Tonight head was my introduction to the concept.
The crazy asking price is really just the seller’s way to brag about having one in the original box. Loose examples for go far less, but they’re usually in crummy condition.
Dick Tracy Crimestoppers Game Card!
Asking Price: $9.95
I spent 1990 as a Dick Tracy lunatic, thanks to the live action film and its corresponding action figure line. (…with an assist to the ancient cartoon shorts, which Fox dusted off to capitalize on the movie hype.)
Instead of doing a straight-up Happy Meal, McDonald’s opted for a big budget contest. In the Crimestopper Game sweepstakes, customers received scratch-off cards covered with monstrous mobsters. McDonald’s claimed to be giving away more than 40 million dollars’ worth of prizes, but since many of those prizes amounted to things like free pies, I’m guessing the boast came with an asterisk.
(I still wonder why we never got a Dick Tracy Happy Meal set. Maybe McDonald’s felt that the film’s themes were too adult to make toys out of? After all, there was a scene where Paul Sorvino got buried in cement and dropped in a river. Kinda tough to see Ronald MCing something like that.)
Neon McDonald’s Sign!
Asking Price: $499.99
You could build an entire McDonald’s restaurant out of the junk on eBay. Obsolete displays and even the plastic furniture never seem to end up in dumpsters.
I love this neon sign, even if I’d have some trepidation about hanging it up. I think it says “I LOVE McDONALD’S!” with a bit too much gusto, and there are already enough things about me that people want explanations for.
Many of the items featured above are strictly for extremists with too much money to burn, but the McDonald’s brand really does have a dedicated base of collectors. They’re more the types to want little toys and ceramic plates, but yeah, they’re out there. Given my tendency to buy thirty-year-old cans of Chef Boyardee, I ain’t judging.