McDonalds Changeables were Happy Meal toys, first available in the United States during the 1980’s and then Australia during 1990. The Australian version consisted of a set of four transformer type toys, which changed from McDonald’s products to robots. The set varied from the US releases as it contained less toys and slight re-molding as well as colour changes.
Line: McDonald’s Happy Meal toy
Price: Then: comes free with a happy meal. Now: $30-$60 for a set depending on condition
Scale: 2 -3.5 Inches in height
You would be pretty hard pressed to find a kid from the 1980s up until now that has never gotten a toy from a happy meal. As a kid I remember every now and then my brother and I would get a happy meal toy, sometimes the whole set if we were lucky. But thankfully my parents never took us to McDonalds all the time! (It’s just not healthy eating after all.) One such McDonald’s toy I do remember were the Changeables, Being a big transformer fan as a kid, it’s hard to not to get excited about getting more transformer type toys. These toys weren’t too bad either; they were made well and looked fairly cool, unlike Gobots. I’m glad I never bought any of those!
One thing I found interesting after doing some research was that between American and Australian Happy meal toys there are some differences, Firstly we tended to get less toys per series in most cases, like the Changeables and Fry-Kids sets. (In the Fry-Kids case the toys were even smaller then the US release.) Also, with the Changeables we not only got different colours for some of the toys, (Big Mac and cheese burger) but a re-moulded toy as well (Shake/soft drink cup) which has a friendlier face, that seems exclusive to Australia. It has been hard to find much info on the Australian release of Happy Meal toys, than it was for the American line.
This review is for the full set of the Changeables.
The sculpting for the toys is great. They look very close to the products they are meant to represent and have a very professional look to them, considering they are “cheap Happy Meal toys”. They have lots of smooth surfaces, with little bits of detail here and there. For the food mode there is no mistaking what each toy is meant to be, it’s very clear that we have a Big Mac, Cheese burger, Shake and large Fries. For the robot mode each toy has an overall cute and friendly look to them, with only the Big Mac and fries looking somewhat unhappy. No evil robots to be had here.
The Big Mac, fires and cheeseburger are all the same sculpting seen in the American release; the shake however, is different. I’m fairly certain that a shake was released with the same transformation in America, but a less friendly face. This one, on the other hand, has a much more welcoming appearance, and I like it more. One thing these robots are lacking are legs. Besides the fries, the rest only have arms, a head and the suggestion of legs, if anything. The Big Mac and cheeseburger in particular don’t have really anything.
What paint there is, is crisp and well applied. In most cases the part is cast in the colour its meant to be. The paint is mainly used for detailing the cheese or burger patty in food mode and for adding some contrast in robot mode. The colour selections are nice and better then their US counter-parts, in my opinion. Far more detail and care went into the painting of the Australian versions. For example, on the cheeseburger there is a brown spray on top for the burger, where as the American version is just plain boring orange plastic.
McDonald’s version of transformers aren’t going to be very difficult to transform. You don’t even need the instructions for them. Even as a kid it was always very easy to change them from robot to food and back again. In most cases it’s only three steps and you’re done. Sixshot these toys are not. No challenge here, even for kids.
These toys don’t really have articulation so to speak, as it’s mostly part of the transformation sequence that gives them articulation. For example, the cheeseburgers’ arms can be moved, but only because of his transformation that they have that option. Regardless in most cases, the arms are the only articulation you are going to get with these toys. They are intended for small children after all.
None. Come on, did you really expect guns and firing missiles coming out of these things? It would have been a nice addition if they did.
Nothing that I can think of besides paint chips due to play wear
I paid $40 AUD for the set and I am happy with that, seeing this set was only available in Australia. It is hard to find these toys in good condition, as most have been played with and there’s no point in wasting your money on it.
One thing about McDonald’s Happy Meal toys is that they won’t ever really go up in value too much. Another thing is that they won’t be for everyone either. But I’m sure there are plenty of collectors out there that like these toys and enjoy having them in their collection, like me. I quite enjoy the simplicity of the toys and the designs are quite good. Not to mention that nostalgia hit I get from looking at them. It takes me back to a time when McDonald’s wasn’t all “healthy focused” and still tasted “good”, a taste I’ve only found similar to what I remembered from McDonald’s bought in Japan.
FRIENDLY FACE INDEED
CHEESE BURGER ARMY!
YOU WILL NOT RESIST US!
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