Prizes at the bottom of a Cap'n Crunch box might've been cool, but getting a reward for eating French fries and a cheeseburger and sometimes an apple pie, if Mom was in a weirdly good mood for a reason you don't want to think about? Now that was something our grade school selves could get behind. So, in fond remembrance of all those times we whined and screamed and threatened to pee our Umbros if our parents didn't pull into a Mickey D's, Thrillist rounded up some of the best Happy Meal swag from back in the day. Then we ranked them, because we're judgmental like that. And no, creepy Ronald McDonald hand puppet, this doesn't concern you.
16. Michael Jordan Fitness Fun
Yes, a fitness-themed Happy Meal may sound worse than the McDeluxe, but throw in a frisbee with Michael Jordan's face on it and you've got yourself… alright, so, there's a reason this isn't ranked higher.
15. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Rolling out the same year the Happy Meal made its debut, Star Trek: The Motion Picture offered tie-in toys like rings, iron-on decals, and, most impressively, a hand-crank "video communicator" full of comic strips, 1979's precursor to the iPad.
14. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic zooms! Tails flies! Professor Robotnik...self-corrects his car to avoid collisions!
The only Happy Meal box to make the cut, this '80s spaceship was both a hamburger lair and an alien aircraft. Also, why do all of Ronald McDonald's fast food puppet cuckoo clocks tell different times?
The Dark Knight has shown up at McDonald's plenty of times over the years, but we're particular fans of this '90s set, which gave Poison Ivy a Venus flytrap roadster and the Joker a car with a battering ram made out of his face.
11. M Squad
Formed to locate Grimace's lost voice, the M Squad spurred secret agent toys like these, which let you write coded messages and creep on strangers with some very low-grade binoculars. Because if there's anything kids love, it's acting like they have secrets worth hearing.
10. Mighty Ducks Hockey Pucks
Is it a major bummer that these pucks have cartoon ducks on them instead of Emilio Estevez's face? Of course it is. But any fast food toy that lets you play air hockey without an actual air hockey table is admittedly pretty badass.
9. Super Mario Bros 3
A set that boasted more acrobatics than the U.S. women's gymnastics team, the Super Mario Bros 3 toys also featured a hopping Koopa Troopa powered with the same technology used to stoke fires in the 1800s.
Any toy set that has Hulk, Spider-Man, and
Alpha Flight X-Men figures is bound to be sweet, but this one went next level with aquatic magic tricks. Dunk Invisible Woman in water and she goes from invisible to costumed crusader. Dunk her again, and she stays the same color!
7. Ghostbusters Bike Accessories
Some fast food places claim to know their customers, but only McDonald's gives the people what they want: farting Slimer bike horns.
6. Back to the Future
Though sadly they did not include Biff (self) Tanner, they did include a mini Delorean (with its own plastic Doc Brown, whose head was definitely too big to fit inside the car), which offered hours of fun speeding away from pretend Libyan terrorists.
You were never going to get a crazy fighter jet LEGO set out of your Happy Meal, but you did get LEGOs. And you know what you can build with LEGOs??!!?
Crazy fighter jets! Lego boat #6!
4. Hot Wheels
The best car company EVER let you build out your toy garage with dozens of fry-scented hot rods, which, according to science, run 33 percent better than non-scented toy cars. Don't look that up.
3. Fraggle Rock
In 1988, the Product and Design strategists at Mick D's ingested a bunch of hallucinogenic drugs, and created these Fraggle Rock numbers, in which Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and "Red" Fraggle all have VEGETABLE BASED VEHICLES WITH MUSHROOM WHEELS. Seriously. There was almost definitely a meeting in which people sat around and heatedly discussed whether Mokey should be in an eggplant or a radish or a cucumber. How in the hell did we not make this #1?!?
Because Mickey D's not only had the courage to steal Transformers' idea, but also the bravery to name one of their knock-offs "Robo-Cakes".
1. Halloween McNugget Buddies
NOTE: these are the ones from 1992, and not the original 1988 McNugget buddies, but either way, they win with simplicity: these guys are essentially just little toy chicken mcnuggets you kind of want to eat anyway, with scary faces and kick-ass Halloween costumes. Like the Dracula Elvis one with a bat on his head and fangs, or the ghost one with a weird old lady hat and a cat (working name: Sad Spinster Aunt Ghost) or the mummy one who appears to be wrapped up in toilet paper covered in spiders. You could mix and match their costumes, but DON'T MIX AND MATCH THEIR COSTUMES. This is art, friends, and, like Zohan, you don't mess with it.