Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions

Saturday, March 16th, 2019 7:52PM CDT

Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88   Views: 22,745

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Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 McDonald's Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformer themed toys have been part of McDonalds Happy Meals since the 80s and there have been many promotions for the brand since then where kids would get a Transformers toy in their Happy Meal. This week we look at the top 5 Happy Meal toylines that dealt with Transformers.


5. Changeables 1987

Ok so these are not branded Transformers, but this is too perfect for me not to include, and worth more than just a mention. And let's face it, if I leave these out of this list, that's all I will hear. Transformers toys in the 80s were HUGE to the point that, 30 years later, we have this site dedicated to them and there is still a Transformers section in your store with new toys coming in every year. These Changeables are some fun evidence that everyone wanted in on the transfoming toy action back in the day and in 1987, McDonalds themselves could not resist and released these toys for their happy meals that were robots which could transform into Mcdonalds food items.






4. Transformers Armada 2003

While far from the best, these toys had a lot going for them. Sure, they transformed from vehicle to robot (which is ALOT more than we can say about today's toys), but they also had Minicon ports, and had individual gimmicks like wind up motors, plus they .... combined. But hey Minicon ports, which makes this the only McDonalds toyline to have a direct integration with the in store toyline.





Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions


3. Transformers Animated 2008

These are, to date, the last Transforming toys we got from McDonalds. They were not the best but looked better than the Armada toys and there was even a European exclusive Blitzwing which might be the best of the bunch.



Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions


2. Transformers Beast Wars 1996

The approach mcDonalds took with Beat Wars was really outside the box. Instead of making representations of the character we knew in simpler forms, they gave us fully new characters and some new alt modes such as a Manta Ray (remember, this is before Depthcharge). So far it is the only time we have ever gotten fully new Transformers characters intriduced as Fast Food exclusive toys and now have in universe profiles and also appeared in Comic Books. They are technically essential for any Beast Wars collection if our aim is to cover all Beast Wars characters. Also, these came in probably the coolest Happy Meal Box of all time.

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

And lest we forget that the toy for kids Under 3, got his own Classics update.

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions


1. Transformers Beast Machines 2000

I simply think these are the best looking Happy Meal toys we ever got for the Transformers brand. A kid in that era could get the entire line up just from these toys, and they would be in better scale and closer in look to the more expensive options on the shelves. Plus there was great light piping. I especially like that Rattrap and blackarachnia. For some fun trivia that Rattrap toy was also used in Little Red Rooster meals at the Australian chain Red Rooster, and came in different colours. Also the Tankor toy was used as reference (among other toys) by Takara for the Generations Tankor we got a few years back.



Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions


Honourable mentions: Commandrons



Unlike the others on this list, these are actual full on retail toys sold at McDonalds. They were not part of the happy meal and had to be purchase seperately. However, they were made by TOMY (the company which also made Omega Supreme back in that era) and had a rather impressive wind up mechanism that worked in both modes. So you could wind them up and let them go in vehicle mode as you could imagine, but they also had a walking mechanism where if you wound them up and mad them stand in their robot mode, they would start walking. These were also avaiable at retail in different packaging under the name Super Alternators. If you want to know more, there is a very comprehensive review here. These were eventually brought into the Transformers Animated unviverse by being mentioned in teh Allspark Almanac II. Plus, Sterling, an Atobot from the IDW comics has his colours based off of Commandron Solardyn.

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions

Also, if anyone is curious, McDonalds did have an actual G1 promotion with toys but they only tested it out in St Louis. The toys were non transforming and in a full range of random colours, as you can see below.

Transformers News: Top 5 McDonalds Transformers Toy Promotions
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Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014926)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on March 16th, 2019 @ 8:23pm CDT
I never ever bought any of these McDonald toys at the restaurants. Either my parents were too poor (or too mean :( ) or I was a teen/adult without any interests in TF at the time.

At least I came across several of them via thrift stores baggies and random lot. Mainly the Beast Wars and Animated ones. Pretty damn nice. And if memory doesn't fail me, I never owned any Commandrons as a child but I did played with them at friend's and I was full jealous of them. I now own all 4 thanks to Ebay and even to this days, I find them super cool and impressive.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014930)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on March 16th, 2019 @ 9:01pm CDT
The only McDonald's one I got as a kid was the (second?) Chicken Nuggets one... even tho I didn't eat them at the time (I do now a lot, don't like their burgers). Impressively, that was back in Holland. Later my wife and I bought a whole bag of those second-hand (along with some old My Little Pony toys), same country. Need to re-check which ones I have.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014932)
Posted by Ironhidensh on March 16th, 2019 @ 9:27pm CDT
The fact that you don't have changeable as the #1 entry..... Well, the level of internet rage I'm feeling is what I suspect liberals feel when they see a picture of Trump!




Disappointed, I am. [-(
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014933)
Posted by Ultra Markus on March 16th, 2019 @ 9:29pm CDT
never liked or cared for the ones from the tv shows as they were a piss poor representation
but the food changers or the commandtrons i wish i had them
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014940)
Posted by Lore Keeper on March 16th, 2019 @ 10:57pm CDT
I'm surprised the Transmetal Beaat Wars toys aren't on here. Whereas the first batch gave us all new characters, the second one gave us new forms of existing characters. Some of them even got official explanations in the Beast Wars Sourcebook.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014941)
Posted by william-james88 on March 16th, 2019 @ 11:18pm CDT
Ironhidensh wrote:The fact that you don't have changeable as the #1 entry..... Well, the level of internet rage I'm feeling is what I suspect liberals feel when they see a picture of Trump!

Disappointed, I am. [-(


I wasnt gonna put the non Transformers brand toys as number 1, simple as that. Because if I would, then even the commandrons would beat the changeables (and beast machines would beat them too, in my opinion).

Lore Keeper wrote:I'm surprised the Transmetal Beaat Wars toys aren't on here. Whereas the first batch gave us all new characters, the second one gave us new forms of existing characters. Some of them even got official explanations in the Beast Wars Sourcebook.

I just didnt find the toys as interesting or varried than the others on this list.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014944)
Posted by Nathaniel Prime on March 16th, 2019 @ 11:38pm CDT
I own most of the Animated ones, bar Bumblebee, but I gotta say, I like them the most, even though I have none of the others (that transform at least). Optimus Prime is probably my favorite of the bunch, and I enjoy transforming him from time to time.

In any case though, Will, your lists continue to be excellent reads. Keep up the phenomenal work ;)

Although, if I'm being honest, I was expecting a new Top 5 Shockwave toys list, so this was a complete surprise :lol:

A few suggestions for a new list that come to mind are Ranking Wave 1 of WFC Siege, a new Top 10 Optimus Prime toys when you consider Siege, SS38, etc..., and a Top 10 Megatron toys when you consider MP36, Siege, TLK Voyager, etc...

(If you were to rank Siege, would you rank the Micromasters separately or as a group?)
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014948)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on March 17th, 2019 @ 12:39am CDT
I'd say the most notable toy in the Beast Machines lot is Nightscream, in that he's actually superior to the mainline toy: not only does he scale better, but the bot mode is actually more show-accurate, with the wings on his feet! Alas, to enable that groundbreaking swing-set mode, the store-toy had to put the wings on his shoulders and make him 10 times larger than Silverbolt.

And while the Transmetals were indeed less interesting than the first BW Happy Meal team, does the later explanation of the Dinobot as being a prototype for his TM2 clone sort of make it the only toy representation of the Cyberraptors in Cutting Edge? A lousy representation, but still pretty noteworthy. (The only BW Happy Meal toy I own, BTW)

And was the appearance of Grizzly-1 on one of the boxes ultimately the only reason he became his own character distinct from Polar Claw? I kind of regret not getting that sweet cardboard more than the actual toys, especially considering they're a rather large percentage of the minuscule Beast Wars print media produced concurrent with the toyline.

Someday I'll find them. And that Wendy's GoBot placemat--erm, tray-paper-comic?

As usual, an awesome list!
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014956)
Posted by Black Hat on March 17th, 2019 @ 7:35am CDT
Interesting list! Those Changeables kinda give me proto-Botbot vibes.

I never went to McDonalds as a kid (I've never been a big fast food fan) but it was interesting to see these documented.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014958)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on March 17th, 2019 @ 8:28am CDT
Holy balls I had forgotten just how bad those Armada happy meal toys were.

On the other hand, I had forgotten just how good the Beast Machines ones were. The following is a tru story;

My cousin and I were about 8-9 years old when Beast Machines was out, and when we got the happy meal figures we remarked how show-accurate they were.

Ah, the more things change...
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014967)
Posted by Cobotron on March 17th, 2019 @ 11:47am CDT
Fun list! Such a neat and niche little corner of the collectordom.

I still have all those Changables from my childhood. I often like to have a Titan snack on them. :lol:
I have a couple of the Beast Wars guys. Can't even remember how I got them. I don't think it was from ordering Happy Meals.

Also thanks to our very own WillyJim here, I proudly own and display a full set of those Commandrons in my G1 display. I think they were the shwag left from his many thrift shop treasure finds. They are silly fun, and just dripping with low-fi 80's robot toyness. Thanks Will!

I don't remember those actual G1 tie-ins. Those would be fun to have. Were they actual TF characters or just Randotrons?

Edit: A closer look shows they are. Bee, Cliff, Brawn, and Gears?
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014982)
Posted by william-james88 on March 17th, 2019 @ 2:59pm CDT
Nathaniel Prime wrote:I own most of the Animated ones, bar Bumblebee, but I gotta say, I like them the most, even though I have none of the others (that transform at least). Optimus Prime is probably my favorite of the bunch, and I enjoy transforming him from time to time.

In any case though, Will, your lists continue to be excellent reads. Keep up the phenomenal work ;)

Although, if I'm being honest, I was expecting a new Top 5 Shockwave toys list, so this was a complete surprise :lol:

A few suggestions for a new list that come to mind are Ranking Wave 1 of WFC Siege, a new Top 10 Optimus Prime toys when you consider Siege, SS38, etc..., and a Top 10 Megatron toys when you consider MP36, Siege, TLK Voyager, etc...

(If you were to rank Siege, would you rank the Micromasters separately or as a group?)


Thanks for the very kind words. As Cobo said, this is very niche, but I think its just as important since many of us did get to experience Transformers through these promotions, so I really wanted to give this its full attention. For those who didnt see the G1 toys (which are indeed 4 G1 bots in robot mode), thats because the G1 promotion was only done in St Louis as a test and never reached the wider US.

So back to you Nathaniel, Shockwave will come in 1.5 month's time since I want to have some different lists for the next month. As for the new suggestions:
- for Siege I will simply do a top 5 Siege toys when the line is done ( I realize i have yet to do that for TR or POTP)
- I will be doing both a top 5 G1 Primes and a top 5 movie Primes so that will take care of those eventually
- I will also be doing a top 5 G1 Megatron toys and a list for top 5 movie megs was already done: https://www.seibertron.com/transformers ... oys/42391/

Sadly the author did not tink the TLK voyager was a top 5 contender but that was their opinion and I respect it.
-
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014988)
Posted by Emerje on March 17th, 2019 @ 3:38pm CDT
Great list. ;)^ Personally I would have swapped Beast Wars and Beast Machines as I feel the BW figures are better made and better looking giving us new characters rather than attempting to recreate existing characters as simply as possible.

Emerje
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2014989)
Posted by SGMLordMirage on March 17th, 2019 @ 3:44pm CDT
From the ones that where only offered in St. Louis, I actually have two (from the upper right hand side). When I bought a lot of G1 guys several years ago, they where included. I didn’t realize what they where until i did some research,
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2015035)
Posted by GeekyGamer Gal on March 18th, 2019 @ 7:53am CDT
william-james88 wrote:
Also, if anyone is curious, McDonalds did have an actual G1 promotion with toys but they only tested it out in St Louis. The toys were non transforming and in a full range of random colours, as you can see below.

Image


Just finished (read gave up) looking for some of these guys in the chaos that is moving, only to find out that while my older brother did have three to four of them that he is ninety-ish percent certain to have thrown them away before I came along. :BANG_HEAD:

May they rest in piece like some of the G1 parts and accessories that were thrown away back then. :BANG_HEAD: :BANG_HEAD:
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2015091)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 18th, 2019 @ 5:52pm CDT
I own 4 Happy Meal toys between 3 molds: Cybertron Prime, Cybertron Red Alert, and Animated Megatron. The Red Alerts and Megatron fought each other in my pool at my parents house a lot, they were so fun and able to go swimming! I love all 3, and they still are displayed amongst my figures
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2015102)
Posted by william-james88 on March 18th, 2019 @ 6:30pm CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I own 4 Happy Meal toys between 3 molds: Cybertron Prime, Cybertron Red Alert, and Animated Megatron. The Red Alerts and Megatron fought each other in my pool at my parents house a lot, they were so fun and able to go swimming! I love all 3, and they still are displayed amongst my figures

Just curious, what do you mean by cybetron prime?
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2015103)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 18th, 2019 @ 6:38pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I own 4 Happy Meal toys between 3 molds: Cybertron Prime, Cybertron Red Alert, and Animated Megatron. The Red Alerts and Megatron fought each other in my pool at my parents house a lot, they were so fun and able to go swimming! I love all 3, and they still are displayed amongst my figures

Just curious, what do you mean by cybetron prime?

This guy
Image
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2015108)
Posted by william-james88 on March 18th, 2019 @ 6:44pm CDT
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I own 4 Happy Meal toys between 3 molds: Cybertron Prime, Cybertron Red Alert, and Animated Megatron. The Red Alerts and Megatron fought each other in my pool at my parents house a lot, they were so fun and able to go swimming! I love all 3, and they still are displayed amongst my figures

Just curious, what do you mean by cybetron prime?

This guy
Image

Ah no wonder I was confused, that didnt come from a happy meal (or McDonald's)
Re: Top 5 Transformers Themed McDonald's Promotions (2015110)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on March 18th, 2019 @ 6:46pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:I own 4 Happy Meal toys between 3 molds: Cybertron Prime, Cybertron Red Alert, and Animated Megatron. The Red Alerts and Megatron fought each other in my pool at my parents house a lot, they were so fun and able to go swimming! I love all 3, and they still are displayed amongst my figures

Just curious, what do you mean by cybetron prime?

This guy
Image

Ah no wonder I was confused, that didnt come from a happy meal (or McDonald's)

Oh? So am I correct in guessing my Red Alerts aren't from there either then

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