Super Mario Happy Meal Toys

SM_MCI bought a plastic sack of Super Mario toys for eight bucks so now I’m gonna write about that.


I love Super Mario. I’ve spent decades playing through this plump plumber’s adventures. And that’s not just nostalgia speaking. Mario games have a history of being innovative, timeless, and fun. He’s viewed as the Mickey Mouse of video games without becoming a soulless corporate mascot hellbent on absorbing everything you cherish for profit.

Mario simply stands a quiet chubby Italian man who loves jumping on everything. And, deep down, aren’t we all ? Click for a picture of me as Super Mario from 13 years ago. Not from Halloween or anything either. Just living life.

So when you’re at a flea market and come across a ziplock of mysterious Super Mario toys for $10, you offer $8. And when you get that ziplock of Super Mario toys for $8, you go home and you write about it for your sad decrepit website damn it.

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Note: NES, Bowser, and Goomba added for pure A E S T H E T I C S

Research revealed this is a complete set of Super Mario toys featured in McDonald’s Happy Meals back in August of 2018. Retro? Definitely not, but covering the Super Mario Bros 3 Happy Meal toys at this point is beating a dead horse. And I happen to like my horses alive…and thriving…and quietly drinking water midday from a wooded creek. That’s how I like my horses. Anyway the Mario toys…

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I would have easily snuck one of these in my pencil case when I was a kid as a reminder of my freedoms in the outside world.

My favorite Happy Meal toys as a kid were barebones action figures. This is because I’d incorporate them with my non-Happy Meal action figures for what can only be described as Epic Playtime Crossover-Battles™ that predate the Cinematic Universe craze by decades. Yet 2018’s Super Mario toys are games in their own right featuring a pinball game, a maze game, and a Rubix cube-like puzzle game. My favorite being the 8 bit throwback pinball game which can give you seconds of fun.  These are all well made and cool, but unlike the good ‘ol days, I can’t have one of these fight my Robocop. I probably could though honestly.

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Note: Yoshi is supposed to be in a cloud of smoke. But it indeed looks like he is melting into my Nintendo. I like both explanations.

 Ah, now we’re getting action-figurey! Yoshi “dashes” with the help of his little plastic launcher. He comes with two token targets. Luigi is the same gist with better execution. He comes with a little Goomba and Koopa Troopa target. You put that plastic “fireball” in his hand, wind him back, and he hurls it at those nerds. It’s also pretty rare to get a Fireflower version of Luigi. Especially one that looks so salty. You can possibly make your own targets…like Mario himself…to really further the jealously that fuels the sibling rivalry.

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Mario without his hat is like Dracula without his cape. They just become regular dudes.

Don’t worry, there are Mario toys in the Super Mario lot. On the left there’s addictive gambler Mario, where you push his head into a Slot Machine question mark block to test your luck. The Florida Gambling Council actually tried to get this toy recalled  as they stated it’s “marketing gambling to children.” Mind you, This is coming from the same state known for an enormous theme park that promises more money more “magic”. And then there’s “Hat Toss” Mario. He operates like “Salty Flame Luigi” but instead tosses his hat onto a target. Think of it as “Manchild Floor Darts” but it comes with a smashed cheeseburger and french fries. Not too shabby. And you also get another rare figure: Hatless Mario. Which is cool and all, but the hat makes the man.

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Is this the best toy? YES. Did I play this alone? YES. Did I realize how sad it looked from a different perspective? YES.

This one is my favorite: YOSHI BINGO. It’s a legit game of bingo with Mario inspired flippable cards, little punch pieces, and a radical Yoshi “spinner” to play. That spinner makes it. It’s creative and it’s a game that takes more than 30 seconds to play.  It’s a fun gateway to introduce your kids to a game they’ll be taking way too seriously about 70 years down the road. Do you think we’ll have Happy Meals still?


The Good: 

  • Solid variety of features/games
  • Very well made. Better than a lot of the small in-store Mario toys.
  • Video Game Characters are “games” themselves. What a concept!
  • I got these for $1 per toy. Not sure how many gold coins that is.

The Bad: 

  • Not Enough Mario characters (Bowser? Peach? Toad? Donkey Kong?)
  • Rubix Cube Puzzle thing is clearly the least cool toy
  • Yoshi Dasher doesn’t “shoot” very far (He was never a runner though)

In conclusion, for a cheap impulse buy and being a big Mario fan…these were really interesting and fun to examine and play. The toys themselves are studier with better paint applications than what I’ve seen in stores. It’s always fun to see where Happy Meal toys are nowadays. Nothing can replace the ones when I was a kid, but I think it’s fair to say that’s nostalgia talking. These are way cooler and a lot of thought went into their designs. I don’t even know if kids play with physical toys nowadays or if a McDonald’s Happy Meal is something they’d crave, but I’d be begging my grandma to stop at the ‘ol Mickey D’s drive-thru for these guys without a doubt.

“Shut up, Christopher…” She’d say. “You need a toy like you need another hole in the head.”

Ah, childhood.

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A Mighty Morphin’ Autopsy

mmprbanner copyI dissected a 1993 Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger action figure and took pictures of it. That’s it. That’s what this is.

If you’re ready for this nonsense lets move forward…

I purchased a set of original 1993 Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger figures for $15. Now,  understand I did not want the set.  I simply wanted the Green Ranger. But, for whatever reason, the seller wouldn’t separate them. Perhaps he wanted to get rid of this dirty and scuffed figure rainbow plaguing his store in one simple transaction. Yet I’d like to think he believed in the importance of teamwork and to never leave your fellow ranger behind.

Either way, I now have my Green Ranger and thus planted the idea seed for this article. Not too shabby for $3.50 per Power Ranger.

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This is the Red Ranger I was forced to purchase. Upon examining my toys, I came to the conclusion he was the most battle damaged. A lot of paint chips, a broken belt buckle, and creaky limbs etc. No amount of Clorox wipes, soap, hot water, or toothpaste could return him to his Mighty Morphin’ passable self. After inspecting him I exclaimed, “Gee, there’s a lot of screws in this guy…” and that’s how Jason The Red Ranger became the cadaver. I decided to make a long article about it on my dead website. Go Go Power Rangers! 

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“I say we do!” “I say we don’t!”

More context because I’m longwinded: I love dissembling things. I have since I was a child. I do not know why. I enjoy the process of taking my toys apart, examining what made them what they were, and reassembling them. Could this be because of some deep seeded physiological trauma? A coping mechanism perhaps? Remember Dunkaroos? I graduated from simple action figures to game consoles and handhelds when I was in my late teens. And that led to soldering, cleaning, (aesthetically) customizing, and modding. My most recent project was completely refurbishing two Nintendo Game and Watches. If doing something along the lines of this interests you, my advice would to be to start cheap and have your subject be something you don’t mind messing up. Like…a beat-up $3 Power Ranger action figure. Speaking of that (oh yeah) let’s continue…

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The screws that were holding together this Power Ranger for 27 years. Thank you for your service, boys.

It only took me a few minutes to completely disassemble this figure. And, when the deed was done, it still supported itself nicely. I assume the figure was being held together by 27 years of sticky candy coated finger residue and dried up bubble bath.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGERY 

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I grew up with a couple of these Power Ranger figures and I always loved the heft of them. They were 8 inches tall, great articulation, and decent detail. They were action figures in every sense of the word. And I think that’s why nowadays one in the package is rare and one in good condition is pricey. Because these guys were played-the-heck-out of with. Wow, read that previous sentence. It’s terrible. These weren’t little 3 3/4th  inch stormtroopers with swallowable accessories. You could grip these guys around the waist and have them kick the shit out of your little cousin. POWER Rangers, man. Truly.

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Hollow inside. Turns out I have more in common with the Red Ranger than I previously believed.

In conclusion, it was pretty interesting to dissect a piece of your childhood. This figure actually turned out to be a little more intricate than I previously predicted. Reassembly is also pretty simple. And upon further inspecting the parts, this could be a great way to really refurbish these figures to their original glory. That being said, the thing to take away from reading this article is that I now own the Green Ranger action figure I truly wanted. And, deep down, isn’t that what we all wanted? That’s rhetorical by the way.

Thank you for reading about me literally taking apart a 27 year old action figure. Most of what I write is pointless, but I honestly believe this might just be the most pointless thing I’ve ever written.

I love it.  

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Rest In Power.

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Ninja Turtles Electronic Pinball

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Click to read my review of an itsy bitsy Ninja Turtles pinball machine! Also imagine a grown man posing his Michelangelo action figure several ways for the pictures in this article. It’s not sad at all. Coin-a-bunga, dudes!

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