McDonald’s adult Happy Meal brings back the wrong kind of ‘nostalgia’ | Catch My Job


As a 28-year-old man, I am objectively too old to be ordering a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.

But when I learned last week that the fast food giant was running a limited-time promotion to bring an adult-oriented Happy Meal to its restaurants, I was intrigued.

The Happy Meal and I go way back. I still remember the excitement of having my 5th birthday party at the now defunct McDonald’s PlayPlace on West 92nd Street, taking advantage of my status as the birthday boy to get all the toys from release 1999 film “Inspector Gadget”. Needless to say, if there’s a target audience for an adult version of the combo, it’s me.

According to McDonald’s marketing materials, this new meal – dubbed the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box after its collaboration with the clothing brand – is designed to bring back “one of McDonald’s most nostalgic experiences.” It comes with either a 10-piece Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets, as well as chips, soda and a collectible toy.

But after trying it on, I mostly felt ripped off.

A Cactus Plant Flea Market big box cost $12.89 before tax at my nearest McDonalds location in New York City. That’s $2.60 more than the $10.29 I’d pay for the Big Mac, which contains exactly the same amount of food.

The only differences that justify the $2.60 increase—almost enough money to add an extra McDouble to my order—are the plastic toy and the cardboard box the order comes in.

Is the toy worth the upcharge? In my opinion, no. Opening the plastic bag containing my toy was easily the most nostalgic part of the whole experience, although I suspect not in the way McDonald’s intended.

The only differences that justify the $2.60 increase from a regular Big Mac meal are the plastic toy and the cardboard box the order comes in.

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