The fries were delicious. The bubbles on the drink lid were fun to push down. But in the end, McDonald's Happy Meals were all about the toys.
Most weeks, the toys were kind of disappointing — nothing more than little plastic action figures that occasionally made an appearance at your Barbie dream house, but mostly stayed in the junk drawer.
Then magically, the ads showed real toys that lit up and changed color and made noise, and you quickly convinced your parents you were in desperate need of chicken nuggets.
1. McDonald's Transformers
They're just some boring plastic fast food ... or are they?
2. Handheld Games
To kids without a GameBoy, this was fate's way of circumventing a no-video-games rule. For lucky kids with handheld systems, it was a game that could be left at the bottom of a backpack, because if it got crushed, it got crushed.
3. Little Mermaid Bath Toys
Just when you were standing on the edge of being too old for bath toys, Happy Meals let you stay a little longer.
4. The Dog
Something about the giant head and tiny body made it superior to all other tiny plushes.
5. Trick-Or-Treat Buckets
Because all the cool kids on the block had the McDonald's buckets.
6. McNugget Buddies
The best toys are always versatile.
7. Masterpiece Disney VHS
You were forced to eat dozens of single cheeseburgers until you got your favorite Disney movie in miniature.
8. Mini Barbies
Including stiff but elaborately dressed party Barbies, as well as the kimono- and clog-wearing international Barbies.
9. Tiny Sky Dancers
Enough power to fly through the air, but not enough heft to maim your little sister.
10. Teenie Beanies
These pint-sized Beanie Babies were twice as adorable, and made adult collectors twice as crazy.
12. My Little Ponies
A simpler time, before the bronies got a hold of them.
11. Little Furbies
They lacked the creepy voice, but kept the unnerving eyes.
13. Inspector Gadget
There were just so many buttons to push and things to yank.
14. Nicekelodeon Clapper
Otherwise known as your parents' least-favorite toy.
15. Polly Pocket Compact
Yes, Polly couldn't do much besides admire her Christmas tree, but you could fit the entire scene in your pocket.
This article first appeared on mashable.com.