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Monthly Archives: December 2007

presents from Christmases past

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It’s funny to me when I think about how things change as far as what we get for Christmas each year.

I remember one year in particular, I can’t recall how old I was, but all I wanted was the McDonald’s Happy Meal Magic fry maker and cookie maker. It was part of this whole set of toys that was said to recreate actual McDonald’s food (!).

Lo and behold, my wonderful parents (or was it Santa?) bought me both for Christmas that year. My cousin, Nathan, also received part of the set, and we could wait to set up our own makeshift McDonald’s in my parents’ kitchen.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

I don’t know what I was honestly expecting, but imagine my childish surprise upon discovering that the “french-fry maker” didn’t make french fries at all. (Maybe I thought that they would package a child’s toy that allowed children 6 & up to dip potato strips into hot grease. I don’t know.)

Instead, the “french-fry maker” consisted of running a piece of crustless white bread through a shredder of sorts. You were then supposed to sprinkle the “fries” with “seasoning,” or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Not like fries at all.
But at least they tasted good. Not like the “cookie maker.” Talk about disgusting.

The manufacturers of this item, I believe it was Mattell (I’m praying to God neither contained lead paint), thought they could fool innocent young children by including an exact replica of the McDonald’s cookies box for the user to store their homemade treats in, therefore making it look more like the real thing.

It sure as hell didn’t taste like the real thing.

The so-called “cookies” were made by grinding up a graham cracker, mixing it with water and I think chocolate chips, and then pressing it into the shape of a beloved Mickey D’s character.

Water, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate chips. Yum.

I think there was also a McNugget maker and hamburger maker (I don’t even want to know how), a milkshake maker (it used milk and instant pudding…wouldn’t that technically be a pudding maker?), and a drink fountain (as simple as it sounds, I believe.) However, after that one Christmas, I became a jaded little third-grader and discontinued my desire for the Happy Meal Magic set. (For those interested, I found a few of the sets up for bid on eBay. Good luck!

Here it is, folks. The McDonald’s Happy Meal Magic cookie maker. In all it’s glory. I love that they have an example of the graham cracker going through the grinder, and then wow! cookies emerge from below.

The McNugget maker. I can at least understand making cookies from crushed-up grahams, but I really don’t know how one might make anything at home that might remotely taste like chicken. This scares me. That albino girl and Asian boy sure don’t look taken aback in the least, though.

Then there’s the hamburger maker. The girl on the box looks so EXCITED! She literally can’t wait to eat that thing that looks eerily like a drop of fecal matter. I kinda wish I would’ve gotten this one for Christmas because now, my interest is piqued.

Front and back view of the shake maker. I wish I would’ve read the print on the front: “Make delicious shakes you can drink that look like McDonald’s shakes!” Maybe then I would not have been so disappointed.
I also like that they include a checklist on the back of the box for the ingredients.

And the drink fountain. The seller for this item on eBay says this about the product: “McDONALD’S HAPPY MEAL MAGIC DRINK FOUNTAIN. MAKE DELICIOUS THIRST-QUENCHING DRINKS THAT LOOK LIKE McDONALD’S DRINKS!”
Wonderful. Not just any drinks, but “thirst-quenching drinks!” And make drinks that “look” like McDonald’s drinks? Why would you want a drink that “looks” like a soda, when you could just pour the soda in? I understand that the novelty is in the fact that it’s a dispenser, but seriously? Probably the lamest of all the Happy Meal Magic toys.