Over the years, fast food chains have done everything they possibly can to lure in families. And, when value meals and super-sized combos just aren’t enough, they’ve resorted to petty bribery by offering “must have” toys and fantastic promos you’d have to be a fool to miss out on. So, as a tribute to the great toys and tie-in products they’ve offered, we’re counting down our top 8 favorite fast food extras.
8) Taco Bell Chihuahuas (1999)
Probably one of the most annoyingly memorable fast food icons of the past 10 years, the Taco Bell Chihuahua weaseled its way into American pop culture. The vaguely racist dog popped up on t-shirts, mugs, and was available as a plush toy to anyone who visited Taco Bell and just had to have one of their very own. More memorable for its place in history than for the awesomeness of the toy, the chihuahuas still hold up as one of Taco Bell’s most significant cultural contributions.
7) Wendy’s Alf Tales (1990)
There’s not much that could be more wonderful than seeing classic heroes and literary characters as portrayed by Alf. Little Red Riding Hood, check. Sir Lancelot, check. There’s even an Alf as Romeo classic in which he’s leaning in to kiss Juliet. Or eat a cat. It’s actually really hard to tell.
6) McDonald’s Dream Team Cups (1992)
The original Dream Team was possibly the biggest story of the 1992 Olympic games. For the first time, the US was sending the most elite NBA players, and the team was comprised of a who’s who of all-stars including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. And, anyone who wanted to share a piece of America’s dominance over the rest of the world could head down to McDonald’s and grab a collectible plastic cup featuring one of the Dream Team’s players. To this day, there’s no better way to commemorate the 116 to 48 victory over Angola than by drinking a soda from a cup with Charles Barkley’s likeness on it.
5) Hardee’s California Raisins (1987)
The gimmicky and befuddlingly strange California Raisin troupe had a strong run, with 4 albums, several TV specials, and even scoring a promotional deal with Hardee’s, in which the chain offered toys corresponding with each of the raisins. Let’s just say we heard it through the grapevine that these toys were some of the best Hardee’s ever offered. Get it, grapevine? Ayyy-oooo!!!
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