For some time now we've been collecting McDonald's Happy Meal toys. We try not to get too many and all of that, but they seem to have this certain quality to them lately where some sets in the past few years have been can't miss. From the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming with skateboards to Minions (before they really had the merchandising they have now) to "Home" and, of course, one of my personal favorites still to this very day: "Adventure Time". Oh, how excellent it was to get a Happy Meal with BMO inside. Of course you can always go to McDonald's and buy the toys without the food *but* luckily for us my wife works with someone who also works as a manager at a McDonald's and as such we've been getting the toys since "Peanuts" (another excellent set) from her.
In some ways Happy Meals are like blind bags but that's even more true with this new Pokemon set. There are a total of eight toys to collect but what McDonald's (or whoever is in charge of this sort of thing did) was put out a total of twelve cards, one with each toy but not always the same card with the same toy. So, for example, to make it easy, there is a Pikachu toy in this series but the card included with the toy might not be a Pikachu card (I'm not sure if there even is a Pikachu card). So, typically, we end up getting duplicates anyway and last month with "Peanuts" Quentin wanted to give the duplicates to his cousin so he did. This month though, getting a duplicate toy isn't a big deal because we still then have the chance to get a new card. And, of course, based upon the packaging and all, you have no way of knowing what the card is before opening it the same way you can see the toy.
This has made it somewhat more fun in that sense to collect these toys because of the uncertainty of the trading cards and trying to go for all twelve. I can tell you that as I type this we have a total of eight toys (six of them different) and only six different cards, so duplicate cards can also become an issue. Though when I can I am going to try and stop by a McDonald's at random just to buy a few toys and try to get the cards we need. I'm not sure if McDonald's has done something like this with the Happy Meals before or if they will again, but when you know someone who can get you the whole set of toys it takes out some of the surprise when you're getting Happy Meals because you don't need the toys as much (Though in the TMNT and Adventure Time days it might have saved me a lot of stress)
I do see a lot of Happy Meal toys in grab bags at Savers, even within the month that they are still in the current Happy Meals. That won't help us to collect all twelve cards though. On the other side of the Pokemon toys this month though is Build-A-Bear Work Shop toys because apparently girls can't like Pokemon and boys can't have teddy bears (I've seen plenty of animals at Build-A-Bear which cater to boys so I wonder why they signed up to be the "girls toy") The next Happy Meal will feature Rabbids and Shopkins, neither of which I really care about enough to get the whole set of them or even take the time to write about them. I kind of wanted to start writing about the Happy Meal toys every month with the back to back months of "Peanuts" and Pokemon and some other quality sets this year. But, alas, I will just take it as it comes and write about (and take pictures of) the ones that we like most. This is just such a part of our daily (toy) life though I had to take the time out to show you all the photos and what not at least.