As a kid, I remember my father used to come home wirh giant boxes of random things to sell at the local flea market. Some of these things were from garages he would help clean, stuff he would find on the curb, even the occasional dumpster dive.
Amongst my dad’s treasure hunts, he would find really old board games, presidential pins, toys from his childhood, and even an opening press kit from Disneyland that somehow got mailed to a local woman that had a map and a list of ticket prices. Our house became a bit of a rotating museum, things would come and go, but the awesome nerdy aspect of nostalgia would still remain.
While my dad’s collection would rotate, my mother’s collection of Happy Meal toys would grow, mostly in boxes in the closet. My mother worked at McDonlads for many years, her collection included some employee exclusive goodies she would keep from her years working there. She had pins, hats, even a presentation board used in training. But her treasures were her toys. Many of them never touching the outside world.
Now mine, in the other hand, decide to live a little differently.
My Happy Meal toys are intermingled into my miscellaneous Nostalgia Shelf, a Hodge podge of 80’s, 90’s, and some 2000’s stuff that just don’t fall into any of my other categories. Some of these are from Wendy’s, others Burger King, but a good chunk of it McDonald’s. I guess you could say it runs in the family.
On this shelf, my Happy Meal toys find comfort in randomness, a Rainbow Brite doll, Cherry Merry Muffin, and a Popple make an appearance, as do a few dinosaurs from The Land Before Time, E.T., Alf, and most recently, a few friends from Power Rangers. It’s like a Saturday morning commercial break threw up on my shelf and claimed homestead.
The annoying neighbor downstairs from the epic clusterfudge of nostalgia just so happens to be one of two overflow shelves for my Disneyana that is non-Vinylmation related.
Why do I call it annoying?
Well, I’m going to need a bigger shelf.
As you can see, I have aquired a ton of Dalmatuons. One of my goals is to complete the 101 Dalmations McDonald’s Happy Meal from 1996. Little did I know upon trying to complete this is that there was another promotion a few years later. Looks like my other Disney minis are outnumbered..
The Dalmations are a throwback to my special ed days, when my teacher Mr. Bittle convinced all of the first grade that year to dress up as the 101 Dalmatians as part of our unit on counting up to 100. For that one day, I felt like I was a normal student since all of us were dressed in our dalmatian best. For one day, I wasn’t the stupid kid. I was just a Dalmatian with a white hoodie and felt spots taped to ne like my notmal ed counterparts. For those who watched my SBSK interview, this is the man who inspired me to chase a crazy dream like moving to Florida to pursue a job at Disney.
In addition to the Dalmation takeover, this shelf is home to figures from the 50’s- 80’s, including an orange Marx Donald Duck. There is also some very vintage plush just chilling alongside current favorites like Baymax and the Stitch doll I got from when I went to visit Billy in May. There is also a Pal Mickey, which was a GPS enabled doll that would let you know where you were in the parks and when the parades and shows would be, and of course what collection wouldn’t be complete without a few Disney Afternoon cereal promotions?
“Let Me Introduce Myshelf” is an ongoing series about the meaning behind my collectibles. You can read the beginning here.