McDonald’s Has a New Adult Happy Meal Featuring ‘McNugget Buddies’ Toys

The classic chicken nugget-shaped toys are back for the first time in over 25 years as part of a collaboration with artist Kerwin Frost.

November 29, 2023

Photo by: Photo courtesy of McDonald's

Photo courtesy of McDonald's

If you grew up during the heyday of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys — we’re talking Halloween Pails, Beanie Babies, and those “Changeables” that transformed from menu items into robots — you understand the urge to collect each and every one of those little plastic trinkets. And while sustainability considerations and other factors have altered the Happy Meal toy landscape, occasionally McDonald’s still releases an ultra-collectible line of toys for kids and adults alike.

Consider McDonald’s latest artist collaboration with Kerwin Frost, a Harlem-based creative director, fashion designer, DJ and “street style icon” who is bringing back the classic McNugget Buddies toys for grown-up McDonald’s fans.

McNugget Buddies were first introduced as Happy Meal toys in 1988 and featured multiple characters with interchangeable plastic costumes. They were last offered in 1996 (though a few Buddies were included in the Happy Meal 40th anniversary toy collection in 2019), so the Kerwin Frost Box marks the first time a totally new McNugget Buddies set has been offered in 27 years.

For this reimagining of the characters, Kerwin Frost and McDonald’s invite us to visit “Frost Way,” described as a place “where everyone is welcome to be exactly who they are.” The new Kerwin Frost Box comes with six new McNugget Buddy characters with mix-and-match clothing and trading cards featuring their personality traits and preferred dipping sauces. It also comes with food, of course — your choice of 10-piece McNuggets or a Big Mac, plus fries and a drink.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of McDonald's

Photo courtesy of McDonald's

Here are the six Kerwin Frost-designed McNugget Buddies available with descriptions provided by McDonald’s:

  • Kerwin Frost – The Mayor of Frost Way is a true champion of the Buddies and encourages them to be themselves. In his free time, catch him adding art to his collection or fixing things around the neighborhood.
  • Don Bernice – The Wise Stylist, an experienced fashion designer who creates all the outfits for the Buddies in Frost Way, while also offering stern advice (that's always nice!). After all, she is “don” – the very best!
  • Uptown Moe – The Neighborhood Hero, the no-nonsense, street-smart, supportive guy from around the block in Frost Way everyone knows and loves. He also gives the best motivational speeches on a whim.
  • Waffutu – The Curious Optimist, who grew up in Frost Way and was raised by the whole neighborhood. She spreads positivity wherever she goes and can turn any frown upside down with the wave of a wand and tilt of a crown.
  • BRRRICK – The Cool Guy, the most adventurous Buddy in Frost Way who speaks in puns, loves trying new things and techno music. He’s lowkey nervous, but always cool under pressure.
  • Darla – The Dreamer, a soft-spoken yet peacefully confident singer who moved to Frost Way to pursue her dream of becoming a superstar as the lead singer of “The Frostettos.” When she’s not on stage, she’s running the local McDonald’s in Frost Way – where she’s employee of the month every month!

“I’ve loved McDonald’s since I was a kid. I even had my own Ronald McDonald doll that I brought to picture day at school, and it was my dream to collect all the McNugget Buddies,” Kerwin Frost says in the official announcement. “Now, coming up with my own special set of Buddies — each one representing different aspects of self-expression — it’s unreal, a dream come true. McDonald’s has been a great partner from day one, and they’ve truly allowed me to create without limits. I hope the Kerwin Frost Box will serve as a reminder for people to hone their creativity and not be afraid to show the world who they really are.”

The Kerwin Frost Box of McNugget Buddies will be available at participating McDonald’s locations for beginning December 11 and while supplies last. Prices will vary at individual locations, but a portion of the proceeds will also benefit Harlem Arts Alliance, a “New York-based nonprofit organization that plays an essential role in the lives of emerging and established artists.”

Frost also plans a drop of McDonald’s x Kerwin Frost merchandise featuring the McNugget Buddy collection and also including Fry Guy clogs (which the Kerwin Frost Buddy is also wearing). Those items will be available at on December 11 as well.

In 2022, McDonald’s offered what people quickly dubbed its first “Adult Happy Meal” when it collaborated with fashion streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market on a capsule collection of clothing items and figurines. The limited-edition toys ended up selling on eBay for as much as tens of thousands of dollars. (In fact, the new Waffutu McNugget Buddy is even carrying a Cactus Plant Flea Market toy as a nod to the previous offering.) Will these revamped McNugget Buddies warrant the same fervor? Only time, and market demand from hip adults with disposable income, will tell.

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