• Editorial - How To Buy McDonalds Ponies

    The pony craze has been going on for almost four solid years now, and three of those have brought in waves of a toyline via McDonalds.  They are super cheap, and some of them are actually really well done.  If you are looking to collect a set of something and don't want to plunk down the 15 bucks a pop for Funko molded figures, McDonalds isn't a bad alternative.

    Way back in the early days when they first popped up and EQD was barely a thing, it was almost a right of passage to hit up the nearest McDonalds and ask for the dreaded "GIRLS HAPPY MEAL". Covered in pink and filled with social stigmas that made even the manliest of pony fans shake in their boots, some didn't want to be caught dead buying one.  Others sucked it up and didn't drop excuses, flexing their power levels for all the world to see.

    Over time, pony became more main stream and the stigma less serious.  Based on comments I have seen both here and on the Facebook Page, it sounds like some of you still struggle with it.  And on a more baseline level, some just don't know how to collect them in general!  Time to clear that up!

    Below the break, have a super serious buyers guide for McDonalds pony toys, with guest star THUNDERLANE.  

    First off, the dreaded SOCIAL STIGMA

    "But Sethisto! What if those nasty McDonalds workers judge me?!" - Thunderlane

    Oh Thunderlane, you're so silly.  McDonalds workers don't care about some 15-30something walking in to buy cartoon horses.  If anything it will be a refreshing experience to see someone from their generation.  Do you know how many screaming kids they have to deal with every day when bronies came in and wiped out their stock of Lunas an hour earlier? A calm, collected individual such as you is a glorious light in a sea of darkness (or brown in the case of the ball pit at some restaurants, yuck)

    "But what if they bring it up? What if they want to know why I'm buying toys from the girl side of the happy meal menu?"- Thunderlane

    You have two choices here Thunderlane, both depending on your level of social confidence.

    If you a get nervous at the very idea of buying these toys, your best bet is to run with the old "My sister, niece, younger brother, or dog collects these and I'm checking stock for her/his birthday".  Chances are, they probably dealt with 100 other adults throughout the week asking for pony toys and dropping similar excuses. At this point it goes in one ear and out the other. 

    On the other hoof, if you are confident in your "HERE IS WHY IM WATCHING THIS SHOW" spiel by now, have a bit of fun and explain it! They might even cut you a deal if they are in the manager level and you provide some entertainment.  If you have ever worked a 9-5 anywhere, you take whatever you can get to break up the monotony.

    Common talking points include: 
    • "Did you like [insert Pixar/Dreamworks movie]? Pony has something for all ages just like that!"
    • "I watched Looney Tunes as a kid, and they have the same gags. It's a nostalgia thing! 
    • "You may be thinking of that 80's cartoon.  This isn't that 80's cartoon.  We have nuclear explosions on our show."
    • Or just flash some badass fan art. I bet most of you have some kind of device with a screen at this point.

    What not to say: 
    • "This cartoon that you probably think is for little girls has taught me so much about life!" 
    • "I have a crush on Fluttershy, do you have Fluttershy?" - (Crush on Twilight is fine)

    Some extra general tips: 
    • Take your sunglasses off.  Seriously don't wear those indoors.  
    • Don't brush your ponies at a table, wait until you get to the car.
    • Don't force them to watch an episode on your smart phone.  McDonalds employees are super busy, and they already miss my burger patty with the cheese square and bun 90% of the time during creation. Don't make that 100%.
    • Only gangsters wear a fedora to McDonalds.  You don't want to be arrested do you? Save it for pony cons. Gangsters are welcome there.


    "Alright, you convinced me! Fedora stored away, sunglasses off, backup excuse ready.  TIME FOR PONY" - THUNDERLANE

    Not so fast Thunderlane, there is another aspect of this you will need to worry about.  Getting a pony is easy, collecting them all is a pain.  This might require some phone use and traveling.

    One thing I see a ton of, is people on Facebook buying 12 happy meals and getting 12 Pinkie Pies.  Please stop doing this.  Go in and ask for specifics based on color.  "Do you have the white one with sunglasses?", or "Do you have the purple one with a moon on her butt?".  These key phrases will either A: lead to "we don't have that one right now" or B: "We do! We also have x.x.x.x and x.". If you do this through the drive through, expect a Pinkie Pie.  Usually they don't have time for your pickyness in the drivethrough, and they always have Pinkie Pie. 

    Pricewise, every McDonalds is different.  So far this year, the ones in my area are perfectly fine with me not buying a Happy Meal at all and just grabbing the toys for $1.50-2.00 a pop.  Some will only let you buy extra toys with the purchase of a happy meal, and others have full on sets of toys called "Customer Satisfaction Boxes" that include all the ponies.  This is something that seems much more common this year than last.  All of this requires a vocal request, so see section above for overcoming the hurdles on that. I have faith in you!

    And finally, stock.  You may notice Luna and Vinyl Scratch being out pretty much everywhere. These two are new to the series (sans the new Rainbow Power manes).  This requires the hunt. Think of these two ponies as Big Foot and The Lochness Monster and get the detective work going.  Luckily there is a McDonalds pretty much every 20 feet, so hopefully at least one of them has them. Be sure you are clear on what character you want when asking, as some McDonalds employees really hating digging in the toy bin for whatever reason.

    That about covers it! Feel free to share your experiences below in the comments! So far I've picked up Luna and Scratch, the only two I'm really hunting for this year. 

    And if none of this works for you, you can always hit Ebay up. People are selling these toys like crazy!

    Update: You can also use reference numbers to pick out specific ones:

    1. Princess Twilight Sparkle
    2. Pinkie Pie
    3. Fluttershy
    4. Princess Celestia
    5. Princess Luna
    6. Rarity
    7. Vinyl Scratch
    8. Rainbow Dash

    Thanks to Sunset for those!