Saturday, December 20, 2014

McDonald's Changeable Fry Bot

I was a good kid. I did my homework, I brushed my teeth, and generally did what my parents told me to do and I never stole anything. Well, except for that one time, back in 1989..

Back in '89, McDonald's released a series of Happy Meal Toys called Changeables. Sometimes referred to as McRobots, they were a series of toys shaped like McD's foods that would change into small robots. I had a handful of these guys, and they were among my all-time favorite toys. That's right, even though I owned dozens of G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe figures, some cheap Happy Meal toys ranked around the top of the list. I was obsessed with the little guys, but there was one in particular that I really had my heart set on, Fry Bot. I kept going back to McDonald's, hoping that it would be my week, and then they were gone. McD's had moved on to the next toy. I considered it fate then, when I discovered Fry Bot at my neighbor's house.

He was mixed in with a bunch of other toys that my neighbor rarely played with. His main interests were Nintendo, baseball, and dodgeball, so his action figures were mostly neglected. I tried to convince him to trade Fry Bot to me, but he was having none of it. I think he could sense that I loved the little guy, which made him want it even more. I decided the only way I was going to get my hands on him was the old fashioned way; I was going to steal it. I spent months planning the caper, carefully plotting how it was going to go down. Finally, the opportunity presented itself, and I was the happy owner of someone else's Fry Bot. It's the first and only time I've ever stolen something from somebody. I felt slightly guilty afterwards, but in the end, I felt like I did the right thing.  Now I wish I could have liberated all of his Ghostbusters in the process.

The Changeables were really simple toys, and Fry Bot is no different. They were less complicated than even the smallest Transformsers, but what can you expect for a toy that probably cost just over a dollar? To change Fry Bot from food to robot, you just pull down his legs, then flip up his head...

And voila! He doesn't have any arms, but I think that's one of the reasons I like him so much. He reminds me of a fast food version of R2-D2. For a while, I was paranoid my neighbor would discover that I took his toy, and I made sure to hide it every time he came over. I eventually got over it though, and Fry Bot became a frequent companion on trips to the store or the doctor's office. I don't think the neighbor ever figured out what happened to him, and if he did, he didn't care enough to ask me about it. I guess it just goes to show that Fry Bot ended up in a better home after all.

Fry Bot was the only Changeable that had a moveable mouth, and it actually allows for quite a bit of expression. For example, here he could either be concerned or happy about whatever is in front of him. He even looks a little lost...

Here he looks like he just crapped his box at the sight of the Abominable Snowbeast. I can't blame him, I bet even Snowbeast likes an order of McDonald's fries.

I actually got the same look on my face when I saw that Chelsea bought a box of Christmas Crunch for me.  If you look at him just right, Fry Bot's fries look like little hands raised in the air in excitement. I can almost see him doing a happy dance.

I want to thank Brian over at Cool and Collected for this particular Fry Bot. I bought one of his Mystery Boxes, and packed among the treasures inside was this particular figure. I actually cried out in joy when I found him. If I didn't know better, I would say it's the same one from my childhood. Either way, I'm happy to have my little buddy back again.

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