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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop At McDonald's

In 1995, visitors to McDonald's could get a Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop Happy Meal.

This was much more popular than the Jim Henson's Muppet Sweatshop Happy Meal offered in 1994.

For the Muppet Workshop Happy Meal, kids (or more likely, parents) are put to work to create their toys.

Even the box itself can be turned into a puppet.  In this case, it is a Muppet Dog.

Kermit is always Green, so it is fitting that even the bottom of the box has a use!  That's where you'll find the ears for your dog puppet.

The puppets for the Muppet Workshop Happy Meal consist of hard plastic pieces.  Check out the Kermit the Frog on the Bird's red hat!

The bodies of these puppets are hollow, so feel free to feed your puppet French Fries just like those cute little birds you see eating fries outside your local McDonald's.

Once the head piece is snapped in place, you can add the provided accessories to your hard plastic puppet.

Well, don't you know about the bird?  Everybody knows that the bird is the word!

Is this the Muppet version of Snoopy and Woodstock?

Or perhaps this is Rowlf's niece, Hairy Potter.

It is easy to make your Muppet Dog speak.  Just push the lever at the back of its head.

Your Muppet Dog will be happy if you give it a McDonald's Hamburger patty.

Watch out for the Muppet Monster!

All the puppet pieces in this set are interchangeable, so you can come up with some very colorful characters.

The Muppet Workshop Happy Meal found a very clever way to make mass-marketed, creative fast food toy puppets.

Feed your Muppet Monster some tasty McDonald's Cookies!

A fourth toy (a yellow "What-Not" Muppet) was available, but I was not able to get that one.

The Muppet Workshop McDonald's toys came with coupons for Muppet Workshop Craft toys and kits.  And Cheerios, because I guess the Muppets like to eat Cheerios.

Each McDonald's puppet features an emblem of Kermit on the lever used to operate the Muppet's mouth.

Time to get to work and create some new Muppets!

I'm not sure how popular the Muppet Workshop toys were, but I don't think the brand lasted very long.  Then again, the Muppets have changed hands (as in ownership) a few times since 1995.

Disney and FAO Schwarz opened up the Muppet Whatnot Workshop (here's a link to a story I did about it in 2010), where puppeteers can create their own custom-built Muppets.  You can even order them online.  These days, it looks like there are fewer parts and costumes to choose from, but the puppets are less expensive to create now.


  1. Wow! I don't remember seeing these. At the time I was well past the Happy Meal age range, but I certainly would have sucked it up for these had I known about them.

  2. Eric, I was past the target age at the time. I've had these "Mint in Package" since I got them, and opened them up just for this story. It was lots of fun mixing up the pieces to create new creatures. There were three more Happy Meal boxes (a Bird, a Monster, and a What-Not) but I only have the Dog one.