In April 1987, McDonald's Test Marketed a Fraggle Rock Happy Meal in the Charleston-Huntington and Bluefield Beckley areas of West Virginia. Limited Test Market and Regional Happy Meal toys were a thing in the late Eighties and early Nineties. I first became aware of this phenomenon reading Tomart's Price Guide to McDonald's Happy Meal Collectibles by Meredith Williams (from 1992).
Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock debuted on HBO in 1983. The McDonald's Happy Meal is actually tied to the 1987 animated series that premiered on NBC in the Fall of 1987. FYI, the animated Fraggle Rock was, like Muppet Babies, produced by Marvel Animation.
The Fraggle Rock Test McDonald's Happy Meal is rather fascinating. There were four toys in the set. Two are familiar to people who know about the Fraggle Rock McDonald's toys that were released nationally in March of 1988.
Gobo Fraggle was the first character released. The carrot car in the Test had wobbling wheels. The wobbling was eliminated on the Gobo and Red cars when the Fraggle Rock Happy Meal went National in 1988. It should be pointed out that the Fraggles did not, to my knowledge, drive vegetable cars.
The Test Fraggle Rock Happy Meal was half Fraggle toys, half Doozers (the mechanically amazing construction guy creatures from the series). Bulldoozer and Friends was the second toy in the set. On the shows, the Doozers appeared to all be identical, until they took off their construction hats, revealing their individual appearances and personalities.
The Doozers are a natural fit for toy vehicles. However, they did not make it to the National McDonald's Happy Meal. Why? Well, I imagine some folks were mighty disappointed that the only Fraggles in the Fraggle Rock Happy Meal were Gobo and Red. You just know that the McDonald's toy designer folks LOVED the Doozers.
There was a special Doozer McDonald's Happy Meal box designed that did not even make it to the Test. A prototype of the Doozer box was made, but never produced in large quantities.
The fact that the Doozers were dropped from the Happy Meal toy line is a crime against Muppets. The Doozers actually freaking walked on the show in 1983. I also love the fact that the comparatively larger Fraggles EAT the Doozer constructions. Brilliant!
Cotterpin Doozer and Friends was Set 4.
Cotterpin was the red-haired, rebellious girl Doozer (performed, like Mokey Fraggle, by Kathryn Mullen).
When the Fraggle Rock McDonald's Happy Meal went National in 1988, Mokey and Wembley (with Boober) replaced the two Doozer toys. Here we can see Cotterpin for a size comparison. I should point out that the toys pictured are NOT mine. I've never even seen the Test toys in person and they are extremely expensive. The Cotterpin toy shown here is actually missing the front piece of the forklift.
Re-watching Fraggle Rock, the Doozers are my favorite part of the show. They are actually inspired by bees and termites. My favorites are Wrench and Turbo from the episode "Doozer Is As Doozer Does."
The Doozers may have had the last laugh. The hard working, hard-hatted little guys got their own computer animated spin-off show called The Doozers in 2013.