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Pikachu Happy Meals reportedly return to McDonald’s, along with 15 Pokémon TCG cards

The latest batch of fast food critters include recent starters Sprigatito, Fuecoco, Quaxly.

A hand splays out four Pokemon TCG cards found in the newest McDonald's happy meal promotion. On the table is an instruction card, a coin and a plastic spinner.
Image credit: The Pokémon Company/ McDonald's

Prepare to brigade your local Golden Arches because McDonald’s will host another Happy Meal promotion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, according to leaks from enthusiast website Pokébeach.

Happy Meal boxes shaped like Pikachu’s head will slip a four-card booster pack alongside the fast food offerings, each containing three regular cards and one holographic pick from a pool of 15 total Pokémon on 2023’s list of critters.

Pokébeach’s leak says the McDonald’s promotion will hit Germany and Austria on July 27th, followed close behind by the UK on August 23rd. While a US date was not included on the list, the massive collaboration has not missed the states once in its three-year run - expect the craze to return short on the heels of other regions.

How safe is this holographic Charizard inside its protective case?Watch on YouTube

Happy Meal booster packs will apparently mostly comprise Pokémon card reprints from the TCG’s latest core set - Scarlet and Violet. The one exception is the Pikachu card from the recent Paldea Evolved expansion. Six different Pokémon - Sprigatito, Fuecoco, Quaxly, Cetitan, Pikachu, and Klawf - have a chance to crop up with a smart holo treatment that extends into the card’s border. That’s a special effect particular to 2023’s McDonald’s promotion.

Last year’s Match & Battle toy also makes a return, though it’s sporting a redesigned look. The minigame isn’t quite how the Pokémon TCG is played, but it does a serviceable job giving kids a framework for play - and for immediately putting ketchup-stained fingers all over their new cards.

Here’s a list of all the possible Pokémon pulls:

  • Sprigatito
  • Fuecoco
  • Quaxly
  • Cetoddle
  • Cetitan
  • Pikachu
  • Pawmi
  • Kilowattrel
  • Flittle
  • Sandaconda
  • Klawf
  • Blissey
  • Tandemaus
  • Cyclizar
  • Kirlia

In past years, McDonald’s Pokémon promotion has caused a rush of fans - and scalpers, unfortunately - to buy the meals normally meant for children, en masse. 2021 proved especially bad thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic-fueled, all-time popularity of trading card games. Streamers, celebrities and anyone with money to burn suddenly became very interested in speculating on the contents of booster packs, sometimes by the box full. While that frenzy has since waned, expect these yellow cardboard meals to fly out of drive-thru windows with alarming speed.

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.

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