McDonald's Happy Meal: Tomy R-2 Review

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bring me to your leader!

Transformable toys became very popular during the mid 80s with Transformers and GoBot. McDonald's cashed in on the craze by releasing transformable Happy Meal toys such as R-2 to entice kids and parents to eat more hamburgers and fries.

Interestingly, instead of today's trend of releasing very simplistic versions of licensed characters, McDonald's contracted Tomy to develop their own line of toys, of which I only have 1. As most Transformers euthusists know, Takara-Tomy is the company that designs and sells Transformers for the Japanese market. But back in the 80s, Tomy was a separate company building infant and pre-school products so it was a good fit to create a toy for the younger audience of McDonald's Happy Meals. Of course, Tomy's toy paled in comparison to both Bandai's GoBots and Takara's Transformers (Diaclone). But for a free toy, Tomy had created a pretty good toy.

Plane front:

Nice to see a clear canopy instead of painted plastic.

Plane side:

Those huge rubber wheels help pull the toy forward as it has a spring loaded feature. All you need to do is pull the plane backwards and R-2 will dash forward.

Plane rear:

Those 2 white tabs are powered by the spring loaded feature to move up and down so R-2 can walk in robot mode.

Plane top:

The red, white, and blue colors remind me a little of Starscreams runny color scheme.

Plane bottom:

Like most transformable toys of its time, you can see the body of the robot here.

To transform R-2 to its robot form, you stand it on the plane's read, fold down its blue cockpit, fold back the red wings, and wiggle out the red arms from the sides. Finally, rotate out the silver hands from the red arms.

Robot front:

The most intimidating view of R-2. Note the 2 white tabs on the bottom that I mentioned earlier. Those will move R-2 forward if you wind the spring feature in plane mode.

Robot Side:

The folded back red wings look like a cape to me. Nice chromed plastic claws serve as R-2's hands. If only more toys these days can get the chrome treatment *cough cough ROTF Leader Optimus Prime*.

Robot Back:

The top of the plane.

Made by Tomy and labelled R-2:

Most Japanese toys were given a letter and number designation and Tomy is no different with McDonald's toys. The other wing is labelled with L-14.

Tomy's R-2 compared to Bandai's GoBot Leader-1:

R-2 is fatter but, surprisingly, has a more F-15 accurate engine intake position, rear rubber wheels, and tricycle landing gear setup.

The build quality of Tomy's R-2 is really good featuring chrome hands, rubber wheels, and clear canopy. None of the stickers show any wear unlike many of my Transformers. There's not much mimick to Tomy's R-2 with his simple tilt head fold back wings and pull out arms. To its target audience, the R-2 is the right toy and it's hard to beat free. There was never a cartoon for their toy and I couldn't pull up anything on Google about them so I don't think many people care for these toys. Too bad.

Eric Toy Score: 2 out of 5

Publisher: Tomy / McDonald's
Year: 1985
Price: Happy Meal


Hey! I have this as well as the Drill and Spaceship, and the wings on the jet say R-9 and L-8.

Very interesting item. Never seen it. Great job!

Stumbled on this article and I nostalgia'd hard.
I own a very similar toy. Got it from Mc D. in Canada. Mine is labeled R-11 and seems identical to yours except for the little square indentations on the engines. I've had this toy since new and it is holding up great. No scratches, sticker is not coming off, rubber wheels are still pliable and soft. For ree toys these things were top notch !

Wow, blast from the past. Thanks for this!

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