Pokemon TCG Happy Meals are Back at McDonald's

A new McDonald’s promotion features Pokemon Scarlet and Violet cards.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game has become something of a staple of the McDonald’s Happy Meal, and a new promotion has started at participating locations. Each Happy Meal comes with a little box that contains stickers, a cardboard coin, and most importantly, a pack of four Pokemon TCG cards. The cards are variations of those offered in the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet set, with a unique logo and numbering found at the bottom of each card. There are 15 cards to collect, including favorites like Pikachu, Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. Each pack contains a special holofoil.

An image of the Happy Meal box can be found in the Tweet from McDonald’s embedded below.

Pokemon Match Battle

This year’s Pokemon Happy Meals continue the «Match Battle» theme that was part of last year’s promotion. Match Battle is a simplified version of the TCG that can be enjoyed by younger players. Rather than battling, players compete to see who has the highest or lowest HP, Weight, Pokedex Number, Height, or Card Number. The biggest difference between this year’s promotion and the one held in 2022 is that the Happy Meals no longer contain plastic spinners. Those spinners were previously used to determine which category players would compete in for Match Battles, while a coin flip would decide if the highest or lowest number wins. In the 2023 promotion, those categories are now found on the coin included in the box, and the category is now decided by the corner closest to the player that flipped the coin.

Will the Pokemon Happy Meals be Hard to Get?

The 2021 Pokemon Happy Meal promotion at McDonald’s started out in the most disastrous way possible. In the months preceding the promotion, Pokemon cards had seen a massive uptick in popularity thanks to streamers on Twitch and YouTube, and the secondary market for Pokemon cards exploded as a result. Retailers struggled to keep up with demand, and that year’s McDonald’s promotion became a lightning rod for resellers. As reports came in about people buying entire cases of the Happy Meal toys, McDonald’s was forced to put limits in place. Thankfully, things were a lot cooler in 2022, and there didn’t seem to be as many issues surrounding the promotion.

The timing for McDonald’s new promotion couldn’t be better, as it happens to coincide with the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask. The DLC just released on Nintendo Switch last week, giving players new Pokemon to catch and new areas to explore. That might get more people to check out the McDonald’s promotion, but with Twitch streamers having largely moved on from unboxing streams, parents and kids should be able to get these Happy Meals without much hassle.

Do you plan on grabbing some Pokemon cards from McDonald’s? Do you like it when the company does these promotions? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!