I’m a pretty big LEGO collector, but I generally prefer officially Licensed LEGO products only. As an avid McDonald’s collector as well, I guess I had to put my feelings aside when I saw that Australia was releasing a McHappy Day promotional set of LEGO-like bricks called Macca’s Makers in late 2023. The proceeds of this set went to Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia and it cost $36.95.
I live in Australia, so to me, this was great news as we rarely get anything interesting or exclusive, like the current Kerwin Frost McNugget Buddies or the previous Cactus Plant Flea Market Toys in the US. China has also recently had a McNugget Tetris handheld.
I definitely had my reservations about even opening and playing with this set, but last night I opened it and built it and I’ve got to say, it’s better than I had inititially thought, at least in some ways. So let me explain my early thoughts.
Macca’s Makers – Initial Thoughts
I really like the 3D McDonald’s Macca’s sign. This was a big drawcard for if I want to add some of this into my LEGO Jurassic World layout, but I’ve been pretty strict about keeping to as many official LEGO pieces as possible in there so I’m still undecided on that.
The thing that disappointed me initially was the low piece count (56 pieces), with many parts that would have been multiple smaller parts in LEGO, which are large pre-built segments. Eg. The playground is actually only about 5 pieces in total and the coffee machine is mounted to the bench.
I wasn’t very keen on the two included figures at first either, they are much taller than a regular LEGO Minifigure and do not fit into the slide tube, cannot sit down at the seats and no customers were included.
Macca’s Makers – Reactions When Building
As I built this, I was surprised at the instructions. They did not seem as good as official LEGO sets. I suppose it has been many years since I’ve done an official LEGO set that used a baseplate. They really stopped using those in most sets. So counting the studs from each direction to find the right spot seemed strange to me.
How pre-fabricated some of the pieces were was quite surprising. Even the brown wall pieces at the top are big slabs instead of lots of tiny 2×1 bricks. This isn’t the most terrible thing if you want to build this set, but it definitely limits how much you could customise your build into something unique.
The sign above the counter was very hard to place, it involved some strange angles for the sign and the solar panels. This part seems poorly designed and falls off easily, but the rest of the set is quite robust.
The windows were surprisingly complicated. These were wholly clear panels that had stickers added to both the front and the back to represent the walls around the clear parts. This was a bit tricky to line up properly and I ended up with some not-quite-100% straight placements, plus a few creases too.
Overall, the use of stickers is pretty bad. I chose not to add the McHappy Day Helping Hand stickers on the windows so that our set will look more like a regular McDonald’s and not one during McHappy Week.
The one sticker element that I did really like was that it gives you a regular “McDonald’s” sticker to go over the original printed “Macca’s” one on the main sign post. We used this sticker for our set.
Reactions When My Son Played With It
I’ve got to say, seeing my nearly 3-year-old son find this and absolutely go to town on this when he woke up the next day really made me happy. When watching him play with this, I found that most of my negatives, such as the low piece count, glued-together parts and larger figurines all turned into positives.
Everything in this set is at a size that is much more child-friendly than what you’d expect in an official LEGO representation of a McDonald’s store. There are not any tiny pieces that kids could swallow, including the figurines which are completely solid figures who don’t move at all.
The pre-built sections also meant that it was easier to fix whenever he knocked parts over, such as the big red M logo signs, which seemed to fall off frequently when he is playing or moving the set around.
Here you can see one of the figurines, holding a takeaway bag. Plus, this whole side wall of the building is missing, which seems like a lazy design.
My son enjoyed bringing his Hot Wheels cars and Bingo from Bluey on a bike through the drive-through.
Here are the 3 steps of the drive-through. This added a lot of extra play value than I would have expected.
This set was definitely better and more child-friendly than I expected. The sticker usage is not ideal, but can be overlooked so long as you do a good job of it and don’t let your kids try it. I definitely recommend this set to international McDonald’s Collectors and local Aussies with kids alike.