INDIANAPOLIS — One of the largest collections of McDonald’s memorabilia and Happy Meal toys is now up for auction in central Indiana. The best part you may ask? Every penny is going to help sick children and their families.
Anna Marie Lewis began collecting McDonald’s memorabilia 40 years ago. Back then, her son won a trip to Disney World through McDonald’s. Her family says after the trip she was hooked.
“Started with grandkids and a set of toys and went from there,” smiled Anna Marie’s daughter Angie Lewis.
Her collection became so large that it spanned two floors of a garage like a museum. She has complete sets of vintage Happy Meal toys, rare Beanie Babies, and antique restaurant swag. About half of the collection she got from ordering Happy Meals, and the other half she got from knowing the right people.
“I honestly think it is bigger than the actual McDonald’s museum in California,” joked Lewis.
In March, Anna Marie passed away following a battle with cancer. She told her children she wanted to donate the collection to the Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana.
“Originally they wanted to donate the entire collection to the House, but we didn’t have the capacity to take the collection,” explained Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana Marketing and Communications Manager Adam Lowe, “They decided to auction it instead. All of the proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana to serve our mission of keeping families close to their children while they recover in area hospitals.”
“It’s bittersweet. I hate to see it go, but it’s going where Mom wanted it to go,” explained Lewis. “I cried when I saw the auction go up, even when they were picking up the stuff.”
Lewis says some of the toys will also be going to the Ronald McDonald House for children to play with. Her favorite toys are the vintage Ronald McDonald dolls that are about two feet long.
“As a matter of fact, I kept one. Let the auction have the rest,” said Lewis holding back her emotions. “We all keep telling ourselves this is what Mom wanted.”
The auction carries through Saturday and also includes her vast Beanie Baby collection. For the most part, the items are not sold individually but in bagged lots. There are more than 400 bags.