McDonalds Pokemon cards strategy and tips for Happy Meal madness [UPDATE!]

This month Nintendo and The Pokemon Company worked with McDonald's to deliver Pokemon TCG card packs to Happy Meals across the USA. This isn't the first time McDonalds released Pokemon cards with Happy Meals, but it IS the first time said cards were sold in randomly-assorted packs. Or semi-randomly-assorted, anyway.

Where to find Pokemon Card Happy Meals

If you're looking for a McDonalds with Pokemon card packs, call ahead. This is a prime example of a month in which McDonald's sells out of this particular Happy Meal toy. If you or your kids absolutely MUST have these Pokemon cards, we'd recommend you call ahead.

We can't guarantee that any McDonald's employee will be particularly pleased to hear from you, as this isn't the sort of call that allows them to do their job any easier. If you'd like to avoid making the day of a McDonald's employee more difficult, plan a day on the town – you may have to go to more than one McDonald's location.

How rare are these cards?

McDonald's hasn't revealed how many cards they're actually set to distribute. If it's like any other Happy Meal toy deal, they'll have planned to include the cards in Happy Meals for the rest of the month of February – but they'll likely sell out faster than normal.

What we DO know is that there are 50 individual cards. There are 25 Starter Pokemon (one of which is Pikachu), and a foil version of each of these cards. There does not seem to be any indication that any one of these cards is more rare than the other – but based on early eBay prices, the Shiny/foil version of Pikachu seems most desirable.

Each Happy Meal has a single pack of 4 cards. We don't yet know if each pack has a completely random assortment of cards, or if there are a set number of pre-arranged combinations of cards.

Each Happy Meal will cost you approximately $5, depending on your individual McDonald's locations' price policy. Good luck to you – and if you plan on buying a BUNCH of these Happy Meals for the cards alone, consider finding a way to donate the food to those in need. Good luck to you!

UPDATE: Based on our (limited) analysis of the packs this week, each pack has at least 1 foil card and likely 3 non-foil cards. While it doesn't seem that any one foil or non-foil card is rarer than the other, the ratio of foil to non-foil in each pack suggests that fewer foil cards were made than non-foil cards.

There are several different packages available, with various bonus items like a fold-up box (as shown above), and Pokemon sticker sheets. It does not appear that the package number has any affect on the card pack within. The card packs are likely inserted into the larger packaging at random!