Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Meal Mystic Portal

My latest terrain project is this Mystic Portal made from a McDonald's Happy Meal toy. It's intended to be similar to the Stargate, or the portal seen in the classic episode of Star Trek (Original Series), guest starring Joan Collins, entitled, "The City of the Edge of Forever".

It all began a couple months ago when my wife and a colleague stopped at a McDonald's while returning from a meeting, and on a whim ordered Happy Meals. The toy included with the meal was from the Happy Feet 2 movie. It consisted of a plastic disc-shaped snow mound with a rotating disc in it, that when you spun it, the disc made yodelling sounds.

My wife, knowing I had made things from Happy Meal toys before, brought hers home for me. When I saw it I was immediately struck by how the snow texture resembled a rocky outcropping and the idea of some sort of ancient portal came to my mind.

First thing I had to do was separate the front and back halves to remove the 'guts' from the toy. I thought this would be easy as it appeared to be only held together by three screws in the back. This was not the case. After removing these screws and doing lots of prying and hacking I finally separated the two halves. The problem is that there are five internal glue points as well as the screws. They really don't want kids swallowing the electronic sound components that were inside the toy.

Separating the two halves had left lots of bangs and dents in the seams where I had used a screwdriver to pry the halves apart, but these were easily covered when I used miliput to fill the screw, and speaker holes, as well as help smooth the seam between the two halves.

I then cut down a CD to make a base, and glued the toy to it, as well as some gravel and sand around the edges. It is shown above with a 25mm figure.

Next step was to spray it with black primer. I used Krylon Flat Black Camouflage with Fusion technology to help it stick to the plastic toy.

After priming, I drybrushed the exterior of the toy and the gravel and sand on the base with various shades of grey to give a rocky look. I then glued assort foliage on the portal, and flocked the base. The final step was to fill the opening in the portal with pillow stuffing to give it that misty void look.

Overall I'm pleased with the result, and can see this being used as an objective, or a source of reinforcements in any Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Pulp, or VSF game. I have a second one of these toys so may make a pair of portals which would make for some interesting scenarios where figures can actually transport across the battlefield.

French Foreign Legion troopers on Venus investigate a mysterious artifact of an ancient civilization.


  1. That's a great piece of terrain and all the better that it was a freebie.


  2. Thanks! Yes, the free stuff is always the best!

  3. Nice! What did you use to cut down the CD, and how did you avoid ending up with painfully sharp corners or edges?

  4. I used a heavy duty pair of sissors, and simply cut it ino the oval shape I wanted. I was surprised to discover how easily you can cut a CD. Any little sharp points I filed, but for the most part the sissors produced a nice smooth cut.

  5. Thanks! I've been meaning to make some stands of trees, and I thought about using CDs but wanted an irregular shape. Looks like they're suitable for gaming without risking a sliced finger.

  6. Genius! Apparently I need to visit McDonald's more often.