In another triumph for internet fandom and ’80s nostalgia, McDonald’s has officially announced the return of its Halloween pails, per a press release sent to The Takeout. The buckets known as McBoo, McPunk’n, and McGoblin are all coming back to hold your Happy Meals first and your trick-or-treat haul second. Gen X and millennial parents must be so excited to explain all this to their kids.
I have absolutely no doubt these Boo Buckets are going to sell out, and I don’t think it’s going to be because of children. I can already picture the hordes of full-grown adults (myself included) crowding the doors at just to order a Happy Meal in the hopes of scoring a plastic bucket with a face on it.
In fact, maybe McDonald’s wasn’t even thinking about the kids on this one. Already this month the company released Adult Happy Meals with corresponding prizes for adults in the style of old McDonaldland characters only fully understood by those born before 1990. (Welcome back, Hamburglar and Grimace!) And the meals have apparently been selling so well that employees are allegedly begging customers not to order them.
In September, pop culture/horror blog Nightmare Nostalgia posted some alleged insider information indicating that the buckets were making a comeback.
The rumors were accompanied by images from someone claiming to be a McDonald’s employee. One photo showed “the official office corporate calendar of events” for McDonald’s. On the calendar’s October 18 date, an event was listed reading “Halloween Pails Happy Meal Begins,” ending on October 31. As it turns out, the info was spot on.
Per the press release, starting on October 18, the Halloween pails will be available at participating McDonald’s locations nationwide until the end of the month. The buckets first debuted in 1986 and were an on-off promotion until what seemed like their last run in 2016.
Interestingly, the characters for this 2022 run are McBoo, McPunk’n, and McGoblin which closely resemble the 1989 design that introduced McBoo, McPunk’n, and McWitch in corresponding colors and lid shapes.
“Though not exact replicas, this year’s Halloween Pails are inspired by the OG bucket designs from the 1980s, featuring the beloved McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin characters on the outside of the pail - characters our fans have come to know and love,” explained the company in an email to The Takeout.
I’m not sure what about a pointy hat, scraggly strands of hair, and a chin wart screams “goblin” more than “witch,” but I’m just glad the buckets are back in any form. What I do know is that come October 18, you’ll find me standing in line at my local McDonald’s waiting to be presented with some nuggets and my long-lost friend McGoblin (but it’ll always be McWitch to me).