Don’t let the title of this piece fool you. It could just as easily have been (and almost was): WTF Happened to McDonald’s Halloween Happy Meals This Year?
Seriously. For one they’re no longer called McBoo Pails (they’re just… Happy Meals) which sucks, but ignorable. Secondly, what McDonald’s marketing genius decided that Angry Birds Star Wars and Monster High would represent Halloween?! Monster High I can sort of get because, well, they’re are monsters – but come on! The pails aren’t even semi kid-friendly spooky, they’re just cheap merchandising cash-ins.
McBoo Pails Halloween Happy Meals first returned in 2010 I was filled with nostalgic glee. Granted, I’m not a huge Potato Head fan but McDonald’s got it it right with a design that was clearly Halloween and even a bit fun to play with (stickers, online game, cool bucket design). Then, in 2011, the bar dropped a little with a generic (but still true McBoo) pail that reminded me of the classic designs after which, in 2012, McDonald’s got back on the merchandise bandwagon with Scooby-Doo. Not bad… but not great either.
So What’s Eating Grimace Grape, you might ask? Well, there’s a few things:
Okay, so I’m not a market research analyst, but when it comes to gender neutral things like – oh, I don’t know – HALLOWEEN why is it necessary to have a “boys version” and a “girls version?” It’s almost like saying that only boys can like Angry Birds and only girls can like Monster High. One of the great things about the classic McBoo pails was that they wasn’t any such distinction – just a ghost, a pumpkin and a witch.
Aside from the aforementioned monster connection with Monster High there’s absolutely nothing Halloween-ish about these pails. Nothing. Even the handle designs which in past versions have been neat things like skulls or bats have become nothing more than misshapen logos for the brands McDonald’s is promoting. Without being imbued with the Halloween spirit these really aren’t McBoo pails – heck, they’re not even Halloween Happy Meals.
I get it, really, I do. If McDonald’s needs some sort of merchandising tie-in to justify these pails, that’s fine. I also get that we’ll never (ever) see any R-Rated Horror Happy Meals, but there’s SO many more cartoons/products that they could’ve chosen. Despite no longer being in syndication, The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy would’ve been perfect! Or, if they need something more fresh, there’s been some pretty awesome Halloween episodes of Phineas and Ferb. Heck, Disney XD’s Camp Lakebottom is all about monsters, ghosts and a haunted campground!
What are your thoughts on this year’s Halloween Happy Meals?
Source: Euclid Boo