McDonald’s New Item Goes After Adults (Who Want to Eat Likes Kids)

The Hamburglar, Grimace, and more are back for a nostalgic offer that puts a modern take on a McDonald’s classic.

McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report used to build a lot of its advertising on the McDonaldland characters. This was a fictional world where Ronald McDonald, the chain’s iconic clown, lived with friends including Mayor McCheese, Grimace, and of course, notorious hamburger thief, Hamburglar.

In later years, the chain added Early Bird (to promote breakfast), the Fry Guys, and a bunch of unnamed Chicken McNuggets. Those characters have in recent years mostly been retired and even Ronald McDonald rarely appears (perhaps because clowns have moved from silly to creepy in most kids’ eyes.

There was a brief revival of Hamburglar as a live-action character, but nobody really enjoyed seeing a grown man with a family who somehow made living stealing hamburgers. It was a silly idea for a cartoon, but one that really did not make the leap to live action.

Kids may not even know these characters, but adults most certainly do and there’s nothing adults enjoy like things that fondly remind them of childhood. Fast-food chains have long exploited this idea by bringing back dishes from the past, but now McDonald’s has gone a step further.


McDonald’s Delivers Adult Happy Meals   

The classic, red box Happy Meal first appeared in 1979, at a time when fast-food choices were pretty limited. That means that anyone in their late 40s or older probably experienced them when the idea of getting a plastic toy with your McDonald’s meal was a sort of Christmas morning two treats in one experience. 

McDonald’s latest meal box will capture that feeling once again, but this time it’s aimed at an entirely new audience. Not only is the box aimed at adults instead of children, but the box is likely to draw in collectors from the fashion world.

For the company’s grown-up Happy Meal, customers can get a Big Mac or a 10-piece Chicken McNugget with fries and a drink. But the real fun, once again, lies at the bottom of the bag. This Happy Meal comes with one of three stylized classic McDonald’s characters or a Cactus Buddy! toy. That means Birdie, the Hamburglar, and our good pal Grimace will all be available to collect in the signature style of Cactus Flea Plant Market.

Collectible Streetwear Toys Come to McDonald’s

Cactus Plant Flea Market is a streetwear brand designed by Cynthia Lu, the designer who found herself a personal stylist to rapper Pharrell after the two bonded over sneakers. Lu notoriously doesn’t give interviews — she believes the brand’s designs speak for themselves. And her elusiveness, combined with impromptu limited-edition designs, create a flurry of hype around the brand with each new product drop.

Since the brand debuted its signature smiley face graphic on hand-dipped tie-dye prints, it’s been sported by major celebrities like Kanye West, Kendall Jenner, Frank Ocean, and actor Timothée Chalamet. CPFM has also been commissioned for merch by other popular musicians like Kid Cudi and the Rolling Stones.

Around this time in 2020, the brand previously teamed up with McDonald’s and rapper Travis Scott. The rapper’s CPFM alter-ego, Cactus Jack, saw McDonald’s locations all over the U.S. selling out of hamburgers due to high demand.

According to HypeBae, the toys will hit McDonald’s on Oct. 3. But if you really want to see the truly limited edition items, exclusive McDonald’s x Cactus Plant Flea Market merch will drop online at 8 a.m. Pacific — and those goodies surely won’t last long.

Of course, if you miss your opportunity or you’ve got high-fashion taste on a Happy Meal budget, you can still win some cool swag. Customers who order their CPFM Happy Meal with the McDonald’s app will be entered into a raffle to win co-branded t-shirts, hoodies, a Grimace chair, and custom McDonald’s signage from the set of the TV commercials.

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