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Here’s the McDonald’s Halloween Buckets Release Date and Available Locations

I'm McShaking.

McDonald's 2022 Halloween Bucket. Image: McDonald's.

In an effort to continue to capitalize on the intangible concept of nostalgia, as seen with the Cactus Plant Flea Market (a.k.a. the adult Happy Meal, sold out at the six closest locations to me), McDonald’s is bringing back the Halloween buckets! This started in the mid-1980s with the introduction of a trio of orange buckets named McBoo, McCoblin, and possibly—my new Steam profile name—McPunk’n. These popped up every other year throughout the late ’80s and early ’00s. Dread Central found that the last major Halloween bucket campaign was in 2011.

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Tracking the style journey, you see McDonald’s artists playing with lid designs. At one point, the lids (no longer in vogue) also worked as cookie cutters! Then came the buckets with stickers of facial features so you could design your bucket. This McDonald-centric branding wore off in favor of big brands like Potatohead, Charlie Brown, and My Little Pony. We saw toys go this way, too—RIP the Ronald McDonald and friends-themed merchandise! (Which are sort of back with the adult Happy Meals!)

When do the McDonald’s Halloween Buckets release, and what locations will have them?

Before we get to the details, let’s all agree that we will not turn this into an entrepreneurial endeavor unless you are really struggling or something like that. Unless that’s the case, let’s just get one per person, so the kiddos can experience this. Also, actually get them if you want to use beyond single use, and you have plans to reuse them as Halloween decor or planters. If you have an old one, let’s be real—you probably don’t need another one unless you were using it to transport rocks and dirt.

Speaking of rough and tumble use, McDonald’s is encouraging this. Though it’s not ideal economically or (more importantly) environmentally to feature a plastic tub holding the meal together, according to Chicago 5, the company will be sharing ways to reuse these buckets. From October 18 until they run out (which will 100% be before the end of October) these adorable buckets will be availible at most McDonald’s nationwide.

What do you think they’ll bring back next? I hope that we can go back even further into the past and see McDonald’s workers unionize and get paid a liveable wage (including those at franchises.)

(featured image: McDonald’s)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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