Here’s What McDonald’s Halloween Buckets Are Really Like

McDonald's Halloween buckets

The McDonald’s “Boo Bucket” Halloween Pails officially return today, and the company and its staff are preparing for the influx of grownups yearning for a frightful plastic container. McBoo, McPunk’n, and McGoblin, three distinct characters, are all back to serve you fries and keep your (extremely little) Halloween candy collection.

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How McDonald’s is dealing with the reintroduction of Halloween Pails

It makes sense that McDonald’s staff would be wary of this upcoming campaign given the uproar caused by the recent release of the McDonald’s x Cactus Plant Flea Market Adult Happy Meals. One user posted, “Not too sure if they are going to be one design at a time, but please be polite to employees if they are,” in a subreddit for McDonald’s workers. It’s not encouraging for morale that the pails came shortly after the Cactus box.

What are McDonald’s Halloween Boo Buckets?

In 1986, McDonald’s began serving its Happy Meal kids meal in adorable tiny buckets decorated in a Halloween motif, which may also be used as a child’s trick-or-treat bag if they aren’t seeking out the most candy possible. The buckets were a spooky treat because Happy Meals often come in cardboard boxes shaped almost like tiny dwellings.

Despite this caution, McDonald’s representatives stress that the business is ready to deal with any Halloween-related chaos.

McDonald’s Halloween Buckets

How will the Halloween Boo Buckets in 2022 look?

McDonald’s is selling three new colours: McBoo, McPunk’n, and McGoblin, which are represented by a white ghost, an orange pumpkin, and a green witch. The lids are uncommon, which is a noticeable change from previous years. A witch’s cap for McGoblin, a pumpkin top for McPunk’n, and what looks to be a white pumpkin top for McBoo appear to be elevated decorations on each lid. The bucket itself is open, however it’s unclear from the picture whether the decoration is a portion of a lid that covers the top or just a standalone piece of plastic. Guess we’ll learn soon enough.

Customers should also be aware that these Happy Meals don’t include any extra toys. The toy is the bucket. However, the new adult Happy Meals from McDonald’s do include toys—four-eyed traditional McDonald’s figurines and one brand-new innovation.

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When will Halloween Boo Buckets be available?

On October 18, the reminiscence meal containers will be back in three colours: ghostly white, slime green, and pumpkin orange. The bucket is automatically included when you order a Happy Meal at a participating McDonald’s. A cheeseburger, hamburger, or Happy Meal with Chicken McNuggets are your options. Fries, another side dish, like apple slices, and a small drink are also included with the main course.

What are the costs of the Halloween Boo Buckets?

While prices vary from store to restaurant, Happy Meals at the McDonald’s near me go between $5 and $7. There is no additional cost for the bucket because it takes the place of the toy that typically comes with the Happy Meal.

Will Halloween Boo Buckets sell out?

Due to the extensive advance publicity, The Boo Buckets are sure to sell out rapidly. Additionally, we are unsure of the distribution of the colours—will restaurants sell just one hue at a time until it runs out? Collectors will probably try to get all three colours, which might disrupt restaurant supplies.

According to Yahoo, some McDonald’s staff are already having trouble filling orders for the bizarre “adult Happy Meals” that come with odd toys featuring four eyes that look like McDonald’s characters. Boo Buckets might experience a similar squeeze.

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What style were the first McDonald’s Halloween buckets?

The three original designs—named McPunk’n, McBoo, and McGoblin—were all orange and shared the same names with McDonald’s in 2022. They all resembled jack-o-lanterns but had various faces. McGoblin appears to be sleeping, while McPunk’n and McBoo appear to be having a good time. However, it’s likely that they are meant to appear unhappy.

In an email to The Takeout, McDonald’s stated, “We have a feeling that Halloween Pails will be popular with our fans, and we have planned appropriately in close coordination with our suppliers, distributors, and franchisees.”

Additionally, according to the McDonald’s employee subreddit, each shop will only get one of the three pail styles each week. This was confirmed by McDonald’s to The Takeout, and based on my personal observations (more on those in a moment), it appeared that my local McDonald’s had just one Boo Bucket design in store. Maybe the purpose of this is to avoid the mayhem that would result from people ordering an infinite number of Happy Meals from a single location in order to obtain the entire selection of Halloween pails. Employees should appreciate this change to the procedure.

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When introducing new and ongoing promotions, we always keep the restaurant staff in mind, McDonald’s said in an email to The Takeout. “We provide our franchisees with the tools and training they need to handle increased restaurant traffic, and we keep in constant contact with them during the campaign period. The best in the business make up our restaurant staff, and we appreciate everything they do to look after guests all year long in addition to during these special occasions.

When did McDonald’s stop making Halloween buckets?

If you’re really interested in delving into the history of a fast-food chain’s advertising, Nightmare Nostalgia provides a fantastic timeline of the subject. (If you do, I’m not knocking you; I’m one of you.) Some of the more significant adjustments included switching to vinyl McBoo Bags, or trick-or-treat bags that illuminate in the dark. The buckets were updated in 1992 to feature cookie cutters that detach from the top. That has to be the pinnacle of McDonald’s Halloween bucket inventiveness. I hope that year saw a raise for someone.

The pails underwent further modifications after that and finally disappeared in 2016, leaving behind a design inspired by It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

The actual nature of the McDonald’s Halloween Boo Buckets

We must first discuss the lid. In particular, where is it? The Halloween pails appeared to have a lid in the press images taken by McDonald’s. Look below:

I think I should have looked more closely at that marketing image. Instead of a lid with a connected handle, the buckets have a handle that is attached to the base and a two-dimensional lid silhouette that is clipped onto the handle. This is, in a sense, a lot more ambiguous than if there had been no “lid” at all.

And it’s not just me who’s noticed this. A Boo Bucket was obtained by Twitter user @DinosaurDracula one day early, and they pointed out its missing lid to another user who asked about it.

With the exception of the missing lid, my small McBoo is delivering the eerie feelings, the tiniest portion of fries, and a straightforward, no-frills burger exactly as it should. The top of the pail is covered with a thin, round piece of cardboard with Halloween stickers and an activity on the back, rather like the plastic hat/lid I had anticipated. Since these Happy Meals are actually designed for kids, I believe the addition of this small activity makes sense.

Additionally, the bucket for McBoo has three different expressions printed on it. These seem to be a surprised face, a delighted face, and… another delighted face? One of them is crooked, while the other has a lovely, broad smile.

The bucket itself is much smaller than your typical jack-o’-lantern bucket, so it’s not really big enough to hold a lot of candy for trick-or-treaters, but it’s still cute. For many years to come, McBoo will be a part of my Halloween decorations. Also, it can continue to smell like french fries for a while.

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