McDonald’s is Bringing Back Their Halloween Pails

After weeks of rumors and speculation, McDonald’s has now officially confirmed that they will be bringing back their iconic Halloween pails for a limited time.

Back in September, Nightmare Nostalgia revealed that an inside source at McDonald’s had shared an image of the fast-food chain’s corporate calendar. On the calendar, it disclosed that the “Halloween Pails Happy Meals” are set to begin on October 18, 2022 and run until October 31, 2022.

Now, in an official statement, McDonald’s has revealed that they’re in fact bringing their Halloween pails back:  

“We heard you loud and clear… if spooky SZN doesn’t include McDonald’s Halloween Pails, then you don’t want it. That’s why we’re bringing back the most iconic Halloween trio – McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin – that first came on the scene back in 1986. The nostalgic Happy Meal is returning to participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide from Oct. 18 – 31, while supplies last.”

McDonald’s first released the Halloween pails in 1986, with the original pails resembling pumpkin buckets. Those buckets also came in three different styles: McPunk’n, a traditional jack-o-lantern face; McBoo, a ghostly face; and McGoblin, the “scariest” of the three.

1986’s Halloween Pails

These same three pails would again be offered the following year but would, unfortunately, fail to return in 1988.

When the pails returned in 1989, McPunk’n, was the only member of the trio to return as a pumpkin, although it now looked more like the original McGoblin. In this new version of the pails, McBoo was now a white ghost and McGoblin was now a green witch.

1989’s Halloween Pails

The following year, the pails would undergo another modification. McPunk’n’s face now more closely resembled its original form. Along with the face change, the name McPunk’n would be dropped, with the pail simply being referred to as a “pumpkin pail.” That same year, the McBoo and McGoblin names would also be dropped, with promotional ads referring to them as a “witch pail” and a “ghost pail.” Along with the name change, these pails also received minor alterations to their faces, with the ghost pail now being able to glow in the dark.      

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In 1991, the pails were replaced with McBoo bags. These vinyl treat bags came with either an image of a ghost, a witch, or Frankenstein’s monster.

The bags were not a hit with customers, and the following year saw the return of the Halloween pails. Like in the previous years, the pails came with some slight modifications from previous years. The faces of the witch and ghost were changed again, including a nose being added to the witch and a set of hands being added to the ghost. This year would also serve as the first year all three pails had a cookie cutter in the lid.

1992’s Halloween Pails

1993 was another year without the pails and, when they returned in 1994, they looked nothing like the previous installments. The witch pail was now purple and had a completely new face, the ghost pail had an entire wrap-around scene that included an original face and images of little ghosts, and the pumpkin pail saw a change from a typical jack-o-lantern to a more cartoonish version.  

1994’s Halloween Pails

Following this year, the Halloween pails would go into hibernation and they wouldn’t appear again until 1999. When they returned, however, the faces were now gone completely. In their place were two pails – one white, one orange – both of which featured wrap-around images of the McDonaldland characters.

The pails again took another year off and when they returned in 2001, they once again came in either white or orange and featured images of McDonaldland characters. This year also saw the pails being produced without lids and in their place were handles shaped like bats.

2001’s Halloween Pails

The Halloween pails disappeared again for years, re-emerging in 2010. In place of McDonaldland characters were images of Mr. Potato Head. These pails once again only came in two colors, with the white pail being replaced by a lime green one.

Then, in 2011, McDonald’s took what would be their last attempt at Halloween-faced pails when they released a pumpkin pail and another that could be considered their version of Frankenstein’s monster. These pails allowed you to customize your own pail with a set of stickers but failed to capture the essence of the originals. These pails also regrettably had bat handles instead of the original lids.

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The following year saw a Scooby-Doo-themed pail which was subsequently followed by a Monster High-themed version in 2013. In 2014, the pails were inspired by the Disney animated film, The Book of Life. The following year, McDonald’s released four Minions-themed buckets. Then, in 2016, McDonald’s released a set of Halloween pails inspired by It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

This would, of course, be the last year that McDonald’s released a Halloween pail. Until now.

It was originally reported that the iconic Halloween pails would only be available in the United States, but now McDonald’s Canada has released a tweet that the pails will be available in Canada from October 28, 2022 – October 31, 2022, or while supplies last.