McDonald’s Ronald and Pals Haunted Halloween Happy Meal Toys (1998)
Some might say that McDonald’s best Halloween Happy Meal offerings were based around their Halloween Happy Meal Pails. They are a high point in fast food Halloween offerings, but in the late nineties, they just about topped that with Ronald and Pals Haunted Halloween Happy Meal Toys.
Released in 1998, each Happy Meal purchase came with one of six candy holding toys and a small package of Halloween-colored Nerds candy. You inserted the nerds through a trapdoor in the bottom of the toy.
Why am I obsessed with these characters? They look great both as McDonaldland characters AND in their masks. Plus, despite being bright and colorful, there is something a little creepy about each of them, especially Ronald and his Scarecrow mask.
Also: I swear those little plastic eyes will follow you around the room.
The complete set of the characters and their masks are :
Iam Hungry – Witch Mask
Birdie – Cat Mask
Grimace – Pumpkin Mask
McNugget Buddy – Ghost Mask
Ronald McDonald – Scarecrow Mask
Hamburglar – Monster Mask
The design on all six is pretty good. When you see them, you know exactly which character is which, even when their mask is pulled down over their face. The one troublesome toy is Birdie. Her mask pops off when you try and life it up. Luckily it’s easy to pop it back on.
Let’s take a look at each character.
Iam Hungry in a Witch Mask
Iam Hungry was the first character released in this toy set, and he is the one most people will not be familiar with. Iam was introduced in 1998 and would probably be best know for this commercial and his appearance in the 1999 direct-to-video animated film, The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Visitors from Outer Space.
I always thought he had a Slimer from Ghostbusters vibe.
As a late-nineties computer-generated monster, he was pretty mediocre, but as a Halloween-themed toy, he is a hit.
Birdie in a Cat Mask
I have always like Birdie. Birdie the Early Bird was introduced in 1980 to promote McDonald’s Breakfast Items and had been an upstanding citizen of McDonaldland ever since.
Her cat mask looks great, even though it doesn’t stay one well. I like the big blue bow, it is a nice reference to the bows she wears in her hair.
Okay, I just realized while typing about Birdie’s hair, that Birdie has hair. Which is weird, for a bird. Also, its sorta Wendy’s-like.
Grimace in a Pumpkin Mask
Grimace is my favorite of the characters in this offering. I think the Pumpkin Mask is perfect because it seems a natural way for McDonald’s to advertise a Pumpkin Spice Milkshake. Its solid marketing.
McNugget Buddy in a Ghost Mask
I am not just a big McNugget eater, I also love the mascots and collected their Happy Meal figures, especially the Halloween McNugget Buddies.
My favorite thing about this particular toy is learning that in some countries, this little fella is referred to as Mi Amigo McNugget and Copain McCroquette.
Ronald McDonald in a Scarecrow Mask
Ronald was the reason I bought all these toys. Why? Because he looks genuinely creepy in his scarecrow mask. It’s like someone mashed up It with Dark Night of the Scarecrow, and I love everything about that.
If you only buy one of these toys for your shelf, make sure it is this one.
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Hamburglar in Monster Mask
I wasn’t sure what to call this mask. It’s almost like a goblin mask, but with that giant smile he almost looks like the Joker. Then they add this giant floppy tongue with a spider on it and I don’t know what to think. The mask is as enigmatic as the character who is wearing it.
In the store displays for the toys, the spider was on Hamburglar’s hat. So who is this spider? Is a canonical character of McDonaldland now?
The Ronald and Pals Haunted Halloween Happy Meal Toys were only available for one year, but luckily they sold a lot of them. So if you are a fan of Halloween-related McDonald toys, they are pretty easy to find. They make a great addition to your Halloween decorations, and their removable masks make them difficult to put down. Fill them with candy, and you have yourself a winning seasonal display.