McDonald’s Scooby-Doo Halloween Pails!

For the third year in a row, McDonald’s brought back the ol’ trick-or-treat pails. Think of them as the spiritual successors to the “McBoo” pails of the ‘80s. What they lack in charm, they make up for in sooo many stickers!

2012’s pails have a Scooby-Doo theme. This surprised me. I was unaware of any recent Scooby-Doo exploits that could possibly warrant co-branded buckets stuffed with greasy food. What has this dog been up to?

Hmm. Looks like it came with a coupon for the Big Top Scooby-Doo DVD. I guess that’s it? Must be.

I never heard of that movie until now. If Wikipedia can be believed, there’s a very good reason to see it: Mindy Cohn supplies the voice of Velma. Why didn’t I know this? You’ll probably remember her as Natalie Green, but let’s not forget Mindy’s legendary spot on Celebrity Ghost Stories, where she battled against Pasadena’s trickiest dead kid. I love Mindy Cohn.

There are three different pails available, but at different times. You’re supposed to eat at McDonald’s all through October if you want a shot at a full collection.

Fortunately, I got the one I wanted most, right off the bat. The white one, with the ten decapitated Scooby-Doo heads on it. It called to me.

Each pail serves the purpose of a Happy Meal toy, but they also act as Happy Meal containers. Your food arrives right inside the bucket, and good luck getting that McDonald’s stink off of the plastic.

Note how my cheeseburger’s cheese looks especially plasticky. That’s because it sat in my car for almost five hours yesterday.

Ever notice how when you hold a past-its-prime McDonald’s cheeseburger, you do so in the same way you’d hold a dead hamster? How you’re super careful not to drop it, and yet unbelievably fearful of getting too close or squeezing too hard?

Why do we do this?

I’m still fascinated by the apple slices. I know they’ve been in Happy Meals for a while, but I’ll never get used to seeing fruit in what was historically a pile of everything but fruit.

I love Ronald’s “now don’t you forget” pose on the apple bag. He looks like he’s preemptively admonishing any would-be fruit-skippers. “Fries then fruit or fruit then fries – the choice is yours, but you better eat both.” Only, if Ronald said that, it would rhyme.

The reverse side of the paper lid doubles as a sticker sheet, and that’s where the fun begins. There are oodles of naked Scooby heads all over that bucket, and with these stickers, you can dress him up. You can even turn him into a dog mummy with a big gray mustache and a monocle. I know you’re into it.

I’m not sure if I like these Scooby-Doo buckets as much as the previous few editions. It was more enticingly surreal to put stickers on naked Potato Heads in 2010, and the 2011 version had a great generic feel that was more true to the spirit of the original McBoo pails.

Doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them, though. Scooby just had really big shoes to fill. He’s made some great buckets, and he let me give him x-ray vision. (Like he didn’t want it.)

Before I return to my couch-shaped coffin, I must share two important notes:

#1: When I was taking these photos, I had the strangest sense of déjà vu. I know I’ve photographed McDonald’s treat pails before, but this was a very intense and a very specific kind of déjà vu. Like, I went to put the “wizard beard” sticker on Scooby-Doo, and very strongly felt that I’d put that exact same wizard beard sticker on Scooby-Doo before. Doesn’t sound like much, but I was totally creeped out.

#2: I saw the worst thing at McDonald’s. While waiting way too long for them to produce my Happy Meal (or perhaps time only felt longer, as I was pretty self-conscious about being in public with a goddamned Scooby-Doo bucket), I saw who seemed to be the only guy preparing food perform the most dramatic hand-wipe-nose thing EVER. Right over his plastic glove, too. People are people, but I couldn’t handle this. The worst thing was, he saw me looking at him. He knew that I knew.

This is a recreation of what I saw:

Well, it was going to be a recreation of what I saw, but I gave up. I had grand plans of drawing my hand-wiping-nose enemy right into this McDonald’s kitchen scene, but my Photoshop abilities just couldn’t match up to my artistic vision.

So there will be no recreation.

PS: The Creepy Commercials Countdown will be updated later today. If you haven’t kept up with it, there are so many wonderful Halloween things waiting to be watched and read. Also, still peddlin’ those Halloween prints — next batch ships tomorrow!

44 Responses to McDonald’s Scooby-Doo Halloween Pails!

  1. Mindy has been the voice of Velma for about ten years now. The latest incarnation of the show, “Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated,” is one of the biggest shows on Cartoon Network. Good stuff!

  2. Took one of these from a friend’s kid last night. Well, the kid was going to throw it away, because he sucks at being a kid.

    I told him to keep the stickers, though, because I don’t want to deface Scooby.

    Also, I ate the kid’s apples.

  3. Huge Scooby fan. Might have to suffer through McDonalds’s wall of air grease to pick one up…

  4. I forgot how amazing the old McBoo buckets were. These still look cool, but lacks the cool plastic lid.

    I remember when I used to be a hardcore Scooby-Doo fan. Mainly because Cartoon Network did like 6-hour daily marathons of the show. Still do, I believe.

  5. So glad they’re carrying on the tradition of Boo Buckets.
    I’ve been wondering about a surgence of Scooby goods around lately too. Lots of Scooby Doo toys and plushies at Toys R Us, but I’m not aware of a new version of the show being on TV. They’re on an end cap in the young kids area, not in the “mature collectors area” where they keep retro stuff like Ghostbusters and Gremlins stuff. Maybe it is for that DVD, but it’s not promoted on the toys in any way.

    I sort of assumed they gave a choice regarding those apple slices. It’s nice to have healthy options, if someone is eating there all the time, but if you get a Happy Meal once a year, I’d personally want the classic apple pie or McDonaldland cookies. I also wonder how can they keep apple slices fresh. I eat half an apple every day, but I have to take the second half, put lemon juice all over it, trap it in a container and a Ziploc so it won’t go brown in 24 hours.

  6. Why would any one want to deface Scooby? If SHAGGY had been the star of this pail, (Although the movie would probably suck.) it probably would have been more fun to stick a beard and a walrus face on him.
    Probably would have kept it forever.

  7. I wish I still had at least one of the original Mcboo pails. These new ones are cool though. I’ll have to pick em up. Also, Scooby rocks.

  8. I watched the first season (would have followed the second but didn’t realize it happened) of the new Mystery Inc. series on Cartoon Network and its actually about as “cool” as Scooby Doo could ever be for our generation. Its very tongue and cheek poking fun at the entire Scooby mythos/canon while also celebrating it.

    Another cool thing is several episodes are inspired by classic and contemporary horror flicks. I saw a Saw inspired episode (shit you not!) which was all sorts of bizarre. Apparently the new season saw both Nightmare on Elm St. and Friday the 13th inspired episodes.

  9. Well Brian, you just sold me on Scooby-Doo.

  10. I am so glad McDonalds is on topic. These new pails are great even though Scooby-Doo has suffered at the hands of so many different variations. But it’s nice to see him linked to Halloween.

    I was in a hurry last week and grabbed a Happy Meal just for old time sake and I wish I was out of the loop when it came to movies and this character was just a random toy someone thought up. Because seeing Frankenstein’s monster with luggage is pretty amazing.

  11. I had the pumpkin and the ghost when I was little. I know for a fact that I never used to puny things to actually trick-or-treat with. I think they ended up as scarecrow heads or something.

  12. Apologies for the amateurish HTML.

    P.S. – Walking Dead season premiere tonight!

    P.S.S. – It’s a picturesque autumn Halloween season day here in southwestern Ohio with lots of wind, dark skies, and orange and yellow leaves blowing around.

  13. Click my name for the TV Tropes page on the Shout Outs in Mystery Inc.

  14. I thought the inclusion of the “purple pimp hat with feather” sticker was pretty comical.

  15. I do know they are making another animated DVD movie where Scooby and the gang team up with the current roster of the WWE. I hope Undertaker and Kane are in it, they’re tailor made for it.

    Also, it appears that NBC has decided to simply turn the supposed “Munsters” reboot into a one time Halloween special on Oct. 26th.

  16. We have Big Top Scooby Doo playing on one of the tvs at where I work. It’s not that bad. Best part of the movie is the werewolf themed death metal band.

  17. I gotta get one of these, been looking forward to it for a month, after collecting a full set of “Hotel Transylvania” toys from McD’s.

    The white one is my least favorite though. The purple one’s the best IMOthe being the most “Halloweeny” and green Mystery Machine one is second. Plus the Mystery Machine one comes with cool monster stickers! :D

  18. Crap. I don’t eat McD’s, but maybe they’ll sell me these. I must have them.

  19. PS. The Mindy Cohn thing is blowing my mind. Have I told you that I am in love with you? No, like, not in the creepy way…

  20. I remember once upon a time, when I had multiple McBoo pails at Grandma’s house, my house, aunt’s, pretty much everywhere. During October (1986 was the first round), I ate at McDonalds and we’d hit the relatives. I’d more often than not leave the pail behind because I had a million.

    Around 1990-93, I got rid of a bunch. Had the ghost, the witch, the pumpkin. Cleared a bunch out, and there in my Grandmommie’s attic was one last McBoo. I started to get rid of it, and Mom said “You might want that some day.” I thought, these are everywhere! Even flea markets! But I kept it anyway.

    Many years later, Grandmommie is in heaven, but the McBoo is trotted out and proudly put on the shelf every Halloween, reminding me of many a happy, happy meal in long ago Octobers.

    Thanks Mom.

  21. I picked up the same white scooby bucket earlier today, love it! I gotta agree with Grave Digger though, I think the green one with the purple handle looks the most “halloweeny”.

    The DinoDrac Halloween countdown is keeping me in the Halloween spirit this year! Even with a ton of work going on I’m still in the ‘Ween mood. Our house is being filled with real pumpkins, mums, and all types of plastic orange, glittery mummy wrapped pumpkins

  22. We got the green and white buckets yesterday! I love that they have these again.

  23. “Like, I went to put the ‘wizard beard’ sticker on Scooby-Doo, and very strongly felt that I’d put that exact same wizard beard sticker on Scooby-Doo before.”

    Not to worry, it’s just a breach in the multiverse.

  24. I am so happy that they’re doing these Halloween pail promotions again. I don’t eat McDonald’s, but this is something I’m sure my older nephews would get a kick out of.

  25. Mindy Cohn has been the voice of Velma for a while now… Ever since they did the “What’s New Scooby Doo” series… Aside from the direct-to-DVD movie, they’ve also had the Mystery Incorporated series on Cartoon Network (off and on, as most of the good stuff on that channel gets put on weird time slots and interrupted mid-season and what-not).

    You may also find it interesting that Matthew Lillard (live action Shaggy) has been Shaggy’s voice since Mystery Inc started a couple of years ago… And Linda Cardellini (live action Velma) does the voice for a Velma-esque character named Hot Dog Water, who appears to have a crush on Velma.

  26. I think the mystery van would be the one that you want? That is the one I was looking forward to seeing. That burger looks so good I don’t care how long it was sitting in your car.

    When I went to Goodwill the beginning of this month I saw the McBoo pails. They didn’t have the handles or lids but they were there in a stack. I have the witch and wouldn’t mind a pumpkin and ghost, but the faces they had were silly looking. I think there were more creepy serious faces earlier on. On Ebay they are very cheap. A whole set for about 10 dollars plus shipping. So they aren’t worth buying to resell. I should get the other two someday though. And the McDonalds Halloween toys.

    But our Goodwill doesn’t sell happy meal toys. That is a shame. Even though I have a box of gold painted little mermaid mcdonalds toys that were limited edition. But those were in a box together that is the only way I would of found it. I have it on Amazon right now.

  27. Nosewipe a little too close to the fingers? Another reason why I stopped eating at McD’s (aside from the chow no longer fulfilling me the way it used too, the travesty of being an adult).

  28. Back in my day Happy Meals came with the bare minimum: fries and a burger/McNuggets (back in the time they were sorta funky and believed to be made of kangaroo). I get the idea of adding the apples but the funny thing I find is that they ADDED the apples instead of subtracting the fries -which doesnt do much more then add more food/(albeit low) calories/sugar… Its not really all that healthy. (I think you can opt out of the fries, but who really bothers to say the extra word to end up with less then what they paid for?)

    Any way -oh God that McDonalds on plastic smell…BARF. I used to love my McBOO pails back in the day but the smell that seared into them from the food actively made me avoid opening them when I could help it. And using them to hold crayons made it so much worse.

  29. Boomingechoes from what I understand the apples are a healthy substitute for the fries. And milk or juice is a healthy substitute for the drink. That is what the sign shows at Burger King at least. Juice is just as bad as soda. But you know at least they are trying. I think if I unfortunately had to go to fast food with a kid often I would make them eat the healthy option. Maybe once every 5 times the unhealthy option.

    Once a year ago I was at Jack in the Box because that was our weekly treat. And a very overweight set of parents and a boy and a girl that were grade school age were there. The boy and girl were overweight as well. I know I was there too but they were there for breakfast before school. It was disgusting. They have the topic nowadays if that is child abuse. I think it is. It’s very neglectful. And trust me I am not a health nut by any means. It’s just offensive when you treat kids poorly in any context.

    Not to mention a couple of months ago at Walmart I overheard a woman say to her about 4 year old stop your whining or your getting a whoopin’ when we get home. She was acting 4. Trust me when I say she was just acting like a 4 year old no disobeying. I just wanted to say ok your not a parent anymore and yank that kid lol.

  30. @Matt: Is that kitchen picture of McDonald’s, did you take that yourself or just grabbed it off the Internet?

    My kid got the 2010 and 2011 Halloween pails, (liked the 2011 the best) but I think we’re going to sit out this year’s (the purple SD one is cool though). I used to watch Scooby-Doo all the time as a kid but my kid she’s not into SD. Probably a bit too young for the new show. I’m not a big fan of McD’s food. Took the family to Wendy’s before going pumpkin picking this Sunday, the food is so much better IMO. Only thing is McD’s gets the best kids’ meal toys without a doubt.

    Ugh…now I have that McD’s cheeseburger and plastic smell in my brain. :)

  31. Picked up one of these yesterday. First time I’ve seen the roboticized drink-machine in the drive through. Completely hands-off! It was creepy.

  32. The sticker with the puffy jowls and fangs threw me for a second. I was all “WTF? Why did they include a padded bra?”

  33. Yeah, I looked at these, but took a pass this year on the McDonald’s Halloween buckets. For me, 2011 was definitely the best of the pail resurgence. However, this season slightly redeemed itself with stickers themed from “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” – my personal fav of the whole franchise.

    I think the clear Halloween McDondald’s Happy Meal winner this season was the disembodied hand toy from the Hotel Transylvania movie. Each of the individual fingers move as you push it around!

    Also, Matt, not sure if you knew, but Halloween Ghoul–Aid is back; I picked some up from Target on Saturday.

  34. Received my Halloween 2012 print today. Most epic piece of mail ever. Also, the note from Matt was a nice personal touch and will be kept with the print when it’s framed.

  35. Hm. I got a Spongebob Happy Meal a few weeks back and my fries looked way different than your fries. I got a red fry container the size of a business card with like 7 fries in it. Looks like you got a normal size fry.

    I usually go to McDonald’s a million times this month to buy drinks for Monopoly stickers, but I had to give up carbonated beverages, and no way I’m drinking that much Hi-C. I’m probably missing out on all kinds of photo prints and movie rentals.

  36. @goob

    Except we’re talking about McDonalds and not the other guys. Aside from Matts proof above I can confirm because of various “for the toys” Happy Meal runs (Notably whenever they have Pokemon or Star Wars related items) that theres no queary to if you want fries or apples -they throw all in the bag, and more or less like Matt said, Ronalds expecting you to finish the whole meal.

    As for those kids -you alsoo realize that thier parents were probaly raised in the late 70s to mid 80s, and like all of us from that time were lead to believe that fast food was acceptible or even that eating ANY breakfast is better then none? Its really easy to forget that this whole “save the kids/the world from all horrible foods” thing is still a very new battle and is being absolutely undermind by the way we live and the cheapness and ease of acquiring that sort of food, and the fact that no ones stopping the juggernaught we call advertising.

    Personally, I never ate too bad myself but I also didnt really care to watch what I was eating till just over the last month I landed in the ER and was diagnosed with serious hypertension (like, REALLY serious). And the whole battle in progress has sort of ripped the veil off of how bad we ALL eat without even knowimg it. Try being forced into a low sodium diet and finding out how unnavoidable sodium (and lots of it) really is. Its a culinary nightmare.

  37. Boomingechoes I know what you mean. My best friend has diabetes and liver cirohsis. He isn’t supposed to have sugar, sodium or protein. Very low protein like 7g a day. That is harder for your liver to process. When he eats it he gets sleepy. It’s because his body is working on digesting.

    This last few months I have been focused on working and other things so I have been making boxed meals a lot. And those have tons of sodium. But I thought well I don’t want to spend an hour or more in the kitchen every day. Now I am making healthier foods. Today we had a chicken sandwich for dinner and a squash side dish. The sandwich isn’t that healthy but the squash is. I am fat lol but I think it’s because I don’t exercise. I want to lose weight this next year. I want to get my shit together. And that is part of it. I want to have a balance as far as food is concerned. You have to cheat sometimes. That is basically my take on it.

  38. I tell my patients to exercise 30 min a day (cardio) and you can pretty much eat whatever you want as long as you portion control. I have one girl who was 24 with diabetes and hypertension who was obese. She lost 80 lbs just counting calories with My Fittness Pal app and brisk walking 6x/week. No more diabetes or high blood pressure and as a side bonus is also off her depression meds. I love patients like her!

  39. Being a health nut takes so much energy and worry and effort, and I have enough problems with anxiety as it is without adding “IS THIS FOOD GOING TO KILL ME” onto the pile. I’m gonna die someday anyhow, and I’m probably gonna get diabetes no matter what I do (literally everyone on my mom’s side of the family has it).

    That being said, I try to avoid overly processed stuff. I try to limit eating out to once a week or less (though admittedly that’s more for financial reasons than health reasons). I rarely drink soda and when I do I get the fancy sugar-sweetened stuff, and I recently quit taking sugar in my coffee (still put half-and-half in it though).

  40. Matt, the deja vu you had with the wizard beard reminds me of this video:

    Also, to anyone reading, when was the last time you’ve seen a coupon come with a Happy Meal or kids meal toy? I knew Applebee’s does that on every promotion they do, but I’ve never seen that in such a long time.

  41. The LOVE the McDonald’s Halloween buckets! And I’m with ya, the generic buckets were the better – not a fan of the random Scooby appearance.

    I also ate the apple slices…and an additional 10 nuggets…

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