Oct 18, 2022 - Economy

Halloween buckets are back with McDonald's Happy Meals

Cartoon faces on plastic buckets

Halloween pails are back in McDonald’s Happy Meals. Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

After a six-year absence, McDonald's Halloween Happy Meals — aka Boo Buckets — return to restaurants nationwide on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Nostalgia and the great Halloween comeback of 2022. The fast-food giant is making another attempt to appeal to consumers' childhood memories with the iconic trick-or-treating pails after its popular Oct. 3 release of adult Happy Meals.

  • The adult boxed meals with a collectible toy, known as the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, started selling out at some restaurants across the country almost immediately.

The big picture: Halloween spending is expected to reach a new record of $10.6 billion, up from last year's $10.1 billion, as participation returns to pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Retail Federation's annual holiday survey.

Details: McDonald's kids' pails are available at participating restaurants nationwide through Halloween and while supplies last.

  • Happy Meals will be served in pails instead of traditional boxes for the two weeks. The pails also double as meal toys.

Flashback: The Halloween pails, which double as trick-or-treat buckets, debuted 36 years ago in 1986 with three choices — McBoo, McPunk'n and McGoblin.

  • October 2016 was the last time the pails were available in the U.S., McDonald's said.

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