Wednesday, October 25, 2017


My daughter and I were browsing through some vintage Halloween-themed commercials on Youtube a few weeks ago when we came across this commercial from 1986.

She was intrigued by the pumpkin pails and asked if she could get one. I'd seen them in the past at sales and never thought much of them, not being from my childhood, but I told her I'd keep an eye out.  I wasn't really expecting to see one in the near future, however, less than a week later I found these at an early morning garage sale on my way to work (I know. Weird.)

The bottom 3 pails are from the 1986 series, the top 2 are from a 1990 release.

This got me thinking of other McDonald's Halloween promotions.  Probably the most famous and fondly remembered are their gift certificates.  Originally, the certificates entitled the bearer to a soft drink.  Later editions offered a free Sundae.

I remember occasionally receiving one of these in my Trick or Treat bag, but I never did get a chance to use them.  As my mom observed, these were just bait to get you in so you bought a burger and fries to go with the "free" soda.

Not to be outdone, Burger King had their own Halloween Gift Certificates. Theirs were for fries.

McDonald's Halloween treats date back to at least 1971 when they offered these wrist reflectors.  "Children should be seen and not hurt."

Apparently, you can still get McDonald's Halloween Treat Books at participating McDonald's.


  1. Used to be such a treat for kids. The pails were special and fun. Glad you found some!

  2. i remember getting those for trick or treating, too. can't recall if we ever used them, but i'd be thrilled to get some fries instead of the drink anyway. their fries are still the bar i judge all others by.

    1. Yes, McDonald's fries are definitely the best. And I always knew their Coke was better.

  3. Wow! congrats, I'm still searching for the old McD's pails as they were from my childhood!


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