Back in the day if Mom and Dad drove anywhere passed a Mickey D’s you know darn well a whiny blonde haired boy in the back seat was begging them to make a pit stop. I loved seeing the Golden Arches. The burgers, the fries, the shakes…. I loved eating there. Much more so then as opposed to now because eating that stuff now tends to put weight on me for some unknown reason.
But I have to admit that the thing I loved the most about going to McDonalds in the 1970’s wasn’t the burgers or fries. No, the best thing about going to the place where billions and billions are served was another chance for me to see what Ronald McDonald and his homies were up to. Ronald sure had the coolest bunch of friends ever that all lived in their own world. A world filled with talking chicken mcnuggets, trash cans and trees. A world I got to visit for the most part only when my parents grew tired of listening to their whiny child on their way home from the store.
I still fondly recall trying to collect all of the promotional glasses and plates they’d have. Not because I’d ever utilize such items for eating or drinking again mind you. On the contrary, my goal was strictly to have something with the McDonaldland characters on it: the coolest bunch of dudes ever.
You know who they are. Characters like Ronald McDonald, Grimace, The Professor, Mayor McCheese, Big Mac and Birdie the Early Bird (for all you breakfast lovers out there).
On a whim the thought struck me today to read up on my old pals. What I found was shocking. Has anyone else noticed the evil crime syndicate that’s being run out of McDonaldland? Take a look at these biographies of characters and you tell me. Fatty fast food is the last thing our children need to be worried about. The truth is larceny has been running amok in McDonaldland:
Hamburglar – The Hamburglar was a pint-sized burglar who first appeared in March 1971 and was one of the first villains on the commercials. He is dressed in a black-and-white hooped shirt and pants, a red cape, a wide-brimmed hat, and red gloves. His primary object of theft was hamburgers.
Captain Crook – Captain Crook was a pirate who first appeared in July 1970 and is similar in appearance to the famed Captain Hook from Disney’s 1953 movie Peter Pan. Unlike the Hamburglar, this villain spent his time trying to steal Filet-O-Fish sandwiches from citizens of McDonaldland while avoiding being caught.
Fry Guys -They are characters used to promote McDonald’s french fries. When they first appeared in 1972, they were called Gobblins and liked to steal and gobble up the other characters’ french fries.
Griddler – A short-lived McDonaldland character. He was featured in 2 commercials in 2003 to promote the McGriddles by stealing them from Ronald and his friends.
Even my boy Grimace started out on the wrong side of the tracks:
Grimace – a large, purple character who was first introduced in November 1971 as the “Evil Grimace”. In Grimace’s first two appearances, he was depicted with two pairs of arms with which to steal milkshakes and sodas. “Evil” was soon dropped from Grimace’s moniker, and Grimace was reintroduced in 1972 as one of the good guys.
It seems like almost everyone at McDonalds has taken to a life of crime. And to make matters worse, the only two real “good guys” around: Mayor McCheese and Big Mac (an actual police officer) both disappeared from McDonaldland years ago and haven’t been heard from since. Coincidence?
I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to question which side Ronald himself is on. Which makes me wonder how it all began….
2 thoughts on “The McDonaldland Crime Syndicate”
The political correct crowd has virtually eliminated the characters that made our Happy Meals…ummmm…HAPPY. And, now the new target is McDonald’s (the restaurant) itself. Then they’ll move onto our royalty (Burger King). And, they won’t stop until we all starve. It breaks my heart that things have changed so much since our childhood. I share your thoughts here, and elsewhere in your blog.
I agree with you regarding the political correct crowd. I think it actually started in the mid eighties. Around the time having the word “sugar” on cereal was no longer acceptable.
When things like Super Sugar Crisp, Sugar Smacks and Sugar Corn Pops all had to change their monikers. Next it was the need for “whole grain”.. but even that wasn’t enough.
Today, most companies were told it’s not really appropriate to market kid’s cereal to children by using..GASP! .. of all things, cartoon characters.
And why? Because it might make children beg their parents to purchase the product.
Peg pardon, but I remember begging my parents all the time for that stuff….Most of the time I was told “no” and I turned out ok.