History of McDonaldland

This is sort of a two parter.
Does any one know when and why they charge the look of the McDonald land characters? I remember Hamburgler looking less cute when I was a kid. Wasn’t there also a few others (I remember Grimace and Mayor Mccheese but wasn’t there also a Bird?)

Ok and to push my luck further anyone remember the Burger King? He scared the Bejeezuz out of me. What happened to him and his happy crew? I believe he had a knight with the shakes (probably the DTs)

Any info would be appreciated to prove I am not mad.


You’re in luck on the first half. I was working in the McDonaldland costume shop about the time they were making the change. This was not the shop that designed the TV costumes, but the shop, in Milwaukee WI that made duplicates of them to rent to the stores.

The original costumes were, Ronald, Mayor McCheese, Officer BigMac, Captain Crook, Grimace, and Hamburglar, with Birdie, coming later. There was also a Professor, with a lightbulb on his hat, but I’m not sure when he was popular I’m not sure of the date for the original designs, but refer to URL: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/990827.html


URL: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a940429.html

Designs were changed by some designer in CA for the commercials. Probably because they were too creepy, IMHO. Not appealing to kids anymore. And I’m sure the lawsuit didn’t help.

Designers and advertising execs like to change things. It’s mostly about increasing sales, but I think they also get bored and want to fiddle around. There was a hell of a mess for us about this time when Ronald’s hairdresser changed the style of his wig, “just because she felt like it.” She didn’t check with Corporate. There were emergency meetings, and we were rushed to Chicago to learn the new style and she prepared a video so that thousands of Ronalds could relearn how to style their hair.

I worked in the shop, which was a Godforsaken Hellhole, BTW, from 85’ to '87 approx. They had already done the Captain, so guess that he was changed, '83-84. They dropped him around the time that we got our version of the costumes compleated. Kids don’t eat fish sandwiches, so there was no need for him.

Hamburglar, Grimace and Birdie were all redesigned next. The commercials were out around '86. We had finished Hamburglar for the field, before I left. The old Hamburglar was hideous, with grey stragly hair, adn a long skinny nose. The new one looks like a red-headed kid. Birdie didn’t change much, she switched to satin overalls. Grimace got Goofier. The rest of the characters disappeared about this time. They didn’t represent kid foods, so the weren’t necessary, from the marketing standpoint.

There is a lot of material on this topic here. I apologize for not linking to all of it, but the board is runnung way too slow for me to look all of them up. There are a few old threads on the topic (try keywords grimace and mcdonaldland. In addition, Cecil himself has addressed many of these issues in old columns. Perhaps you can look them up when the board speeds up tonight. Good Luck!

Welcome to the boards, kingpengvin. As kaiju and ignatzmouse have pointed out, there are still plenty of threads (yea, e’en after the Great Pruning) on this subject. Use the Search Engine up at the top of the page to find 'em.

Oh, by the way, great Blackadder reference!


THANKS EVERYONE. sorry about posting something already discussed. (Dang Newbie)

PS Good eye Olentzero!!! Very few people ever get my tag, even though I put in the accent.