The year was 1992.
I was still riding the Batman high that came from the ‘89 film when Batman Returns hit the big screen and continued the Bat fervor that the first movie began. Batman Returns upped the ante with two villains straight out of Batman’s rogues gallery and a whole load of new merchandise for Batman, Catwoman, and The Penguin.
Obviously there were the action figures and other toys, but one place that really went all out with Bat-mania was McDonald’s. I was 12 in 1992 so I was at the point where I felt the need to convince myself that I was too old for toys and Happy Meals. McDonald’s and Batman convinced me otherwise, at least for a time.
McDonald’s chose to skip the normal Happy Meal boxes and went with the bags that they’ve sometimes used. That’s definitely a strike against them because those boxes have become almost as iconic as the Golden Arches, but everything else they did for Batman Returns was just right.
One of my favorite things that McDonald’s did was make black cups for their french fries. They put the Batman Returns bat symbol front and center. It made for a striking change to the normal red and yellow cups.
Drinks also came in big plastic Batman cups that featured the Caped Crusader, Catwoman, Penguin, and even Bruce dancing with Selina Kyle. Each cup also had its own lid that doubled as a frisbee.
Then there were the Happy Meal toys. There were only four, but they were perfect. The Penguin and Catwoman each received a car that was not movie specific, though I could totally see Danny Devito’s Penguin driving his little yellow umbrella-mobile. Batman himself took the other two spots with a pretty nice little Batmobile and a weird little rocket tank vehicle.
This was a great time for Batman fans. The 90’s started off hot from the ‘89 film and kept it up with Batman Returns and the excellent Batman: The Animated Series which McDonald’s also used for Happy Meals. Maybe I need to take a look at those in the future right here at Monsters of Geek.