McNugget Buddies Return!

todayDecember 1, 2023 3

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McDonald’s is sparking nostalgic joy with the help of a visionary artist and some special McNugget “Buddies,” made popular in the quick-service chain’s Happy Meals decades ago.

The world’s leading global foodservice retailer, with more than 40,000 locations in over 100 countries, on Wednesday announced the upcoming debut of the Kerwin Frost Box – a one-of-a-kind global collaboration with artist and lifelong McDonald’s fan Kerwin Frost – launching Dec. 11 in the United States and other select markets around the world.

The Kerwin Frost Box will include the choice of a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets or Big Mac, fries, a soft drink and special McNugget Buddy collectible.

The McNugget Buddies are returning for the first time in more than 25 years, and Frost – an artist known for his work in fashion and music – helped design them.

Growing up in Harlem, New York, Frost found his McNugget Buddy collection to be a source of creative inspiration.

“So, it was only right for McDonald’s to bring back the Buddies, and through them, introduce fans to “Frost Way” – where everyone is welcome to be exactly who they are,” a news release states. “Complete with mix-and-match outfits, the Buddies’ designs are inspired by Kerwin’s childhood experiences and belief that everyone should feel free to express themselves.”

The Buddies include:

  • Kerwin Frost – The Mayor of Frost Way is a true champion of the Buddies and encourages them to be themselves. In his free time, catch him adding art to his collection or fixing things around the neighborhood.
  • Don Bernice – The Wise Stylist, an experienced fashion designer who creates all the outfits for the Buddies in Frost Way, while also offering stern advice (that’s always nice!). After all, she is “don” – the very best!
  • Uptown Moe – The Neighborhood Hero, the no-nonsense, street-smart, supportive guy from around the block in Frost Way everyone knows and loves. He also gives the best motivational speeches on a whim.
  • Waffutu – The Curious Optimist, who grew up in Frost Way and was raised by the whole neighborhood. She spreads positivity wherever she goes and can turn any frown upside down with the wave of a wand and tilt of a crown.
  • BRRRICK – The Cool Guy, the most adventurous Buddy in Frost Way who speaks in puns, loves trying new things and techno music. He’s lowkey nervous, but always cool under pressure.
  • Darla – The Dreamer, a soft-spoken yet peacefully confident singer who moved to Frost Way to pursue her dream of becoming a superstar as the lead singer of “The Frostettos.” When she’s not on stage, she’s running the local McDonald’s in Frost Way – where she’s employee of the month every month!

“With last year’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, we unlocked the childlike joy of opening a Happy Meal box for fans of all ages,” said Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA chief marketing and customer experience officer.

“Fans told us they wanted to celebrate that quintessential childhood experience again. So, we’re excited to team up with Kerwin on this next take, as he brings his own childhood McDonald’s memories to life through reimagined McDonald’s characters, immersing our fans in the world of Frost Way.”

The McNugget Buddies were first introduced in 1988 as part of a limited time Happy Meal featuring ten different McNugget Buddy collectibles. They’re best known for their wacky adventures and personalities, wild imaginations and interchangeable outfits.

“I’ve loved McDonald’s since I was a kid,” Frost said.

“I even had my own Ronald McDonald doll that I brought to picture day at school, and it was my dream to collect all the McNugget Buddies. Now, coming up with my own special set of Buddies – each one representing different aspects of self-expression – it’s unreal, a dream come true. McDonald’s has been a great partner from day one, and they’ve truly allowed me to create without limits. I hope the Kerwin Frost Box will serve as a reminder for people to hone their creativity and not be afraid to show the world who they really are.”

Fans will also be able to express their style with custom McDonald’s x Kerwin Frost merchandise including a variety of items featuring the McNugget Buddy collection, as well as iconic vintage pieces from Kerwin’s own archive.

In addition, McDonald’s x Kerwin Frost are releasing a first-of-its-kind new footwear silhouette with the Fry Guy shoes (as seen on the Kerwin Frost McNugget Buddy) on Dec. 11.

A portion of proceeds from Frost’s exclusive program merchandise line will support Harlem Arts Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit organization helping spark creativity and inspire self-expression in young adults growing up in Harlem, where Kerwin’s creative journey first began.

Written by: Jason Knight - Program Director

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