Even the competition knew how cool McDonald’s Halloween Buckets were. Enter 1994 Hardee’s Halloween Buckets.
These buckets are definitely not a rip off of the McDonald’s buckets, which clearly have the most character. Hardee’s Halloween buckets came with food and held candy. These happen to also glow in the dark like some of McDonald’s ghost buckets. And that’s really where the similarities end.
Here are the 1994 Hardee’s Halloween Buckets. Available at Hardee’s restaurants in fall 1994, you had your choice of one bucket. Ha! The white glow-in-the-dark pail had an orange “Hardee’s” printed on both sides, with “Happy Halloween” on side one being flanked by a green-faced witch, a ghost exclaiming, “Boo!” and a scared cat amongst some falling leaves and a crescent moon hanging in the sky.
The opposite side says “Trick or Treat” and this time, there’s a smiling jack-o-lantern, a skeleton wearing a cape, more leaves, a bat, and at the bottom, a spooky house surrounded by trees and a purple sky. The buckets did not come with lids.
Hardee’s buckets, though not having as much variety as the McDonald’s versions, did have one advantage: Capacity. These buckets were larger than McDonald’s buckets, and you know if you are a serious candy hound, the McDonald’s buckets are not going to do you any favors. The Hardee’s bucket will without a doubt handle more candy. More, yes, but probably still not enough. And that’s where I think these buckets wash with McD’s… at least McDonald’s were useful as decorations. Hardee’s buckets are not inspired enough to set out as Halloween decor, but seem to be seriously meant for collecting candy.