How Old Is McDonald's Hamburglar?

In 2023, McDonald's dove deep into Gen X nostalgia, reviving the Grimace and feting him with a purple birthday shake meant to celebrate his 52nd birthday. This makes one wonder about the rest of the original McDonaldland gang. Will they, too, return for similar treatment? As it so happens, Hamburglar also turns 52 in 2023, as he was also introduced in 1971. While Hamburglar remained a part of McDonald's marketing up until his 2002 retirement, he underwent quite a few makeovers during that time. 

The newly-birthed burglar was something out of a kid's (or parent's) worst nightmare, a creepy old man who gabbled nonsense and whose sole purpose in life seemed to revolve around swiping burgers alongside his partner in crime, Filet-O-Fish fan Captain Crook. Of course, the gruesome twosome was thwarted in their efforts by Ronald McDonald and McDonaldland Chief of Police, Officer Big Mac. However, another early Hamburglar incarnation, the "Lone Jogger," didn't make too much sense, as the '70s jogging fad was associated with the kind of healthy lifestyle that doesn't seem to jive with excessive burger consumption. Finally, in the '80s, McDonald's got it right with a mischievous young Hamburglar, a redheaded baby bandito that looked like a cross between Dennis the Menace and a Cabbage Patch Kid.

Hamburglar 2.0 is less than a decade old

McDonald's eventually got rid of the Hamburglar in 2002, not in a big, messy, Mr. Peanut-esque mascot murder, but rather by quietly dropping him (along with most of the remaining McDonaldland characters) from the roster. Well, it turns out that he did not go off to that great mascot graveyard in the sky. According to McDonald's' U.S. Marketing Vice President Joel Yashinsky (as told to Mashable), Hamburglar was simply growing up, which is something mascots only seem capable of doing when out of the public eye.

According to the backstory, the new and improved Hamburglar, who debuted in a 2015 ad campaign, had moved to the suburbs and fathered a few kids. No mention was made of a Mrs. or Mr. Hamburglar, so perhaps the financial pinch of raising them as a single dad might have necessitated the return to his burger-thieving ways. The new Hamburglar, who appeared to be 30ish, was meant to appeal to millennials. This tactic had a certain amount of success, as some found him to be quite the hipster hottie. But did he move burgers? Not so much. Those bougie Sirloin Third Pound Burgers he was flogging last decade have long since vanished from the menu. What's more, a 2023 McDonald's commercial features the classic '80s version of the character, so it's possible that Hamburglar 2.0 went back to the 'burbs and sent one of his kids in his stead.