Things Only Adults Notice About McDonald's Alien Mascot CosMc

It is not uncommon for eateries around the globe to have one or more mascots to increase brand recognition. Chuck E. Cheese has Charles Entertainment Cheese and his creepy gang of animatronic friends, Wendy's has Wendy, and KFC has Colonel Sanders. But in the colorful world of fast food mascots, McDonald's might boast the largest variety. McDonald's has an array of iconic characters, from the lovable Hamburglar to the global sensation Ronald McDonald, whose fame once rivaled Santa Claus. Nestled amid this star-studded cast of characters is an underrated gem: the one and only CosMc.

With six stubby arms, chunky white kicks, and an unmistakable alien aesthetic, he's a charming otherworldly creature who's equal parts quirky and endearing. Despite not achieving the same level of recognition as some of his more popular counterparts within the franchise, CosMc's unique persona adds a delightful layer to the McDonald's universe.

Like the far regions of the cosmos, there's a wealth of lesser-known tidbits to uncover about this friendly, burger-obsessed character from outer space. Set your engines to light speed and prepare to be‌ captivated and enthralled by facts only adults notice about this cosmic, interstellar McDonald's mascot.

CosMc is over 35 years old

While not the oldest fast-food mascot on the scene, CosMc (pronounced cosmic) holds a unique and cherished place in the hearts of those who remember the '80s era of McDonald's marketing. This lovable extraterrestrial character burst onto the scene in 1987, making his first appearance in a McDonald's commercial titled "The Story of CosMc."

CosMc's story begins when he crash lands in the whimsical world of McDonaldland. Initially mistaken for a flower pot by Ronald McDonald and friends, CosMc quickly reveals his true identity as an alien on a trade mission. What follows is a delightful exchange of random objects, including an attempt by CosMc to trade Ronald's coveted picnic basket of cheeseburgers for a bouquet. When this fails, CosMc is prompted to join the gang for a McDonald's picnic, initiating his cosmic love affair with McDonald's food.

CosMc starred in two more commercials, each adding to his interstellar lore. In 1988, he took Ronald McDonald on an out-of-this-world tour in his spacecraft, concluding the adventure with a visit to a futuristic McDonald's restaurant on the moon. The following year, in 1989, the two pals attempted to meet in their respective homes but missed each other on the way before eventually reuniting in space. Sadly, after 1992, CosMc faded into relative obscurity, leaving fans to cherish the nostalgia of those quirky, space-themed commercials from yesteryear.

CosMc is getting his own spinoff restaurant chain in 2024

In the not-too-distant future, the fast food scene is about to get a real shake-up. McDonald's little alien that could will have a cosmic comeback in 2024. The company is set to reintroduce its beloved but mostly forgotten googly-eyed mascot by unveiling an entirely new restaurant brand and concept, aptly named CosMc's. This isn't just a nod to nostalgia; it's a bold move to inject fresh energy in a market that has become creatively stagnant.

Little has been revealed about the new venture so far. But according to CEO Chris Kempczinski, "[CosMc's] is a small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald's but its own unique personality" (via Seeking Alpha). Who knows what kind of food we can expect to see; hopefully, the cuisine is familiar but one-of-a-kind so CosMc's stands out from its parent brand.

Though the exact launch date is undisclosed, McDonald's will be testing the waters in a very limited number of locations to gauge the concept's reception in the market. The full reveal of what CosMc's has in store is scheduled for December, during McDonald's Investor Day. Exciting times are ahead.

Grimace might have helped revive CosMc's career

Grimace, the beloved purple blob-like creature from McDonaldland, may have played a pivotal role in reviving CosMc's career and sparking the idea for the upcoming CosMc restaurant concept set to debut in 2024. Grimace's resurgence of popularity began with a masterstroke of marketing genius — the introduction of the Grimace Birthday Meal in June to celebrate the mascot's 52nd birthday on June 12th.

This meal offered a Big Mac or McNuggets with McDonald's famous crispy french fries and a never-before-seen Grimace birthday milkshake. The star of this meal was the unique shake, which had a distinctively vibrant violet color. The colorful concoction was a limited edition sensation that took the internet by storm, going viral and attracting the attention and curiosity of consumers nationwide due to its unusual appearance and sweet vanilla and berry flavor profile.

Although the company hasn't made this connection explicit, it seems likely that the massive success of the Grimace birthday meal prompted the creative team to capitalize on this opportunity to reintroduce CosMc on a much larger scale, capturing the renewed enthusiasm for the brand's nostalgic mascots. We all owe Grimace a big thank you for helping CosMc prepare to re-enter the limelight and bring a fresh concept to the brand.

CosMc was in a videogame

The endearing alien McDonald's mascot made an interesting cameo in a video game, the 1992 NES game called M.C. Kids. Developed by Virgin, this side-scrolling platform adventure allowed players to traverse the various biomes of McDonaldland, creating a memorable experience for '90s kids and young gamers who fondly remember it.

CosMc makes a brief but charming appearance when the player, in the latter half of the game, encounters him at his retreat on the moon. In a delightful rendezvous, the player can assist him with a task before continuing their adventure and heading back to McDonaldland. For all the CosMc stans out there, this minor inclusion was a nice touch to provide the mascot with some much-needed promotion and recognition, no matter how small.

Notably, M.C. Kids had a relatively short development cycle of just eight months. Two members of the development team, Gregg Iz-Tavares and Dan Chang, put their hearts into the project, hoping to create an engaging and fun world to explore. Unfortunately, the game sold poorly due to a lack of promotion and accusations of copying the iconic Mario. While M.C. Kids may not have achieved the commercial success its creators hoped for, it did provide CosMc with a memorable credit to add to its list of pop culture achievements.

Who created CosMc?

CosMc is a strange alien creature whose appearance immediately draws your attention, allowing him to stand out from the other colorful characters within the McDonald's universe. Who came up with such an original idea for a mascot? The creation of CosMc is credited to writer David Ayers, who collaborated with art directors Sig Bogdziewicz and Jerome Walker in 1986 to develop CosMc for the Leo Burnett ad agency. CosMc's whimsical appearance and adorkable persona perfectly captured the brand's fun factor while injecting a dash of interstellar flair into '80s-era McDonald's ads. His personality and traits were later detailed and codified by another Leo Burnett art director, Rich Seidelman, in the "Ronald McDonald and Friends Specification Manual" in 1992.

While the identity of his home planet and more in-depth details about the creative process of his inception are relatively elusive, CosMc's unique vibe still earns him a place as a beloved late-'80s figure.

CosMc isn't his original name

The name of a mascot is just as important as the character itself. Choosing a name that's clever and thematically fitting is critical for setting up a mascot to be a memorable and recognizable part of the brand. CosMc's name, although iconic, clever, and fitting for the character, wasn't his original name. When McDonald's was conceptualizing this lovable mascot in the late 1980s, he was initially called Otto Control. This name was a clever play on the phrase "out of control," emphasizing the cosmic and playful nature of the character.

However, Leo Burnett's legal department raised concerns regarding potential naming issues, as there was an elevator company that already owned the name Otto Control. Thus, it was deemed necessary to find an alternative name for the character.

As a result, the creative minds at McDonald's faced the challenge of coming up with a new name that would capture the essence of the cosmic character while avoiding any legal entanglements. The result of this process was the endearing and memorable name CosMc, which perfectly encapsulated the extraterrestrial charm of the character. With CosMc being a clever play on the word "cosmic," it was a no-brainer. "Otto Control's" doesn't have the same catchy ring as "CosMc's" as the name for a new restaurant, does it?

CosMc is part alien, part vehicle

Of all the mascots McDonald's has brought to the world over the years, CosMc is probably one of the more unique and outlandish designs. On the surface, he appears to be an orange-skinned alien wearing a metallic space suit. But according to a former art director, Rich Seidelman, who worked on McDonaldland ad campaigns, CosMc isn't wearing a suit, but rather, he's actually part creature, part vehicle. His remarkable vehicle body is a spherical, Sputnik-like object. When CosMc takes to the air, his head and limbs retract into the vehicle's body, giving him the appearance of a flying mechanical orb.

It seems that this vehicular orb-shaped body is what allows him to move at swift speeds through the air, but because of this metal vehicle body, he is vulnerable to the pull of magnetic force, as seen when Ronald McDonald humorously pulled him with a large magnet after he tried to take Ronald's cheeseburgers in his debut commercial.

There's also a display panel/screen on his vehicle body that adds an element of mystery to the character. Its exact function remains unclear, as it was never explained in the commercials. Perhaps it could be a control center or communication device. But really, the ambiguity surrounding this element only deepens the enigma of CosMc. 

CosMc's personality and interests are more fleshed out than you think

Though CosMc may have had a relatively short presence in the McDonaldland universe, he possesses a surprisingly rich personality and a set of unique interests. His quirks are laid out in the "Ronald McDonald and Friends Specification Manual," which reveals many intriguing facets of CosMc's loveable but chaotic nature.

At the core of CosMc's character is his fun-loving and wacky demeanor. He approaches life with an infectious enthusiasm and a love for adventure. His unusual background as an otherworldly being leads to a distinctive characteristic — his overly literal interpretation of Earth's language, culture, and customs. This often results in comical misunderstandings, making him a source of laughter in the McDonaldland stories that he appears in.

He's also a very active chap, enjoying activities like dancing, skating, flying, and performing. His speech patterns morphed into a funny blend of hip Earth slang and his natural electronic sounds, All in all, CosMc is a burger-obsessed oddball, but that's all a part of his carefully curated, endearing charm.