The McDonald's Throwback Merchandise That Had Twitter Losing It

To say that McDonald's is part of American culture almost feels like an understatement. Some might even say that the chain's combination of fast, greasy, food, colorful mascots, and iron grip on the industry, is what perfectly captures the American zeitgeist of business and consumerism. McDonald's has fried, grilled, and served its way into the hearts and arteries of billions of Americans. In 2013, The Fiscal Times reported that McDonald's' daily customer traffic of 62 million was more than the entire population of Great Britain. 

In today's world of social media, where companies have everything from Twitter to TikTok alongside their usual television commercials, it's easy to see the influence of McDonald's on the general public. The idea of something such as "Camp McDonald's" selling McDonald's-brand merchandise promoted by popular celebrities (via PR Newswire) sounds like something that could only happen in the wild and unpredictable 2020's. But if you were to step back just two or three decades to the 1980's, you would probably be surprised to see McDonald's actually ran a similar concept — albeit exchanging rappers for that classic '80s business-casual style, in which everything from baseball caps to French fry-shaped portable radios was offered to a burger-hungry populace.

Break out those credit cards and keep your phone handy as we dive into the world of tasteful, tacky, and perfectly-80's McDonald's merch.

You could order anything from a Ronald McDonald phone to a patio set

It's 1988 and you've either just snapped on your suspenders and slicked back your hair for a long day of corporate office work, or you're putting on your Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants to do some leisurely driving. Whether you were a go-getter in the world of stocks and bonds or you basked in both Reaganomics and Miami Vice, McDonald's had something to fit your style.

As London-based office stationary shop Correct and Present shows on its Twitter, McDonald's offered an impressive selection of merchandise for sale in 1988. Items included a wide selection of hats from baseball caps to pork-pie hats, summer coolers, a fully-furnished patio set with included umbrella for those wanting some "leisurely living", and an extensive selection of office supplies including a giant Ronald McDonald phone. Users were astounded by the quality and types of merchandise.

"This is next level merch" said user "Fast Food Punks."

"This is incredible," said user "CrystalGravy."

McDonald's is certainly no stranger to selling more than just burgers and fries. In fact, the 1987 catalog contained a bevy of Mickey D's-branded varsity jackets, polo shirts, and vests — perfect for when you felt like dressing up like a soap opera character and having a Quarter Pounder.

It was also during the late '80s that the McPizza was born, another famous (or infamous) product that graces the halls of McDonald's milestones.