For decades, a masked bandit in the McDonald’s world terrorized the denizens of a city under the watchful eye of Mayor McCheese. A stunningly indictment of the failed policies of the McCheese administration, this criminal with a inexplicably large head and a distended grin would steal hamburgers from poor souls wishing only to eat dinner, rarely to be caught and pay for his crimes. Known only as the Hamburglar, his chilling thievery was only topped by his catchphrase, a catchphrase that only added to the confusion to his true identity: “Robble, Robble.”
Since 2002, the Hamburglar has been silent. A silence that only adds to the chill of fear whenever one bites into a Big Mac, wondering if today is the day when this short boy-man will strike again and steal their lunch. Not even the Grimace, a creature that obviously cannot be stopped itself, could bring this maniac to justice.
Now he has returned. And McDonald’s has decided that the horrifying look of Ronald McDonald’s arch nemesis was not creepy enough. Taking a cue from Christopher Nolan’s dark take on Batman, the fast food chain decided to not only bring the Hamburglar back into the public conscience, but to make him even creepier by making him more human than mascot now. And give him some sort of origin story of domestic life that is cut short by his insatiable need to steal hamburgers.
See the striped apron? His handling of the spatula? The radio telling this tortured soul that the franchise has specialty burgers for only a limited time? An ad that obviously plays upon his dark desire to steal other people’s food? It seems like the Hamburglar will indeed rise again.
“We felt it was time to debut a new look for the Hamburglar after he’s been out of the public eye all these years,” Joel Yashinsky, McDonald’s’ Vice President of U.S. Marketing and fast food’s answer to Frank Miller said in a statement to Mashable. “He’s had some time to grow up a bit and has been busy raising a family in the suburbs and his look has evolved over time.”
And that look is indeed troubling. This new, adult Hamburglar, is darker. Sure, some of the old costume is still in play, but now his head is made of flesh and bone, and not plastic, with a five-O’clock shadow that shows he is no longer a punk kid criminal. No longer stealing burgers from the dollar menu, this Hamburglar is out for the premium stuff.
So in 2015, we may not get the Hamburglar we want, but the Hamburglar the franchise needs.