McDonald’s is tapping into nostalgia once again with its newest celebrity collaboration, featuring Kerwin Frost, an artist and DJ from Harlem known for his work in fashion and music. The collaboration is part of a reimagined McNugget Buddies rollout starting Dec. 11. McNugget Buddies were first introduced in 1988 as part of a limited-time Happy Meal promotion featuring 10 different adaptations of McNuggets characters in various costumes.
The company notes the “Kerwin Frost Box” will launch in the U.S. and other select markets around the world and marks the first “unboxing” experience since last year’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Box. The Cactus Plant Flea Market collaboration was wildly successful for McDonald’s, driving a 37% year-over-year uptick in traffic the week it was launched.
With more global markets added to this campaign — as part of the One McDonald’s Way strategy announced earlier this year — the company could very well duplicate that success. Similar to Cactus Plant Flea Market, Kerwin Frost first rose to prominence as part of the streetwear scene, and is the founder of the Spaghetti Boys, a collective known for viral YouTube videos and streetwear collaborations.
“With last year’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, we unlocked the childlike joy of opening a Happy Meal box for fans of all ages,” Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA chief marketing and customer experience officer, said in a statement. “Fans told us they wanted to celebrate that quintessential childhood experience again. So, we’re excited to team up with Kerwin on this next take, as he brings his own childhood McDonald’s memories to life through reimagined McDonald’s characters, immersing our fans in the world of Frost Way.”
The Kerwin Frost Box will include the following reimagined McNugget Buddies:
- Kerwin Frost: The Mayor of Frost Way is a true champion of the Buddies and encourages them to be themselves. In his free time, catch him adding art to his collection or fixing things around the neighborhood.
- Don Bernice: The Wise Stylist, an experienced fashion designer who creates all the outfits for the Buddies in Frost Way, while also offering stern advice (that’s always nice).
- Uptown Moe: The Neighborhood Hero, the no-nonsense, street-smart, supportive guy from around the block in Frost Way everyone knows and loves. He also gives the best motivational speeches on a whim.
- Waffutu: The Curious Optimist, who grew up in Frost Way and was raised by the whole neighborhood. She spreads positivity wherever she goes and can turn any frown upside down with the wave of a wand and tilt of a crown.
- BRRRICK: The Cool Guy, the most adventurous Buddy in Frost Way who speaks in puns, loves trying new things and techno music. He’s lowkey nervous, but always cool under pressure.
- Darla: The Dreamer, a soft-spoken yet peacefully confident singer who moved to Frost Way to pursue her dream of becoming a superstar as the lead singer of “The Frostettos.” When she’s not on stage, she’s running the local McDonald’s in Frost Way — where she’s employee of the month every month.
“I’ve loved McDonald’s since I was a kid. I even had my own Ronald McDonald doll that I brought to picture day at school, and it was my dream to collect all the McNugget Buddies,” Frost said in a statement. “Now, coming up with my own special set of Buddies — each one representing different aspects of self-expression — it's unreal, a dream come true. McDonald’s has been a great partner from day one, and they’ve truly allowed me to create without limits. I hope the Kerwin Frost Box will serve as a reminder for people to hone their creativity and not be afraid to show the world who they really are.”
To support the collaboration, a McDonald’s x Kerwin Frost merchandise line will also be available beginning Dec. 11 at kerwinfrost.com and will include items from the McNugget Buddy collection and vintage pieces from Frost’s archive. It will also include a new footwear silhouette with the Fry Guy shoes, as seen on the Kerwin Frost McNugget Buddy.
A portion of the proceeds from the Kerwin Frost Box will go toward the Harlem Arts Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit organization that supports emerging and established artists.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]