MONSTERSofADVERTISING - Barreticus
Believe it or not, McDonald’s wasn’t always open twenty-four hours a day. There was a time when McD’s was only a lunch place, then they thought breakfast was a good idea. And some time in the late 80’s some genius thought that dinner was a good idea too. They introduced a Mac tonight; a crescent moon-shaped, piano-playing, jazz-singing advocate of late night dining to get the word out to the general public.
Of all the the thousands of product mascots in existence, I think he has the most interesting history. Mac Tonight was created as a parody of legendary crooner, Bobby Darin, and sang a corporate ear-worm parody of Darin’s cover of “Mack The Knife.” The original lyrics tell of title character MacHeath, a.k.a. Mack The Knife, a notorious gangster known for womanizing, robbery, and stabbing folks, hence the nickname and title of the song. The lyrics were changed to focus on the selling points of McD’s marketing campaign, encouraging families to think of Big Macs and Filet-O-Fishes when it came to supper time.
As a kid, I never knew of Darin, the complicated history of “Mack The Knife,” and the mixed feelings of these influences used for a fast food campaign. All I knew was that I liked this Moon Man character. He was my immediate choice as the icon work with when asked to contribute to this show.
In creating the figure, I knew I would have to sculpt the head myself. But I wanted to find some action figure parts to bootleg, partly to save some time but also to pay homage to the toys that I loved. People that follow my work will know that I am heavily Influenced by Playmates Toys and the original TMNT line, but nothing there had anything usable for Mac’s body. Nor did Toxic Crusaders, or Earthworm Jim figures. Obviously.
I ended up watching a bunch of youtube videos on the history of some toy companies, including Playmates, and the 1990 Dick Tracy movie figures came up. I knew these of figures, but when it was stated that they were produced by Playmates, I knew I was in luck! a lot of the figures wore suits and all looked pretty similar. Not a great line of toys, but I knew I would be able to cobble together a pretty good body if i could get a hold of some. I grabbed three figures for a song on eBay.
Mumbles provided the arms and front torso, Shoulders provided the back torso because he had a nice pleat sculpted in, which Mumbles’ did not. I used Dick Tracy’s legs because he had the best saddle shoes. I also found, in a random bag of figure accessories, a weird battle axe Saxophone. I think it may have been from Stone Protectors? but I cut off the axe part and there I had a suitable musical instrument accessory. I tried to find a grand piano in the right scale, but had no luck. Fortunately there were images online of Mac with a sax. Lastly, I borrowed the sunglasses from a TMNT Wacky Action Head-Spinnin’ Bebop. A few parts also got some extra love for cool features during the casting process.
I was just focused on finding the right parts and sculpting a nice head, that it took me a little while to realize the serendipity of using toy figures of gangsters to create a character who sings and is a parody of a song about a gangster. Maybe this part is only amusing to me but I think its funny how things come together sometimes.
The final figure itself is compiled of ten pieces, has 7 points of articulation just like the true Playmates figures. His body is cast in black, head and hands are cast in a bright, brilliant blue GID, while the Sax is cast in a UV (blacklight) reactive custom yellow, and a limited edition chrome Barretticus Action figure stand. As an added bonus, The set comes with an authentic vintage McDonald’s Mac Tonight plastic cup, to give your figure a true sense of history
Glows in the Dark
comes with vintage Mac Tonight Cup!