- Grimace, the purple blobby McDonald’s mascot, has ignited a recent storm of memes and fanfare.
- People are now selling their ‘vintage’ Grimace T-shirts, toys, and other merchandise for high prices.
- While most vendors have made real sales, some, like this McDonald’s paper bag listed for $3,000, seem to be trolling the trend.
Over the last few weeks, the McDonald’s character Grimace — the beloved furry purple blob that made its debut in 1971 — has taken over the modern internet after the fast food chain released a signature purple milkshake for the mascot’s birthday.
The shake has inspired a tsunami of articles and memes and become the center of a somewhat baffling viral trend involving people pretending to pass out after drinking it (the drink is completely safe to consume, by the way).
The drink, and all of its fanfare, have also seemingly increased the value of older Grimace merchandise. Internet users on various marketplace websites, like eBay and Grailed, are selling Grimace-themed merch from the ’80s and ’90s for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
On the fashion resale site Grailed, there are multiple Grimace shirts listed for $200 or more. One user listed a Grimace happy meal toy, which has four bulging eyeballs and a menacing smile, at $300.
Many of the more expensive items are described as “vintage,” including a white t-shirt with a cap-wearing Grimace peeking out of the chest pocket. The description says it’s from the 1990s.
eBay is also packed with sellers hawking Grimace apparel and toys to feed the milkshake mania. One user is offering a Grimace party costume for $257 (which has 44 people watching the bid, at least at the time of this writing).
In addition to clothing, eBay sellers are offering almost every kind of Grimace-themed paraphernalia imaginable: plush toys, soap dishes, beanies, combs, posters, penances, and pool floats. There’s even a backyard installment that the seller is calling a “Grimace bounce house” on sale for $3,000.
There have already been some big sales on the platform. On Tuesday, a vintage Grimace stuffed animal was sold for $720 after 123 bids were placed. A Grimace chair was sold for $1,000 in mid-June, while a bundle for a bag and some stickers sold for $115.
The hype and jokes surrounding the mascot have become so potent that people are even listing merchandise to troll.
One user priced a cup of already consumed Grimace birthday milkshake for $6,969 (“Condition: Used,” the page says).
Grimace fandom in 2023 is reaching a fever pitch. The hashtag “GrimaceShake” has amassed over 1.8 billion total views on TikTok. While he was originally marketed as a Grinch-like character known as “Evil Grimace,” mostly for a shtick that he steals other peoples’ milkshakes, he’s undergone a complete reputation overhaul on social media. Over the last decade, the fast food giant has slowly and strategically revamped Grimace’s personality to be friendlier and goofier.
Today, he’s idolized as a queer icon.
Whether you’re a superfan or have been super confused, there is now literal value to the craze.
In one viral TikTok clip from Monday, a McDonald’s drive-thru customer filmed himself paying an employee $15 for the Grimace-themed shirt he was wearing. “This boutta start a bidding war on grimace shirts, ” wrote a top comment with 20,000 likes.