Mad For This Bag

McDonald’s SG has offered another free bag. People are going frantic, again

McD’s purportedly coveted “puffer” bag. Photo: mcdsg/Instagram

By Mao Shan Wang

We know many people love free things. And if the freebie is not especially attractive, the greater the love. And no love is more extreme than the passion for the gifts-with-purchase at McDonald’s. Just yesterday, McD released what they called The McGriddles Patty Puffer Bag and fans of the burger chain’s highly-perceived products went quite crazy. The bag, according to McD would be available from 7am, but queues, as expected, formed much earlier. This time. the on-site excitement escaped me. I was not incited enough to wake up so early to witness the frenzy for myself, but according to reports and social media chatter, the bag was sold out, as soon as the fast food joint was opened. Apparently, only the first 200 in line stood a chance to own the bag as McD made only that many pieces available. Nothing screams unmissable as “limited”. Or breakfast?

Truth be told, I have never owned anything branded McD, or associated with it. I am a Coca Cola lover, yet I do not own any of their eponymous merchandise. Nope, never have. I am in no habit of announcing my love of certain foods or drink on my chest. Or on my shoes or my bags. To be sure, The McGriddles Patty Puffer Bag (my fingers were tired from typing that. I can’t imagine having to say the name, repeatedly) is not emblazoned with any logo, but, curiously there is what seems like a hangtag sticking out at the bottom, alongside a small, squarish McD logo, kind of like big tongue, little tongue, but what they’re doing down there is anyone’s guess. There are four quilted squares on the front, supposedly to mimic the “juicy patties” of the McGriddles. And the brown of the bag supposedly takes after the cooked meat too. But, in sum, I am not sure if it looks that delicious. McD’s social media campaign made it desirable with images that looked influencer-generated and influencer-approved.

McDonald’s S$14.90 Big Mac ‘N’ Fries crossbody from 2022. File photo: Zhao Xiangji for SOTD

As much as I can remember, this isn’t the first time McD has paired a bag with meal or burger. Last year, in early January, when were were still pandemic-stricken, the restaurant availed a small crossbody in two styles, Sesame Seed and Big Mac ‘N’ Fries—the difference was in the print. But unlike the present release, they were sold for S$14.90 apiece with any purchase. As was expected, the queues were crazily long. Having to pay for it was no deterrent. So a bag for nothing except the meal you are expected to buy would appeal far and wide. What is curious this time is that McD limited The McGriddles Patty Puffer Bag (there we go again) to only one outlet—Canberra, opposite the MRT station of the same name. Were they trying to make this truly limited? Two hundred pieces for a population of more than 5 million are, you’ll agree, pretty minimal, even dismal. I think a business as massive as McD offering only 200 bags is pathetic and, frankly, insufficient.

And just as predictable was the appearance of the bags on Carousell almost immediately after they were up for grabs. At one point, prices had shot up to a staggering high of S$288 before they hovered around S$100. Scalpers sure knew how to price. Could the limited number be part of the problem? The availability in just one outlet rather than nation-wide clearly elicited a rapid, must-make-money response. Eagle-eyed Netizens pointed out just as quickly that similar (some say identical) bags can be found on the website of Australian brand My Mom Made It for the grand some of AU$150.54 (or about S$133). They do look alike. But that is not a limited edition item and does not come with a gratifying American fast food label. This is not going to be the last time McDonald’s griddles a bag for hungry bag lovers. Don’t be surprised when they angle and dangle a Fillet-O-Fish sacoche next.