There used to be a time when fast food joints and other popular establishments gave out novelty glasses for their loyal customers to take home. These clear glasses were adorned with different icons- either related to the restaurant itself, or to a TV show or movie that was extremely popular at that time. But as do many fads both before and since then, novelty glasses are no longer a thing anymore. That’s not to say that they’re completely extinct; some collectors spend hours, days, weeks, or even longer to snatch them up. What may look like simple glasses to you are seen as a priceless item to another. Hey, it’s how the old saying goes- one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Maybe some of these glasses will make you feel nostalgic. Or you maybe not have known that they existed in the first place. Either way, here are some fast food glasses that will make you wish that they were easily available today.
10. Burger Chef’s King Kong Glasses
On December 17th, 1976, King Kong was released into theatres to scare the pants off anyone who saw the movie. This remake of the 1933 classic- which had Jeff Bridges playing the leading role- had a lot of hype prior to its release, mainly due to its scary and iconic source material. But that wasn’t the only thing that made fans excited for the newest instalment of the King Kong franchise. Prior to and during the release of the film, well-known fast-food chain BurgerChef released King Kong-themed drinking glasses that customers could snag for a limited time. These glasses featured scenes from the movie- most of which featured the fearsome ape himself. The glasses were cool, easy to spot, and even a little scary looking! Today, BurgerChef is a fast-food restaurant that is no longer in business. The company was bought out by fast-food giant Hardee’s for $44 million in 1981. This means that many people today may not even know that BurgerChef was once a thing. But that doesn’t mean these King Kong glasses have also completely faded away into obscurity. Several people continue to scroll through eBay and other auction sites to get their hands on these cool glasses.
9. Arby’s Pac-Man Glasses
Back in the early 1980s, Atari’s Pac-Man was all the rage with video gamers. It took the world by storm due to its bright colours, cool looking graphics, and the challenge that was brought on with every passing level. While it would go on to become one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, it had yet to reach such a status in the 1980s. But that didn’t stop many companies from trying to capitalize on its immense popularity. Case in point: the fast-food chain known as Arby’s. This joint began to sell Pac-Man-themed glasses shortly after the first game obtained a lot of popularity. For a whopping 59 cents and the purchase of a medium soft drink, a customer could purchase a Pac-Man glass to drink out of, display, or simply for bragging rights. The glasses in question featured an image of Pac-Man himself, chowing down on a couple of ghosts while the others ran for their lives. It epitomized what the fun arcade game was all about, making it the perfect fit for fans. While Arby’s no longer sells the Pac-Man-themed glasses, many who have previously purchased them continue to sell them online. While they’ll cost you far more than 59 cents and a medium soft drink, some may be able to justify buying them anyways.
8. Sunoco’s Ghostbusters 2 Glasses
After the huge success that was 1984’s Ghostbusters, it wasn’t a surprise to see a sequel come out a few years later. Ghostbusters II was released on June 16th, 1989- about five years after the first film. It was a huge commercial success due to its perfect blend of comedy and action. While the film had a lot of well deserved hype prior to its release, it didn’t hurt to have other companies give it a push however possible. Enter Sunoco- a chain of gas stations in the United States. They were responsible for releasing a line of six glasses inspired by Ghostbusters II. One could be obtained after paying for a minimum gas fill-up of 25 litres. The one per customer limit would inspired some customers to return to a Sunoco repeatedly to get whatever glasses they had yet to collect. With each glass featuring a different Ghostbusters II character, who could blame any customer for wanting to get their hands on all six? While these cool glasses inspired by the late 1980s action-comedy film is no longer available from any Sunocos to speak of, they, too, are available on certain websites to buy. Who knows- with enough time and effort, you could very well end up successfully collecting all six Ghostbusters II glasses!
7. Godfather’s Pizza’s Goonies Glasses
Another line of glasses heavily inspired by a popular 1980s film- this time, we look to The Goonies as the source of inspiration here. This 1985 adventure comedy wasn’t as critically or commercially successful as the other films mentioned on this list, but it shouldn’t be dismissed because of this. Besides, The Goonies would go on to become a beloved cult classic in its own right. But during its initial 1985 run, it still managed to win a fair amount of fans in its own right. While the film itself clearly achieved that feat, it may not have been the only way that it garnered its respective fan base. Popular American pizza joint Godfather’s Pizza released a line of glasses inspired by The Goonies. This occurred during its theatre run, although it doesn’t appear to be a random choice. Those who’ve seen the movie know that there’s a brief but humourous reference made about Godfather’s Pizza. So it should actually come as no surprise that the fast-food place would respond with Goonies-inspired glasses. Although whether it was truly intentional or a mere coincidence has never been revealed. While Godfather’s Pizzas continues to be a successful pizza place, their glasses are no longer a thing at their locations. You might strike gold and get your hands on a Goonies-inspired glass, but it’s hard to say for certain. But of course, there’s no harm in trying.
6. Pizza Hut’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Glasses
During the summer of 1982, acclaimed director Steven Spielberg released a film that would become a massive critical and commercial success- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Movie goers laughed and cried equally hard, but most of them watched in awe at the beautiful friendship that grew between Elliot and E.T. in this sci-fi flick about getting the latter character back home. It’s no wonder that it was once the high-grossing films of all time, or that it would go on to become a classic in its own right. To commemorate the release of ET. the Extra-Terrestrial, Pizza Hut released glasses that showed off the alien’s face, among other iconic characters from the movie. While simple in their design, it actually worked out really well. Considering how beautifully made the movie was, there didn’t need to be anything flashy to get customers wanting them. After all, who wouldn’t want a glass with E.T.’s face plastered right on it? Pizza Hut knew that they’d have a hit on their hands- and they were right. Those who wish to have an E.T.-inspired glass in their possession will be sad to learn that Pizza Hut no longer carries them. But with many people selling them online for various prices- which range from reasonable to ridiculous- perhaps not all hope will be lost for you.
5. Hardee’s Looney Tunes Glasses
Arguably one of the longest-running and most successful cartoon franchises in history, Looney Tunes has managed to maintain a strong level of popularity with both adults and children alike. But when you really sit and think about it, it’s not hard to see why that’s the case. The cartoons are super amusing, the characters are respectively unique, and the humour within each short is something that the entire family can enjoy together. It’s sure to stay popular to some extent for many years to come. Back in 1977, large fast-food corporation Hardee’s released glasses with plenty of well-known Looney Tunes characters adorned all over. Unlike Pepsi’s glasses from 1973- just four years before Hardee’s came out with their version- there wasn’t just one character per glass. Instead, each glass showed off multiple characters at once. This made them more colourful and more interesting for consumers. Characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and so many more can be seen on one or more glass. Whether you prefer Pepsi’s glasses or Hardee’s, one thing is certain- both are iconic in their own right. That’s largely thanks to the Looney Tunes‘ characters that make them hard to mistake for something else. If you’re itching to get one or more, perhaps it’s time to look online for a place to buy them.
4. Taco Bell’s Star Trek III Glasses
One of the most popular and well-loved sci-fi franchises has to be Star Trek. Between the multiple movies and TV shows that have been released over the years- not to mention spin-offs and remakes- it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard of Star Trek. It’s just one of those franchises that’s going to be incredibly popular for many, many years to come. This may explain why, to celebrate the 1984 release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Taco Bell came out with glasses to promote the newest addition to the sci-fi series. The glasses were just different enough to make each one unique, but still similar enough to make them a cohesive collection. For example, one glass shows off the U.S.S. Excelsior, whereas another recreates a still shot of three characters. That will make you want to collect each and every last one! It’s been about 35 years since the release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, but these glasses will continue to remind fans and non-fans alike of its release. This shouldn’t be a problem; one way to commemorate a franchise’s latest addition is to create memorabilia for it. That will make you want to get your hands on it that much more.
3. Taco Time’s Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom Glasses
Here we have another well-known and well loved Steven Spielberg film that became the inspiration of a cool set of retro glasses. This time, the film in question was the Harrison Ford vehicle Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which was released two years after the previously mentioned E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The second instalment of the already successful action-adventure movie franchise rightfully had a lot of hype behind it due to the first film’s massive critical and commercial success. Needless to say, it should come as no surprise that The Temple of Doom would be promoted in multiple ways for fans to enjoy. Leave it to Mexican fast-food chain Taco Time to distribute glasses inspired by the Indiana Jones sequel. Unlike the aforementioned glasses on this list, there’s wasn’t a whole lot of variety. With just two glasses available, this makes it easier to collect them all. Another unique factor is that they don’t just feature a character; they also feature cool descriptions that fit both the featured character and the movie itself. This makes these glasses even cooler than most other retro glasses that exist. Taco Time continues to thrive despite the fact that they no longer distribute these Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom glasses. But if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one or both of them, then good on you!
2. McDonald’s Character Glasses
This specific entry is unique for two fairly different reasons. The first is that the designs were not inspired by any film or TV franchise characters to speak of. The second is that it’s the oldest entry on this list, being made available in the late 1970s. The company that’s responsible for this particular glasses collection also happens to be the most well-known- McDonald’s. McDonald’s- arguably the largest and most successful fast-food chain around the world- decided to release one of what would become many glasses collections. This particular collection was released back in 1977. There were six different glasses for consumers to collect, each of which depicted one of the many iconic characters that are synonymous with the United States-based fast-food company. The characters’ depictions were colourful, fun, and hard to miss. This made them all easy to spot and distinguish, making them stand out in their respective right. McDonald’s doesn’t give away these character glasses anymore, but the characters that were depicted are still just as much a part of the company’s identity as they were back in 1977. If you’re able to buy one or more of these glasses somewhere within the deepest recesses of the Internet, then you’ll be one of the few that has any in their possession. How cool is that?!
1. Burger King’s Star Wars Glasses
George Lucas’ sci-fi adventure film series Star Wars is arguably one of the most popular and well respected franchises that exists. It’s super quotable and hard to miss. It’s simply a fun movie series to binge watch, theorize, and debate with friends and family alike. It’s managed to maintain a lot of critical and commercial success since the first movie came out back in 1977, mostly since more and more sequels and spin-offs continue to be churned out by Hollywood. Even with fellow acclaimed director JJ Abrams being at the helm of its creative control nowadays, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. When you think about it, no one should be surprised that fast-food giant Burger King released a pretty big line of glasses that depicted multiple Star Wars characters. While other glass collections range from two to six glasses, Burger King managed to get twelve out. The glasses were available to collect between 1977 to 1983. Like other collections, these showed off characters of the aforementioned sci-fi films that fans will immediately recognize. While both Burger King and Star Wars continue maintain popular in their respective rights, the Star Wars‘ glasses have since largely been forgotten by consumers. If you can get your hands on one of them, that’s cool. If you manage to snag all twelve, then you deserve an award! Or at the very least, you earn more than a few online bragging rights.