Batman & Robin opened on this day 25 years ago. Among its many marketing partners was Taco Bell, which gave the film one of their biggest promotions ever. This included a massive contest in which you were dared to “Unmask Batman” by peeling a sticker off of your cup. If you got Bruce Wayne, you won…but with fine print.
While those collectable cups are very cool (seriously, I want them!), winning the big prizes in the giveaway was supposedly impossible to do. Apparently, if you wanted the cash prize, for instance, you needed to unmask all of the film’s major characters…including a very elusive Alfred. As YouTube user “Mostly Accurate Reviews” puts it in a comment:
“That was such an enormous scam. To win the $200,000 cash, you had to collect every character from the movie. Tens of thousands of duplicates were made of Robin, Poison Ivy, Bane, Mr. Freeze, etc. But only ONE was ever made of Alfred. The prize went unclaimed because no Alfred piece was ever found, in spite of Taco Bell insisting they made one. They even shot a commercial of an unnamed private winner’s voice, yet 6 months later the money went unclaimed. It’s the same with the Batmobile. There were many instant winners of Bruce Wayne, but only one of the Batmobile–which went unclaimed.”
I, of course, can’t prove if this is true or not. But regardless, hey, winning a free food item is always fun…
In Canada, you could also get yourself some Batman & Robin swag, as they had their own variation on the special cups. However, it appears they didn’t have the contest to go with them (also, they had French fries!)….
There were also kid’s meal toys, as Taco Bell started doing those in the mid-90s. These were “officially” based off of Batman: The Animated Series so as to avoid any form of “Batman Returns Happy Meal” controversy, but since the toys featured were Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy…yeah, these were Batman & Robin toys. Maybe one day I’ll get them on eBay. They look pretty neat (also, yes, Taco Bell had two extremely short-lived mascots called “Nacho and Dog” at one point)…
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be working on a time machine so I can go back to 1997 and grab me some Taco Bell. Have a Bat-night, Avocados!