The entire McDonaldland concept was phased out in the ‘70s, when Sid and Marty Krofft sued McDonald’s, claiming that McCheese was actually a rip-off of H.R. Pufnstuf – a character from a children’s TV series of the same name.
Just like McCheese, Pufnstuf was also a mayor – complete with sash and tragically oversized head, as all mayors possess – who ruled over a fantasy land where everything was alive, and all of the toilets were suicidal. According to the lawsuit, the Needham, Harper & Steers ad agency had wanted to license the cast of H.R Pufnstuf for McDonald’s commercials. When this didn’t work out, they decided to make their own mascots, and when that started interfering with their day drinking, they just stole the Pufnstuf designs, changed them slightly, and rode off on fancy dancing horses made entirely of money.
The lawsuit bounced around the courts for a few years, but eventually the Kroffts won, and McDonald’s had to pay them a million dollars. Then, over the next few years, they slowly purged the McDonaldland gang from the history books in the most brutal regime change this side of Game Of Thrones.