01 March 2021
Potato Head brand change sparks controversy
MEDIA speculations and social media posts about transgender issues have been rife since toy maker Hasbro announced last week that it was dropping 'Mr' from its Mr Potato Head brand to to break away from traditional ideas about gender roles and family structures.
The toymaker has since clarified in a tweet that the Mr and Mrs Potato Head characters will still exist. They will still be sold under the gender-neutral rebrand. Boxes will now carry “Potato Head” branding.
Inter-changeable parts enable children to create whatever characters they choose.
The toy was invented and developed by George Lerner in 1949 and first manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1952. Mr Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television and has remained in production since its debut.
Originally developed as parts to stick on real potatoes, to make inexpensive playthings for children during a time of economic hardship, the toy has evolved over the years to feature a plastic body, and parts that are more child-friendly.