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Feb 25, 2021
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Mr. Potato Head, the root vegetable toy that's enthralled children since the 1950s, is getting a present-day makeover: Going forward, Hasbro will rebrand the name and logo for the sake of gender-neutrality.

This fall, Mr. Potato Head will be branded Potato Head "to better reflect the full line," the company said in a Thursday press release. "But rest assured, the iconic Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters aren’t going anywhere and will remain Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head." Hasbro is also launching a "Create your Potato Head Family" toy as "a celebration of the many faces of families" including two large potatoes, one small fry and 42 accessories. In an accompanying video, Hasbro called it "a modern look for modern families"

Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD pic.twitter.com/6I84KrxOLQ

— Hasbro (@Hasbro) February 25, 2021

After initial reactions, Hasbro clarified their plans for the Potato Head brand. The tweet included a photo of what appears to be redesigned packaging.

While Hasbro did not return Yahoo Life's request for further comment, Kimberly Boyd, senior vice president and general manager of global brands, told Fast Company, “Culture has evolved. Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists — with the 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.' — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

She added, "The sweet spot for the toy is two to three years old. Kids like dressing up the toy, then playing out scenarios from their life. This often takes the form of creating little potato families, because they're learning what it means to be in a family."

According to PBS, the idea for Mr. Potato Head came from an inventor named George Lerner, who believed that children would enjoy poking real potatoes with his plastic accessories (hands, feet, eyes), though in 1949, he worried that such play would turn off food-insecure families on the heels of WWII. Lerner then sold his idea to a company later renamed Hasbro, which manufactured the plastic body. Mrs. Potato Head came along in 1953 and the couple had "children."

Today, the Mr. Potato Head line is sold in the likeness of Star Wars's Luke Skywalker (Luke Fry-Walker), Iron Man's Tony Stark, Spider-Man's Peter Parker and even hasselback-style.The announcement made for Twitter news.
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