Hasbro Drops the “Mister” in Mr. Potato Head

Hasbro Drops the “Mister” in Mr. Potato Head

Anna Pogacnik, Senior Staff Writer

The popular toy company, Hasbro, recently announced their plans to change the name of the beloved “Mr. Potato Head” to a more inclusive expression which will refer to the toy brand simply as “Potato Head”. This came as a shock and somewhat of a disappointment to those who grew up playing with this long admired toy. While it may seem silly, Hasbro actually has very appropriate intentions behind this seemingly drastic name change. Their new concept allows children a greater opportunity to express themselves in a way that doesn’t involve the gendered branding seen in several other toys. The idea is to let kids express their individuality and creativity while playing without the aim of having to dress their potato strictly as a girl or boy. “By offering a toy that exists outside of the binary of male and female, Hasbro is helping kids to simply see toys as toys, which encourages them to be their authentic selves outside of the pressures of traditional gender norms,” stated Rich Ferraro, a representative for the LGBTQ+ advocacy group. 

The unique Mr. Potato Head toys came about in 1952 when a plastic potato foundation wasn’t even supplied. Interestingly, children were to provide a real vegetable potato in order to poke the humorous ears, eyes, nose, and mustache they had purchased through the Hasbro toy company. The toys’ intentions have always been to give children a creative outlet, so why not expand the individuality? This simple change, however, has sparked quite the controversy. HHS senior, Sophia Kimmel, remarks, “I don’t really understand the controversy. Are people seriously offended by a potato???”

Despite many rumors, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head actually won’t be going anywhere. Hasbro later apologized for the confusion in a tweet confirming that they will be changing the brand name to “Potato Head”, but will continue to sell the original Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters. The point is to expand the styles and allow kids to create individual personalities for their own potatoes while promoting gender equality and inclusion. “I don’t think potatoes really have a gender, but it is a big name. It’s probably just a publicity stunt because I don’t think they are that popular,” said HHS senior, Isabella Sandberg, when asked her thoughts regarding this topic. Ultimately, it will remain the fun and silly potato toy that many grew up loving with a twist allowing for even more creativity.