The perennially popular Mr. Potato Head toys are officially going gender-neutral. Toy manufacturer Hasbro Inc. announced on Thursday, February 25 that the beloved spud would be losing the “Mr.” in 2021, allowing kids to choose the gender of their Potato Head for themselves.
The company also announced the forthcoming release of a brand new Potato Head family playset, with two gender-nonspecific adults and one baby.
“The sweet spot for the toy is two to three years old,” Hasbro spokesperson Kimberly Boyd told Fast Company. “Kids like dressing up the toy, then playing out scenarios for their life. This often takes the form of creating little potato families, because they’re learning what it means to be in a family.”
With this in mind, Boyd said the overhaul of the Potato Head line is meant to appeal to children who come from less traditional family structures.
“Culture has evolved,” she said. “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.”
Hasbro also announced that new Potato Head toys would be more sustainably made, with products built from “plant-based plastic.”
A History Of Changes
The rebranding is only the latest of many changes Mr. Potato Head has undergone over the years. The first Potato Head sets, introduced in 1952, included only accessories, leaving it to the consumer to supply a potato.
In 1987 — years after a plastic potato was added to the set — Hasbro discontinued a pipe accessory from Mr. Potato Head sets over concerns of glorifying tobacco use.
A few years later in 1992, the Rhode Island-based company revised Mr. Potato Head’s backstory to remove references to “couch potatoes” and promote a more active lifestyle.
The new Potato Head family sets will go on sale for $20 this fall, and include two parents, one baby, and 42 accessories for customization.
Meanwhile, fans of the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters should fret not. The company later announced that while the brand as a whole is dropping the “Mr.,” both Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head sets will still be available to buy.
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