Hasbro rebrands Potato Head toys with gender-neutral name
The Potato Heads are moving into the modern age.
Hasbro, which manufactures the iconic toy, announced Thursday that it is rebranding Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head with a gender-neutral name, simply "Potato Head." It's a shift designed to remove traditional gender norms from the toys, and to allow kids to create spud versions of their families, no matter what they look like.
"Culture has evolved," Hasbro SVP and GM Kimberly Boyd explained to Fast Company. "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."
"The sweet spot for the toy is two to three years old," she added. "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."
Mr. Potato Head was introduced in 1952 as a set of appendages, facial hair, and other accoutrements, with the customer providing their own potato "body." Mrs. Potato Head followed in 1953, along with other members of the Potato Head family and various accessories. The toys remained popular throughout subsequent decades, and received another boost in popularity by appearing in Pixar's Toy Story and its sequels. (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris voiced Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, respectively.)
The gender-neutral change will appear on boxes later this year.