Most of us now days know Mr. Potato Head from the Toy Story franchise. But did you know he’s been around since 1949 and originally the set was sold without the body, so parents had to provide a real potato for their kids to stick the parts into! Say what???
Mr. Potato Head was invented and developed by George Lerner. Mr. Lerner had the idea after he took potatoes from his mother’s garden to use and make facial features out of various fruits for him & his siblings to play with.
Image: Original “Potato Head”
Hasbro manufactured the toy in 1952 and the set cost $0.98. It included toy hands, feet, ears, two mouths, two pairs of eyes, four noses, three hats, eyeglasses, a pipe, and eight felt pieces resembling facial hair. The parents would then need to provide their child with a potato or other vegetables for them to pin the body parts and accessories to.
Due to complaints regarding rotting vegetables and new government safety regulations, Hasbro began including a plastic potato body with the toy set in 1964.
Mr. Potato Head became the first toy advertised on television. It was so successful that over one million kits were sold in the first year!
In 1995, Mr. Potato head was featured in a leading role in the Disney/Pixar animated feature Toy Story and featured in the sequels.
In February 2021, Hasbro announced a new gender-neutral version of the toy. It’s dropped the formal gender title and unveiled its new name & logo “Potato Head”. The change will also see the playset expanded, while continuing to offer the classic Mr. and Mrs. characters.
Lets take a look at how the toy has changed over the decades!
Original Mr. Potato head complete with facial features and accessories ready to add to any vegetable.
The play set was revamped to include a new plastic body to align with health and safety regulations.
The shape and sizing of Mr. Potato head changed to be more in line with what we are familiar with today.
Sets expanded to include the Potoato head family and more accessories
We were introduced to Mr. Potato head through animation on Pixar’s Toy Story in 1995.
In 2o20, Mr. Potato head evolved to mimic it’s animated version following the success of the Toy Story movies.
Now with a voice.
Hasbro announces new gender neutral line and has dropped the “Mr.” now referring to the set as “Potato Head”
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