Potato Head Goes Gender Neutral

Samantha Elkins, Multimedia Video Editor

Hasbro gaming takes initiative towards making children’s toys inclusive and gender neutral by dropping the “mister” in Mr. Potato Head’s brand name and logo and rebranding the toy as “Potato Head.” 

Hasbro announced on Twitter their official statement regarding the rebranding, which caused many people to feel outraged. People thought that Hasbro changed the individual characters Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Heads names, but Hasbro clarified on Twitter that the individuals would keep their titles while changing the name of the packaging. 

In the fall, Hasbro plans to release a “Potato Family Pack” consisting of two potato bodies and 42 accessories. This pack allows children to design their own families and assign a gender to their toys. 

Toy officials applaud Hasbro’s efforts at inclusivity within their brand, because many children see themselves in the toys they play with. If children become exposed to multiple gender identities at a young age, Hasbro hopes to contribute to a greater effort of toy inclusion aimed at children. Taking steps to un-do the gender norms rooted in society may allow for children to relate or simply grow up in a world where gender neutrality becomes more accepted. Hasbro follows toy company Mattel’s efforts in changing Barbies white, blonde and skinny characteristics to promote diversity within their brand. Now, Mattel also produces Barbie dolls with disabilities, no hair, vitiligo and prosthetic limbs. 

As the first toy advertised on television, Potato Head acts as a staple of Hasbro since 1952 and an important part of toy history. While gaining fame for its role in the Toy Story movies, George Lerner invented Potato Head long before the beloved movies and after World War II. Lerner, the man behind the potato, invented Potato Head because he grew up playing with toys from his mothers garden and created fun faces using other fruits and vegetables. Children adored the toy when they saw it on the television and it created a pivoting point in the marketing industry. Potato Head aired as the first commercial to ever target young audiences identifying children as a consumer demographic.

Currently, Hasbro continues to work on releasing their Potato Head family packs that plans to drop in the fall of 2021 at $19.99.