Potato Head. (Pixabay.com)

Potato Head. (Pixabay.com)

A mister no more: Potato Head goes gender neutral

Toy makers have been updating their classic brands to appeal to kids today

Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister.

Hasbro, the company that’s made the potato-shaped plastic toy for nearly 70 years, is giving the spud a gender neutral new name: Potato Head. The change will appear on boxes this year.

Many toymakers have been updating their classic brands in recent years, hoping to relate to today’s kids and reflect more modern families.

“It’s a potato,” said Ali Mierzejewski, editor in chief at toy review site The Toy Insider. “But kids like to see themselves in the toys they are playing with.”

Barbie, for example, has tried to shed its blonde image and now comes in multiple skin tones and body shapes. The Thomas the Tank Engine toy line added more girl characters. And American Girl is now selling a boy doll.

As part of the rebranding, Hasbro will release a new Potato Head playset this fall that will let kids create their own type of families, including two moms or two dads.

The Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will live on in some form, Hasbro said, but didn’t provide details. Both have appeared in the “Toy Story” movies.

Dropping the “Mr.” from its name could encourage other companies to stop assigning genders to its toys, a trend that has already been happening, said Mierzejewski. Barbie maker Mattel released a gender-neutral doll line in 2019. But Mr. Potato Head is one of the biggest brands to do so.

“It’s setting this new standard,” Mierzejewski said.

GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group, applauded the genderless toy potato.

“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,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s chief communications officer, in a statement.

Mr. Potato Head first hit the toy scene in 1952, when it didn’t even come with a plastic potato — kids had to supply their own vegetable to poke eyes, a nose or moustache into. Hasbro, which also makes Monopoly and My Little Pony, bought the brand and eventually added a plastic spud.

Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers forward Tyler Carpendale (left) and Salmon Arm Silverbacks counterpart Noah Serdachny keep their eyes on the action during Vernon’s 5-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win Tuesday, April 20, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers romp past Salmon Arm

Snakes score 5-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play victory Tuesday, April 20, at Kal Tire Place

Susan Martin and Peter Gook from Salmon Arm are the honorees in Vernon for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s largest fundraiser, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s. People are encouraged to register, fundraise and walk throughout May 2021 to support the programs and services of the society. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm couple honoured in this year’s walk for Alzheimer’s

People are asked to participate to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Members of the city’s environmental advisory committee and some city councillors would like to receive and provide input into an application for a groundwater licence in Salmon Arm for the purpose of bottling fresh water. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)
Concerns raised over water licence application in Salmon Arm for bottling water

Neighbours want to know more, city councillor concerned about commercial use of public aquifers

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: What does space smell like?

Your morning start for Wednesday, April 21, 2021

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Sheldon Pierre Louis’s winning mural design, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.” (Facebook: Okanagan Nation Alliance)
Syilx artist selected as winner of Kelowna Gospel Mission’s mural project

Sheldon Pierre Louis was also awarded $10,000 for his winning submission, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.”

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Most Read