Hasbro Announces Gender-Neutral Rebrand Of 'Potato Head' Line
by Rudy Sanchez on 02/25/2021 | 2 Minute Read
Toy goliath Hasbro, makers of cherished lines such as My Little Pony, Nerf, and Transformers, has announced a change in the branding of one of its most classic products, Mr. Potato Head (and a part of the Hasbro portfolio since 1952). The toymaker is rebranding the line to “Potato Head,” removing the male honorific. Otherwise, the beloved toy remains unchanged, and the characters Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head remain.
The change will come this fall, with a new “Create Your Own Potato Head Family” set with 45 accessories, two adult potatoes, and one kid potato. In a video, Hasbro explained that the new set is designed for the modern look of modern families, describing it as “a celebration of the many faces of families allowing kids to imagine and create their own Potato Head family.”
Original headlines by the Associated Press and others set off a maelstrom of social media missives from conservatives attempting to mock Hasbro for the move, confusing the change as yet another capitulation to decency and inclusion in service of “cancel culture.”
Of course, earlier in the day, the toymaker said, "Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr from the Mr Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion." However, they later backtracked amid public outcry and released a statement saying that the move was to better reflect their new branding. They further said, “rest assured, the iconic MR. and MRS. POTATO HEAD characters aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. and MRS. POTATO HEAD.” So, it’s possible the toymaker is trying to have it both ways.
Regardless of how electrified the third rail of gender identity has proven to be as of late, removing “Mr” from the brand name makes a lot of sense, considering that the line includes a Missus, tots, licensed characters, and even a helicopter. “Potato Head” is a more accurate representation of the entire toy line, despite the political fervor over anthropomorphized plastic potato toys aimed at three-year-olds.
Also, potatoes self-pollinate, so yeah.