The iconic Mr. Potato Head will be reimagined with the gender-neutral name “Potato Head”, according to an announcement by top toy-maker Hasbro on Thursday.
“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,” the announcement stated. “In the fall, the new Potato Family Pack “Create Your Potato Head Family” will celebrate the many faces of families allowing kids to imagine and create their own Potato Head family.”
According to Hasbro, the change is a celebration of the many variations of families. The Potato Head family will include two large potato bodies, one small potato body, and 42 accessories, to create a family that has up to two parents and one baby.
“The name change will come with a fresh branding look with a whimsical color palette and more inclusive messaging along with new product to appeal to the modern consumer,” Hasbro’s statement read.
The company said it hopes to provide a more “inclusive” Potato Head experience.
“Culture has evolved,” said Kimberly Boyd, global brands senior vice president and general manager at Hasbro in an interview with 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 announcement sparked a Twitter storm, with famous figures like Piers Morgan mocking the decision.
“Imagine thinking in the middle of a global pandemic: ‘What’s really important is dropping the ‘Mr’ from Mr Potato Head & making him gender-neutral in case we upset a few wokies,’ Morgan tweeted.
Morgan later added, “Who was actually offended by Mr Potato Head being male? I want names. These woke imbeciles are destroying the world.”
Comedian Tim Dillon tweeted, “Mr Potato Head is now non binary. You still don’t have health insurance.”
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert also offered her two cents on the issue, tweeting, “When will the activists demand Joe Biden stops use of the ‘Come On, Man’ catchphrase? For inclusivity’s sake, it should be ‘Come On, Person!'”
Clay Travis of Fox Sports Radio posted, “Mr. Potato Head is no longer a man. He’s now gender neutral to avoid offending people. Really.”
Launched in 1952 for $0.98, Mr. Potato Head included a kit of accessories like feet, hands, eyes, a pipe and a felt mustache for users to affix on a real potato, which they had to supply, Variety reported.
Mrs. Potato Head was launched the following year and included feminine accessories like bows and red high heels. Hasbro sold over one million kits in their first year.
In 2012, the company created a boxed set featuring both Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head to celebrate the toy couple’s 60th wedding anniversary.