Mr. Potato Head, one of the most iconic toys ever made, is being rebranded for the new generation. Hasbro has announced on Thursday that it will be dropping the “Mr.” from its name and will simply be called “Potato Head.”
The move to drop the toy’s honorifics, both Mr. and Mrs., has been done to create a more inclusive toy range where kids don’t necessarily have to stick to just a “Mr.” or “Mrs.” Potato Head in creating a family. As mentioned in an article by Yahoo, Rich Ferraro, chief communication officer of LGBTQ advocacy group, GLAAD, praises Hasbro saying that the company is “helping kids to see toys as toys, which encourages them to be their authentic selves outside of the pressure of traditional gender norms”.
Some fans were a bit shocked by the news since both Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are quite iconic. Having been around for so long and having been popularized in the Toy Story franchise, fans of the original toys were saddened to hear Hasbro’s news.
Fortunately, Hasbro later announced that the beloved characters aren’t going anywhere and would still be part of the Potato Head family. Hasbro has asserted that only the toy’s name will be changed but both Mr. and Mrs. Potato head will live on as characters in the franchise.
But going forward, instead of pre-packaging the toys with specific accessories, children will be able to create their own characters using a non-gendered potato base and the various accessories available. This way, developing children won’t be limited to the idea of having just a “Mr.” and “Mrs.” to create a family. They will have the liberty to create families based on their own lives and experience which aims to foster healthier and more positive outlooks on different types of families.
More and more toy brands have been redesigning their products to shatter old stereotypes and gender norms. Mattel, for example, has expanded the Barbie line of dolls to include more types of characters that represent real-world people and influences to inspire its young audience.