Chalk up another unusual headline to the LGBTQ agenda. This time it's not a television or movie character who appears to have sudden gender confusion, it's a children's toy that has been around for almost 70 years.
Hasbro, the company that makes Mr. Potato Head, announced the potato-shaped plastic toy has been given a gender-neutral new name: Potato Head.
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 mustache into. Hasbro, which also makes Monopoly and My Little Pony, bought the brand and eventually added a plastic potato.
It's just the latest move by corporate America in what they say is an effort to modernize their classic brands.
Barbie-maker Mattel released a gender-neutral doll line in 2019. Barbie also shed her blonde image and now comes in multiple skin tones and body shapes. Thomas the Tank Engine 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 that will let kids create their own type of families, including multiple moms or dads. The Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will live on in some form, Hasbro said but didn't provide details.
Dropping the "Mr." from its brand name could encourage other companies to not assign genders to their toys – a trend that has already been happening, said Ali Mierzejewski, editor in chief at toy review site The Toy Insider.
Shortly after the hot potato announcement went public, Hasbro appeared to be working on damage control, saying Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head aren't really gone after all:
Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD pic.twitter.com/6I84KrxOLQ
— Hasbro (@Hasbro) February 25, 2021