Hasbro's famous toys, Mr and Mrs Potato Head are adapting to modern times and have been reimagined to be gender-neutral in an attempt to not restrict the consumers with any gender roles, which society often tries to imply. The toy has been famous among kids for almost 70 years and experienced a major boost in demand after getting featured in the classic animated movie series 'Toy Story'.
However, the 1995 animated film was not the first time the toy got featured on screen. Interestingly, the first-ever TV commercial about a toy involved Mr Potato Head in 1952. It was advertised as a DIY toy that gave children the freedom to customise their toy with their choice of eyes, ears, mouths noses, hands, feet, moustaches, hats, and glasses.
Mr. Potato Head has also made major off-screen appearances with some of them being huge, literally. A 500-pound float of Mr. Potato Head was seen through 2005-2007 at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and became the star of the show. He was used as a mascot to promote exercise and a healthy diet.
Hasbro, which bought the rights of the iconic toy from a cereal company, decided to expand their product line after witnessing success with the original Mr. Potato Head in 1953 and introduced his wife, Mrs. Potato Head which also experienced a surge in popularity.
Kimberly Boyd, the general manager of Hasbro told Fast Company in an interaction, "The way the brand currently exists -- with the "Mr." and "Mrs." -- is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure. Culture has evolved."
Parents have been praising the progressive move by the toy manufacturer while emphasising the need for such gender sensitisation acts in all other spheres of life.