Hasbro is giving its venerable Mr. Potato Head toy a extra gender-inclusive id by dropping the “Mr.” from its model identify and packaging.
“Hasbro is ensuring all really feel welcome within the Potato Head world by formally dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head model identify and emblem to advertise gender equality and inclusion,” the corporate stated in an announcement on Thursday.
After it introduced the change, the corporate issued a clarifying statement on Twitter saying that the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters would retain their particular person courtesy titles.
“Maintain that Tot — your essential spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anyplace!” the corporate stated. “Whereas it was introduced right now that the POTATO HEAD model identify & emblem are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to substantiate that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anyplace and can stay MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD.”
Within the fall, the corporate will introduce its new “Potato Household Pack” that may encourage youngsters to “create your Potato Head household.” The pack will include two massive potato our bodies, one small potato physique and 42 equipment.
The model identify change will likely be accompanied by “a whimsical shade palette and extra inclusive messaging,” the corporate stated.
Wealthy Ferraro, the chief communications supply for Glaad, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group, applauded the change, saying it was a part of “a bigger motion in the direction of higher range and inclusion in toys and media aimed toward youngsters.”
Hasbro is the most recent toymaker to replace or reinvent a few of its traditional manufacturers to make them extra inclusive and numerous.
Final yr, Mattel rolled out a number of new Barbie dolls that it described as its “most numerous line,” one which featured “extra pores and skin tones, hair sorts and physique shapes than ever earlier than.”
One doll is bald, one other has a prosthetic limb and one other has her darkish hair brushed away from her face to point out that she has the pores and skin situation vitiligo.
In 2019, Mattel unveiled a brand new line of customizable gender-neutral dolls known as Creatable World that permits “youngsters to create their characters.” The field consists of a number of wardrobe choices, equipment and wigs so youngsters can type the dolls “with brief or lengthy hair, or in a skirt, pants, or each.”
In 2016, Mattel introduced that it was increasing its Thomas the Tank Engine franchise by including extra feminine practice characters and buddies from nations reminiscent of India, Brazil and Mexico. And American Lady, the maker of 18-inch dolls, launched a boy doll in 2017.
Mr. Potato Head has been a signature toy for Hasbro because it was launched in 1952. The corporate stated it was the primary toy to be marketed on tv.
The toy, which permits youngsters to swap out completely different elements reminiscent of eyes, mustaches, glasses and hats, has lengthy been related to Rhode Island, the place Hasbro relies. Over time, the toy has been featured in parades, campaigns and even on state license plates.