News & Opinion | February 25, 2021 2:42 pm

Mr. Potato Head Is Gender-Neutral Now

It's just "Potato Head" now, thanks to a Hasbro rebrand

mr potatohead
Gender-neutral Potato Head
Michael Kovac

Mr. Potato Head has been a “Mr.” for over half a century, living in marital bliss with his tuber spouse, Mrs. Potato Head. But those days are over: on Thursday, Hasbro announced that the children’s toy is undergoing a gender-neutral rebrand, dropping the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” honorifics and becoming simply “Potato Head.”

The new Potato Heads will be blank slates for children to accessorize and arrange into family units as they see fit. As Fast Company notes, “The toys don’t impose a fixed notion of gender identity or expression, freeing kids to do whatever feels most natural to them: A girl potato might want to wear pants and a boy potato might wear earrings. Hasbro will also sell boxed sets that don’t present a normative family structure. This approach is clever because it allows kids to project their own ideas about gender, sexuality, and family onto the toy, without necessarily offending parents that have more conservative notions about family.”

The rebranded “Potatohead”

“The sweet spot for the toy is two to three years old,” Kimberly Boyd, an SVP and GM at Hasbro who works on the Potato Head brand, told the publication. “Kids like dressing up the toy, then playing out scenarios from their life. This often takes the form of creating little potato families, because they’re learning what it means to be in a family.”

“Culture has evolved,” she continued. “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 new gender-neutral toy spuds are slated to hit shelves this fall.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.