Mr. Potato Head is going gender-neutral with a new name—sort of

You'll still be able to buy a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head. But come this fall, you'll also be able to buy a gender-neutral family set of Potato Heads.

Hasbro is rebranding their Potato Head toys to be more inclusive.
Hasbro

There's a new era coming for the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys—one that doesn't involve those "mister" and "misses" titles in the brand name.

Yesterday, Hasbro announced plans to rebrand the iconic Mr. Potato Head toy, to drop the "mister" title in an effort to be more inclusive so all could feel "welcome in the Potato Head world."

Hasbro also announced that this fall, the company will begin selling Potato Head family sets that include two adult spuds and a variety of accessories, so kids can choose how they want to build Potato families. If children want to create spud families with two Mister Potato Heads, they'll be able to. Kids will only be limited by their imagination.

The announcement was met with criticism online, with many saying they preferred the gendered toys.


"I'm all for gender neutral things but this really stupid. I'll be selling all my collection now. It's just not the same," tweeted one user in response.

"When will you drop Bro from your name? It's not gender neutral," wrote another.

Late yesterday, Hasbro clarified that while the brand will soon be known as Potato Head, customers will still be able to buy individual Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads.

"Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn't going anywhere!" the company tweeted. "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."

Confused? It's all about branding.

It's similar to how Mattel sells a variety of toys under the Barbie brand, including Ken and Skipper dolls.

The actual brand name on the packaging will read Potato Head. But if you only want to purchase a doll with male or female accessories, you'll still be able to do that. You'll still be able to buy a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head.

And come this fall, you'll also be able to buy a playset with two adult spuds. If you want to build a Mr. and Mrs. set, you'll be able to! If you want to build something else, you'll be able to do that, too.

"I mean, the whole point is to expand options. Best to think of it as 'We are no longer subtly enforcing norms'," tweeted one user. "It's a simple 'just let kids do what they want with the potatoes.' approach. Pretty chill."

We understand feeling a nostalgic attachment to a toy, especially one you played with as a child. If you're concerned about changes coming to the beloved toy, know that you'll still be able to buy the Mr. Potato Head you know and love.

But with the creation of these gender-neutral sets, kids who come from non-traditional families will be able to build families that look like theirs. That matters. We say it all the time—representation matters.

This situation is proof that it matters. When people believed that Hasbro was doing away with the gendered titles altogether, they were upset. They were mad! It hurt to believe that they could no longer see themselves in the iconic toy.

Our hope is that if you're a Potato Head fan, you'll know that there's one for everyone. The gender-neutral sets don't take away from how much fun you can have playing with Mr. Potato Head. But they might just make children from underrepresented families feel included.

That's a pretty big deal.

Buy the Potato Head that makes your heart sing, mama. Whether that's Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head or the new family set, we know you'll make the right choice for your child.

Jamie Orsini is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, military spouse, and a mom to two busy toddlers. In her spare time, Jamie volunteers with the Solar System Ambassador program with NASA/JPL and reads anything she can get her hands on. She’s currently working on her first novel.

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