The USA was first introduced to the popular toy Mr. Potato Head back in 1952, when the company now known as "Hasbro" (back then called Hassenfeld Brothers) purchased the rights to the toy from George Lerner.
Since then, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head have been cultural icons. They're so popular that they even appeared as characters in Disney/Pixar's Toy Story franchise.
Recently Hasbro announced they would be re-branding the toy simply as "Potato Head," removing the "Mr./Mrs." identifiers.
Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister. Hasbro, the company that makes the potato-shaped plastic toy, is giving the… https://t.co/fiucgw4Lyr— The Associated Press (@The Associated Press) 1614274270.0
The brand said they hoped to reach more modern families with this rebranding.
"It's a potato," said Ali Mierzejewski, editor in chief at toy review site The Toy Insider.
"But kids like to see themselves in the toys they are playing with."
Conservatives are handling this news just about as well as you'd expect.
The insanity NEVER ends. Mr. Potato Head has been canceled! https://t.co/xVmWvUdysJ— Mark Dice (@Mark Dice) 1614274378.0
@MarkDice As a rhode islander, the hq of hasbro, i am ashamed— MVP SZN (@MVP SZN) 1614274418.0
@MarkDice One of my favorite toys as a child will probably turn androgynous or transgender. What a shame. Why do th… https://t.co/WP0jBkabnH— Jason Martin (@Jason Martin) 1614274570.0
@MarkDice He had a wife FFS.— Portsmouth Crypto (@Portsmouth Crypto) 1614274473.0
@MarkDice Common sense is no longer common— Oli T 23 (@Oli T 23) 1614275244.0
"Hasbro is helping kids to simply see toys as toys, which encourages them to be their authentic selves outside of the pressures of traditional gender norms," said Rich Ferraro, the chief communications officer for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
STOP IT https://t.co/2JSkWwK8Ul— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch) 1614274530.0
Mr. Potato Head is no longer a man. He’s now gender neutral to avoid offending people. Really. https://t.co/J3Q7eQiP28— Clay Travis (@Clay Travis) 1614277713.0
Mr. Potato Head has now been made gender neutral and will be called “Potato Head” from here on out. Will we be dig… https://t.co/tEA4staSZt— Chris Bish 🇺🇲 (@Chris Bish 🇺🇲) 1614276100.0
@BishForCongress They will probably ban books, songs, poetry, etc. that include any gender specific words or anythi… https://t.co/5EBtHL0Zwt— Elliot Brindley (UAB/UAH/Birmingham Sports) (@Elliot Brindley (UAB/UAH/Birmingham Sports)) 1614276440.0
gender neutral potato head pissed of mark dice so much he wants to leave america https://t.co/zgj32yFzOA— Coping MAGA (@Coping MAGA) 1614277985.0
Hasbro replied they will continue the pieces being sold in Mr. and Mrs. boxes, though they will drop the branding.
Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO… https://t.co/bZqGo9PGVx— Hasbro (@Hasbro) 1614285437.0
And yet people still can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea potatoes do not have genders.
@ScottChristyJ @Hasbro They already are gender neutral, it's a potato. You want long hair and a mustache on one pot… https://t.co/6oJDLCaEsF— innocentrage (@innocentrage) 1614287761.0
@tens1822 @Hasbro Did you know potatoes don't have penises?— The Monorail Times (@The Monorail Times) 1614287077.0
@bdog_mom @Hasbro because that way they cant make you pay twice— shhhimdead (@shhhimdead) 1614290172.0
@Hasbro Funny how people are freaking out over a toy that has always encouraged removing and swapping body parts.— Mike Marlow (@Mike Marlow) 1614288176.0
@Hasbro It seems that a lot of people are missing the point of the rebrand. Mr. Potato Head is a character Potato H… https://t.co/vbulLkU6Lu— Jackie-XKH (@Jackie-XKH) 1614289277.0
Hasbro's decision to rebrand reportedly came from seeing "how toddlers frequently play with the toy."
"Kids will have a blank slate to create same-sex families or single-parent families. It's a prime example of the way heritage toy brands are evolving to stay relevant in the 21st century."
While the existence of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head invokes the idea of a binary, meaning they can only belong with each other, having the label removed means kids don't have to have a Mr. and Mrs.
They can have whomever they like in their potato family.