Mr. Potato Head started out headless

From the  Now I know newsletter:

Mr-potato-headOn May 1, 1952, the Hassenfeld Bros. toy company — later, and currently, Hasbro — brought to market a toy, Mr. Potato Head.  Selling for $0.98, the toy was instantly popular, selling over one million units in its first year.  Mr. Potato Head has since permeated popular culture, appearing in the Toy Story trilogy, in its own television show, and in a variety of commercials.  

From the start, Mr. Potato Head has been defined by his parts — goofy eyes, protruding ears, a huge nose, and of course, a mustache.  He also came replete with a pipe, but in 1987, he made a major accessory change.  Mr. Potato Head donated the pipe to a great cause, eschewing smoking to help the American Cancer Society promote its efforts to end tobacco use.

But the biggest change to the iconic toy came in 1964, when government regulations caused Hasbro to add a new part to the kit — the large plastic potato-like head.

As originally designed in 1949 by inventor George Lerner, Mr. Potato Head’s parts were to be used in actual fruits and vegetables — not in a plastic toy vessel included in the package.  In fact, an early, pre-Hasbro version of the toy was sold piecemeal, as inserts in cereal boxes.  As pictured below the original Mr. Potato Head was headless.  The box (if not a bucket) of mere parts calls the toy a “kit.”  The packaging states that with the parts, “any fruit or vegetable makes a funny face man.”


What happened in 1964, giving us the plastic head?   Click here for the rest of the story

Thanks Dan

1 thought on “Mr. Potato Head started out headless”

  1. I remember using potatoes, apples, bananas, and even the one time my brother and I squished up a whole loaf of bread just to have something to use as a head.

Comments are closed.