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Mr. Potato Head Gets a New Look

Updated on December 10, 2017
Stacie L profile image

Stacie L has been in the antiques and collectibles business most of her life.She learned from her mom, an antique dealer.

The original Mr. Potato head package
The original Mr. Potato head package

National Toy Hall of Fame Inductee

Mr. Potato Head has been a staple toy for as long as I can remember. He was originally supposed to be made from a real potato that you used to attach the arms, legs,nose, eyes, mouth and hats.

There was also a Mrs. Potato Head so the same techniques applied. The large brown baking potato was the best type to use. Those little red potatoes may be better for the kids.

As time went on, the Hasbro Company made other characters such as the potato dog and other animals. The Spud head is so famous that he was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2000.

Lesser know friends and family were Pete the Pepper Head, Katie the Carrot Head, Oscar the Orange Head, and Cookie the Cucumber Head. They didn't make the cut but are highly collectible and rare.

The company also came out with a plastic potato so you wouldn't have to waste a real one and avoid upsetting mom.

the new slimmed down Mrs Potato head
the new slimmed down Mrs Potato head

Original Mr Potato head Commercial

Simple toys are the best

Some may look at this toy as being as lame as the broom handle baseball bat or the painting a large rock and making it your Pet Rock.

There are few toys that are still used today that don't require technology. They are simple, effective and inspire some imagination.

This toy was first introduced around 1950 by an inventor, George Lerner. He played around with the concept for a few years but it didn't catch on until a cereal company bought it. Later the company that bought it became Hasbro,Inc and the toy know as Mr. Potato Head was officially introduced on April 30,1952. The children had 30 head features to make funny faces on fruits and vegetables. Then sales took off.

I remember playing with fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas to make crazy characters.

Tomatoes were too soggy and cucumbers were too long and not as funny looking as the banana. In the Autumn, we would have some small pumpkins and squash to use to make funny faces.

New Mr.Potato Head

Toy Story Revived the Spud

He became popular again in 1995 when Toy Story was released. The newly developed 3-d animation film (cartoon) was a success for Disney-Pixar as well as for many forgotten beloved toys from childhood. Old favorites such as pull-string cowboy and cowgirl dolls, astronaut action figures, dinosaur figures, slinky-dogs and plain slinkys.

Thanks to a Disney-Pixar movie named Toy Story, Mr. Potato Head and his wife have had a revival of sorts. The old favorite toys are highly sort after.

Updated Mr Potato Head

The newer, updated versions of Mr “P.” have him dressing in numerous costumes such as a cowboy, astronaut, Darth Vader, R2D2 robot, football player, Elvis and Star Trek characters, among others.

This new trend of updating old classic toys will entice the younger generation to discover the simple fun of creating a spud personality!

Both the new Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads are also thinner, to go with the new health conscientious lifestyle. I guess the manufacturers want to keep up with the times.


I found the PLAYSKOOL toy site recently and see that they are now offering different versions of Mr Potato Head.

The Mixable Mashable heroes such as the Hulk, Wolverine, Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America.

The Little Taters are a smaller version of these heroes made especially for preschoolers.

Hulk Mr PotatoHead
Hulk Mr PotatoHead

Mr Potato Head Poll

Did you ever play with Mr Potato Head?

See results

Enjoy new and old Mr Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head was invented in simpler times,when kids liked to make things with their hands. Those born in the 1950 's remembered playing with these toys and now are they are labeled the “Boomer Generation” or “Bloomers.”

This generation is responsible for reviving many toy collections today.Boomers had made the toys popular once more and now has many collectors clamoring to add to their collections.

Like so many others, I like to collect older toys that remind me of happier, simpler times. Happy collecting.


© 2011 Stacie L

Comments

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  • GD Nunes profile image

    Glen Nunes 

    7 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    An excellent question! I have 3 sons (all grown up now) and 2 small (and very beautiful) granddaughters, so obviously I'm concerned about safety, but I think it can be taken too far. You asked if kids had more commonsense back then, but I wonder if maybe parents had more commonsense back then. The Potato Head pieces were sharp, but I could only use them at the kitchen table when my mother was there. She knew it was her job to keep an eye on me. And it's not like those toy parts were the only sharp things in the world. If I wanted something sharp, all I had to do was go outside and get a stick, so changing Mr Potato Head didn't really protect me from sharp objects, did it? It's difficult to say at what point it becomes overprotective. What can become a problem, however, is when people begin to rely more on toy manufacturers and government regulations than on parents and guardians to keep children safe. Just my 2 cents.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    7 years ago

    GD Nunes; thank you for your comments. Yes, the parts were sharper back then. Did kids have more commonsense back then or are we becoming too protective?

  • GD Nunes profile image

    Glen Nunes 

    7 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    Mr Potato Head - one of the all-time great toys! I had one in the 1960s. The parts had much sharper points back then, so you could easily stick them into a real potato. The sharp points were determined to be too dangerous for small children, I guess, which is too bad in a way, as that's what made it possible to use other fruits and veggies, as you described. But obviously safety is more important.

    Nice hub. I enjoyed reading it.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    7 years ago

    @heart4thewood;Mr Potato Head has always been a great toy ...and they could play with their food and not get in trouble! LOL

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    7 years ago

    @ Truckstop Sally; thank you for visiting and commenting.

    I'll read your hub

  • heart4theword profile image

    heart4theword 

    7 years ago from hub

    Mr Potato Head, has always been a great toy for youngsters:) Thanks for sharing the new designs...didn't know they brought him up to the 20th Century?

  • Truckstop Sally profile image

    Truckstop Sally 

    7 years ago

    Love this hub. I too enjoy simpler toys/activities that encourage creativity. I have a new hub that also mentions ToyStory . . https://hubpages.com/relationships/Happy-50th-Birt

    I am also thinking about asking a hub question about favorite toys. Hope you answer.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    7 years ago

    @Minnetonka Twin; thank you for your comments.It's nice to see someone else has the same feelings about this spud..LOL

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    7 years ago from Minnesota

    I loved my Mr. Potato Head. I didn't use a real potatoe and add on the face and arms and legs but had the one in toy story. The plump brown plastic Potatoe with parts to make differen't faces. What a great trip down memory lane. Thanks for a fun hub:)

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