Hasbro, the makers of Mr. Potato Head, has announced that the longtime toy has been made over — and now has no fixed gender.
Mr. Potato Head, a childhood staple for many generations of children, has been around for about seven decades.
What are the details?
According to a Thursday report from the Associated Press, Hasbro has renamed Mr. Potato Head to honor his gender neutrality and will call him simply "Potato Head."
The change, the AP reports, will be rolled out across packaging this year.
The new "Potato Heads," Bloomberg reports, will be more "sustainably made," citing a company presentation to investors.
"Last year, Hasbro said the products would be made from 'plant-based plastic' and have less plastic packaging," Bloomberg noted.
The outlet also noted that Hasbro, beginning in the fall, will sell Potato Head family kits.
A spokesperson told Bloomberg that the kits will come with two "non-gendered 'adult' potatoes, one 'baby' potato, and 42 accessories."
"That will let kids decide the parents' gender, rather than being told they are 'Mr.' and 'Mrs,'" the outlet pointed out, noting that "the traditional Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head dolls will still 'live on as part of the brand,'" the company said, without elaborating.
What has been the response to this?
Social media reaction has been mixed, with most people leaning toward panning the company for its move.
Former CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted, "Imagine thinking in the middle of a global pandemic: 'What's really important is dropping the 'Mr' from Mr Potato Head & making him gender-neutral in case we upset a few wokies.'"
Imagine thinking in the middle of a global pandemic: 'What's really important is dropping the 'Mr' from Mr Potato H… https://t.co/wie6jh7EWO— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan) 1614275706.0
Congressional candidate Catalina Lauf tweeted, "Wow... Hasbro got rid of Mrs. Potato Head just like that? Between this and destroying women's sports — the left culture and policy stance has actually created the ultimate war on women[.]"
Twitter user louise leslie — who identifies as nonbinary — didn't think much of the company putting a refreshed spin on the toy, and
wrote, "As a non binary I'm more pissed off with the poor treatment of workers than the pronouns of a toy. Monopolies are attempting to fabricate a culture war to deflect these deep faults in capitalism."
Another user added, "This is marketing stupidity. You want to include a gender neutral version, fine. Combine the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head gear into one box and call it 'Potato Head.' To drop 'Mr.' and/or 'Mrs.' potato head will only lead to decreased sales."
User jaded gamer added, "You do understand that by making the potato head gender neutral kids can make the figure make or female if they want right. Like you do understand this since it seems very clear...."