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Hasbro backtracks on gender-neutral toy: ‘Mr. Potato Head isn’t going anywhere’

Courtesy Hasbro

Hasbro says it’s not getting rid of the honorifics for its Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head after all, after a company executive had suggested the toymaker could move toward a gender-neutral name.

“Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists — with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure,” Hasbro senior vice president Kimberly Boyd told Fast Company in an interview published Thursday.

The company clarified in a Thursday afternoon tweet, however, that only the brand name and logo are losing the “Mr.” and the products Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head will still be on the market.

Earlier in the day, a Hasbro spokeswoman didn’t respond to ITK’s request for comment about whether the effort was an attempt to make Potato Head gender-neutral.

A “Potato Head Family” will debut this fall, a representative said.

The new $20 toy will let “kids imagine and create Potato Head families,” which include two parents and a baby.

“Kids can have fun expressing themselves and creating lots of wacky looks. Sized right for little hands, there’s no wrong way to play when mixing and mashing the parts and pieces,” the toymaker said in a description.

Hasbro has previously called Mr. Potato Head one of its “most-beloved characters.” The vegetable-inspired toy has been around since 1952.

Several children’s products have received 21st century updates in recent years.

In 2019, Hasbro introduced “Ms. Monopoly,” a new version of its classic board game in which female players earn more money than their male opponents.

Mattel, the company that created Barbie, released a gender-neutral doll line that same year.

—Updated at 4:34 p.m.

Tags gender neutral language gender-neutral Hasbro Mr. Potato Head Potato head

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