Roommates, Hasbro has just announced that it will be making a huge change to the Mr. Potato Head brand by dropping the “mister” from its name. The toy will now be known as “Potato Head”–a gender-neutral spin on the spud.
According to CNN, Hasbro announced the change to one of its most famous toys in order to promote inclusion within the brand, and to allow consumers to determine the toy’s gender themselves.
“Culture has evolved,” Kimberly Boyd, an employee at Hasbro, said. “Kids want 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.”
Large toy companies like Hasbro and Mattel have been making strides toward being more inclusive over the last few years, with one of the biggest shifts being made in the Barbie brand. Barbie’s appearance has changed to reflect diverse girls including those of different races and body types.
News of the change brought about varying opinions on social media, but Neil Saunders, managing director of retail at GlobalData, said the rebranding was not meant to be controversial.
“A potato doesn’t have a gender. And they’re not saying the you can’t be male, female, or anything else–they’re just allowing the child or consumer to determine that for themselves,” Saunders said. “The alternative would be produce a whole variety of different products to center for different genders–but that would be unwieldy in terms of costs and securing space in stores. So this is the simplest solution.”
The new toy will be made of plant-based materials, and will include 42 accessories along with the two potato bodies.
How do y’all feel about this, Roomies? Let us know in the comments!
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