Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy 60th Birthday, Hasbro's Mr. Potato Head

Did you have (or do you still have) a Mr. Potato Head toy? Invented by George Lerner in 1949, the Hasbro Corporation began making our tuber friend in 1952. Mr. P-H began his career as a genuine potato.  You could purchase the bodily attachments and use a real potato as the head.  Eight years after its introduction, a plastic body was included.

Mr. Potato Head (1952) by Hasbro

This spud fella has an intriguing history, some of which you may learn at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, which has a Mr. Potato Head exhibit on display through May 6. It appears to be interactive, at least in part, so children ages 3-8 (the recommended audience) should have some fun.

Mr. Potato Head (with Plastic Body)

Did you know Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television?  Here's a vintage TV ad from the 1950s.  (The video caption says 1960s, but the advertisement is older than that.)  The kids in the ad are probably now as old as your grandparents (or, possibly, your great-grandparents).

I just realized that Hasbro's Mr. Potato Head is 60 years old this year. Lucky they're not including real potatoes in the boxes. After more than half a century, they would probably be rather ripe.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

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