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The creators of Mr Potato Head have announced new versions of the plastic toy will be gender-neutral, with the toy set to be unveiled under the name Potato Head.
According to Hasbro, the toymakers behind the popular toy, which allows children to remove the potato figurine’s eyeglasses, nose and mouth, the hope is that the new and improved toy will broaden Potato Head’s appeal among consumers.
When the change is rolled out in the fall of this year, consumers will be able to purchase a Potato Head playset that will allow them to create their own spud families.
The kit will include two adult potatoes, one baby potato and 42 accessories, according to Hasbro, which said the “possibilities to create your own families are endless with mixing and mashing all the parts and pieces”.
“Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr from the Mr Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion,” the company said in a statement to CNN.
However, the Mr and Mrs Potato Head dolls of the past, who became famous for their roles in Toy Story, have not gone anywhere, according to a spokesperson for Hasbro, who said that the gendered Potato Head dolls will still “live on as part of the brand”.
The move to create a gender-neutral Potato Head “for the modern customer” comes as other toymakers such as Mattel, the creators of Barbie, have worked to release more inclusive toys.
While many applauded Hasbro’s decision to remove the mister from Potato Head, others such as Piers Morgan, were not pleased with the decision, with the Good Morning Britain host accusing “woke imbeciles” of being behind the change.
“Who was actually offended by Mr Potato Head being male? I want names. These woke imbeciles are destroying the world,” he tweeted following Hasbro’s announcement.
The outrage prompted amused responses from many on social media, such as one person who suggested that the issue with the toy was not its name but rather that it involved removing the potato’s limbs.
“If you’re gonna get upset about Mr Potato Head, maybe focus on the fact that it teaches kids to rip his legs off and jam them in his arm holes. Seems like a problematic lesson,” they joked.
Another person tweeted: “This is an outrage. Mr Potato Head taught me how to be a man (by having a large hollow body cavity that can store my extra eyes and ears and hats).”
Seemingly in an attempt to quell the anger, Hasbro again assured customers that Mr and Mrs Potato Head would not be “going anywhere” in a tweet on Thursday.
“Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR & MRS POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR & MRS POTATO HEAD,” the company said.
The Independent has contacted Hasbro for comment.