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Mr. Potato Head drops 'Mr.' from brand name (Feb. 25)

·1-min read
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(This Feb 25 story corrects to add reporting credit)

(Reuters) - Hasbro Inc said on Thursday it was renaming its popular Mr. Potato Head brand to drop the 'Mr.', giving the "Potato Head" line a less gender-focused identity.

The toy, first launched over seventy years ago, can be decorated with various plastic parts that can be attached to a plastic spud. Hasbro this fall will launch a "Create Your Potato Head Family" kit, which it called "a celebration of the many faces of families".

One picture on the box shows a figure with a moustache and a nose that is pink, a color often associated with females.

Toy companies have been changing classic brands to reflect public calls respecting and endorsing diversity in U.S. culture.

Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head will still be sold.

"This is a really smart move for Hasbro," said Allen Adamson, co-founder of branding firm Metaforce.

"I think this change shows Hasbro is not just taking care of old brands and trying to do the same old, same old every year, but they really understand that brands need to be reinvented, reimagined, and kept fresh."

Rival Mattel's Barbie has introduced new lines of dolls in multiple skin tones, body shapes and professions, steering away from its classic blonde image in the past few years, and American Girl launched a boy version of its dolls four years ago.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru and Aleksandra Michalska in New York; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)