The first toy advertised on television was Mr. Potato Head, invented by George Lerner in 1949 and first manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1952. While the original toy featured individual plastic “pushpin” parts that could be pushed into real potatoes, in 1964, based on numerous complaints of kids holding on to rotting vegetables and new government regulations, Hasbro started including a plastic potato “body” with the toy. Hasbro then started manufacturing Mrs. Potato Head and soon there was a car and boat trailer to add as accessories.
The Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters appeared in Toy Story and a Mr. Potato Head balloon has even joined the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Just this past year, Hasbro announced it would be dropping the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” honorifics and will be promoting the toy simply as Potato Head, although the individual Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will still live on!