Mr Potato Head celebrates 60th birthday

Katie Roberts

By Katie Roberts

February 15th 2012 at 11:12AM
Mr Potato Head celebrates 60th birthday

Kicks off a year of celebrations with birthday bash at US Toy Fair.

This year, Hasbro will mark the 60th anniversary of the Mr Potato Head character - one of Hasbro’s most cherished characters with more than 100 million toys sold in over 30 markets around the world.

Through the past 60 years, the timeless tater has evolved from a toy box classic into a pop culture icon and has kept himself relevant by tapping into trends and entertainment.

"For the past 60 years, the Mr Potato Head toy has inspired imaginative play in young children and charmed fans of all ages through his roles in movies and on television.” said Jerry Perez, SVP and global brand leader, Playskool.

"We’re thrilled to see that he has evolved from classic parts and pieces to a household name that is ‘rooted’ in pop culture and entertainment."

Hasbro will celebrate the milestone year on Mr Potato Head's Facebook page enjoying a year of adventures with the Mrs Potato Head, starting with a birthday bash at American International Toy Fair in New York City.

New product introductions for 2012 include the Mashly in Love Mr and Mrs 60th Anniversary Edition set featuring the couple holding hands as they renew their wedding vows and the Birthday Spud assortment, complete with  party accessories.

The Mr Potato Head character will also unveil new looks in The Amazing Spider-Man Spider Spud and Star Wars Darth Tater characters this spring in line with the film releases of The Amazing Spider-Man and Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace in 3D.

Mr Potato Head hit the US market in 1952 when he became the first toy ever advertised on television, paving the way for millions of other toy commercials in the six decades since. Key moments in the character’s history reflect trends at that time, for example:

When antismoking campaigns were raising awareness in 1987, Mr Potato Head surrendered his signature pipe and became the official “spokespud” for the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout campaign.

Americans started to pay more attention to their waistlines and Mr Potato Head gave up his couch potato status, receiving a Presidential Sports Award from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1992.

As “tweets” and “likes” became part of our vernacular, Mr Potato Head became one of Hasbro’s first brands with a Facebook page and gave fans across the world the chance to communicate with the character through social media.

Mr Potato Head became a star after his 1995 performance in Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story and has also appeared on television in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and an advertising campaign for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, which aired during Super Bowl in 2009.

Additionally, more than 30 licensed Mr Potato Head characters have been created, including Taters of the Lost Ark and Spud Lightyear.

For information about toys, activities, and more visit MRPOTATOHEAD.com or follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrpotatohead.