facts about the invention of
Mr. Potato Head by George
Lerner in 1952.
|Mr. Potato Head was almost little
more than a forgotten cereal premium. But history has a way of being kind to the classics.
And George Lerner was about to make history! During the World War II era, George
Lerner enjoyed success as a well known inventor and designer. Just before 1950, he
designed and produced a first generation set of plastic face pieces. The push pin shaped
noses, ears, eyes and mouth parts could be pushed into fruits or vegetables to transform
the food into an endless array of
magical anthropomorphic playmates.
The toy wasn't an
immediate hit however. There was still a World War 2 mentality to conserve resources. Toy
companies didn't think that customers would accept the idea of wasting a piece of food as
a child's toy. But after awhile, George finally sold the toy, for $5,000 dollars, to a
cereal company, who planned to use the pieces as a premium giveaway in cereal boxes.
But George knew that his new toy deserved a bigger shot. And that shot came in a meeting
with a family owned New England manufacturer. Mr Lerner and the manufacture bought back
the rights from the cereal company for $7,000.
Mr. Potato Head, one of the worlds most adored
"personalities," was "born" in 1952, at the Pawtucket, RI - based toy
company, Hasbro, Inc., and began making history at an early age as the very first toy to
be advertised on television. The original Mr. Potato Head contained only parts, such as
eyes, ears, noses and mouths, and parents had to supply children with real potatoes for
||Eight years later, a hard plastic potato
"body" was included with Mr. Potato Head to replace the need for a real potato.
Over the next three decades, a variety of Mr. Potato Head products were sold. He was so
loved by children, that he was expanded into additional toy categories including puzzles,
creative play sets, and electronic hand-held, board and video games. The vast popularity
of Mr. Potato Head also attracted non-toy companies who licensed his image and name to
make apparel, accessories and novelty items.
|Mr. Potato Heads appeal to
people young and old made him the ideal ambassador for many causes and good-will efforts.
In 1987, Mr. Potato Head surrendered his signature pipe to the U.S. Surgeon General, C.
Everett Koop, and became the "spokespud" for the American Cancer Societys
annual "Great American Smokeout" campaigna role he carried out for several
years. On his 40th birthday, it was decided that he would no longer be a
"couch potato" and he received a special award from the Presidents Council
for Physical Fitness, right on the lawn of the White House! Always one to pass on a
wholesome message to the public, he and Mrs. Potato Head joined up with the League of
Womens Voters in 1996 to help out with their "Get Out the Vote" campaign
and spread the word about the importance of voting to Americans.
Mr. Potato Head ... a
world-class personality whose recognition grew from a simple childrens toy to
everyones best friend, a speaker of causes, entertainment star and a cultural icon.
Toys from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Stories Behind Some Great Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson, Laurie Keller / Hardcover - 128 pages (2000) / Henry
Holt & Company
The quirky tales behind more than two dozen novelties, gadgets and games, from seesaws to
Silly Putty and toy soldiers to Trivial Pursuit.
Mr. Potato Head: Celebrating 50 Years of One Sweet Potato!
by Gil King / Hardcover: 32 pages / Running Pr; Book & toy edition (May 2002)
In 1952, a spud was born. From his modest start as a simple vegetable, this potato has
come a long way. Within these pages is the life and times of Mr. Potato Headpop
culture icon and entertainment for generations of small fries.
Mr Potato Head Unplugged
by Jim Davis / Paperback: 128 pages / Andrews McMeel Publishing; (September 2002)
He is the man, the myth, the legend...the potato. Mr. Potato Head, one of America's
all-time favorite toys, is fast becoming one of the most loved cartoons. Mr. Potato Head
Unplugged is the first collection of the strip, which debuted in the summer of 2001.
ON THE WEB:
Mr. Potato Head History
From the official Hasbro Company site.
Mr. Potato Head's Own Site
Brought to you by Hasbro with lots to do and a MPH Timeline.
The home of the World's most-traveled Potato Head. Strap yourself in
then click on a link to surf Spud's wacky world of adventures!
People and Mr. Potato Head
Finally they meet and they're here to share their lives with you. Come and explore
the land of the two greatest toys ever made.
Potato Head Network (Site Closed.)
From the earliest playsets of the 1950's, to the collectible limited editions of
the 1990's, there is something about this potato that appeals to nearly everyone.(URL: www.potatoheads.net/)
WHERE TO FIND:
Mr. Potato Head - Darth Tater
Toy / by Hasbro / ASIN: B00061I4U6 / SKN: 051044
Now, in Darth Tater, we have a new incarnation of the venerable toy. It
gives kids a chance to be silly with a figure that is otherwise
menacing, dark, and threatening.
DID YOU KNOW?:
- Mr. Potato Heads celebrity status carried him to
Hollywood in 1995, where he played a supporting role in Disneys "Toy
- In 1997, Burger King hired him to be the spokespud for the
introduction of their new french fry and "Try the Fry" campaign.
- In the fall of 1998, he will star in his own Saturday morning
childrens television program, "The Mr. Potato Head Show," which will debut
on the Fox Childrens Network.
- In 1952, Mr. Potato Head was the very first toy to be advertised on
- In 1985, Mr. Potato Head received four
write-in votes in the mayoral election in Boise, Idaho
|Mr. Potato Head is a registered trademark of Hasbro Toys,
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised March, 2005.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
The Aero Sport All-Terrain Bed
with Dual Power Pump is the perfect addition to any camping trip or weekend
book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
technologically advanced reader alike.
CELEBRATE WITH US