National Mr. Potato Head Day has been celebrated on April 30 since 1952, when Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to appear on television. This T.V. commercial starring Mr. Potato Head was the first advertisement that targeted children specifically. This holiday honors the beloved toy that changed the face of advertising. Featuring a plastic potato body, it has a variety of other plastic parts that can be attached to it — like a cap, nose, mouth, eyes, ears, and even feet! The list of additional accessories has grown over time to include even items such as a car and a boat trailer.
History of National Mr. Potato Head Day
George Lerner of Brooklyn came up with the concept of a “funny face man” in the 1940s, a character created by inserting pronged body and face components into a fruit or vegetable. Lerner’s suggestion was turned down. In 1951, he presented his concept to Henry and Merrill Hassenfeld, owners of the Hasbro toy and school supply company. Lerner was offered a $500 advance as well as a 5% royalty on each kit sold. Mr. Potato Head was the moniker given to the toy.
Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to appear in a television commercial on April 30, 1952. It was also the first television commercial aimed at children rather than parents. The toy was released the day following the ad for $0.98. There was no plastic potato included, so you had to use a real potato. Four noses, three hats, two sets of eyes, mouths, ears, feet, hands, a pipe, eyeglasses, which were made of plastic, and eight pieces of felt for facial hair were all included in the toy kits of Mr. Potato Head.
In the 1960s, government rules mandated that the parts be less pointed, making it more difficult to penetrate potatoes. In 1964, a plastic potato was added to the toy package as a reaction. In the 1970s, new safety standards led to the doubling of the potato’s size in 1975, as well as an increase in the size of the attachments.
National Mr. Potato Head Day timeline
Lerner of Brooklyn comes up with the idea of Mr. Potato Head.
The toy gets the moniker ‘Mr. Potato Head.’
Mr. Potato Head becomes the first toy to be advertised on television on April 30, 1952.
Government rules mandate that the toy’s attachable parts be less pointed, making it more difficult to penetrate potatoes.
New safety standards lead to the doubling of the toy potato's size and attachments.
National Mr. Potato Head Day FAQs
When did Mrs. Potato Head come out?
Mrs. Potato Head came out in 1953.
How many parts is Mr. Potato Head made up of?
Mr. Potato Head is made up of 13 parts.
Why can't you say ‘Mr. Potato Head’ anymore?
Hasbro is ensuring that everyone is welcome in the Potato Head universe by removing the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo. This was done to promote gender equality and inclusiveness.
National Mr. Potato Head Day Activities
Have fun with Mr. Potato Head
This is the right occasion to play with a Mr. Potato Head toy. You could either use the toy you had as a kid or maybe purchase a new one.
Binge watch the “Toy Story” franchise
You may also invite your buddies over for a “Toy Story” movie marathon. Watching the “Toy Story” movies will transport you back to your childhood.
Visit a toy museum
Visit the Classic Toy Museum or the National Toy Hall of Fame to make the most of this holiday. Click photos of the toys and games displayed over there and share your experience on social media.
5 Interesting Facts About Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head is married
Mrs. Potato Head is Mr. Potato Head's spouse.
He was part of the Macy’s parade
The Thanksgiving Macy's Day Parade featured a Mr. Potato Head balloon from 2005 to 2007.
Inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame
In the year 2000, Mr. Potato Head was given a place in the Toy Hall of Fame.
Mr. Potato Head became health conscious
In 2011, Mr. Potato Head went on a diet to lose weight and become more slimline.
Mr. Potato Head has many avatars
Mr. Potato Head is also available in other versions inspired by Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman, and many other animated characters.
Why We Love National Mr. Potato Head Day
It improves a child's motor skills
Holding the attachable pieces and putting them into the right places on Mr. Potato Head can help develop children’s fine motor skills. Depending on the child's age, this toy can be used for many types of play.
It instills awareness of bodies
When children can actually hold the toy’s body parts, learning about them becomes a little easier. Playing with Mr. Potato Head makes identifying the names of each body part and their proper places a breeze.
Toys hold happy memories
Toys are a big part of our childhood. They hold memories of having a good time when playing alone or with friends.
National Mr. Potato Head Day dates