Mr. Potato Head gets new, gender-neutral name

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By , KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

Hasbro announced that Mr. Potato Head will now be known as "Potato Head."

The toy, played with by countless children across the world, will have a more gender neutral name, the Associated Press reports.

The new name will be on boxes this year.

According to the Hasbro Twitter account, the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will continue to live on in some form. Both Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head have appeared in the "Toy Story" movies.

Ali Mierzejewski, editor in chief at toy review site The Toy Insider, says, "It's a potato. But kids like to see themselves in the toys they are playing with."

Other toymakers have also made updates to their lineups, hoping to create toys for kids that represent modern families and various gender and racial identities. As an example, Barbie is now available in a wide range of skin tones and body shapes.

The new Potato Head playsets will be released this fall and will allow children to create characters that they can better relate to. Mierzejewski hopes that dropping "Mr." from the name will encourage other toy companies to stop gendering their toys.

"It's setting a new standard," she explained.

GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has applauded the now-genderless toy, saying, "Hasbro is helping kids to simply see toys as toys, which encourages them to be their authentic selves outside of the pressures of traditional gender norms," Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's chief communications officer, said in a statement.

Mr. Potato Head arrived on the toy scene in the 1950s, and back then, kids had to use their own veggies for the body.

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