National Mr. Potato Head Day
National Mr. Potato Head Day is observed next on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 (145 days from today).
National Mr. Potato Head Day is commemorated every year on April 30th since 1952 when Mr. Potato Head was considered as the first toy on television.
It was the first ad aimed directly at children while the ad, up to this point, has only targeted adults. This day celebrates the toy that revolutionized advertising.
What is Mr. Potato Head?
Mr. Potato Head is an American toy, invented by Hasbro in 1952, consisting of a plastic potato decorated using various plastic parts that can be attached to it.
Parts include eyes, ears, hat, nose and mouth. Over the years, the list of additional things has grown into items such as a car and a boat trailer! Mrs. Potato Head soon became a husband a year later.
History of National Mr. Potato Head Day
In the 1940s, George Lerner of Brooklyn came up with the idea of a "funny-faced man," a character created by grafting body parts and a pronged face into fruit or vegetables. The idea may have originated from Aaron Bradley, who he saw a stick poking a potato while in a garden. Lerner received a warm reception when he introduced the concept to toy companies, in part because it was less than a decade after the end of World War II and portioning was still a decade away. At last, companies ultimately rejected the idea because of being wasteful.
In the end, Lerner convinced a company to add plastic facial parts to cereal boxes as prizes and sold his idea to them for $5,000. Soon after, in 1951, he presented his idea to Henry and Merrill Hassenfeld, who had a toy and school supplies business called the Hassenfeld Brothers (now Hasbro). They decided to buy the rights from the grain company that they gave them $5,000 for the copyright and another $2,000 to stop production. In addition, Lerner received a $500 advance and 5% royalties per sold kit. It is named after Mr. Potato Head.
On April 30th, 1952, Mr. Potato Head was recognized to be the first toy on television. Its ad was also the first TV commercial aimed at children, not parents. It was a transformational moment as it changed the way marketing was done and children continued to be targeted directly after it. As the result, this celebration developed and named National Mr. Potato Head Day.
There are no plastic potatoes included, and real potatoes must be used. A potato is the ideal choice for a toy that needs some fruit or vegetable to complete it: they are readily available at all times of the year and relatively inexpensive. Although one must provide their own potatoes, this kit includes four noses, three hats, two pairs of eyes, two mouths, ears, feet, hands, three hats, a tube, eyeglasses and eight felt pads are used for facial hair. It wasn't long before a form was included in the kit to purchase an additional 50 pieces.
Hasbro earned about $4 million in just a few months with this toy. Since it was the first toy advertised on television, it didn't have to compete with anyone at first. More than a million kits Mr. Potato Head was sold in the first year. Mrs. Potato Head was added the following year, and soon Brother Spud and Sister Yam were introduced. Right after that was a car and a trailer, as well as pets called Spud-ettes.
Government regulations in the 1960s required that parts be less sharp, which made them less likely to stab potatoes. In response, a plastic potato began to be included in the toy set in 1964. Some safety regulations were additionally introduced in the 1970s, doubling the size of the potato in 1975, as did the size of the accessories increased. As the result, the range of ages has widened and more people can enjoy Mr. Potato Head and spread him to the kids more and more.
Mr. Potato Head has been presented in American culture continuously. In 1987, he became the "Speaker" for Great American Smokeout and gave up his pipe to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. In 1995, he made his Hollywood debut by appearing in Toy Story, and appeared in subsequent films in the series. In 2000, it was the first time of entering into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Now in the twentieth century, there is no sign that Mr. Potato Head is going away anytime soon.
How to celebrate National Mr. Potato Head Day
Would you like to celebrate National Mr. Potato Head in a special way? Try one of these ideas.
- Advertise on social media using the hashtag #nationalmrpotatoheadday.
- Celebrate both Toy Story and Mr. Potato Head with Woody's Tater Roundup.
- Enjoy a card game with Mr. Potato Head Rummy.
- Spend the day putting together Mr. Potato Head or other puzzle games.
- Treat your child to the story Potato Head Stickers.
- Make some Top Potato Cupcakes.
ObservedNational Mr. Potato Head Day has been observed annually on April 30th.
Saturday, April 30th, 2022
Sunday, April 30th, 2023
Tuesday, April 30th, 2024
Wednesday, April 30th, 2025
Thursday, April 30th, 2026