Hasbro’s recent decision to remove “Mr.” from the iconic Mr. Potato Head toy has not been well-received by most members of the public, according to a recent poll.
More than half (52 percent) of the 2,200 adults who responded to a Morning Consult survey conducted Feb. 26 to March 1 disapproved of the recent change. Twenty percent approved of it and about a quarter (28 percent) had no opinion on the issue.
The result suggested Hasbro had “[created] a strong net negative sentiment for the new brand name,” Morning Consult observed.
Hasbro’s Decision to Drop the ‘Mr.’ From Its Potato Head Brand Proves Unpopular https://t.co/gGKy76qq2m via @ameyers_ pic.twitter.com/rg91Tn6CKj
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) March 1, 2021
Morning Consult also broke down the results of their poll according to generation, noting that the name change proved unpopular even among younger generations, who generally have more liberal views regarding sexuality and gender.
As Morning Consult reported:
Even among younger consumers — who tend to be more accepting of gender fluidity and conscious of brand values in general — opinions on Potato Head’s name change were more negative than positive: 45 percent of millennials said they disagreed with Hasbro’s decision, compared with 30 percent who said they supported the move.
Following confusion as to whether the decision would impact the individual characters, Hasbro clarified that, while the brand will change its name to Potato Head, the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will keep their respective titles.
Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD pic.twitter.com/6I84KrxOLQ
— Hasbro (@Hasbro) February 25, 2021
Hasbro’s Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro told Morning Consult in a statement: “Hasbro’s decision to introduce Potato Head as a gender-neutral toy is the latest move in a larger movement towards greater diversity and inclusion in toys and media aimed at kids. By offering a toy that exists outside of the binary of male and female, 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.”
Hasbro has made alterations to other classic games and toys to better align with prevailing political opinions. As The Daily Wire reported:
In recent years, Hasbro has rebranded and altered a number of its toys while taking heat for others over allegations that the toys are encouraging bad messages. In August, the company pulled its then-newly released “Trolls World Tour Giggle & Sing Poppy” after a wave of online criticism accusing the company of encouraging sexual exploitation of children.
In December 2019, the company came under fire for its “Nerf” brand toy guns. Activists and critics demanded that the toymaker pull the “assault style” toy weapons from shelves.
“As we watch holiday toy commercials, we see the Nerf Ultra One and other extreme Nerf machine guns for children and are reminded of mass shootings that have devastated American children and families for decades now. In these times, the TV ad for this product plays like a Saturday Night Live parody, except that it is not at all funny,” a letter from the Empire State Consumer Project said. “It’s a matter of this being a very vulnerable consumer group. Children buy what they see and we’re not sure this is driven by market demand for assault weapon toys by children or the industry creating the demand.”
In September 2019, Hasbro unveiled a new version of its classic board game “Monopoly” that gives female players an advantage by paying them $40 more for passing go. The new game, called “Ms. Monopoly,” is supposed to be an effort to draw attention to the so-called gender wage gap.
Related: Hasbro Says It Will Still Sell Mr., Mrs. Potato Head Despite Making Brand Name ‘Gender Neutral’