Happy 60th Birthday, Mr. Potato Head!
February 23rd, 2012
12:39 PM ET

The Throwback: Mr. Potato Head turns 60

This month marks 60 years of spud-tastic memories for an iconic toy industry staple that remains a household name.

Mr. Potato Head hit the market in 1952 and has been inspiring imaginative play ever since. For many preschool aged children, ownership of a Mr. Potato Head represents a rite of passage as well as the passing down of a tradition from generation to generation.

Mr. Potato Head was the first-ever toy to be advertised on television and remains one of Hasbro's most beloved characters.

By the numbers, over 100 million Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys have been sold to date; more than 30 licensed Mr. Potato Head characters have been created; and there are over 350 Mr. Potato Head parts and pieces available. That's no small potatoes!

Not only is Mr. Potato celebrating his 60th birthday, but he and Mrs. Potato Head renewed their vows this year. Thankfully, neither got cold (removable, interchangeable) feet.

Not one to shy away from the limelight (unless it involves a deep fryer), Mr. Potato Head himself spoke to CNN about turning 60.

CNN: First of all, Mr. Potato Head, Happy 60th birthday - and many more! How does it feel to be 60? Are your "small fry" days behind you?

Mr. Potato Head: Thank you very much! I feel 60 years young, and while I'm no longer a small fry, I'm still a kid at heart. This year the Mrs. and I will celebrate with spud-tastic adventures around the globe!

CNN: How did you get your big break into the toy biz? Can you tell us a little about your history?

Mr. Potato Head: I sprouted into the toy business in 1952 and became the first toy ever advertised on network TV. I've had so many great experiences since then, including being nominated for the mayor of Boise, Idaho, starring in Disney-Pixar's "Toy Story," and walking in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

CNN: What is your personal favorite Mr. Potato Head incarnation?

Mr. Potato Head: It's hard to choose, but if I had to pick one, I'd say my favorite outfit is the spiffy groom's attire that I wore to renew my vows with my sweet potato. I share so many happy memories with the Mrs. - I only have eyes for her!

CNN: You've fostered a lot of kids' imaginations and triggered many fits of giggles for any child who has, for example, placed Mr. Potato Head's nose where his head should be. How does it feel to be, in many cases, a source of laughter?

Mr. Potato Head: There is no better feeling in the world than to bring a smile to a child's face, it is spudtacular! I look forward to the next 60 years of silly, giggly fun with small fries.

CNN: How long have you and Mrs. Potato Head been married? Do you have any advice for keeping a relationship strong? Do you two have special plans for your 60th birthday?

Mr. Potato Head: The Mrs. and I have been married 59 years and we're still mashly in love! My relationship advice would be: Remember to have fun! The Mrs. and I are planning to celebrate my 60th birthday all year long by learning new things, traveling across the globe and making new friends. You can keep up with our adventures on my Facebook page.

CNN: What's the most common misconception that people have about you?

Mr. Potato Head: That I'm a couch potato! The Mrs. and I love to travel and stay active, our adventures keep us young.

CNN: What's the most common question you get asked?

Mr. Potato Head: Everyone wants to know which "part & piece" is my favorite - the answer is my smile, it goes with everything!

Here are some additional Mr. Potato Head fun facts:

  • 1952's Mr. Potato Head cost $0.98, consisting of parts only - Mom and Dad supplied the actual (real!) potato.
  • Mrs. Potato Head was introduced to the world one year later. The couple tied the knot on Valentine's Day 1953.
  • In 1964, Hasbro began manufacturing Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head with hard plastic bodies that held the pieces - and has done so ever since - eliminating the need for real spuds.
  • Parts are stored in the Tater Tushâ„¢ compartment. (Yep, it's trademarked!)
  • Those plastic bodies doubled in size come 1974, and have remained roughly the same size ever since.
  • Mr. Potato Head got his AARP card in 2002.

What about you? Did you have a Mr. Potato Head(s)? Which one(s) did you have? What are your fondest Mr. Potato Head memories?

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Filed under: The Throwback

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Omar Andres Gonzalez

    happy birth day i'll celebrate with my 5 mr potatoes and 1 mrs potato

    February 29, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Elisa Jordana

    Wow.....Rumor WIllis looks awesome for 60.....

    February 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sally Mae

    we got a guy here in the holler we call mr potato head. he has 3 eyes & a big black soft spot on his head.

    February 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Becca

    Oh WOW! I love Mr Potato Head. Great toy. Can't wait til he is 100 years old!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TRISH

    I had a Mr Potato Head in the days of mom supplying the spud! It was much much more fun and creative that way. One thing I always remember however, is that I would put the toy away intact, and when I went to find it again either the potato was a rotten mush, or a hard shriveled rock.

    February 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. The Dude

    After 60yrs.. isn't it time to give him man parts?

    February 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bobby John

    Mr tato gitz hitched at a yeer old? Thatz yunger den us hear in the holler. I iz pert neer 15 n I'm gunna haf me a date wif sally mae satnite. Mayb we'll get hitched in a cuple weekz.

    February 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aubrie

    What about Small Fry and Tater Tot????

    February 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sherri


    February 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sherri

    Why is it legal for to potatoes to get married and I can't?

    February 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marge

    Oh boy lets see....telly bubbies, the muppets, spongebob squarepants and now Dr. Suess....wonder who the republicans will go after next...OH OH OH I know Mr. Potato Head. they don't like a toy that reminds people of their stupidiy

    February 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob R.

    It's a honor that I will be sharing my 60th birthday with one of my all time greatest play toy's "The Great Mr. Potato Head"

    February 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Just Plain Awesome.

    My young one just LOVES to stick the parts in the wrong places. Haha!

    February 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bob


    February 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Triumph

    Mr. Potato Head looks like Star Jones...short and fat.

    February 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elisa Jordana

      @Triumph - People still care about Mr. Potato Head though........

      February 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Marlee

    I love the original provide your own potato! My youngest finds potatoheads fun to play with. I wish they were still made in the USA.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Roberta

    Love the interview. Was eating french fries at that time I was reading it on my lunch and kinda felt bad. But at least it wasn't tater tots...lol

    February 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Anonymous

    We are watching.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • @anonymous

      well, then, you'd better go get your mr potato head glasses so you can see better. that will help with your watching. lmao

      February 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  19. lol

    mr potato head is younger then anonymous!* Who hangs @ the legion*

    February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Guest

    What a lame toy
    Cant fkkk it,cant shove it up your butt
    Just what are you supposed to do with it?

    February 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol

      Throw it and break it? Swallow small parts? Drop it from a skywalk? Throw it at some wandering cat? Stick it under a tire at local walmart and watch it get driven over? Set it on a rr track? Dude, its mr potato head, he's a goodtime!

      February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  21. ummmm

    Mr. Potato Head "spoke" to CNN? Clearly, someone forgot to take their anti-psychotic meds this morning. You can't fool us.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Kathy

    I didnt know Newt was 60? *rim shot*

    (sorry, couldnt resist the resemblance)

    February 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  23. k

    I absolutely loved this interview! This was hilarious!

    February 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      I love Mr potato head and my new favorite is the pet TickleMe Plant that closes its leaves and lowers its branches when Tickled. The Pet TickleMe Plant is one weird easy to grow tropical plant. http://www.ticklemeplant.com

      February 24, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |

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