Until now, I’ve never thought about how strange it was that one of the most popular children’s toys of all-time is a man with a potato for a head. Pretty strange, right?
Mr. Potato Head, while best known for his snarky role in the Toy Story franchise, was first manufactured back in 1952. Soon afterwards, he would become the first toy ever advertised on television. Until 1964, the curio was marketed as a bundle of plastic parts and pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato. Rotting vegetables ruined that scheme (duh), and instead Mr. Potato Head was fitted with an ersatz plastic shell that would never decay. Interestingly enough, he’s now the mascot for forgotten, decaying vegetables everywhere.
In an attempt to remind people that produce need not be blemish-free in order to taste good, Hasbro and the UK-based grocery chain ASDA have developed an oblong, more biologically accurate Mr. Potato Head. To be blunt, we waste a ton of food, largely due to our image hang-ups that make us favor perfectly shaped fruits and veggies (and most everything else). We imagine that a potato-head-shaped potato will taste better than its oblong counterparts. In actuality, of course, the flavor and safety of both are exactly the same.
We could learn a lot from Wonky Mr. Potato Head, friends! He’s an allegory for all the shapes and sizes that fall outside our idea of “normal,” and we would do well to give them as much attention as any of our “normal” looking brethren—be they potatoes or people. Don’t let folks suffer the same fate as that foot-shaped carrot you left on the shelf last year.
You can purchase Wonky Mr. Potato Head for the next six days via online auction, as Gizmodo reports. All proceeds will go to charity. Any big Mr. Potato Head collectors/ecological food enthusiasts planning on grabbing this? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image: eBay/Hasbro