The Mr. Potato Head toy found in cereal boxes or in Andy’s toy box in the film Toy Story, was invented by George Lerner in 1952. Initially, Lerner used a real potato for his creation, but instead of wasting resources, a hard plastic potato body was designed to replace the edible tuber.
On this day, April 30th, in 1952, Mr. Potato Head debuts on national television as the first toy to be advertised. With a mixed audience of children and adults, this interchangeable toy became popular amongst toy and non-toy companies and was sold as a variety of products.
Forty years after its creation, Mr. Potato Head became a Hollywood celebrity as a character in Disney’s Toy Story, a spokespud for Burger King’s french-fry campaign “Try the Fry,” and a star of his own children’s show on the Fox Network.