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Full series and process: 90s TOYpography
In 1952, George Lerner of New York City invented and patented Mr. Potato Head based on an earlier toy called “make a face” that used a real potato. The toy was originally produced as separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato or another vegetable. However, due to complaints regarding rotting vegetables and new government safety regulations, Hasbro began including a plastic potato body within the toy set in 1964.
On the strength of their Mr. Potato Head sales, the Hassenfeld Brothers focused on making toys, shortened the company name to Hasbro, and became one of the largest toy companies in the world. Hasbro company checks are watermarked with Mr. Potato Head. Pretty much every toy I’ve covered in this series is owned by Hasbro. It is crazy what a monopoly they are in the U.S. They even OWN MONOPOLY.
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