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Mr. Potato Head brand goes gender-neutral, dropping "Mr." title

In an effort to promote inclusivity, the iconic Mr. Potato Head brand is going gender-neutral, dropping the "Mr." title in favor of a more "modern" look. But the brand sparked confusion on social media when it made the announcement, and now fans are asking — are the characters Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head no more? 

Hasbro announced Thursday that it would be dropping the "Mr." title from the brand's name "to better reflect the full line." It said that an upcoming playset will not feature Mr. and Mrs. designations, allowing kids to create their own potato families with two moms or two dads, a "celebration of the many faces of families."  

"Potato Head has provided endless creative possibilities to our preschoolers for almost 70 years and will continue to do so," Hasbro said. "The possibilities to create your own families are endless with mixing and mashing all the parts and pieces."

But later in the day, Hasbro clarified that the characters themselves will still feature the gendered titles — just less prominently. The brand itself will not. 

"Hold that Tot — your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn't going anywhere!" the company tweeted, following some confusion on social media. "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."

The toy first launched 70 years ago — when kids had to supply their own actual potato to play with. In recent years, a number of brands have made an effort to be more inclusive, including Barbie and American Girl Doll. 

GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, praised the change, calling it part of "a larger movement towards greater diversity and inclusion in toys and media aimed at kids."

In a statement to The Associated Press, Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's chief communications officer, said, "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."

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