Sunday, September 11, 2005

Scribbles Interview: Mr. Potato Head

This Just In from The 65th Crayon:

The 65th Crayon was nearly overcome with excitement when he was able to arrange a face-to-face meeting with his personal hero, Mr. Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head began his career at the bottom, a mere pin cushion of a vegetable for some plastic face pieces. Today he is an international star admired by toys and people alike for his body of work and his leadership.

The story began just before 1950 when George Lerner, an inventor, made some plastic toy face pieces similar to pushpins. His idea was that kids could use them with potatoes to make silly faces. Executives at toy companies didn’t agree. They believed that people still had a World War II mentality. The toy makers worried that parents wouldn’t want their children using food as a toy. Lerner ended up selling his idea to a cereal company for $5000. Their plan was to use the “make a face pieces” as part of a promotion. However, Lerner kept looking and found the Hasbro toy company. Together, Lerner and Hasbro bought back the idea for $7000, and in 1952 Mr. Potato Head was born.

“That was your big break wasn’t it, Mr. P?” asked our Crayon reporter.

“Yes it was Sonny, but times were different then. I was just a potato,” said the legendary grandfather of the toy world. “Then I became a potato and a bunch of plastic pushpin parts that kids would stick into me. The pay was nothing. The job was agony, but the kids were happy.”

“That’s what makes him the toy that he his today,” said the 65th Crayon. “He sacrificed his comfort for kids. Mr. Potato Head invented the concept of kid-friendly.”

“A good part of it was luck,” said the well-heeled international spud. “I was in the right place at the right time. I became the first toy to be advertised on TV. By 1960 I had an entire plastic body.”

Mr. Potato Head continued to make history. His leadership and generosity set a benchmark for our nation as well as for the toy industry. He surrendered his signature pipe to the Surgeon General in 1987 to become a spokesspud for the American Cancer Society. On his 40th birthday in 1992, the international produce star gave up being a couch potato and received an award from the President’s Council for Physical Fitness. In 1996, he joined with the League of Women Voters to promote the “Get Out the Vote Campaign.”

“Spokesperson, role model, cultural icon, toy,” observed our colorful reporter after the interview. “This Potato has built a phenomenal legacy.”

Mr. Potato Head lives with his wife and friends. He has many relatives and many pets.
Scribbles Reports from The 65th Crayon appear in the Sunday Edition of Letting me be . . .
The 65th Crayon copyrighted by ME Strauss. All Rights Reserved.
—me strauss Letting me be
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edina monsoon said...

I don't just enjoy reading your blog. I also enjoy the little caricatures interspered with it.

ME Strauss said...

Hello Edina,
Thank you. They are there for you to enjoy. They are also there because I enjoy writing them. :)


Gone Away said...

I'm surprised the 65th crayon made no mention of Mr Potato Head's (Spud to his friends) starring roles in the Toy Story films.

ME Strauss said...

Well, according to the 65th, Tim Allen has a bit of an insecurity problem around both Bob Villa and Mr. Potato Head. That being so, the generous Mr. P asked that we leave that *detail* as he called it out of his story.

You are a sharp crayon for noticing it.


Ned said...

I gotta tell ya, love that Potato Head guy. Him and the little tubers been over to the house many a time on a Saturday, kickin' back, me and Spuds guzzlin' some suds, puttin' a few burgers on the grill. He's just like regular people. But hey, when he's watching TV, watch the "couch potato" comments, he's a little sensitive on that subject.

Oh, and Edina darling, I must say I love Ab Fab and your name... I must now see your blog.

ME Strauss said...

Ned, baby, I had no idea YOU were the Ned that Mr. P was always talking about. He and the little tater tots just LOVE you. (Don't we all?) We're gonna have to get us all together for a party soon.

I'll bring the crayons.


PS pmcbj

Jennifer said...

That was GREAT. Mr. Potato Head will forever have that personality in my mind now!

ME Strauss said...

Thanks Jennifer.
It was fun doing the research.You should go to the Play with Mr. Potato Head Online Link. It's really cool.


dog1net said...

Oh, man, this is one fun read. Really like how you weave in your "facts" without losing the "tongue-in-cheek" aspect of this story.

Deborah said...

Fantastic article, Liz! I'm trying to remember the name of the actor who played Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story and am coming up blank. I hate it when that happens.

At any rate, I grew up with that toy and am surprised to learn that it began as a real potato. Thanks for sharing this with us.

ME Strauss said...

I know I wrote a thank for your lovely comments. Thank you sincerly.

I've been having my comments disappear on me.

I'm wondering if I'm screwing up the ghioppqxz word verification thingee or just living in another reality.


ME Strauss said...

Thank you. But don't count on me to know the guy's name. I don't get enough sleep to have a memory. I just write things to trigger everyone else's memories. :)

Good to have you stop by.


shtikl said...

I always liked potato head. Especially with glasses he looks a little like me. ;-)


ME Strauss said...

Hi Shtikl,
Why, you're right. I can see the resemblance. I wonder if you're related. Maybe The 65th Crayon can find out for you.