The Must Have Christmas Toy Of 1952
Your Grandpa loved his potato. Not to eat. To play with.
Does that make it sound like your Grandpa lived in simpler times? Well maybe, but it wasn't just any old spud Gramps loved. This one had eyes, nose, mouth, glasses, a hat and more.
It was Mr. Potato Head and it was the absolute must have Christmas toy in 1952.
And probably the biggest reason for that was our potato buddy was the very first toy ever advertised on television! Yes, tis true. It was Mr. Potato Head (and his beautiful wife Mrs. Potato Head which debuted the following year) that blazed the TV trail for every toy that followed.
So when your Granddad was just a little one and saw this fella on the boob-tube (or maybe someone elses TV, this was early on in the TV game, not everyone had one), he just had to have him.
Please, please, please....please!
And the begging, pleading and whining worked. That first year alone over a million kits were sold. I say 'kit' because of course in those long ago days when your Granddaddy was a kid, there was no potato included, real or plastic. He got the accessories and then trundled into the kitchen to ask your great-grandmother for a potato. And one that's shaped like a human head please. A plastic head wasn't included until 1964, far into the future.
Of course, the Toy Story movie franchise that began in the mid 1990's brought Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head a whole new generation of fans and buyers. But it was your Grandpa that loved it first. He just HAD to have it. And so did every other kid for years and years, so much so that it's in the National Toy Hall of Fame.
And how much did it set your Great-Granddad back to get it?
The original Mr. Potato Head cost 98 cents.
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