When Mr. Potato Head was first introduced to the public in 1952, he was real.
The plastic body parts were designed to be stuck into a real potato or any other fruit or vegetable.
That was really pretty fun for kids, but there were some problems.
For one, the potato would begin rotting and sprouting, making the once benign vegetative visage into a malignant tuber.
For another, the plastic parts had to be pretty sharp in order to pierce the firm flesh of a real potato.
The real potato was replaced by an oversized plastic one, and the pins of the plastic eyes, mouths, and other pieces were rounded off to be child-safe.
Another significant change in the portly potato’s lifestyle: Pressure from surgeon general C. Everett Koop in 1987 deprived him of his pipe on the grounds that it glorified smoking to kids.
Mr. Potato Head was invented and developed by George Lerner in 1949.