‘Jeopardy!’s “All-Time Champion” Ken Jennings is weighing in on the Potato Head brand’s updating as only he can.
On Twitter, ‘Jeopardy!’ genius and interim host Ken Jennings is known just as much for his goofy wit as he is his intellect. He stays active on the platform, interacting with fans & followers daily. He’s also a man of current events, and as such isn’t missing the opportunity to chime in on Thursday’s Potato Head discussion.
In short: the 70-year-old Potato Head toy franchise is updating their brand to reflect modern families. “Culture has evolved,” says Kimberly Boyd, SVP and GM at Hasbro for the Potato Head brand. “Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists—with the “Mr.” and “Mrs.”—is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”
“When the new brand is unveiled, kids will have a blank slate to create same-sex families or single-parent families,” Boyd continues of the update.
Jeopardy! Legend Ken Jennings Throws Hat into Ring
This, of course, has Twitter in a frenzy. Social media has managed to take the toy brand’s update and turn it into a political divider (as one does with everything in 2021, it seems). Ken Jennings, however, is staying decidedly neutral with his tongue-in-cheek comment on the issue:
“Hath not a potato eyes??” Jennings tweets. Sure, he may be inferring that ‘all potatoes have eyes, and therefor: what’s the difference?’ – or he may not. Either way, it’s the sort of tweet fans expect from the part genius – part goofball – all cultural wizard.
Potato Head Toy Brand to Update for 21st Century Kids
“Kids like dressing up the toy, then playing out scenarios from their life. This often takes the form of creating little potato families, because they’re learning what it means to be in a family,” Boyd tells Fast Company of their decision to update the toys and brand.
As a result, kids will be able to create their Potato Head couples freely, with the traditional combo of Mr. & Mrs. still completely possible. Children with same sex parents, or non-binary relatives, however, will no longer feel left out, Boyd clarifies.
The shakeup is “designed to break away from traditional gender norms,” Fast Company writes. “Particularly when it comes to creating Potato Head families.”
This is how toddlers frequently play with the toys, points out toy giant Hasbro’s own research. Come this fall, however, the rebranding of Potato Heads will be a reality. Then, “kids will have a blank slate to create same-sex families or single-parent families. It’s a prime example of the way heritage toy brands are evolving to stay relevant in the 21st century.”
If one thing’s for certain, a whole lot more adults are going to make a huge deal out of this than any toddler ever will. At least Ken Jennings isn’t among them.
For more on the ‘Jeopardy!’ champ and all things American Iconography, stick with us at Outsider.com.