What Was the First Toy Advertised on Television in the USA?

Ashley | 05 - 18 - 2020
What Was the First Toy Advertised on Television in the USA

what was the first toy ever advertised on television? Mr. Potato Head was the first toy ever advertised on TV. George Lerner is the father of Mr. Potato Head, a toy with a bulbous red nose and huge eyes. It was invented by George Lerner in 1949 but was distributed by the popular multinational conglomerate, Hasbro only in 1952.

The First Toy Advertised on Television in the USA

George Lerner got the idea of creating Mr. Potato Head when he once saw his wife’s niece playing with a toy made of potatoes by stuffing sticks in it. When he got the idea, he made an improvised plan and wanted to create a funny creature that he thought would be liked by the kids. So, he started to manufacture toys with a concept of children using potatoes with the plastic pieces provided. Hence, Mr. Potato Head was officially born on May 1, 1952, and the original of the set was 98 cents which came with a kid’s suitcase that included Mr. Potato Head and about 11 types of accessories for the kids to mix and match using their imagination. Later, many complaints were raised on vegetables getting wasted by the children. So, again he wanted to change the concept and came up with a new idea of giving plastic surgery to Mr.Potato Head. His body was later manufactured with plastic potatoes.

Mr. Potato Head, the first toy advertised on tv in the USA was a huge hit among children as the children would design it by themselves and it led to the introduction of a concept called “Pester power” in the UK and also known as “Nag Factor” in the US. It was a concept newly spreading in the city back then after Mr. Potato Head, the first toy ever advertised on TV in the USA. Watching the advertisements for Mr. Potato Head children started pestering their parents to buy them the unique toy. The introduction of Mr. Potato Head was a huge victory for George Lerner, within the first year more than about one million units were sold. At Macy’s thanksgiving day parade, Mr. Potato Head was featured as a giant helium balloon.

1. When Was Mr. Potato Head Officially Born?
  • A. May 1, 1952
  • B. May 1, 1953
  • C. May 1, 1954
  • D. May 1, 1955

This advertisement for Mr. Potato Head later paved the way for many other toy advertisements. After the success of Mr. Potato Head, it led to the introduction of Potato Head’s family members. Mr. Potato Head was also featured in the very famous Toy Story in all three parts. In the movie, actor Don Rickles originally provided the voice for Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story but unfortunately, Rickles passed away from kidney failure, in April 2017. But, he again returned for Toy Story 4 to keep his promise of voicing over for Mr. Potato Head in part 4. The team of Toy Story 4 created his voice by using his old dialogues from all the other parts of the movie. This act was done using technology in order to honor him as they thought his voice was irreplaceable.

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