A slimmer version of the iconic toy was unveiled at New York's International Toy Convention last week, Time magazine reports. And for the first time, the spud even wears pants (although, being a potato, he doesn't still doesn't quite have a discernible waist.)
The new line, called Active Adventures, includes a noticeably less rotund Mrs. Potato Head as well.
According to Time, manufacturer Hasbro explains the change as merely a fun "extreme bake-over," but the magazine suggests the beloved tater family is feeling the pressure to project a healthier, more physically active image - or possibly even something a little more sinister.
"Obviously there's a culture-approved idea of fitness that is now part of the bigger picture of what that culture says is beautiful," Washington, D.C.-based child psychiatrist Jean Thomas tells Time. "Mr. Potato Head maybe won't be the same kind of icon as Barbie for slimness but it does add to the cultural pressure of 'slim is better.'"
Although there is a growing trend amongst toy-makers to design toys that encourage physical activity, playthings that simply project a thin image is a negative development, Dr. Thomas says.
"It's silly on one hand, but worrisome that the culture basically has suggested to the toy companies that they should get on the bandwagon and make slim beautiful."
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