They aren’t the first or best-known Potato Head rebrandings — I nominate Darth Tater for that — but it has been announced that there will be Marvel superhero Mr. Potato Heads coming this summer.
While looking at the website of manufacturer PPW Toys (they license Potato Head from Hasbro), I discovered that they’ve already done a DC Potato Head line, with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Joker, and two Batman flavors. (Apparently, Hasbro itself already did a Spider-Man and an Iron Man Potato Head.) Their site is pretty scary, with a whole line of Elvis Potato Heads, for example.
It’s a weird trend to mash-up brands, as seen with these or the Lego Batman video game (soon to be a movie). I guess the approach is meant to add more familiarity and nostalgia to a product by combining it with something else well-known. In this case, it disturbs me a little because it removes creativity from the toy. Instead of using a variety of eyes or mouths to create different looks or expressions, now, there’s one “right” way to put the toy together so the costume resembles the known character. (Those grins are a little off-putting, though.) I suppose it doesn’t matter, since these aren’t aimed at kids but targeted at “fans and collectors”.