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The Strange and Wonderful Life of Mr. Potato Head

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Humble beginnings...

Thanks to Pixar’s Toy Story franchise, Mr. Potato Head is a big Hollywood star, but you might not be aware of his humble beginnings. Potato Head, or MPH as those of us that are close to him like to call him, was born in 1949 and by age 3 was already kind of a big-timer in the toy business. He was the first toy ever sold on television and eventually had his own show, aptly named The Mr. Potato Head Show, in 1998. Sadly, it only lasted one season.

Sure, he’s riding high now, with Toy Story having been selected into the National Film Registry and all, but Mr. Potato Head’s journey in Hollywood is filled with the highs and lows typical of any career in the industry. Take a look:

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  • Mr. Potato Head as Garfield 1 of 20
    Mr. Potato Head as Garfield
    Circa 1984 - He loves lasagna. And potatoes.
    Design by Ashley Ringrose. Photo
  • MPH as Mr. T! 2 of 20
    MPH as Mr. T!
    Some time in 1986 - Careful or he'll mash you up!
    Design by Ashley Ringrose. Photo
  • Of Potato Bondage 3 of 20
    Of Potato Bondage
    An embarrassing moment. What can he say? It was the 90's. Everyone was doin' it.
    Photo
  • A Broken Spud 4 of 20
    A Broken Spud
    After the bondage incident effectively ended his early career, MPH wasn't sure what to do with himself.
    Photo
  • Life in Hollywood Is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be 5 of 20
    Life in Hollywood Is Not All It's Cracked Up to Be
    Would Mr. Potato Head ever get it together again?! Circa 1999.
    Photo
  • Shrek 6 of 20
    Shrek
    In the first decade of the 21st century, MPH's career found new hope with the Shrek franchise. As you know, MPH wasn't cast in the role (here he is pictured in costume at a screen test) but thankfully Toy Story soon came along.
    Design by Ashley Ringrose. Photo
  • Undercover as Saddam Hussein 7 of 20
    Undercover as Saddam Hussein
    November 2003 - Working as a spy for the US government just before the capture of Saddam Hussein.
    Design by Stephen Ives. Photo
  • Then there was his Star Wars phase… 8 of 20
    Then there was his Star Wars phase...
    Revenge of the Sith, 2005. Darth Tater.
    Photo
  • Spud Trooper 9 of 20
    Spud Trooper
  • Yoda 10 of 20
    Yoda
    "Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained potatoes. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A potato must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A potato craves not these things. You are reckless."
    Design by Ashley Ringrose. Photo
  • Mr. Ecstasy Head 11 of 20
    Mr. Ecstasy Head
    Riding high once again, in 2007 Mr. Potato Head travelled from Ireland to Australia with 293 grams of ecstasy in his trunk! Busted.
    Photo
  • Makes a New Best Friend 12 of 20
    Makes a New Best Friend
    January 2008 - MPH gets close to a British octopus who is so possessive he attacks every time someone tries to take his beloved potato away. Go figure: a creature with eight arms who refuses to let go!
    Story and photo
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 13 of 20
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    With the support of his new found friend, MPH tackles the iconic role of Indiana Jones. Here he is on the set in 2008...
    Photo
  • Tater Titan 14 of 20
    Tater Titan
    March 2009 - Working the Ork look from the board game Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse. Sometimes you just gotta take the gig for the money! (This time was not it.)
    Photo
  • Steampotato 15 of 20
    Steampotato
    Summer 2010 - Continuing on his experimental journey with metal, MPH enjoyed a brief Steampunk phase. This look later inspired Justin Bieber's Santa Claus is Coming to Town video.
    Design by Sarah Calvillo. Photo
  • MPH Meets the Colonel in Japan 16 of 20
    MPH Meets the Colonel in Japan
    Inspired by Steampunk and Hello Kitty, MPH journeyed to Japan in October 2011, where he met the king of KFC.
    Photo
  • In Drag as Margaret Thatcher 17 of 20
    In Drag as Margaret Thatcher
    December 2011 - Here's MPH at the New York premiere of "The Iron Lady."
    Design by Stephen Ives. Photo
  • Mourning the Loss of Kim Jong-Il 18 of 20
    Mourning the Loss of Kim Jong-Il
    Later that month...
    Design by Stephen Ives. Photo
  • The Dark Spud Rises 19 of 20
    The Dark Spud Rises
    Coming Summer 2012 - MPH aka Bruce Wayne aka Batspud.
    Photo
  • Goes Robotic 20 of 20
    Goes Robotic
    In the year 3000 - Mr. Potato Head becomes a robot cop killer. Or is he a killer cop? I'm not sure, it isn't the future yet!
    Photo

Main photo via Flickr

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