Hasbro Rises After Dropping 'Mr.' From Name of Its Potato Head Dolls

Hasbro shares advanced Thursday after the toy giant said it will rename its popular toy simply 'Potato Head.'
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Shares of Hasbro  (HAS) - Get Report rose after the company gave its popular potato-shaped toy, Mr. Potato Head, a brand makeover by renaming the spud simply "Potato Head" and dropping the "Mr." title.

Shares of the Pawtucket, R.I. company, rose 1.34% to $92.13 at last check during trading.

The toymaker also said new figurines will be made in more eco-friendly packaging using "plant-based plastic." The change will appear in boxes this year.

In an investor presentation Thursday, Hasbro said toys that reflect consumers’ values are particularly important now, and that the 70-year-old brand needed a modern makeover.

Potato Head has been a longtime bestseller for the toy giant and the line of dolls has been altered in the past -- a pipe was dropped in 1987 over tobacco concerns, and in 1992, the Potato Head backstory was rewritten to embrace a more active lifestyle and lose references to “couch potatoes,” according to Hasbro.

"Culture has evolved," said Kimberly Boyd, senior vice president and general manager at Hasbro, as quoted in Fast Company. "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."

Two weeks ago, the toymaker reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that exceeded analysts' expectations.

Hasbro reported earnings of $105.2 million, or 76 cents a share, up from $95.5 million, or 69 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.27 from 90 cents, above analysts' estimates of $1.14. Revenue rose 4% to $1.72 billion, topping forecasts of $1.69 billion.