Best Mr. Potato Head Original
The first time I saw the movie “Mr. Potatohead” was when it came out on DVD back in 2001. At that point, I had no idea what the hell I was watching; but then again, I didn’t really have any expectations either.
What did catch my eye though were all those little stuffed animals with cartoon characters inside them! They looked so cute and innocent…and they smelled even cuter!
I mean how could you not fall in love with such a thing?
And then one day, I found myself at a party where there were these little plushies everywhere. It seemed like everyone else was doing the same too. There must’ve been something special about them because everyone started talking about them and buying them (or rather stealing them) from other people’s houses. Then someone mentioned that they might be able to make their own versions of the toys if you followed some instructions on the package. So I went home and made up my mind to buy a bunch of different colored stuffing. When I got home, I realized that the colors weren’t quite right so I just decided to go ahead and get a few things that matched. That was probably around Christmas 2002 or 2003.
I remember going into Target and picking out some purple stuffers since they were pretty cheap. I went home and followed the instructions to make my first one. I can’t remember what character it was going to be exactly, but I do remember that the final product looked nothing like the picture on the box.
It looked more like a bright purple rock with two holes for eyes and a smaller one for a mouth. It didn’t look anything like the ones in the party. In fact, it almost looked like something that had been chewed up and spit out by a dog. I ended up putting some eyes and a smile drawn on it with a Sharpie marker. It didn’t look anything like what those at the party had either, but at least it looked better than what I did. I was very disappointed. I bet you can guess what happened to these first few tries…
The next time I tried was the next year. This time I decided to try the raccoon and fish because they were easier. They turned out a lot better than the last time, but they still didn’t look like the ones at the party.
They all ended up in the garbage can with the first batch after I was done with them.
The third year was probably the one that sticks out the most in my mind. I tried making some new ones from scratch with no instructions and was actually really pleased with what I had come up with. It was a cat of some sort and a green stuffer.
I remember how proud I was of it and showed it to everyone. No one had seen anything like it before, so I kept it. It ended up breaking a little later on in the weekend when I tried to adjust its eye so I threw it away since I didn’t want anyone else messing with it.
It was around that time that I started to go on the internet some. Before then, I had never even considered doing such a thing since I didn’t really have much use for it. But when you don’t have anything else to do, and you’re sort of forced into being creative, you tend to find yourself searching up strange things.
It was during one these searches that I actually found what I think was the website for that company that makes those toys. I still remember the feeling I got when I saw all those pictures of the rarer looking ones. It was like seeing a ghost…I still had the same feelings that I had back when I first found my toys. I wished that I could make something like them some day and wondered if they would even sell it if I did.
But who would buy something like that?
It seemed too weird to be selling toys like that in this day and age, but something about them called out to me.
I was about to close the window out of boredom when I saw something that caught my eye. It was a picture of a man dressed in some sort of strange costume. It looked like it was taken at some sort of fair or something since there were rides in the background.
He was wearing a black mask with white circles for eyes, a loopy white mouth and a bright red nose. His body was covered by a white shirt that hada long tail coming out the back. Over that he wore a tight black body suit with a few black circles on the front and back. On his head was a strange black top hat with a white band and a curled up brim. His arms were covered by long white gloves and on his feet he wore bright red boots. I had never seen anything like it before. The person who posted it even mentioned something about him claiming to be a space alien or something when people asked him about the costume.
That alien…it looked just like one of my figures. That man…he was dressed like one of the figures that I had tried to recreate all those years ago. But it couldn’t be…any of them.
It’s not like I kept up on toy collecting and there were bound to be other strange and unique ones out there. It was just a weird coincidence, nothing more. Just like those other two times.
That man…I had to meet him. I needed to know if he was the one or not. It was like an obsession at that point.
I had to figure out why the hell these figures kept appearing around me all of a sudden.
I haven’t thought about them for years until I saw that post.
Was it just because I was looking for them or was there something more behind it?
I waited a few days for the post of that man in the costume to appear again, but it didn’t look like it ever would. Not many people seemed to notice him anyway, so it probably wouldn’t have too much longer even if I had kept looking. When I was finally ready to leave, I told my mom that I met some people that were going to carve pumpkins with me at a friend’s house. I didn’t really expect her to believe me, but I knew she would let me go if it was somewhere else and with other people.
The walk to the park was a short one. It didn’t really seem like the sort of neighborhood that would have a lot of people walking around in it, let alone children looking for something to do. The park didn’t look too much different from the rest of the area.
It was covered in dry, dying grass and had a lot of playground equipment that looked like it needed to be replaced. It didn’t even look like it had much activity until I saw a few of the weirdest people I had ever seen in my life.
The first guy was dressed up in some sort of animal skin outfit with a bone through his nose. He was throwing a tennis ball up into the air and catching it with the hoop over his face. This was the sort of thing you would see at a weird costume party, not in some rundown park in the middle of the ghetto.
The other person looked about the same age as me and was dressed in what I guess was supposed to be medieval clothing. He had a metal bucket with him and was using it to scoop up water from a small fountain. What really caught my attention though were the two figures standing around his neck.
Sources & references used in this article:
Channeling Mr. Potato head-Face super-resolution using semantic components by A Choudhury, A Segall – 2014 Southwest Symposium on Image …, 2014 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
An exploratory look at pediatric cochlear implantation: is earliest always best? by RF Holt, MA Svirsky – Ear and hearing, 2008 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Focused Play Using Mr. Potato Head Toys to Improve Spontaneous Speech Production in Children Identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder by J Salamon – 2014 – search.proquest.com
Mr. Potato—Partner in the livestock business by P Bourgeois – 1991 – Addison Wesley Publishing …
The’Potato Head’method for identifying driver preferences for vehicle controls by CM Mnalone – American Potato Journal, 1951 – Springer
Mr. Potato Head by P Green, G Paelke, J Boreczky – International journal of …, 1992 – inderscienceonline.com
Explanation and generalization in young children’s strategy learning by DL Rotman – Strategies in Teaching Anthropology, 2007 – Prentice Hall