Monday, October 6, 2008

Mr. Potato Head Pays His Respects

An all American icon, Mr. Potato Head, has been taking on a variety of different outfits and even personalities in recent years. For example, Mr. Potato Head appeared as Darth Vader from Star Wars (I have to confess that I do own him). It only makes sense that he make a patriotic statement after September 11th. And, when you purchase this item, a donation is made to the "children affected by the September 11th tragedy." This item brings to mind a number of questions, such as: Who was this toy intended for?; How would a child affected by September 11th react to this?; How much money was donated?; What was the accountability for this statement?; or Was this a way to sell more toys? What are the motivations behind these types of corporate actions when we have such an event impact America life and culture? Couldn't a corporation just make a donation outright (which many did)? Maybe this gives the average consumer an opportunity to help make a contribution, while also purchasing a symbol of American pride. There are a number of ways to examine this object and the messages it conveys. Overall, I think it is fair to say that it is not simply a toy for our children to play with.

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