George Lerner

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George Lerner (1922–1995) was the inventor of the American toy Mr. Potato Head [1]

He was born in Brooklyn, New York and worked during his lifetime as an artist, graphic designer and model maker.[2] Just before 1950, he designed and produced a first generation set of plastic face pieces. The push pin shaped noses, ears, eyes, and mouth parts could be pushed into fruits or vegetables to transform the food into playmates.[3] The toy did not take off at first because post-World War II consumers didn't like the idea of wasting food by playing with it.[4] Lerner finally sold the toy for $5,000, to a cereal company. The toys were planned to be a premium giveaway in cereal boxes. But when Lerner found a better deal offered by toy manufacturer Hassenfeld Brothers (now Hasbro), Lerner and the manufacturer bought the rights back for $7000.[5] HasBro officially named the toy, Mr. Potato Head.[6]

In 1964 and 1975 George Lerner’s original designs got their plastic head and size upgrades respectively, in order to comply with government issued safety regulations.[7]

Lerner was also an inventor and made furniture and other toys.

Lerner died in 1995.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Week, Jew of the. "Jews of the Week: George Lerner & The Hassenfeld Brothers | Jew of the Week". Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  2. ^ "The Toy Invented by George Lerner | Synonym". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  3. ^ Floss, By Megan Wilde, Mental. "Evolution of Mr. Potato Head". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  4. ^ "The Toy Invented by George Lerner | Synonym". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  5. ^ "Jews of the Week: George Lerner & The Hassenfeld Brother". Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  6. ^ Floss, By Megan Wilde, Mental. "Evolution of Mr. Potato Head". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  7. ^ "GEORGE LERNER AND MR. POTATO HEAD". 21 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.