Most Elvis websites and blogs noted the announcement of Elvis Mr. Potato Head back in June. Some were actually hostile to the idea, but I liked it and said so. I may be old, but I like my Elvis toys, and this is a good one.
In the favorable ElvisBlog article, I dug a little deeper and reported on PPW Toys, the company that manufactures Elvis Mr. Potato Head as a licensee of Hasbro. This prompted a nice comment by Dean Gorby, business development manager for PPW. He was impressed that I understood his toy represented Mr. Potato Head dressing as Elvis and was meant as a humorous homage.
Four months later, Mr. Gorby went even further. He sent me four images and told me I was welcome to use them on ElvisBlog. Here they are.
This is an image you will see a lot pretty soon. As previously announced, the second Elvis Mr. Potato Head will be dressed in black leather from the ’68 Comeback Special. Unfortunately, it will not be available for the 2010 Christmas season, but we can get it starting in February 2011.
This is a super artist’s rendering of the final design selected for the first Elvis Mr. Potato Head dressed in a white jumpsuit.
This is a design that didn’t make it, and I think we can see why. The optional sunglasses are a nice design, but the buck-teeth are a no-no.
This is impressive – views from the front, back, both sides, top and bottom. Elvis Mr. Potato Head may be a toy, but designing it is a serious business.
Mr. Gorby also advised me that there will be a third Elvis Mr. Potato Head introduced in late 2011. To pump up interest, Hasbro/PPW will let the fans choose what iconic Elvis image will be featured. They will offer three choices and have a vote to determine which one they will actually make.
If it works out like the other series of Elvis collectibles, these choices will be from the usual group of images – Jailhouse Rock, gold lamé, Blue Hawaii flowered shirt, etc. I would like to propose some other options that are often overlooked.
This could inspire a “Hound Dog” version, so named because this is the shirt and coat Elvis wore when he appeared on the Milton Berle Show, June 5, 1956, and introduced “Hound Dog,” This performance was the one that created a firestorm of negative reaction across the country. It was a TV event just as momentous in Elvis’ legacy as the Comeback Special and Aloha From Hawaii, but his outfit never gets the same notoriety.
This outfit could be called either “Loving You” or “Teddy Bear” because Elvis wore it in the movie Loving You when he sang “Teddy Bear.” It has a part in the story line when it is a gift to celebrate Elvis moving up to co-headliner of the travelling concert troupe. He is also wearing it when a very aggressive groupie sneaks into his dressing room and puts some moves on him.
The teddy bear outfit has also been featured on various CD, album and 45 record covers, but it never shows up on Elvis collectible figurines.
This one could be called “Karate Elvis.” I actually have a refrigerator magnet set that includes this Karate Gi as one of the clothing options. Wouldn’t a Karate Elvis Mr. Potato Head be cool?
No matter what the choices for design # 3 are, Hasbro and PPW will have a great run of success with Elvis. If the series continues on to additional designs, I’ll bet you’ll someday see a boxed set of mini Elvis Mr. Potato Heads. If so, you can count me as a customer.
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