“Wind him up… toss him around!”
Manufactured Hot Potato games have adorned store shelves since the 1950s. In 1966, Ohio Art threw its hat in the ring with the release of Spudsie, the Hot Potato Game.
Ohio Art’s version was a red plastic hand-held “potato” with a painted-on face and goofy smile. Spudsie stood about 7-inches tall and was light enough to be easily tossed about by groups of children. A knob in the toy’s back allowed for one of five different time settings to be chosen.
Once the timer was set, players stood in a circle and tossed Spudsie between them as quickly as possible. The frenetic toss-a-rama officially ended when one player was left holding the toy when the timer ended and Spudsie emitted a loud ding. The winner was the last player in the game.
Spudsie has enjoyed an extended stay on toy store shelves because of its ability to teach young children hand-eye coordination and catching skills. Recent versions of the toy are constructed of soft foam rubber, making it more suitable for indoor and outdoor use.