Giant Mr. Potato Head & Mrs. Potato Head Statues
Location: Hasbro Headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (1027 Newport Ave.)
When to visit: Daylight hours
Time needed: 5 minutes
Did you know there’s a life-size Mr. Potato Head in Rhode Island? Several of them, actually! These are the quirkiest roadside attractions in the entire state.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island is the headquarters of Hasbro, which manufactures the famous Mr. Potato Head toy. So it makes perfect sense that the state would embrace him as their mascot.
The Hasbro headquarters are home to a six-foot-tall Mr. Potato Head and a similar-sized Mrs. Potato Head. The remaining giant potato heads are scattered throughout the state.
While some outlets have reported there are fewer than 10 potato heads remaining in Rhode Island, I’ve uncovered at least 16 potato heads (and possibly a handful more) after doing some research. Where can you find them? Why were they created? Read on to learn about Rhode Island’s most fun life-size toy figures.
Origin of the Rhode Island Giant Mr. Potato Heads
Where did the giant Mr. Potato Heads come from? It seems that around the start of the new millennium, the folks at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation were kicking around ideas to draw visitors to the state. Someone had the idea to embrace the Hasbro toy heritage, and a plan was hatched to place potato heads around Rhode Island.
In 1999, the state installed somewhere between 44 and 47 of the six-foot Mr. Potato Head statues. Two decades later, fewer than half remain on display. Some were destroyed, or vandalized, or moved into storage, or sold/transported out of state. One ended up in Bellingham, Massachusetts.
The surviving potato heads have become quite a draw for road trippers and fans of roadside kitsch!
The Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Statues at Hasbro Headquarters
Of all the potato heads remaining in the state, the ones at Hasbro Headquarters are the most well-known. They are the cleanest, shiniest, and they have attractive foliage surrounding them.
The Mr. Potato Head statue stands near the main entrance of the building, next to colorful flowers and shrubs and the Hasbro sign. He has his arm extended, so it’s easy to snuggle up and accept a hug from the mustachioed tuber gentleman.
This one is the classic Mr. Potato Head look, with a black hat, blue shoes, a big red nose, and big pink ears. Just like you remember him from the box.
Meanwhile, just across the street is Mrs. Potato Head. She’s wearing a yellow cap, red shoes, blue earrings, and a red handbag. It’s not the most cohesive outfit from a fashion standpoint, but I support Mrs. Potato Head’s right to express herself as she sees fit!
List of Mr. Potato Heads Across Rhode Island
Most of the other spud statues in the state have been repainted and changed to give them a unique look. One is dressed up like a firefighter, one is promoting donuts, and one wears a bedazzled bikini.
I love the way these giant Mr. Potato Head statues are located all over the state. It’s similar to the way the giant Sock Monkey statues of Rockford, Illinois are scattered around the city.
No one has been able to compile a full list of all the remaining Mr. Potato Head statues in Rhode Island, but I’m going to do my best, based on the potato statues I discovered on a recent road trip, and various reports on social media.
Here’s where the current Mrs. and Mr. Potato Head statues are located:
1 & 2 Hasbro Headquarters, Pawtucket
These are the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head already described above.
3 Westerly State Airport, Westerly
This one is a Mrs. Potato Head, and she’s ready for a vacation! She’s decked out in a bikini, sunglasses, and flip flops. She was previously located outside the small terminal at Westerly State Airport. But she apparently gets moved around the airport a lot. At last notice, she was in the lobby. So note the airport’s limited hours, and leave some extra time to find her.
4 Dunkin Donuts, Warren
One of the most unique potato heads stands in front of Dunkin’ Donuts. He has a plain white body, purple gloves, and holds a donut. Kudos to Dunkin’ for obtaining this Mr. Potato Head, because it attracts a lot of visitors and no doubt sells a lot of donuts.
5 Lake Mishnock Fire Department, West Greenwich
Look for the Firefighter Mr. Potato Head right in front of this small-town fire department. He’s wearing a Lake Mishnock Fire Department hat, and firefighter boots and pants, along with the big toothy grin on his face. He’s also carrying something, but when I visited, I couldn’t figure out exactly what that thing was in his hand.
6 Glocester Town Hall, Glocester
The Glocester tuber is a Mrs. Potato Head painted to look like an elephant. Yes, that’s weird. But it has an interesting story. Her name is Betty the Learned Elephant. She’s gray, with a large trunk painted on her face. She first found a home at the town library, and now stands outside Glocester Town Hall.
7 Uncle Sam Potato Head, Various places in Bristol
The Mr. Potato Head in Bristol is decked out to look like Uncle Sam. He’s one of the coolest-looking spuds, but it can be hard to locate. He gets moved around during the summer. You may find him at the Fourth of July concert stage, or at the intersection of Hope and Chestnut.
8 Day-O-Lite, Warwick
Day-O-Lite is a lighting manufacturer in Warwick. Appropriately, they’ve taken their Mr. Potato Head and adorned it with big lights. This spud, officially called Red Hot Potato, doesn’t have a hat or much of an outfit at all. He’s only wearing those lights.
9 & 10 Clements Marketplace, Portsmouth
The Clements Marketplace has two Mr. Potato Heads. Vino D-Vine Potato Head is dressed as a bellhop, with a maroon-colored button-down uniform, a bell in his hand, and a little bellhop hat.
Clements Marketplace is also the home of a “grape potato head.” This Mr. Potato is painted sky blue with purple eyes and hands. He’s wearing a barrel around his waist, full of grapes.
11 Roger Williams Park Carousel, Providence
The city of Providence (home of infuriating street parking rules) claims a giant spud inside the carousel at Roger Williams Park. This guy is a very traditional Mr. Potato Head – with the mustache, hat, big eyes, and blue shoes.
12 Sweet Peas Village, East Greenwich
At Sweet Peas Village day care center in Greenwich, find a Mr. Potato Head painted bright green. He’s wearing a graduation cap and his teeth are all different colors. It’s a unique look, for sure! This potato’s official name is Sweet “P” Tato.
13 Wawaloam Elementary School, Exeter
This school has a Mrs. Potato Head painted to look like a bumblebee, the school mascot. She has wings, a tiara, and fetching eyelashes. She also has the words “respectful” and “responsible” painted on her body. This potato head is sits right at the school entrance.
14 Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus, Cranston
The Culinary Museum building on the Johnson & Wales University campus has one of the coolest-looking Mr. Potato Heads. It’s designed to look like a chef, with a big old chef hat, a European-style mustache, and even what appears to be a pot of spaghetti. See it on the museum’s Instagram page!
15 Western Coventry Elementary School, Coventry
A Mr. Potato Head somehow made its way to a Coventry school, which repainted it brown, gave it wings and talons, and called it “Westie the Owl,” in honor of the school mascot. This potato head stands inside the school, so tourists will likely not be able to view it unless they have permission to enter.
16 Gaudet Middle School, Middletown
Gaudet Middle School in Middletown has a Mr. Potato Head, according to an issue of their student newspaper I found online. This potato head was painted yellow-brown and looked like a pineapple for a while. But it has apparently been repainted multiple times in recent years, so there’s no telling what it currently looks like.
Other Reported Potato Head Statues in Rhode Island
As stated earlier, nobody knows for sure how many Mr. Potato Heads are left in Rhode Island, but it seems to be a lot more than originally thought. Other blogs have erroneously reported that only 9 or 10 were left. But there are at least the 16 listed above, and possibly several more.
In recent discussions on Facebook and Reddit, multiple Rhode Islanders have mentioned other Mr. Potato Heads that are still on display in the state. I haven’t been able to verify these reports; some of these heads may no longer exist.
-Users have reported a potato head inside Quidnesett Elementary School in North Kingstown.
-One commenter reported they have a potato head on their front lawn on Hillside Ave. by Miantonomi Park in Newport.
-One commenter reported that a relative has a potato head on their lawn in Burriville.
-One commenter claimed to see a potato head on the patio area at Apponaug Brewing in Warwick. But neither their website nor Instagram page confirms this.
This page has a list of old potato heads in Providence, but the website is many years old, and most of these potato heads are no longer in existence. Here’s an archive of the original Rhode Island Tourism page that listed the original 44 Mr. Potato Head statues in Rhode Island, and their official names.
If anybody knows the locations of any additional Mrs. or Mr. Potato Heads in Rhode Island, please leave a comment and let us know!