McDonald’s Potato Head Toys Transform into Star Wars Actor Jiang Wen

McDonald’s Potato Head Toys Transform into Star Wars Actor Jiang Wen

Creative consumers are transforming McDonald’s new Potato Head toys to resemble Chinese actor Jiang Wen, famous for his roles in ‘Red Sorghum’ and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

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5:14 PM HKT, Thu October 20, 2022 1 mins read

Thanks to a new promotion, those purchasing a McDonald’s Happy Meal in China will receive a complimentary Potato Head-inspired toy with their order. And while the iconic toy may remind Western readers of childhood days and Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story franchise, in China, it is drawing comparisons to a well-known celebrity — actor, screenwriter, and director Jiang Wen.


The full set of McDonald’s Potato Head toys

The set of eight toys is a crossover between Potato Head and a seemingly random duo of IPs: Transformers and My Little Pony. The release didn’t generate much buzz online until some netizens discovered similarities between the toys and Jiang. Some even undertook DIY projects to transform Mr. Potato Head into the award-winning director and actor.

McDonald’s Potato Head Toys

“OMG, the more I look at the toys, the more they remind me of Jiang Wen, especially those with a broad grin,” one netizen posted under McDonald’s promotional campaign on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.

The hashtag for the Happy Meal package has been trending on Weibo and had received 260 million views at the time of writing. Many netizens even retitled the McDonald’s toy line with names like “My Little Pony Jiang Wen” or “Pink Bandit,” the latter moniker referring to Jiang’s role in his self-directed action comedy Let the Bullets Fly (2010).

A netizen transformed Mr. Potato Head to Bandit Zhang, Jiang’s role in his film Let the Bullets Fly

A person transforms Mr. Potato Head into ‘Bandit Zhang,’ Jiang’s character in his film Let the Bullets Fly

Invented and manufactured by George Lerner in 1949, Mr. Potato Head was first distributed by Hasbro in 1952. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters famously appeared in the Toy Story franchise, and Mr. Potato Head even got his own show in 1998, although it was shortlived, being canceled after its first season. In 2021, Hasbro renamed the brand to simply Potato Head.

Jiang, on the other hand, is slightly younger than the tuber-inspired toy. Born in 1963 in North China’s Hebei province, Jiang is often listed among the ‘sixth-generation directors’ that emerged in the 1990s. He is internationally known for his roles in Zhang Yimou’s debut film Red Sorghum (1986) and Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

All images via Weibo, cover image designed by Beatrice Tamagno

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