NEW YORK -- Rhode Island is known for many things but, until now,
Mr. Potato Head probably wasn't one of them.
The state's division of tourism and its seven regional tourism
organizations teamed up with Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro, maker of
the Mr. Potato Head children's toy, to launch a travel promotion
called "Rhode Island, the Birthplace of Fun."
The promotion, which was unveiled here, features a series of
6-foot-tall Mr. Potato Head statues that will be selectively
positioned to welcome visitors to the state.
There's the Cash Potato, designed by Brent Bachelder to look
like an ATM and slated to stand in Citizens Bank Plaza in
Providence, and the Edgar Allan Poe-tato, which will grace the
entrance of the Rhode Island Convention Center, also in
The division hopes to sell as many as 100 statues to businesses
and tourist attractions across Rhode Island; more than 50 have been
Each statue costs $3,500, according to David DePetrillo,
director of the Rhode Island Tourism Division, who said that $1,000
goes to the artist who designed the statue, and a portion of the
cost goes to local charities that provide meals to children.
The tourism division said Rhode Island businesses can sponsor a
statue "to be part of [the state's] fastest-growing industry,
The division also is sponsoring a contest this summer in
connection with the Mr. Potato Head promotion. Families who find
three or more statues during their stay will be entered into a
drawing and given a chance to win a "treasure chest" of Hasbro
toys, according to a division spokesman.
More information about the promotion and a free Family Fun
Vacation Pack are available from the tourism office.
Division of Tourism
Phone: (800) 507-6700