Maybe I would have guessed if I hadn't looked these up by name and therefore known what they were. But then again, probably not. They're pretty octopus-like and I've never seen one of these in a store or anyone's home.
These two pictures are potato mashers by Chef's Toolbox and Simply Mash. The picture below all of this is my old masher.
The paint, or whatever it is, has begun chipping off my potato masher into our food and I figure that's not a healthy addition to our diet, so I'm looking for a new one. Not that I'll buy one of these funky models online (I'm sure I'll grab whatever version I can find at Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond), but it was interesting research.
As far as your basic potato mashers go, Cook's Illustrated (great source for product reviews) recommends the flat disk-shaped models, like mine, versus the wavy bottom ones...does that make sense? I don't think these new ones were around when they performed their tests. Of course, for ultra-smooth and silky mashed potatoes, you may want a ricer. Cook's recommends this one: RSVP International Classic Kitchen Basics Potato Ricer.
Thanks to our great teacher, the internet, I not only learned which products come highly recommended/which stink, I learned I can use my ricer for squeezing excess liquid out of cooked or thawed frozen spinach (I'm sure I never would have thought of that myself) and, perhaps most importantly, that the "potato masher" was a German stick hand grenade used from the end of WWI to the end of WWII. Thanks, internet!