One thing that is not surprising is the fact that it is 2018, even as time flies. What is surprising though is the fact that even at that, people still buy pet rocks. Unlike Barbie, these rocks are not sold as playthings for children, but rather as things to be owned by adults.
1. It was created by Gary Dahl
The pet rocks were developed by a man, Gary Dahl who decided to come up with a pet that will not be stressful to people. This is after he has heard his friends complain about all the problems of their pets and their many needs. When he, therefore, decided to come up with this as an alternative, everyone including his wife didn’t believe that the idea wasn’t only going to fail, but that it was dumb.
Interestingly, however, until the death of the man in 2015, this was to be his greatest invention and accomplishment.
2. Pet Rocks are actually rocks
In case you have been living somewhere behind the rocks and you know nothing about these pets, it’s time to get a little surprised because these rocks are exactly as the name suggests, rocks. Forget about the part of the pet, it is just added to give value to the rocks.
According to its manufacturers, pet rocks are the only pets that you can own without worrying about feeding, bathing, walking, or even training it. That is because it is a stone!
3. Use and Function
The creators of this rock actually came up with the idea of developing it so that people who buy it will always get the question, “What is it used for?” And then you will have fun telling them to guess. Now, this may not be it, but that is all I can think of.
According to those who have designed it, however, it is supposed to serve as a devoted friend and companion for as long as you can live. Now this is only natural because a rock is supposed to live longer than you.
4. There is a manual on how to care and train your pet rock
Someone somewhere has taken the time out to write down a 32 paged booklet that will help you get the best out of your pet rock. What the manual is all about, is how to help you turn the rock into a friend and companion that is faithful, devoted, and obedient.
By the way, the booklet treats your rock like a real pet and gives you hints on how to get it to sit, lie, or evenroll overr.
5. There was a time when it the craze in the US
In the earliest days after it was invented, the pet rock generated a massive excitement in the United States with a million and a half rocks sold in two and a half months. It instantly became a fad and everyone wanted a bite of it.
The man became a millionaire out of it, and the only reason why people stopped buying it massively was the realization that Dahl only played a joke on them.
6. It is packaged in a cardboard box with breathing holes
Just as it is with real-life pets, these rocks are packaged in a cardboard box this is simply to ensure that the pets get breathing space, and I they want to look out and see the way home, why not?
7. How the idea came
The first time you heard of the idea of the pet rock did you go like “is someone high?” Probably. And that is a literal response because the idea for the pet rock came to its developer over a bar when he was drinking with his friends.
8. Pet Rock Song
If the idea of coming up with the pet rock is not surprising enough, the idea that someone else somewhere has taken the time out to write and compose a love song for the pet rock should be. The country singer, Bill Pineo or Al Bolt sang the song about his son’s relationship with his pet rock.
Unfortunately, the song couldn’t push him to popularity even as he had a couple of other songs: including Family Man / If Today Were a Fish and Wait a Minute / Cowboy.
9. The cost of the Rock
In its very short crazy lifespan, the pet rocks got to sell for as much as $3.95 which is valued at between $16 and $19 today. Interestingly, even as the first major craze died down, the sale of the rocks has not stopped entirely, and they are still being sold on various online platforms including Amazon, where people even leave reviews after buying.
The price of the pet rocks today is still between $13 to $19 dollars. Even though there are some newer varieties in the market, the idea of the first ones is still maintained.
10. Some come with adoption certificate
It is not just buying the pet rocks, some do come with certificates that make it a form of “legal adoption” of the pet.
The trademark for the product is now owned by Rosebud Entertainment.
11. Extras that come with the pet rock
There are other things that some pet rocks come with such as a bed of hay and leash, training booklets, blankets, and any other extras you get to find inside. Just make sure you don’t get too surprised.
12. Other Businesses by pet rock inventor
Apart from the pet rock which some people believe was only a fluke, Dahl started other businesses such as bicentennial Pet Rock and Sand Breeding Kit which like their elder sister, were just packaged humor. This time around, people refused to buy the joke, and it ended on the inventor. The new inventions failed woefully.
13. How it all ended
It was funny for those who found it funny, and it made some rich while giving others rocks that were totally useless as pets. For the inventor however, it wasn’t completely a happy ending because according to him, even though that was what made him a millionaire, it still made his life harder as there were constant disturbance by investors who were waiting for him to come up with new ideas and there were lawsuits from companies like Coakley Heagerty Companies Ltd.
Worse than that, it threatened to even destroy his marriage, left him betrayed, and almost a complete drunk.