Alan Dorfman, Co-Founder, Super Impulse

Alan Dorfman is co-founder of Super Impulse. In this edition of The Friday Five, Alan explains how the company is championing the return of Pet Rock and shares what toy fans can look forward to seeing from the company in the coming months.

Super Impulse recently announced that it is bringing back Pet Rock. What inspired this decision?

Certainly not thoughtful, critical evaluation!

Honestly, a Pet Rock relaunch has been suggested to me fairly regularly over the years. The time didn’t ever seem right. A couple of circumstances intersected that influenced us to bring Pet Rock back now: Pet Rock was a 1970s phenomenon and ’70s retro is trending currently. Pet Rock had a fun cameo in the latest Minions movie, The Rise of Gru, which was a hit this summer. We were offered the license from the people that own the rights and some of our staff got really excited for the opportunity, so we went for it.

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Is this the same Pet Rock we know and love from 1975? 

All the same, except we are using newer rocks.

Actually, there are some small updates. We added two different-sized sets of adhesive googly eyes and stick-on fuzzy rainbow hair for optional personalization. The packaging is the same. The shredded paper nest is the same. We did reproduce the original owner’s manual but with updates – what was okay grammatically in the mid-’70s needed some clean-up to be appropriate today, and we had to remove the part about how your Pet Rock will protect its owner when hurled at your attacker’s head.

Aside from those additions/corrections, Pet Rock is authentic to the original.

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What does Pet Rock bring into the life of its owner?

Companionship, low maintenance, great listening, add a small vest and it can be a therapy pet for comfort during travel and other stressful times, and it is excellent for holding papers in place in the event of an unexpected breeze.

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Super Impulse always has its finger on the pulse of popular culture. What gives a toy or game the ability to transcend novelty status to become part of the cultural landscape for generations?

Good question.

Some items are for the moment, like Fidget Spinners or Pogs. Every year, someone tries to bring back Pogs but they never catch on.

The items that transcend are particularly fun or challenging so the next generation can experience what made them popular originally. Some of the most enduring toys were “hot” trend items when they first came out – Rubik’s Cube, Duncan Yo-Yos, and Furby are examples. Pokémon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Power Ranger were red-hot when they came out and became over-saturated as licenses across every category. But, after the dust settled, all of these have been able to update and refresh, keeping what originally made them appealing and desirable, for a new class of kids and for the original fan base as they age up and become collectors.

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The holidays are approaching. What can we look forward to seeing from the company as we compile our wish lists?

We always have new products coming out.

New for this year: look for Micro Figs (1 ¼ inch action figures) of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Rick & Morty, Monster High, Mars Attacks, The Big Lebowski, and more.

In the World’s Smallest line, we have Radio Flyer wagons, Slinky, Tech Deck (really cool!), and Masters of the Universe Mini Comics — complete mini reproductions of original full-size comics with a magnifier included.

We are very excited about the new Poptaters series – co-branded Potato Head figures. The first series, on shelves this holiday season, will be Bob Ross, Garbage Pail Kids, KISS, and Transformers’ Optimus Prime. Later, look for Sonic the Hedgehog, Dwight from The Office, The Dude from The Big Lebowski, and about a dozen more.

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Visit Super Impulse online to see more of its toys, novelties, and accessories created for kids and adults alike.