Pet rocks were
a 1970s fad conceived by California salesman Gary
Dahl. Pet rocks were ordinary rocks bought at
a hardware store, and marketed as if they were
In 1975, Dahl established "Rock Bottom Productions",
a company that sold the rocks for $3.95 apiece.
The rocks came nestled in straw, contained in
a small box similar to a pet carrier. A "Pet
Rock Training Manual" was included on how
to properly raise and care for your newfound pet
(notably lacking instructions for feeding). People
who purchased these unusual "pets" often
gave them names, talked to them, petted them,
and taught them to perform simple "tricks".
The instruction manual contained several commands that could
be taught to the new pet. While "sit"
and "stay" were fairly easy to accomplish,
"roll over" usually required extra effort
on the part of the trainer. "Come" was
found to be impossible to teach reliably.
The advent of electronic toys gave a new twist to the idea:
a Ragin' Rocky talking rock from Playmates Toys.