Get Ready For Parents To Fight Over Pink Plastic Pregnant Puppies

puppy_surpriseMany readers will recognize the product at the top of this page: It’s Puppy Surprise, a toy originally introduced in 1991. The gimmick: inside you will find three, four, or five puppies with different markings and personalities. Puppy Surprise came back on the market this fall, and has been so popular that the company had to pull its ads off TV.

Just like real puppies, they are born through a massive gash in their mother’s abdomen that never heals, and come with pink or blue ribbon around their necks so you can tell whether they’re boys or girls. (The age range they’re marketed for is 2 and up, so the explanation of how these things really work can probably wait.)

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the company that manufactures them, Just Play, pulled ads from TV for six weeks because the company couldn’t keep the animals on the shelves.

Parents (mostly mothers) who are under age 35 or so will probably remember the original version of this toy, which was made by Hasbro two decades ago. Just Play chose not to change much of anything about the product, keeping its fur pink and using the same product jingle.

Here’s the 1991 version:

Here’s the current one:

Kids love puppies (and kittens: there’s a Kitty Surprise available at Toys ‘R’ Us), and these toys are relatively low-tech: they don’t even have batteries. The company tells Businessweek that they have plenty of accessories and new animals on the way for next year, but supplies may run short this holiday season.

Success Is the Surprise of This Retro Gift [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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