Pound Puppies

For other uses, see Pound Puppies (disambiguation).
Pound Puppies
Type Stuffed toys
Inventor Michael Bowling
Company Tonka (1984–1988)
Hasbro (1988–2002)
Country United States
Availability 1984–2002

Pound Puppies was a popular toy line sold by Tonka in the 1980s.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It later inspired an animated TV special, two animated TV series, and a feature film. Shipments of the toys over five years generated sales of $300 million in 35 countries.[7]

Toy description

The puppies were a variety of plush stuffed dog dolls with floppy ears and droopy eyes. They came in a variety of colors (gray, brown, white), some with spots. Each one came in a cardboard case shaped like a doghouse with an "adoption" certificate.[7] The tagline was "Loveable Huggable". Smaller versions were also created (approximately 5 inches (13 cm) long), and a line of cats called Pound Pur-r-ries was also released. Each authentic toy puppy had a heart-shaped or (a bone on the very first edition puppies) emblem near its tail that sported a "PP" logo with either a dog (Puppies) or cat (Purries) peeking above it.[8]

Toy history

A child holds up a Pound Puppies toy

The toys were created by Mike Bowling in 1984.[4] The first puppies were sold by Irwin Toy in Toronto, Canada.[7] After Irwin, the line was produced by Tonka which introduced them to the US market.

In 1987, Hardee's restaurants also offered a series of Pound Puppies with their Children's Meals. Other products besides stuffed toys were made such as Little Golden Books, coloring books and miniature figurines.[9]

Pound Puppies continued to be popular in the early 1990s. The toys were produced again in the early 2000s and included specific breeds of dog (as opposed to a generic model) along with barking sounds and movements.[10]

The toyline was discontinued in 2002, however, the 2010 series of the same name was produced by Hasbro Studios and aired on The Hub in 2010.

TV special

A TV special based on the toyline was released in October 1985 by Hanna-Barbera. It ran in syndication, paired with Star Fairies. In the special, a female dog named Violet Vanderfeller is dognapped and ends up at the city pound. The pound puppies attempt to and end up succeeding in reuniting Violet with her family. The special was released in 1986 on VHS by Family Home Entertainment and is also available on DVD. The DVD comes with certain Pound Puppies toys.

TV series

1986 TV series

After the TV special became successful, Hanna-Barbera gained the rights to create an animated TV series. The series was broadcast on ABC from September 1986 to February 1989. While the series was loosely based on the special, it made no mention of the character Violet. When it was renewed for a second season, there were major style differences and the series was retitled All New Pound Puppies.[11]


See List of Pound Puppies characters

2010 TV series

Another television series, this time produced for Hasbro Studios, was premiered on the Hub Network (now Discovery Family; partly owned by Hasbro since its launch) on 10 October 2010, the channel's launch date. The characters are based on the current version of the Puppies which Hasbro released in the summer of 2012. In addition, there was an online website where one could download a Pound Puppies adoption certificate.[12] On 9 July 2012, Pound Puppies was one of four original animated series from The Hub to win the CINE Golden Eagle Award for its high quality production and storytelling.[13] In August 2012, the season one episode "I Never Barked for My Father" was awarded the Humanitas Prize for excellence in writing for children's television animation.[14]

Feature film

In 1988, TriStar Pictures released a Pound Puppies movie titled Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw. It was produced by Atlantic Releasing, Carolco, Family Home Entertainment and Kushner-Locke with The Maltese Companies.

Critical and box office reception

The film was panned by critics, and poorly received at the box office. Shoddy animation, character inconsistencies, and a color palette that differed from the show's were among the chief complaints.[15] The movie was also not part of the show's continuity.

Fans were also confused by the apparent romantic pairing of Nose Marie and Cooler, which contradicted events that had taken place in the first season of the series. In addition, the movie is set in the 1950s with the story being narrated by Whopper, who in the present day is now an older dog who tells the story to his nephew and niece.


  1. "Toy Firms See Basics As Rebuilding Blocks – Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 1988-03-15. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  2. Published: March 09, 1988 (1988-03-09). "A Revival for Makers of Classic Toys – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  3. "Ohio Craftswoman Unleashes Suit Against The Pound Puppies – Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 1985-12-25. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  4. 1 2 Townsend, Allie (2011-02-16). "Pound Puppy – History's Best Toys: All-TIME 100 Greatest Toys". TIME. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  5. Fred Ferretti, The New York Times (1986-01-01). "Pound Puppies Nip At Kids` Heels – Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  6. Published: February 04, 1988 (1988-02-04). "THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE TOYS; 2 Amateurs Succeed in the Toy Jungle – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  7. 1 2 3 Bellomo, Mark (2010). Totally Tubular '80s Toys. Krause Publications. p. 153. ISBN 9781440216473.
  8. Dreyfuss, John (1986-02-21). "Buyers Have an Early Adventure in Toyland : Industry Show Previews Talking Teddy Bears, Cuddly Dolls, More Rambos - Page 2 - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  9. Toy photos
  10. "Pound Puppies to be back in stores again". Florida Times-Union. January 24, 2001. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  11. CHARLES SOLOMON (1987-10-09). "Kidvid Reviews : Cartoon Debuts Are All Drawn Out – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com/2. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
  12. "Pound Puppies on TV.com, forum discussion "Toys"". Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  13. "HubWorld.com press release". Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  15. Charles Solomon (1988-03-26). "MOVIE REVIEWS : Producers Should Curb These Dog Cartoons – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14.

External links

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