How Two Undergraduates Went From Forever Alone To Thousands In Sales

A few undergraduates at Queens College in New York, Matt Sconce and Phil Malen, had a semi-bright idea: they’d make Forever Alone statuettes.

Matt Scone and sculptor Hanning Saden got together to make a 3D model of the famous Forever Alone face, a sad-eyed monstrosity familiar with those with no friends and those who like to suggest their friends have no friends. The face, to be clear, is wildly ugly yet poignant in its own special way. They decided to manufacture them. They started with a limited run of 30 and sold them for $80.

“It was during our summer break and we thought it would be really cool to make and then market something of our own,” said Matt. “We are both Reddtiors and the forever alone meme at the time just seem like the perfect choice to turn into a statue/toy.”

The pair made a 3D model, printed it, and then cast it. They expected to make a few of these and move on, but the gods of the Internet intervened. BoingBoing wrote about them and then sold them on its online store and then ThinkGeek picked it up. Now the team has outsourced to Asia to build thousands of the little heads to keep up with demand. They’re selling briskly at $30 a pop.

The team estimates they’ve made $2,000 in profit so far, which is about what Twitter makes in a good month. The key, said Matt, is finding a product that resonates with a specific audience – cat lovers, say, or fans of plastic figurines.

I asked him why he chose Forever Alone, let alone memes.

“For me, I enjoy memes because they’re either funny or they relate to me on a personal level. People like to find and be around people whom are like them, and these memes connect us,” he said.

Is the team a pack of lone wolves, also forever alone? They are, said Matt.

“It’s sad how well we fit the stereotype — shy video game nerds either playing WoW or browsing Reddit.”