The rubber ducky comes from an enigmatic background subject to much speculation. It appears no one really knows its true origins. In any case, rubber duckies have endeared themselves to American hearts and pop culture. They have endured the test of time holding their own alongside dolls and teddy bears. Another pop culture icon has recently married up with the rubber ducky and the results are smashing!! We'll get to that in a moment.
Rubber duckies have become much more than bath time amusements. To the gratitude and sanity of many parents, these engaging, unassuming toys have coaxed fearful or unruly children in the tub tricking them into thinking they are simply playing while they learn the basics of good hygiene. Clever little ducks! As a matter of fact, ducks have been used as educational tools for children and adults. Children have their imaginations boosted while learning colors, counting, and developing hand-eye coordination. In 1992, a storm at sea swept 29,000 rubber ducks overboard and oceanographers seized the opportunity to study the winds and currents of the Pacific Ocean. Ducks have also been instrumental in raising money for children's charities and non-profit organizations. Duck Derby races are routinely held as fundraisers.
Rubber duckies seem to have always been a beloved childhood toy, but it was Sesame Street that catapulted the popularity of the rubber duck into the stratosphere. In 1970, Muppet favorite Ernie sang the praises of his rubber ducky and left an indelible impression in the mind's of children and their larger counterparts.
Over the years, rubber ducks have gotten more elaborate. Most ducks are no longer made of rubber (most manufacturers favor vinyl), but have retained the name with which they are so familiarized. The cheery sunshine yellow ducks continue to be big sellers, but now the ducks boast every color of the rainbow. Some light up and some are scented. Others are molded to resemble celebrities. And this brings us to our pop culture matrimony.
Celebriducks was founded in 1998 by Craig Wolfe as a side business. The main enterprise was soon overshadowed by the ducks and sold off. To date over 200 ducks have been created in the images of film, music, history, and sports icons. Celebriducks have been featured in many magazines and newspapers nationwide. They have been given away at major sporting events with impressive sponsors Gatorade, Reebok, Arby's, AOL/TimeWarner, Pepsi, Chevrolet, and many others. A ESPN web poll determined Celebriducks the favorite stadium give-away beating out other esteemed collectibles such as bobbleheads, Beanie Babies, Pez Dispeners, lunch boxes and Match Box cars.
This year our favorite foursome from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz joins the Celebriducks family. These fanciful fowl are a must, must, MUST for 2006. How can you look at these ducks and not "quack" a smile??? They will be attractively packaged in a see-through box with the edition number on the bottom of the duck. These can be taken into the bathtub and pools, but bear in mind like many other well loved toys the paint could wear off over time with exposure to sunlight and chlorine and just general play. Those that want these ducks. for toys may want to consider purchasing two sets. For the rest of us, these attention grabbing little darlings deserve a place of honor on our shelves or they'd look great in an Oz themed bathroom. This charming quartet is soon to be joined by the Wicked Witch of the West. That's one duck that probably won't take to water! I can't say enough praise about The Wizard of Oz Celebriducks. I am blown away by the photo and can only imagine I'll be more so when I see them in person. They are tentatively scheduled for an early July release. These will undoubtedly be HOT items among Oz and rubber duck collectors and I predict they'll sell out quickly.
These will be available from Karen Owens of Storyland Collectables. Contact her for these fabulous ducks and all of your Wizard of Oz needs at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info on Celebriducks, please visit www.celebriducks.com
Special thanks to Craig Wolfe for emailing me a picture of the ducks, patiently answering my questions, and for the article entitled Rubber Ducks and Their Significance in Contemporary American Culture written by Lotte Larsen Meyer for The Journal of American Culture.
And now Celebriducks presents The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Let the bath time frivolity begin!!