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"Now Harry, you must know all about Muggles. Tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?"
So for those of you who have crawled out from beneath your rock, stumbled into an internet cafe and have somehow managed to happen upon my review of rubber ducks and are now scratching your head bewildered, I shall explain. A rubber duck is a buoyant bath toy shaped like a duck, they can be made from either rubber or vinyl plastic (which looks and feels like rubber but is easier and cheaper to produce). Traditional rubber ducks are yellow in colour and have a very particular stylized duckling-like look, they are almost cartoony in appearance with two wings tucked neatly at their sides, a big orange bill and small eyes set neatly on-top of their head.
It all began in the late 1800's, when rubber manufacturing really took off and rubber toys began to emerge. Although it is generally unknown when and where the original rubber ducks were made, we can place them at around this time and know them to have been made from a very hard rubber that was being used then. It is believed, that their popularity is largely due to Sesame Street where the well loved character Ernie had a particular fondness for his rubber duck, with the Sesame Street song 'rubber duckie' proving extremely popular and even being nominated for the 'Best Recording for Children' Grammy, in 1971.
"Rubber ducky, you're the one..."
In the USA rubber ducks have achieved iconic status with some enthusiasts amassing collections of over 1,000 ducks, as of 2007 the world record collection was owned by Charlotte Lee, it consisted of over 5,500 ducks. Our friends from across the pond aren't the only fans of these little yellow water birds, who are also very popular here in the UK and also over the other side of the world in Australia, with 'duck races' being held at various locations in all 3 countries, often to raise money for charities local to the event.
In 2001, the Sun newspaper was responsible for a rise in rubber duck popularity in the UK, when it published an article in which it was said that Buckingham Palace had had a bit of a face-lift. A workman, had confirmed that even the Queen is partial to bit of bath time frivolity, as her own personal rubber duck (sporting an inflatable crown I might add) had been spotted in the royal bath chamber... It must have been a slow news day! For a period following the article sales of rubber ducks in the UK increased by over 80%
"One's never alone with a rubber duck."
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Rubber ducks have come a long way since they first began, having started out as a simple child's bath toy the rubber duck has had to evolve, moving with the times in order to keep it's head above water... As technology has advanced so has the duck, and where there was once only a simple yellow bird, there's now a plethora of brightly coloured, characature and even light up and colour changing ducks! I'm sure as technology advances further the rubber duck, with its humble beginnings as a simple child's toy, will continue to bob alongside other more modern forms of entertainment for quite some time providing enjoyment for people of all ages, and even royalty!
@ About, Purpose, children's benefit @
First of all sorry for the completely random review about rubber ducks. I was looking around the bathroom for something to review and found these. I bought four coloured ones for my daughter and she absolutely loves them. But i have a few problems with them, as i'll explain. The rubber ducks are designed to float and/or suck in water at the bottom, or squeak. The ones i have are solid and don't squeak. These are not that bad value for money though, £5 will get you three brightly coloured ducks.
The main point of rubber ducks is entertainment, or as a bath ornament for the typical british bathroom, seeing a rubber duck on the bath would just make you smile, it certainly works for me. But then this brings up a question, how many and how big should the ducks be? Well for me personally i find that one rubber duck is enough as an ornament but for children who are learning social skills and learning about animals i think 3 or even 4 would be suitable. For children's ducks they should be small so they can hold them with ease and for decoration there should be the classic one large yellow duck in the corner of the bath, just for the look.
@ Pointless or fun? @
Rubber ducks that don't move and are used as ornaments are not pointless at first because they are great to look at and serve the purpose of humour and decoration at the same time. However, they will become pointless after a while when they become dirty and worn, not to mention when you have seen the duck a million times, it just becomes annoying. I find rubber ducks annoying because i see them everyday, in my opinion they are just an extra chore in my bathroom because they need regular cleaning, moving to clean the bath, picking up off the floor and they take up valuable bath side space which i need for shampoo bottles.
For children though, using these as a toy or for educational use these are fun. You can teach them colours, what ducks are, physically show them how buoyancy and floating works and generally discuss ducks and swimming. It may not seem like much but there is a great deal of education that can be got from these little things, and children love them. My daughter plays with them several times a week in the bath and has learned a great deal from them.
@ Overall @
The educational value of the ducks is fantastic, they will teach your children about colours, buoyancy, swimming, pretty much anything to do with ducks, but as an ornament they will take up space and after a while become annoying. So i say if you want them as an ornament go for it but beware of the future drawbacks and for kids, get them, they are an excellent learning tool and fun toy.
I'm a confessed duckies-lover and so is my 40 year old boyfriend who has now earned an impressive collection thanks my myself and all the available places that sell them (including some charity shops) I frequently visit on my free days.
What isn't there to like about these buoyant inventions? - Not least they are decorative to any bath-tub, they serve the purpose of making bathing time that much more appealing knowing that you are surrounded by floaty friends that take the stress and anxiety out of nasty childhood memories of being scrubbed wild with little or not time to play. This is how I remember my bathing days as a child and why it is that taking a bath now is just something terrifyingly horrid unless I am accompanied by colorful fun.
The appeal of these toys other than that they are pleasing to look at, are that they don't get in the way of your movement whilst in the bath as they don't submerge. I am guessing that many have names applied to their ducks but I haven't yet gotten that far in my passions towards them. I only feel at ease knowing that they are there as a reminder that bath-time even for adults can be pleasurable.
What it is about them I can't provide a conclusive answer other than that they feel heavenly-light in and out of the water that makes them appear elusive and full of independence. I aspire to the duck-character in many ways not just because they are perceived as being necessarily aloof when they are often found in family units unlike drifting swans that often can be found alone or sometimes in courtship with a friend. The duck represents itself as a creature of purposefulness and enjoys being alone as well as being amongst it's fellow friends and family so they are highly sociable when the need or situation arises.
In this respect; they are admired because of their duplicity (ability to be either independent and not) which is what human beings can relate to as we enjoy the freedom of isolation but we also need and desire company. Also, They are very playful (unlike) the more austere swan which gives them the added bonus of youthfulness even mature adults feel, but are encouraged to act our biological age and not our mental age. This is the attraction I believe many people enjoy about them.
I only have amassed one single duck to my bath though am aware of any growing obsession that can result so have been very restrained in buying some more that could turn into hundreds. Instead, if I do buy them, I pass them onto my boyfriend and he is enjoying this very much. The latest one I bought was for Valentine's day from Scope (charity shop) for £1.50 called James Pond and was a two-tone black and white duck with a cute tuxedo and neck bow. My boyfriend adored it!
My apologies in advance to anyone who never had one of these in their own childhood, I certainly didn't, but would have been overjoyed if my parents had cared that much!
How can anyone fault a good old rubber duck! in my opinion every house needs rubber ducks whether they have children or not, they brighten up every bathroom and make bath time more fun for the whole family.
In our bathroom we have about 7 ducks, a basic set of 3 yellow ones, one big and 2 small ducks, another set which is one big blue duck with a small yellow and a small green duck sitting on the blue ones back, then another couple of little ones that live in the bath bag with various other floating bath animals.
All of them are great! ive seen in the past red and pink Romantic rubber ducks too but I didnt buy them at the time, although that doesnt mean I cant have rubber duck in my relaxing a romantic baths, its nice to have them floating around aimlessly.
And then you have to consider the enjoyment my son gets out of them, trying to push them under the water and through all the bubbles to then go on to place the duck in his mouth eating said bubbles, then continuing to splash the ducks in the water and make lots of mess before they are allowed to carry on swimming aimlessly around the bath.
What fun children can have with rubber ducks in the bath.
Both of my children have loved rubber ducks since they were babies. You can do so many fun things with them in the bath.
An all time favourite game is holding them under water then releasing so that they shoot up - both of mine have always found this hilarious, and lets be honest there is nothing better than hearing your child laugh.
We have a family of 3 ducks and the children love to make them swim round the bath quacking.
We also take ours to our local pool when we go swimming. We started doing this when they were babies to help them have fun in the water and even now my 2 year old who is not all that confident in the water loves to take his with him. I find that it is helping him become more confident and that he is no starting to learn to 'swim' to get the duck when it floats away.
For the price of a rubberduck it is well worth the money and no bath should be without one!
The good old rubber duck! I absolutely love these at bath time! Not for myself but for my children! I don't see what all the fuss is about these days with fussy bath toys, after all your child (or yourself) will only be in the bath for ten minutes or so, so why not stick to the old favourite?
My kids love rubber duckies and have quite a few in all shapes and sizes. They are really cheap to buy especially from places like Home Bargains. In fact you can pick yourself a giant rubber duck there as my Mother in Law did for my Daughter. This is the king of all ducks and is the size of a real duck and bright pink! My Daughter as so excited when she first saw it!
There is no point in fussing with all these fancy bath squirters and water mills, they don't really get enough use as bath time is short and sweet so i say stick to the old ducks!
this is a classic toy for bathtime which is still really popular to this day. would definately reccommend rubber ducks for childrens bathtime as they make it a lot more fun for them. you can get ones that squirt water which children find really funny in the bath. my little boy is attracted to his rubber duck as it is a bright colour and its something that he can grab hold of and splash. i would presume that many other children would think the same. small toys definately lighten up bathtime for children and make it fun for them instead of like a chore it also makes it more enjoyable for the parent who is bathing them. you can add the duck as part of a nursery rhyme too which always makes my little boy smile. it helps you interact more with them. helps them top become more active and involved. original classic which still puts a smile on faces. they are also cheap to buy so it doesnt burn a whole in your pocket
Rubber ducks are sort of the iconic british bath feature...a bit of orange and yellow plastic nestled within the soapy waters...
But now they have become so much more than that. They seem to have become the ultimate in retro accessories and are popular everywhere! i confess to having a few myself!
Now no longer confined to yello, thy can be seen in blue, green, pink, well every colour imaginable. Hawkins baaar does a small range, including a huge duck which makes you want to pat it on the head every time you see it, squishy glittery jelly ducks in yellow, turqoise and pink, and a christmas themed duck, as well as the standard yellow variety.
THese days though, hundreds of companies aer all creating their own funky duck ranges. ducks that i have include hawaiian, dead, devil, disco, union jack, flowery, american and loved up. And there are far more, including one of my current favourites....asronought duckie!
You can even by books on rubber duck care.....
Rubber Ducks are taking over our bathroom slowly but surely. It started out as a normal thing, we had a few rubber ducks from Tesco in there for our grandson when he was little. Now he's not so little but still insists on having his duckies in the bath!
These days, you don't just get the regular yellow ones like we got excited about when we were tots. Our grandson has all sorts including a devil duck with horns, a football duck which is patterned like a black and white football and a wedding groom duck which is wearing a top hat and tails.
The really fancy ducks are made by a company called Bud and their prices are affordable and reasonable for adult collectors (around £6 for a small duck) as they're good quality and they come in loads of really fun and interesting designs. They're a bit much for a small kid though.
There are some interesting ones that are a bit more of a bargain to be found on the website Justducks which sells all sorts of rubber ducks from 99p up to around £25. A chunk of the ducks taking over our bathroom came from this website.
The other place to look is in the pound shops or on the market as sometimes they do cheap versions that are rough around the edges but in fancy designs that are something a bit different. The best bargain find has to be that football duck which our grandson actually hunted out himself at the tills in Matalan, the daughter hadn't even noticed until he reached up and put it on the counter instructing Mummy to "pay the lady"!
Such a simple toy but my girls love them. They have four in total and every time they get in the bath the ducks have to go into.. One of the ducks is actually a bath thermometer to check the temperature of the water so they don't get in if it's to hot, then one of the others is one that flashes and changes colours they love it then lastly the other 2squirt water out there mouths which I always end up getting squirted with. I don't know how such a simple toy can keep them amused they normally put bubbles on there heads. I think it's good for them to have toys in the bath with them as it makes bath time fun for them and keeps them entertained when I wash there hair which they hate. I normally get round washing there hair by saying lets put water on the ducks head then say now it's your turn to have water on your head crafty I know. My parents said when I was younger I always used to have ducks in the bath to and wouldn't have a bath less they were in there.
I think these are great toys as there suited for all ages and aren't a choking hazard etc and of course they float which is always a good thing and there so cheap.
I think we are up to 13 ducks in the bath. We have a mummy duck, daddy duck, and glow in the dark ducks, colour changing ducks and several others including the usual yellow ones. It's amazing the variety there are these days! It makes bath time lots of fun. My son lines them up on the side of the bath and tells them to behave and he washes their face (something he learned from Makka Pakka from In The Night Garden!). One thing that drives me mad is that they store water in them and get black easily but we will replace them as they are not too expensive. I think to our collection we have added a crocodile, fish and a whale. There really wont be much room in the bath for him anymore! Some kids hate bathtime but something as simple as a duck can make it that more fun and interesting!
All right, hands up who's got one? I've got one, my three kids had a family when they were young but I'm not sure if they've got any at all now. Have you got one? I think they're brilliant and they're usually one of the first gifts most children receive. "What is she going on about?" I hear you asking. Obviously I'm talking about one of the great symbols of political freedom to be invented during the Twentieth Century - the good old, plain and simple rubber duck. Until around the late 1940's leisure was decadent, it was a rude gesture of superiority from the upper classes to the working classes. Leisure was a symbol of derision, it said 'look at me, I can afford to do nothing and I'm going to flaunt it.' Today life is so different and leisure is no longer thought of as wasteful, it has become an important part of everyday life. It is a method of participation, an expression of growth, a way of net working and a symbol of our freedom. So what's this got to do with a rubber duck? Just hang in there, and all will become clear. You see nothing sums up the growth of the leisure industry and our right to leisure time more than the rubber duck. Initially we took a bath as a way of fighting of death by keeping clean and therefore free from germs and infection, it was a necessity for healthy living. Today the bathing ritual is all part of our leisure activities - it's 'me time', we light candles, drink wine, read books, listen to music and play with our rubber duck. We close the door on the world and our worries. We are taught at an early age to love our rubber duck, babies splash around in the water playing with their duck, toddlers love to keep throwing them out of the bath for poor old mum and dad to constantly pick it off the floor and throw it in the bath, older children drift away from their bath-time playmate but rediscover it as an 'executi
ve toy' when they get older. What exactly is a rubber duck? Well it's made from rubber or PVC, shaped like a duck, comes in all sizes, can cost anything from around one pound upwards, is usually yellow but not always and floats in the bath, so why are we attracted to them so much? That's easy - it's because most small children love toys that resemble things from every day life, cars, dolls, little animals, etc. Who didn't like feeding the ducks in the park when they were little? In recent years our great symbol of freedom has however been coming under attack. In the past some rubber ducks were made from PVC, which contains chemicals that could be harmful when released into the environment. The PVC helps make toys more flexible but laboratory studies have shown that some of the chemicals could be poisonous and may cause cancer, kidney damage and reproductive disorders in later life. Spain and Denmark have banned all toy,, including rubber ducks, made from PVC and Greenpeace has urged the British Government to introduce legislation on this problem telling retailers to remove soft PVC toys from their shelves. Not all rubber ducks are made from PVC, check yours out. Get yourself a safe rubber duck and enjoy bath time with an old favourite, they're not just for the kids. Don't let this great symbol of our heritage die!
My three month old daughter loves going in her bath. She starts kicking her legs and giggling when the water splashes her. This is a glorious site to see but can make bathing her very difficult. I got a tiny rubber duck in a Christmas cracker this year and promptly made a mental note to use it in her bath to see if it would take her attention so she would stay still long enough to wash her. At her next bath as soon as she was lowered into the water she was kicking and laughing again. I let her have a little play and then showed her the rubber duck. Immediately she stopped splashing and gazed at this strange yellow thing bobbing on the water. I managed to wash her without getting drenched but it didn?t last long as she was soon trying to kick the duck, which resulted in more splashing and more water on mummy than in the bath. Since then she will watch the duck long enough to be washed and then have great fun trying to launch the duck out of the bath. I love rubber ducks and wouldn?t be without one now as the happier she is in the bath the better it is. I find that it is easier to get her to bed after a bath if she has been playing than if she has decided she doesn?t like it that night. I bought this set of three ducks (one large and two small) by Tommee Tippee from Tescos and I think they were £1.99. I?m so glad I did because it is worth getting soaked to see her giggle at the ducks and then put so much effort into kicking them.
Rubba Ducks - Ducks with attitude! The real dilemma was what category should this go under, Collectibles, Children’s Toys, Presents for Men or probably the yet to be launched category of Gothiron’s Weird Stuff (the present my nephew is getting from me for Christmas would fit nicely in that category!. These aren't your bath-standard yellow ducks, these are Rubba Ducks from the USA! So what’s so brilliant about ducks you quack? Are you trying to capture a lost childhood you sad person? Not a bit of it, I never liked the standard rubber ducks you get, shiny bright yellow things that bob around in the bath and are usually more accurately described as Plastic Ducks, I’m not even that barmy about ducks in general and was always a Daffy rather than Donald person when it came to cartoons. The reason that I have become totally addicted to Rubbaducks is this: they are just fantastically odd! Yes kids would live them but of yes, adults will love them more! Rubba Ducks are themed ducks, hence the idea that they could quite easily fall into the Presents for Blokes category, and are bit like an aquatic version of Beanie Babies. They are fully working rubber ducks – ie they are made of rubber and float in the bath but their attraction is their quirky customisation. The ducks are all the same basic “duck shape” but then are customised to have individual characteristics, which are moulded onto them. Duck Tape for instance is the Handyman’s duck, resplendent with safetyspecs, and tools in his pouch, Duckerball is football/soccerball patterned (but still duckshaped), Teacher’s pet is apple featured, Sitting Duck looks like a target and Cowduck is cow patterned and is like a cowboy and so on. You get the drift, there are over 50 over them and this op isn’t a list! Woolies charges £3.99 per duck – personally I think that they don’t realise just how collectab
le they are! Favourite Duck for me – or as my husband phrased it, “the one that is weird enough” is Gray. It’s a gray duck with a nose stud and is the oddest thing I’ve seen (apart from my nephew’s present) – at last, a rubber duck for all the Goths out there. It’s really hard to explain what they look like, best thing to do is look at the website. This op splits in to two parts as my sheer delight over Rubbaducks is partly down to the ducks themselves but almost as importantly, the excellent website www.rubbaduck.com. Word of advice here –it uses Flash5, works best under Netscape and make sure you have a decent sound card! Even if these ducks didn’t exist as merchandise, not have their own TV cartoon in the States and you couldn’t get the T-Shirts, Swimsuits and knickers – Rubbawear to all tastes as it were, the website alone would be enough to justify an op. It’s great! The Flashmovie features mean that it can take a while to run but is feature filled as a result. Mouse over various headings and there is relevant animation and sounds. Oh yes, the sounds – no there isn’t quacking, but rather a nifty theme tune (and yes, those of you even sadder than myself, you can get a cd of the song) and various other soundbites (or should that be sound pecks?). You can register your details and store a “wanted list” on the site, as well as read up about the forthcoming retirements, new lauches and special features. There is the “Rubbawear” section, a bit about the TV show and even a quiz. Plus of course see pictures of all the ducks. Brilliant! Children will love this site, and overgrown kids like me will throw a total strop when their long suffering partner suggests that he would quite like his computer back to look at the Sci-Fi sites. Now the bad news…… The only pla
ce I have seen these is my local Woolworths, and they are situated in the baby toy section rather than Toys in general. In America they are available at Toys-R-Us and departmental stores but so far my duck-hunt options are restricted to Woolies and Ebay but I’m confident that the ducks are out there! You can’t order the ducks or merchandise (other than T-Shirts and cd) from the website – this is a big minus in my eyes but then that would make the whole collectable things just too simple. Like Beanie Babies, they have a limited lifetime and are retired and replaced with newer models during the year (no, they don’t have first wife ducks!) The site is totally US focussed with no international links or details of availability outside the US, but then is true of the TY Beanie Baby site and various other collectible web sites. So if you want an original idea for someone and you can get a Rubba duck, then do it. Only please mail me to tell me where you bought it!! So what was my nephew’s present? Whilst in Glastonbury I found a brilliant toy and book set entitled “My First Gargoyle” – he’s a lucky boy that his Aunty Gothiron is prepared to part with it!!
One of the original bath toys for kids.