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Alan’s Blog: Introducing Ultimate Ducks

Those who have visited the store over the years will have noticed a steady increase in numbers to the team whose unconditional daily support keeps us all smiling.

Our flock of travel-themed rubber ducks were recently joined by a new member, the rooster from Barcelos, boldly stepping into the midst of our quacking crew to bring a touch of Portuguese flair to our office pond.

As we approach our 20th anniversary in our Chorleywood home, I wanted to pay proper tribute to our tiny yellow overlords – the quackbone of the office team…

It was around 2010 that our collection started when Virgin Limited Edition introduced the first members of a group of individually branded ducks to represent their fantastic resorts around the world.

The flock expanded from client donations and new additions brought back by staff from trips or events, and we now also have a proud team of Christmas quackers that make a yearly appearance.

So how did they rise in popularity?

Jim Henson, creator of Sesame Street and the Muppets, did his bit. Ernie’s ‘Rubber Duckie’ song made the charts in 1970.

Of course, rubber ducks existed long before this, and started life as chew toys. Only later did they enter bathtubs, and no one is immune to their pull.

The Sun reported in 2001 that Queen Elizabeth II kept one in the royal bathroom, sparking a huge UK sales spike, but her late majesty was eclipsed by Charlotte Lee, who managed to gather 5,631 unique specimens, and with it a Guinness World Record.

In 1992, a huge shipment of nearly 30,000 ducks fell off a cargo ship in the Pacific Ocean. Fifteen years later, they were still being sighted in places like Australia, the Arctic and Indonesia.

And in 2013, the rubber duck joined chess in being inducted into the US Toy Hall of Fame.

So next time you drop by, give a nod to our quirky crew of Ultimate Ducks, the unsung heroes of our whimsical workspace, as they continue their contribution to brightening up Chorleywood’s day.

And remember, you don’t need to bring any bread!


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