Donald Francis RIP

By charlotte, Aug 3rd, 2014, 7:20pm

It is with great sadness that I belatedly discovered just now that the rubber duck collecting world lost one of its fathers, Don Francis of Yucaipa, CA. Don Francis was one of the original two big Southern California collectors along with Roger Ellison (who I have also lost touch with). Don took it upon himself to teach me a lot about rubber ducks and rubber duck collecting. Don, who was a book seller, had amazing knowledge and enthusiasm about the history of the rubber duck and he would regale me with stories about traveling the country collecting ducks. I learned from him more about rubber ducks than from anyone before or since. Eventually, he would honor me by selling me his incredible collection. He trusted that I would care for it better than he was able to. So far that has been true.
 
He was a great friend and mentor for several years and I was attempting to reconnect making this news even sadder. He definitely left before his time and I am stricken that I will not be able to talk rubber ducks with him again. Above all, he was a kind and sweet man who never ran out of small kindnesses. He will be missed.
 
Here's the article I ran across: http://patch.com/california/montrose/bp--patch-blog-don-the-book-man-of-montrose
 
--Charlotte


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Visiting the Giant Duck

By charlotte, Nov 30th, 2013, 2:44pm


 
By Alena Loiselle, Guest Blogger
 
(Pittsburgh, PA) -- You have to hand it to Florentijn Hofman, the guy sure can turn heads with his artwork. In 2007 he created a huge “rubber” ducky, which has been touring the world ever since. Although there is a different duck made for each city, the feeling is still the same. One is awed by the sheer size and joy of the sculpture upon approaching it.  
 
We as Pittsburghers were thrilled to find out that our city was to be the first new world bathtub in which the duck would bob.  Although ours sculpture was made a little shorter than its brothers and sisters to accommodate all the bridges he had to float under, at 40 feet tall that’s one big duck. Hundreds of fans lined the shores and bridges to see it arrive, and over a million people had flocked to Point State Park to gawk at its yellow awesomeness. The traffic making the initial southern downtown approach, made all the more striking by the city being revealed all at once by exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel, was brought to a standstill on some  days by what we coined “rubber-duck-neckers” These were people who tried to drive across the Fort Pitt bridge and catch a glimpse of the duck on the river below.  
 
Our personal visit with the duck was not unlike Woodstock, or perhaps a papal visit. We watched as hundreds of people, many speaking different languages, made the pilgrimage from downtown to the river to see the big fellow. The first glimpse of his big, friendly eye peeping through the trees made us laugh out loud. Holy crap, there really is a huge duck on the Allegheny River! It was one of those times where when one total stranger bumped absent-mindedly into another, instead of looking mildly irritated they just smiled and went on their way.  
 
We spent some time photographing and staring at the artwork, then stood in line for merchandise (sold out) before trudging back to the car. Even though we knew we could see it a second time, something told us we were not going to be able to get back downtown to do that.  
 
The channel four news camera, which is mounted atop Mt. Washington, gives us a beautiful view of the city each morning as we enjoy our first cup of coffee and catch the news. The addition of that duck on the river made things so special for those three weeks. How we wished, child-like, that we could have kept it here forever. But as children we are taught to share, and as adults we knew to let it go, so the rest of the world could in turn have their own symbol of happiness and joy for a little while.  


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Rubber Duck in the National Toy Hall of Fame

By charlotte, Nov 25th, 2013, 6:58am

Rochester, NY -- The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame where folks can vote to suggest toys to be included. I had voted for the rubber duck for a couple years early on and ultimately gave up. Despite this, we wrote them earlier this year to see if they might be interested in acquiring the Duckplanet collection some day but they were only interested in taking some special ducks from our collection so we passed. Anyway, surprise surprise, only a couple months later, the rubber duck comes out on top and is being inducted in to the Strong Museum's Hall of Fame along with chess. Follow the link below for more information.
 
 
http://www.thestrong.org/press/releases/2013/11/4661-2013-national-toy-hall-indu ctees-announced

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Mechanical Rubber Duck Sculpture

By charlotte, Oct 31st, 2013, 5:27am


 
News from http://www.psfk.com about an Arduino-powered mechanical sculpture featuring a matrix of moving rubber duckies. This brilliant sculpture was designed by British designer David Cranmer. More photos and information here: http://www.nervoussquirrel.com/duckmachine.

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Ducktastic Times at Duckfest 2013

By charlotte, Jun 30th, 2013, 12:09am


(Pictured: Marcel, Charlotte, Annalisa (holding large duck) Ken, Mike (back row), Mary, Judy, Ken, Jay, Ray, Jon (w/JustDucky), Erika, Colleen, Ben, Connie (and 2 guests), Mike, Chad, Lucy. Not pictured: Mike, Julie, Mark)
 
Hesperia, CA -- Rubber duck fans including collectors and photographers and their friends descended today on Hesperia, CA in the desert. The festivities took place from noon to 5pm at a lovely home festooned with rubber duck themed decorations in the desert among the Joshua trees. We met our fellow duck fans, traded ducks, played rubber duck-themed games, enjoyed duck treats, and exchanged tips on rubber duck hunting and duck repair and maintenance.  
 
The ducky event was made possible by the gracious hosting of Colleen (digicolleen) with major assists from Fletch and the sponsorship of Mike (havekidsdonttravel). Mike's palatial, marble-floored, brightly lit, and pristine rubber duck room was the toast of the event: The Ultimate Rubber Duck Room.  
 
Many thanks to all of our organizers and attendees. Duckplanet is honored to have such great, friendly people among its denizens. Stay ducky! Who knows where the next Duckfest will be? Perhaps Connecticut? Will there finally be a European Duckfest? Stay tuned!!

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2nd (Duck) Call: Duckfest 2013 in California

By charlotte, Jun 23rd, 2013, 4:03am


 
Hello Duck Fans! Duckfest is just right around the corner now. 2013 is going to be one of the most awesome Duckfests ever and it may be a couple years before the next one so don't wait until next year! There may not be a Duckfest next year!! Are you worried about the price of plane tickets and are trying to build your collection? Thanks to our sponsor and master of the house, havekidsdonttravel (Mike), there will be so many free ducks that you will likely more than make up the price of your ticket!! Our hostess with mostest, digicolleen (Colleen) has comprised this list of 8 of the most awesome things about Duckfest this year!
 
1. Boxes of ducks to give away (3,000 in total). Some very rare and vintage.
2. FIVE different Duckfest Ducks. Not just average ducks: Ducks specially made and imported from China!
3. Meet all the people in person that we chat with on Duckplanet
4. California!
5. Duckfest may not happen again for a couple of years so it may be a while before something this big happens again.
6. It's FREE and you will be leaving with FREE ducks. A great way to build your collection.
7. Free lunch (including cake: a duck themed cake).
8. A chance to see one of the largest rubber duck collections on planet earth.
 
Marcel and I have bought our tickets and made our reservations and are looking forward to chatting with everyone who comes out!!

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Blythe Glass Duckies

By charlotte, Mar 20th, 2013, 4:20pm

Just got an email today from glass artist Ryan Blythe of Seattle. He has just opened a booth in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market to sell his handsome glass ducks. Ryan came to Duckfest 2011 in Seattle at my place and we were all impressed by the craft of his glass duckies. The ducks are quite substantial. Check out his ducks at Pike Place or his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlytheDuckiescom?ref=ts&fref=ts or website http://www.blytheduckies.com/


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Duckfest 2013!!!

By charlotte, Jun 15th, 2013, 10:08am


 
Calling all rubber duck hobbyists! Duckfest is back!!
 
Duckfest is open to all rubber duck hobbyists whether you collect, photograph, or make rubber duck art! There will be lots of fun duck themed games and you can meet some of the folks on Duckplanet! Duckfest is a happy place where you can talk about rubber ducks for hours with your fellow enthusiasts.
 
We are out in the desert this year (Hesperia, California) and there will be games and tons of giveaways. And we mean tons of giveways!  
 
This year our coordinator is Colleen (digicolleen on DP) and sponsor is Mike (havekidsdonttravel on DP) who will be showing off the Duck Room to end all duck rooms.  Huge thank you sto Colleen for coordinating and to her husband Fletch for designing the crazy good invitation and to Mike for sponsoring our first ever desert Duckfest!
 
 


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