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Ducktastic in Limassol!
17th May 2019

While over in Cyprus at Easter, the kids went Ducktastic when we found the Duck Store in Limassol! Our lovely logo, as those in our Villas4kids flock will know well by now, is a rubber duck! So why is that….

First, a little bit of history for you!

The rubber duckie (or, these days, more like plastic duckie but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?!) is closely linked to the rise of the rubber industry in the 19th century. Rubber was first introduced in Europe in France in the early 1700s. The word “rubber” comes from Joseph Priestley who, in 1770, discovered that the material could erase the marks a pencil left on paper by rubbing.
Up until the late 1800s, the growth of the latex tree and production of rubber latex was fiercely protected by Brazil. But then a Brit smuggled seeds out of South America and had them grown in places like India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.

The earliest rubber ducks were made from Charles Goodyear’s invention of vulcanized rubber. These solid rubber ducks could not float and were used as chew toys.

Then along came Peter Ganine, a sculptor, in the 1940s who was mainly known for his chess sets. To earn some extra cash, he patented many of his animal sculptures and had them reproduced as toys. This first edition of the floating toy, made of plastic instead of natural rubber, was extremely popular – a massive 50 million of them were sold. From then on, the rubber duck made its way into the bathrooms, hearts and minds of the young (and young at heart) everywhere!

On February 25, 1970, rubber ducks shot to stardom – on the first season of Sesame Street, Ernie splashed in a tub while singing away to his bathtime companion:

Rubber Duckie, you’re the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,
Rubber Duckie, I’m awfully fond of you;
(woh woh, bee doh!)
Rubber Duckie, joy of joys,
When I squeeze you, you make noise!
Rubber Duckie, you’re my very best friend, it’s true!

It then reached #16 on the Top 100 chart and was even nominated for a Grammy Award! Click here to see the whole thing 🙂

So now, rubber duckies are pretty much everywhere you go:

* Some are moulded to look like celebrities or athletes, others have been sculpted giant-sized to bob in lakes during summer festivals.

* While the toys now even come in ridiculously expensive Bluetooth-enabled versions, it was the classic yellow duck that made it in 2013 into  the National Toy Hall of Fame.

* They feature in Harry Potter; “Now Harry, you must know all about Muggles. Tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”
asks Arthur Weasley

* And the Guinness book of Work records  – 5631 is the record if you’d like to have a go at beating the largest collection!

* And maybe even the Palace…there are rumors (allegedly started by a visiting workman in 2001) of the Queen owning a rubber duckie with an inflatable crown!

And if it is good enough for royalty then its good enough for us!

We love our duck at Villas4kids, it signifies fun for kids (plus their adults!) and was also the first word of our oldest little explorer Celia 🙂