Figure.com Interview

Media Interview with CelebriDucks founder

Company founder quacks about the rubber duck phenomena…

Looking for something special to give your friends or family this holiday season? Looking for something unique to add to your own collection? Thanks to Craig Wolfe and his company Celebriducks, fans can now find their favorite film, music, athletic, and historical icons brought to life in a new and completely original way…

What began as an offshoot of Wolfe’s animation art company Name That Toon turned into the company now known as Celebriducks

Originally started in 1998, Wolfe’s daughter, a product design major, created an original line of rubber ducks based on celebrities. When the Philadelphia 76ers read about the company and had Wolfe make an Allen Iverson rubber duck – complete with tattoos, cornrows, and earring – for a stadium giveaway, the real adventure began…

Since that time, Celebriducks has made over 200 Celebriducks – including ones based on everything from professional athletes and rock musicians (including KISS!) to historical characters and movie stars. Sold around the world, Celebriducks has received a tremendous amount of publicity and has made products for sponsors like Reebok, Dr. Pepper, Gatorade, Arby’s, Mountain Dew and Office Depot among others. Celebriducks even won an ESPN web poll for “favorite stadium giveaway,” beating out Bobbleheads, Beanie Babies, Pez Displensers and Match Box Cars!

Recently, we took the time to get to know Craig Wolfe and ask him a few questions about his favorite bathroom accessories…

Figures.com: First things first: what is it about the rubber duck that attracts so many people and fans?

Craig Wolfe (CW): You know, it really is amazing; people LOVE rubber ducks. Almost everyone had one as a child… The interesting thing also is that the rubber duck is a historic part of Americana having been invented here in the USA


 

Figures.com: So what determines who gets the duck treatment?

CW: You know it’s a mix. A lot of people send in suggestions, but we also have an extensive list we have collected over the years. Sometimes we work on getting the rights for many years…like we did with Elvis, Bruce Lee, and Marilyn Monroe (above).

We probably turn down about 95% of the people who contact us. We have to feel that the character is popular enough to have a wide enough market share…and sometimes, we ignore all that and just do ones we think are very very cool…

Figures.com: You make custom ducks and other products for sports teams, films and corporations…what are some of your favorites you’ve made and why?

CW: Well, the Philadelphia 76er’s Allen Iverson duck (below), which started off our whole custom duck line, is still one of my favorites….showed us what was – and is – possible. I also loved the Moochie Norris duck (below) we did for a giveaway for The Houston Rockets. It is probably one of our most unique ducks. The Rockets wanted a duck with real hair and a shower cap to fit. That is one very very unique duck! I also thought the Gorton Fisherman we did for Gorton Seafood came out beautifully. It was for a promotion where you send in box tops. They all sold out and they then commissioned a follow-up one…

Figures.com: Which of the ducks you make now are your favorites and why? CW: Oh, I love those Wizard of Oz ducks (below)….just love them…took us nine months (to make)! I also love Popeye and Captain Hook too, they came out amazing…

Getting Chris Howes on board as our art director has made a tremendous difference in the company. His work is just amazing and he is such a joy to work with. I think Chris’s Marilyn Monroe was a home run (and) his Larry the Cable Guy really captures the look and emotion of the performer so well.

Another artist who has done great work for us is David Carter. David did the Wizard of Oz ducks (above) and just look at his Jesus (below)…so well done!

Figures.com: One final question. If you could make a rubber duck of anyone you haven’t done yet, who – or what character – would it be and why?

CW: Wow…as I say – so many ducks, so little time…

I guess my short list would look include the Seinfeld cast, it’s one of the greatest TV shows ever; Frank Sinatra, his lawyer is a wonderful friend of the company; Jerry Garcia, he has such a great look; The Beatles, they are just such classics; Willie Nelson, we really need a country singer in the line; and Mick Jagger…those lips!

And, of course, Spiderman. You know with that outfit how well he would translate into a CelebriDuck…

Figures.com: Thank you very much for your time and we look forward to seeing more Celebriducks in the near future.


With so many people collecting so many things based on so many amazing historical and literary characters as well as real life personalities and athletes, it’s almost impossible to imagine all of the possible Celebriducks. However, one thing is certain: there’s a Celebriduck for everyone, it’s only a matter of finding the right one and adding it to your collection!

While I’m more of a shower kind-of a guy, there’s nothing like hot tubbing and nothing says “I dig music” more than a Celebriduck musician – be it Beethoven, Elvis, or Snoop Dogg, this is one way to show your friends your musical taste! After all, you can’t really “rock and roll all night and party every day” without KISS Celebriducks floating in your tub…

For those looking to decorate a child’s room and give the children some fun in the bath, there’s Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood, Captain Hook and Pinocchio (below), each sure to captivate the minds of the young and send their imaginations soaring…

Nothing – and we mean NOTHING – says “devout” like adding Jesus, Moses, Mother Superior or Buddah to your wash room decor. While some might call it idolatry, we call it the coolest way to say “yup, I’m religious” since beating folks over the head with the Good Book. And for those whose thoughts tend to be more sinister, there’s a Prince of Darkness Celebriduck for you too…

Lastly, it’s the holidays and for those who “deck the halls” with not only boughs of holly but every other decoration known to man, nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a Santa Clause Celebriduck, welcoming friends and family into your home…and bath tub.

 

Again, no matter what you collect, there’s room in your home for at least one Celebriduck. Featuring impressive sculpting, durable water-resistant paint applications, air-tight construction (which means it’ll float for years to come!) and some of the coolest characters around, Celebriducks.com features some of the coolest collectibles this side of the bath tub…and they only get better once you jump in…

Be sure to check out the photo gallery below for images of some of our favorite Celebriducks, including Mr. T, Santa, The Wicked Witch, Jesus and more…

- Jess C. Horsley

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