I retweeted too, because, well, who doesn’t love a massive duck? But I didn’t think much more of it. Yeah, yeah, I said, that’s Florentijn Hofman at it again, he’s been floating giant ducks down rivers for years – Jonathan Hoefler turned me on to him back in 2008 when I noted a large (oh, how little I knew then) inflatable duck on the lawn at Cambridge City Hall.
Later on, I sat down to write this post and started looking at more pictures of the London duck. Something wasn’t right. I checked Hofman’s website – no London duck. In fact, the London duck is nothing like Hofman’s. It’s clearly being pulled by a barge, and it has a vapid open bill and creepy Clockwork Orange eyelashes. Compare this pic from 2009 in Osaka, from Hofman’s website:
Clearly, there’s a lot more going on inside that inflatable head. It turns out the London duck is part of the launch of a quarter million GBP “Facebook FUNdation” designed to “grant funds to people who have good ideas to make people laugh.” I can’t argue with that, but compare that to the mission statement of Hofman’s duck:
The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!
Hmm. I smell derivative duck in foggy London town. I guess the more giant friendly rubber ducks in the world the better, but if it were up to me, I’d have an original Hofman duck here on the Charles. And if it accidentally ran over one of those duck tour things, I think I’d be ok with that too.
Keep on duckin, Florentijn.