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REVISED: Stages of Rubber Duck Collecting (Read 1241 times)
REVISED: Stages of Rubber Duck Collecting    posted on Mar 15th, 2008, 7:17pm
This is the REVISED
The Good, the Bad, and the Not-so-Attractive: Stages of Rubber Duck Collecting
Every rubber duck collector seems to go through the same progression of stages from novice to advanced. I've spoken with enough rubber duck collectors to discern a pattern that I describe below. I suspect collectors of other things have similar experiences.
 The first stage of rubber duck collecting always seems harmless enough. Fledgling collectors receive their first rubber duck, like it, and then casually buy a few more while going about the course of their normal business.  
The second stage of collecting is when friends and acquaintances get in on the act and gift the fledgling collector with a few more. A lot of (admirably sane) people never get beyond this point.
The third stage is when the fledgling collector begins to think to herself (or himself), "Hey, I'm a collector!" and starts to actively look for more ducks. An extra detour here and an extra shopping trip there, characterizes this stage. Perhaps a little casual duck web shopping takes place here.
The fourth stage is the stage where collectors' friends start to rib the collector about being a little "quacked-up" and the collector inevitably begins to look for other duck-minded people with whom to discuss their new hobby. A lot of people stumble across Duckplanet when they hit this stage! Duck hunting is a regular part of life at and the collector has developed methods for looking for ducks.
Most people don't get to the fifth stage, but this is the stage that is characterized by a sort of temporary insanity. Symptoms include mass acquisitions, overspending, aggressive duck hunting, and frequent requests for information from other, more experienced, collectors. It's a good thing stage five doesn't usually last more than a few months! For some people this stage can last for about a year. They become known as "duck hogs". Almost everyone who gets to stage five will get to stage six.
During stage six collectors buy or build significant amounts of furniture to accommodate the collection and rubber duck collecting feels like a natural part of life. The collector has a network of fellow collectors with whom to trade or share advice. Most people also start selling ducks at this point because they have inevitably accumulated extras. Most "serious" duck collectors are stage six collectors. If faced with the prospect of relocation, a duck collector in this stage will include space for duck display as a criterion for new living quarters.
During stages five and six the collector will begin to entertain day dreams of designing her or his own line or rubber ducks--only to have their hopes dashed because it typically costs over $10,000  to produce a unique duck through standard mass-manufacturing methods and the cost of copyrighting designs.
Most collectors never reach the seventh stage. Most have no desire to. The seventh stage is characterized by increased interest in the history and the preservation of rubber duckies. Ownership of a quality collection brings with it certain responsibilities after all. Minutiae and the finer points about rubber ducks are of great interest. At this point, collecting becomes more serious--but no less rewarding! You may not consider yourself an expert, but people are always coming to you for advice. Seventh stage duck collectors are as interested in long term preservation of their collections.
If you've read this far, you're probably a collector yourself. What stage are you in? Remember, this is not a list of what you are "supposed" to do--but just a description of a trend. Have fun!
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