Oriental Trading Company style rubber ducks are squirters, are either “dressed up” yellow ducks or are duck-shaped entities (ie the red devil duck) and are about 2.5 inches high. This style will be referred to in this study as “OTC-style”. Our objective was to find out what is the float-ability of OTC-style ducks. For the purposes of this study, “float-ability” is defined as the ability to float upright with no leaning, and to maintain this position in still water over a long period.
I gathered a random sample of OTC-style ducks from our collection. Some styles were duplicated in different colors. A total of 23 ducks were tested. 7 ducks floated upright, the remainder tipped over immediately when placed in water.
* head decoration present but negligible
Conclusions are difficult to draw from the data. Of the seven successful floaters, two had no head decoration, while the majority of failed floaters had significant headgear, suggesting that minimal headgear may contribute to floaty success. However, the doctor and devil ducks, with minimal headgear, failed to float upright, thus challenging this conclusion.
Also of note is the curious outcome of the two Princess ducks. The purple one floated upright, the pink one did not. There appears to be no significant difference in headgear or duck shape, possibly indicating that there is some as-yet-unidentified factor which contributes to duck float-ability.
As the ducks are squirter-types, it is possible to maintain a level of water inside the duck as weight which may help the duck float upright, but this hypothesis was not tested in this study. While it is clear that some OTC-style ducks float upright while others do not, it is not yet certain what contributes to floaty success or failure, nor is it possible at this time to predict without water trial whether a particular OTC-style duck will float upright. If you require a duck that floats upright reliably, based on this study we recommend that you look for a weighted duck which is specifically designed for the purpose of orthotic floating.
Note: Rubaduck.com does not endorse any particular vendor or source for rubber duck purchases. This research was conducted on rubber ducks which are similar in style to the kind of ducks sold by the Oriental Trading Company, which are also available for purchase from other vendors. Please do also note that RubaDuck does officially and whole-heartedly endorse rubber duck purchases in general.