Picture this: you roll up to some seedy bar in north London in a new Volkswagen SUV and park next to a tricked-out Harley Davidson. A burly character in a black leather jacket ambles out of the saloon and squints at the VW next to his bike.
“Nice ride, mate,” he offers. “Nice color.”
You back away a little from the VW.
“Thanks,” you say and smile shyly. “It’s a new color.” You pause, then add, “It’s called Rubber Ducky.”
This scene is imaginary, but possible now that VW in the United Kingdom is shipping its revised compact T-Cross SUV glowing in a rather unique exterior shade called…well, we’ve said it: Rubber Ducky.
No design genius in a Wolfsburg conference room decided on the color. No, it was chosen by the public via VW’s social media sites, where the Rubber Ducky name rose to the top of the poll with 46 percent of the vote.
“Some might say putting a paint name to public vote is a quackers idea,” said Oliver Lowe, T-Cross Product Manager at Volkswagen UK. “But we were confident people wouldn’t get in a flap while trying to decide on a new name, and we think Rubber Ducky yellow was a really eggs-cellent choice.”
In modern culture, the ducky—sometimes it’s spelled “duckie”—is associated with infancy and early childhood and with a toddler’s bath time. An essay on the toy in the Journal of American Culture notes, “overall bright yellow in color, the ducks are always posed in a swimming position. Facial features include blue or black eyes and orange open-or-closed beaks. A small hole on the underside allows air to enter so that when squeezed, a squeaking sound is produced.”
Presumably there’ll be no squeaks emitting from the T-Cross, which is on sale now at UK dealers for about $30,300. If ducky yellow doesn’t tweak the British buyers’ interest, there’s also blue and red metallic choices. The updated model also features new equipment as standard, new tech and nicer cabin materials.
But wait, there’s more. January 13 is Rubber Duckie Day in Great Britain because a 1973 Sesame Street episode showed a calendar with Rubber Duckie’s birthday reported as January 13th.
As Top Gear said in it’s report on the matter, “Welcome to the UK!”