The little yellow duck who accompanies you in the bath has become the Pikachu of China

In 1992, a Chinese cargo ship carrying nearly 30,000 Chenghai rubber little yellow ducks encountered a severe storm on their way to Washington, and the little yellow ducks poured out of the damaged container. As a result, these toys that would accompany the children to bathe in the bathtub fell into the "bathtub" of the ocean, starting an unknown fantasy drifting.

Among them, the "Duck Fleet" composed of more than 1W toy ducks drifted at sea for 14 years before collectively arriving at the British coast in 2007. During this rafting process, some ducks were accidentally eaten by albatross, some ducks were swept away and turned into pieces; some ducks were left in the seaweed colony.

This may be the earliest Internet celebrity Little Yellow Duck, after all, the BBC also deliberately filmed the documentary "Yellow Duck Invasion" for it at that time.

▲ Floating little yellow duck. Picture from: Le Bonbon

More than a decade later, the little yellow duck is still the most classic bathroom toy. But out of the bathroom, the little yellow duck has become an art installation, a representative of different brands, but whether the user can recognize which duck it is is a difficult question.

Yellow ducks, many copyright disputes

What is the name of that famous yellow duck? The one that many people like.

When my colleague asked the little yellow duck for unknown words, I opened the shopping app and asked him one by one to confirm whether it was the duck he was looking for. The sister in the office held up the little yellow duck presented by the neighbor’s lemon tea; the elder brother who was playing the "chicken eating" game asked if it was the co-branded Bduck little yellow duck; some people also thought of the little yellow duck installations exhibited in various cities years ago. .

▲ An ordinary yellow duck in the bathroom

It's a pity, none of them. After searching to no avail, my colleague gave a key clue: "It's the hot duck with Pikachu."

For a while, I didn't know if Da Duck was originally called Little Yellow Duck.

However, from another point of view, Datuk Duck is very small, with yellow skin. Its prototype is a platypus, and it really has the word "duck". So, calling him a little yellow duck does not seem to be a big problem?

As a member of the little yellow duck family (probably not), Da Duck has the most recognizable shape-a round head, small eyes, a lot of white eyes, a flat beak, and three sparse heads. Root hair, and the most iconic head-holding movement. If Da Da Duck is also a member of the Little Yellow Duck, it is undoubtedly a golden beast and star member of the Little Yellow Duck family-and a strong legal team.

▲ Nintendo's little yellow duck-Da Duck.

Other members of the Little Yellow Duck family may not be able to catch the "Express" of Pokémon, but with the cute appearance and the "national foundation" that has been soaked in the bathtub, different Little Yellow Duck brands have hundreds of millions of IPs. the value of.

One of them is the big yellow duck that began to travel around the world in 2007. As a giant yellow duck artwork, the large yellow duck floating on the sea has been produced in multiple styles, floating on the well-known water surface in the city, and it has become the existence of people rushing to check in. It's just that this big yellow duck is also difficult to distinguish, and has fallen into a lot of copyright turmoil.

During the rubber duck exhibition in Hong Kong, many Chinese merchants have seized this hot spot one after another, and began to place the same inflatable rubber ducks next to their stores or scenic spots. Maybe they don’t think this duck is copyrighted, just make the common rubber duck bigger.

Because of this, the big yellow duck is very easy to see for a long time.

▲ The big yellow duck in the exhibition. Picture from: Zhihu

However, rubber duck artist Hoffman felt that this was plagiarism. During the Hangzhou exhibition, he did not allow shops around West Lake to sell pirated ducks. Chinese artist Xing Xin sneered at this statement, because Hoffman once said that his source of inspiration was a bathtub duck made in China. Isn't this a duck?

The two sides continued to output and fought several rounds of war of words. In the end, we will have to wait until the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China issued a document in 2013, aiming at the fact that the big yellow duck and the bathtub duck have the same "substance of expression". The merger principle determines that the bathtub duck is difficult to obtain copyright protection. Compared with the bathtub duck, the big yellow duck is not enough to reflect creativity. Discussion can confirm that the big yellow duck is not protected by copyright law.

But the design of the big yellow duck is still special. Its head is round, with small white dots on the eyes appearing above, and the duck's beak is not very obviously cocked, but closed.

▲ Huge big yellow duck

But to be honest, if I hadn't written this article, I wouldn't recognize what is so special about Hoffman's big yellow duck. Because ordinary people are not good at comparing the differences between different little yellow ducks.

Duck is commercialized, making people rich and chasing

Gota Duck has a clear distinction between images, and Big Yellow Duck is well-known, but because the image is similar to the familiar bathtub duck, few brands will specifically authorize it. Under this circumstance, there are still two brands that have made their way through the little yellow duck.

▲ The little yellow duck in the game

One is Deying Holdings International Co., Ltd., which sells small yellow duck derivatives and has the B.Duck brand.

The other is the little yellow duck, which is still a special neighborhood in the new tea market.

Let me talk about the first one, B.Duck's little yellow duck is more recognizable than other little yellow duck art installations. Its head is not round like other ducks, but slightly raised, like duck hair. The mouth is also very big, as wide as the face is, the mouth is as big as B.Duck's mouth is slightly raised, the other little yellow ducks can be said to be small cherry beaks.

▲ The B.Duck family

This duck still has its own family. In addition to the little yellow duck B.Duck, there are also little yellow duck sister Buffy, little yellow duck B.Duck Baby, DongDuck created for Zhou Dongyu, and black duck Bath'N Duck…Some of these ducks wear flowers on their heads, Some have toys in their hands, and some have unique blushes on their faces. But as long as you see a bunch of dull hairs on the ducks' heads, you know they belong to the B.Duck family.

It's just a matter of whether a bunch of dumb hairs can be protected by copyright. Deying Trading (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. once sued a company based in Hangzhou that the "Walnut Duckling" created by the company infringed the copyright of B.Duck. The Walnut Duckling also has a small amount of dull hair on the right side of his head. Its mouth looks very similar to B.Duck, except that the eyes do not have white pupils like B.Duck.

▲ The left is B.Duck, the right is the walnut duckling

But this is still not an infringement. The court held that the two ducks were only the same in color. Regarding the two cartoon duck images created by anthropomorphic techniques, the court felt that the creative techniques belonged to the category of ideology, and no one was allowed to monopolize them.

Although the plan to protect copyright has failed, Deying can make money with the role of the B.Duck family. In terms of licensing revenue alone, the little yellow ducks of the entire B.Duck family can earn close to 100 million Hong Kong dollars per year; and OEM clothing, tableware, daily necessities and other products can also earn more than 100 million online and offline through different channels. Renminbi.

▲B.Duck and the skin of the peace elite cooperation

Compared to other well-known IDs, Little Yellow Duck's reputation is actually not that big. But relying on diligently launching branded products and low licensing fees, it also managed to break out of a crowd of IPs and sell well.

▲ B.Duck

In recent years, the combination of lemon tea and little yellow duck in the neighborhood, which has been popular in the new tea market, is also very deep.

Although the founder has not introduced the reason why the little yellow duck is sold when selling lemon tea, the official website and official account are also difficult to find clues to the little yellow duck and the brand. However, the impression of buying lemon tea for a little yellow duck has been left in the hearts of most users. Two cups of lemon tea can get a little yellow duck, and a certain amount can be exchanged for a medium yellow duck and a big yellow duck.

It's hard to say whether the user's choice of neighborhood is related to their deeply bound little yellow ducks, but the neighborhood uses the little yellow ducks to play a lot of marketing. At every suitable point, the little yellow duck will also put on corresponding clothes to "attract customers." Many little yellow duck lovers are attracted by the gimmicks of little yellow duck’s new clothes. The emergence of new ducks, such as swimming ring ducks, Christmas ducks, and glasses ducks, can always help the brand welcome some old users.

▲ The little yellow duck in the neighbourhood. Picture from: The little red book in the neighbourhood

From the perspective of image design, the ducks in the neighborhood are very similar to the big yellow ducks exhibited in various countries that year. The only difference may be that the eyes of the neighboring duck are in the middle, unlike the big yellow duck's glasses that look up. But in general, there is no obvious difference between the little yellow duck in the neighborhood and the bathtub companion when the children take a bath. If a brand wants to rely on it to register a trademark, it will probably not work.

In 1948, Hong Kong toy industrialist Lin Liangtian made the first rubber duck toy. In that era when copyright awareness was weak, toy dealers sold it all over the country. In the process of exporting, the arrival of a strong storm turned this rubber duck into an online celebrity duck.

An ordinary bathroom toy, because of its cute appearance and bright colors, it is popular all over the world, although no brand can claim this IP without dispute. However, the huge mass base of Little Yellow Duck makes many people willing to come and create a second time, and then get a share of the pie.

All kinds of little yellow ducks are slightly different in appearance. They have round heads or hairs; flat or open mouth; looking up or looking up, they will be collectively called little yellow ducks by people who like him.

The only one who still has his real name in the hearts of the public, perhaps there is only one reachable duck.

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

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