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MARK BOLDT – TEACHING THE MASSES TO ALWAYS BELIEVE IN ONE’S GOAL

Rubba Ducks retail display at The BoatHouse restaurant gift shop located in Downtown Disney Orlando, FL from 2015 to 2020

No large business has ever started out of the blue without a proper foundation and idea behind it. All of the towering companies present today were built on an idea that came to their founders. Multi-million-dollar industry leaders were once a lofty goal of an individual wanting to achieve more in life. However, just having a genius idea isn’t enough to succeed in life. 

Innovation is a principle because society is flourishing today. The outcomes of brilliant minds at work are what laid the foundations for the conveniences enjoyed by today’s society. However, this would never be possible if the innovators did not believe in their dreams and goals. Only by complete faith in one’s efforts and goals can a person achieve success in life. One story that fits perfectly with these statements is the success story of the widely famous ‘Rubba Ducks’ by ‘The Duck Group LLC.’

Great ideas are only made great by their creator’s efforts and strong beliefs. There are many examples that can be referred to where people executed unorthodox ideas, which at that time were doomed for failure. But the sheer will and effort of the founder molded that small idea into a towering empire over time. Companies like Google and Amazon were only but a small idea that started out of their founder’s garage but now has become one of the largest business entities in the world. Google started at a time when Yahoo and AOL reigned supreme. 

Most people would think that an idea identical to an already existing platform that had become relatively mainstream was doomed to fail. However, the efforts of Larry Page and Sergey Brin elevated Google to the market-dominating platform it is today. Similar was the case with Amazon. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon as a way of ordering books and other small items online. This was a time when the digital plane had not become universally used. Any sound person of that time would, rather than ordering online, prefer going to the store in person and buying the items. However, Jeff believed in his idea and constantly worked to improve on it regardless of the hurdles that came his way. Today, Amazon is the most popular online marketplace used by people globally. In both cases, if the founders didn’t have a strong belief in their idea, they would have closed business when confronted with the slightest inconveniences or hurdles. 

Similarly, Rubba Ducks is an idea that, when originated in the mind of Mark Boldt to any person, would seem like something that would never survive today’s market. It was an idea that did not originate from the mind of Boldt but rather from his then four-year-old daughter Savannah. In 1996, during a normal day, Savannah described how wonderful it would be if the plain yellow rubber ducks she played with during baths would all be unique and different by design, like we all are as individuals. A typical parent would think of this as the simple imagination of their children, but to Boldt, this idea became an alluring opportunity. After much thinking, he came to an understanding of the social standing of the novelty rubber ducks. However, an old idea, the majority of households have had plain yellow rubber ducks for their children to play with for a long time. Even adults enjoyed the company of these plain novelty ducks while taking a bath. This nostalgic effect held by these rubber ducks could be leveraged when presenting it with a new design in the market.

Therefore with strong beliefs in this idea, Boldt founded the “The Duck Group LLC” and presented the idea of everyone’s beloved rubber ducks with a unique twist and a new appearance – making them more individually relatable. His Rubba Ducks “they are a lot like U and a lot like me” came in many designs and skyrocketed in popularity after the initial launch. The sudden surge in sales was an utter shock to Boldt, and he had to make urgent arrangements to increase production and create even more relatable and intriguing designs. Currently, Rubba Ducks are available in 222 different characters with an interesting backstory to complement and enhance their individualities. In 1999 Rubba Ducks became available in Spencer’s. After becoming a big seller, Boldt looked to other retail chains and approached a notable name in the toys industry, ‘Toy’s R Us.’ Rubba Ducks were available there from 2001 to 2004. The Duck Group LLC partnered with other big retail giants like Hallmark Stores, Target, KayBee Toys, and Kmart. And, now, after all these years, there is a Rubba Duck to represent the personification of every major holiday and event. 

In 2001 the company produced a Rubba Duck named D. Cure, a Breast Cancer Duck. General Motors loved the idea of promoting breast cancer awareness with this adorable design and purchased 200,000 D.Cure Rubba Ducks for a special giveaway. They also designed a Rubba Duck named Ducktoberfest, introduced at Germany’s Octoberfest in 2003. In 2006 they produced 50,000 soccer-themed ducks named Duckerball for the World Cup held in Germany. And in 2017, they produced and sold 5000 race car-themed Rubba Ducks named Ducktona for Iowa Speedway Nascar participant Mike Harmon. The company more recently launched a design based on the Original Cheeshead brand. 

Rubba Ducks have significantly grown in popularity since they were first created in 1996. They have even been appreciated by celebrities such as Britney Spears and Tori Spelling. Paris Hilton gifted these Rubba Ducks to all her guests at her 2007 Las Vegas birthday party. In 2015 Rubba Ducks received Dr. Toys’ ‘Best Classic’ award and received the 2016 Family Choice awards in the best children’s and parenting products category.

Rubba Ducks are existing proof that no matter how unorthodox an idea seems. It is thought about in-depth and worked upon constantly can earn outstanding awards for the founder. Mark Boldt believed in his daughter’s idea and worked to improve it to stay relevant in the global market. Now Rubba Ducks are known worldwide, finding the greatest success within the regions of North America, Germany, and the U.K.

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