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What the duck? Victoria going bananas for the fruit-fowl hybrid 'Duckana'

What happens when you cross a duck and a banana?
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Luke and Montana Martin with “Bill,” their Duckana lawn ornament. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

A lawn ornament that found local fame on a Victoria discussion forum has all but sold out across the region.

London Drugs stores across Greater Victoria sold dozens of the coveted banana duck, or “Duckana” lawn ornament, which retailed — depending on size — for $60 to $200 before it went on sale.

The Duckana — also called a Ducknana or just a banana duck — is a peeled banana with a duck figure in place of the fruit. The ornaments range in size from 20 centimetres to a metre tall.

The fruit-fowl hybrid gained local fame through the discussion board website Reddit, where users began posting about their affinity for — or aversion to — the statues. One such user was Luke Martin, who wrote that he snagged one of two remaining Duckanas from the Tillicum London Drugs as a surprise for his wife, Montana.

“I sent the post to my wife because I thought it was pretty funny and her response was, ‘I want one,’ ” Martin said. “We just moved into this property. Owning a home in Victoria is a big milestone … and we’re looking to jazz up the place. A Duckana is just the perfect thing to add to your yard.”

The one-metre tall lawn ornament was on sale for 60 per cent off when he made the purchase.

“At that price, I couldn’t afford not to get it,” he said. “$8o is a dinner out, or it’s a Duckana that sits in your yard for the next 20 years. It’s a family member now.”

The couple plan to keep the Duckana in their backyard — both to prevent it from being stolen and to maintain good relationships with their neighbours, though Martin jokes that Duckanas could hold a key to the region’s affordability crisis.

“If everyone had a Duckana on their lawn, we may finally see property values go down,” he said.

The Yates Street London Drugs has sold almost its entire Duckana stock and said it would be getting another shipment this week.

In an email, London Drugs described itself as a “destination for eclectic and unique items” and said the Duckana is part of its private label brand.

“The London Drugs merchandising team pride themselves in searching the globe for unique products and are delighted so many customers are taking note of this fun outdoor ornament,” said the retailer.

Manny Mandrusiak, a Victoria-based digital marketing specialist, said absurdity and humour — particularly during difficult times — are often the key to creating a viral sensation.

“Every day we’re faced with a ton of negativity,” he said. “If you can look at something that makes you laugh for a few minutes and takes all that away, that’s something that becomes a trend and becomes popular.”

“People want to be a part of something,” Mandrusiak added. “[London Drugs] capitalizes on the impulse buy, and then it capitalizes on the sense that ‘Hey, this is something everyone else is doing.’ ”

It’s unclear where the Duckana phenomenon originated.

U.S. artist Dominique Lewis was inspired to create acrylic Duckana earrings after seeing a picture of it in a Facebook group for “weird and wonderful” secondhand finds, but Lewis had also seen Duckana imagery used by the Scottish metal band Alestorm.

“The Duckana is my favourite design,” Lewis said.

A Duckana is also pictured in a non-fungible token, or NFT, worth $17,000, and some of the earliest online references can be found on the meme website 9Gag, where a picture was posted in October 2016 of a banana, looking remarkably similar to a duck, with the simple caption “Duckana.”

ngrossman@timescolonist.com

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