Tricky Dicky [Duck], a

Refers to a hard to predict product risk factor or event. One of the earliest consumer successes for semiconductors was a battery powered toy called Tommy Turtle made by a company called Remco; it had a microphone that picked up the sound of a handclap and transmitted the signal to a GE SCR (Silicon Controlled Rectifier) to start a motor and cause the turtle to move about 1-2 meters – this was a particularly good deal for GE because it used a huge quantity of GE’s SCRs which had failed testing for a required operating voltage parameter of 35 volts, but could work at 3-5 volts.

When millions of Tommy Turtles sold, Remco decided on a follow-on product to be called Tricky Dicky Duck (it had feathers, rolled and quacked in response to a specific frequency of sound generated by a whistle which shipped with it) – millions of which were ordered at toy fairs in February 1968 for the Fall/Christmas 1968 market. However, by the Fall of 1968 Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for the US Presidency, and given his nickname of “Tricky Dicky,” launching the product was considered impolitic and all the ducks and marketing materials and collateral had to be expensively re-labeled and re-packaged as Tricky Doodle Duck.

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