“Duck Dynasty” has turned into mega-million Robertson mania.
From best-sellers to beach towels, T-shirts to iced tea glasses, beer koozies to bobbleheads, the bearded faces of the A&E reality series’ stars are everywhere.
The show follows Phil Robertson and his family, who have made millions with their duck call and decoy manufacturing “dynasty,” Duck Commander, in West Monroe.
The show, which is in its fourth season, is a ratings hit, with a record 11.8 million viewers last week, thanks to its colorful characters, down-home humor and family values. Son Willie Robertson is so popular he’s been asked to run for Congress (he declined; “too busy”), matriarch Kay Robertson has her own cookbook, “Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen”; and granddaughter Sadie Robertson is helping design her own line of prom dresses for 2014, the “Sadie Robertson Live Original” collection.
Back-to-school time has added another layer of merchandise, including notebooks, backpacks and calendars. Meanwhile, fall landscapes can now feature garden gnomes in mini-versions of Willie and Si Robertson.
Quirky “Uncle Si,” who hasn’t met an English word he couldn’t entertainingly butcher, will release his book, “Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite Uncle,” on Sept. 3. He has some selling to do if he expects to catch up to brother Phil Robertson’s “Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander” and “The Duck Commander Family” by Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie. These books have been on The New York Times’ best-seller book list for 14 and 19 weeks, respectively.
The variety of “Duck Dynasty”-related items doesn’t stop here, however. There are license plates, hats, wall signs, window decals, air fresheners, action figures, pajamas, dog treats, waders, welcome mats, marshmallow guns, bandages and a board game, the Duck Dynasty Redneck Wisdom Family Party Game. There’s even a Chia Willie.
And the usually camouflaged-wearing Robertsons are still cranking out duck calls and decoys.
All those decoys, all that merchandise, all those books have put estimates of the family’s worth at more than $80 million.
When asked in December 2012 about the show and his family’s popularity, son Alan Robertson told The Advocate, “A couple of things I think really caught the attention of the country. I think it’s a very family-oriented, positive message opposed to a negative message, which, unfortunately, a lot of reality shows are based on people fighting, and not getting along, a lot of bleeping out and stuff like that, and it’s totally different, and I think that’s one of the things,” he said. “And of course, our faith is a part of it as well, since they close every episode with a prayer. Our family motto has always been ‘God, Family and Ducks.’ I think that really resonates culturally, where the country is. The other thing that’s just nuts and bolts, is that the show is just really funny. It’s authentic.”
Alan Robertson, who recently returned to the family business, and wife Lisa have joined the show this season for the first time. The eldest of the Phil and Kay Robertson’s four sons, he’s a minister, and, unlike his brothers, is clean-shaven. Rounding out the main cast of characters are his other brothers, Jase and Jep, and their wives, Missy and Jessica.
Jase Robertson blamed his beard for getting him thrown out of a New York City hotel last week when an employee mistook him for a homeless person. Robertson called it “facial profiling” during an appearance on “Live! With Kelly and Michael.”
Speaking of the Robertsons’ beards, there is an app for that. Go to appfinder.lisisoft.com/app/duck-dynasty-beard-booth.html on your smartphone and see what you or others would look like with lots of facial hair.