This little video popped up in my RSS feed today. Its From Triathlete Magazine on recovery using ice baths. No mention of bath toys though. In the comments was a link to a story in Outside Magazine trying to debunk ice baths as a myth. It cites a few studies saying athletes felt no difference in soreness levels. Using myself as a one man study group my findings are pretty conclusive that they work.
My take on ice baths is that they reduce swelling not soreness. Even if it is just psychological something is happening. Yesterday I went for a recovery run. I figured I'd be pretty blown & planned on just 4 miles very easy. Felt good enough to cruise 5 miles at 7:20 pace no problem. To me that means the ice bath & compression after worked.