View Poll Results: Duffy the Disney Bear - Soul-less Ripoff Surely?

Voters
130. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes indeed. What an abomination.

    56 43.08%
  • Certainly not. I love the little darling.

    40 30.77%
  • I have no opinion on the matter but still wish to vote.

    27 20.77%
  • Duffy the what now?

    7 5.38%
Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 123456 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 91
  1. #31

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Anaheim
    Posts
    1,181

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    I think a huge majority of people don't even know he started out at Tokyo Disney, let alone was popular there. I consider myself reasonably informed and I had no idea of that until right now reading this thread. So to expect guests to like Duffy because of its tie-in with Tokyo is a bit much, I think.

  2. #32

    • -
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Uijeongbu
    Posts
    6,542

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by doppio View Post
    The thing creeps me out.
    I agree

    And what is a Shellie May?
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  3. #33

    •   
    • Minion
    • Online

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2,846

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    I think he's a cute little bear...but I cannot say I have had much interest in him.

    IMHO Disney overlooked the major cultural differences that make Duffy a success in Japan. Japan has a lot of rich animation storytelling but they also have a large number of characters who are popular simply because they are cute. One of the Sanrio characters in Japan is an anthropomorphized bullet train. There's no story; it's a bullet train with a smiley face. Japanese advertising has all sorts of cartoonish characters. So putting a cute character like Duffy at the Japanese Disney parks makes sense.

    At the CA parks, both adults and kids tend to bond and relate to characters because of their stories and distinct personalities. Duffy doesn't have either. The backstore he has is flimsy, he hasn't been in one of Disney's films, etc. The Disney bear? Is that Baloo? Pooh? The Country Bear Jamboree bears?

    He's a cute bear, but I think Disney would have had more luck marketing Mickey and Minnie plush that could be dressed in outfits.

  4. #34

    • Senior Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bloody miles away
    Posts
    6,901

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    If you saw Duffy completely out of context and for the first time, would you immediately identify him as Disney? The answer is of course 'no'. The only thing that makes Duffy a DISNEY bear is the logo stamped on his butt and a very flimsy backstory (Mickey's teddy? What next? Goofy's socks?). It is almost as if Disney were offered a job lot of cheap generic bears that nobody else wanted, copyrighted them following a ten second marketing meeting and then sat back and waited for the money to start rolling in. Which of course it did. At least anything tied into a movie or existing character has genuine and artistic roots. Even park specific characters such as the Country Bears came out of years of development. Duffy embodies everything that is wrong with Disney today.
    I see Duffy as a worse development than putting a Mickey sticker on a cheap plastic lunchbox and charging $10.

    ---------- Post added 10-21-2011 at 09:23 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    I think Disney would have had more luck marketing Mickey and Minnie plush that could be dressed in outfits.
    Agreed
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
    DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
    DLR - October 2011





  5. #35

    • Dive ..... Dive.....
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,746

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    If you saw Duffy completely out of context and for the first time, would you immediately identify him as Disney? The answer is of course 'no'. The only thing that makes Duffy a DISNEY bear is the logo stamped on his butt and a very flimsy backstory (Mickey's teddy? What next? Goofy's socks?). It is almost as if Disney were offered a job lot of cheap generic bears that nobody else wanted, copyrighted them following a ten second marketing meeting and then sat back and waited for the money to start rolling in. Which of course it did. At least anything tied into a movie or existing character has genuine and artistic roots. Even park specific characters such as the Country Bears came out of years of development. Duffy embodies everything that is wrong with Disney today.
    I see Duffy as a worse development than putting a Mickey sticker on a cheap plastic lunchbox and charging $10.

    ---------- Post added 10-21-2011 at 09:23 AM ----------



    Agreed
    I'm glad you brought up the Country Bears because those are a prime example of characters that weren't related to a movie yet were still very popular with guests and had great artistic design and personality.

  6. #36

    •   
      MiceChat Senior Moderator
    • Jester of Randomness
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Trying to keep it light and fluffy since '05...
    Posts
    65,575
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShelbyH View Post
    I think a huge majority of people don't even know he started out at Tokyo Disney, let alone was popular there. I consider myself reasonably informed and I had no idea of that until right now reading this thread. So to expect guests to like Duffy because of its tie-in with Tokyo is a bit much, I think.
    Actually.... he started out at WDW before he was send overseas as just "The Disney Bear." He was a flop back there so they sent him packing. Once he went to Japan, they gave him a name, a back story and.... the rest is history... over there. Once he became such a hit over there, with people in this country paying big bucks on eBay to have one, the bean counters thought that maybe now that he had a following they brought him back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    I think he's a cute little bear...but I cannot say I have had much interest in him.

    IMHO Disney overlooked the major cultural differences that make Duffy a success in Japan. Japan has a lot of rich animation storytelling but they also have a large number of characters who are popular simply because they are cute. One of the Sanrio characters in Japan is an anthropomorphized bullet train. There's no story; it's a bullet train with a smiley face. Japanese advertising has all sorts of cartoonish characters. So putting a cute character like Duffy at the Japanese Disney parks makes sense.

    At the CA parks, both adults and kids tend to bond and relate to characters because of their stories and distinct personalities. Duffy doesn't have either. The backstore he has is flimsy, he hasn't been in one of Disney's films, etc. The Disney bear? Is that Baloo? Pooh? The Country Bear Jamboree bears?

    He's a cute bear, but I think Disney would have had more luck marketing Mickey and Minnie plush that could be dressed in outfits.
    I think you've hit the nail on the head at precisely why he's a bigger deal over there than here. Its a major cultural thing in the way that the Japanese culture embraces characters. I think the whole anime phenom started over there. (Not a fan so someone correct me if I'm wrong). They took all the anime characters, and marketed the daylights out of them because.... well... because they loved them. And while anime is popular over here, with a lot of devoted fans, its not embraced nearly as hugely as there. (Yes yes... I know we have big anime conventions here but overall we don't have the same emersion of the culture here).

    I think what Duffy fans there are here just like him not because of his story per se, but because he is cute, and there is a segment of the population that will love him just because he's "Disney" and he's soft and cute. Doesn't matter that he doesn't have a real "personality" or much of a history, all we need is cute and a connection to Disney. (And yup... thats pretty much why I like him.)




    Help me get more security in Pingvinivlle! Click here!


    Quote Originally Posted by AGhostFromThePast
    all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.

  7. #37

    • Not on the Jedi Council
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    676

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Well, to give Duffy his due, check this out (It's a Micechat thread):
    The story of Duffy the Disney Bear, with pictures.

    The US parks would do well to bring that storybook over, if they haven't already, IMO.

    I'm not that sold on him myself, but I do not see him as being of the devil either. I woulda voted had there been a "he's okay" option.

  8. #38

    • I love that tiny bear!
    • Online

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,022

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Cash-in, yes, but as others have pointed out, practically everything Disney does is a cash-in, really. Even the food offerings!

    Soulless, I don't think so. I'd say any offering is partly what you make of it, though--how many people outside MiceChat know there is a story behind Big Thunder Mountain? And though the average guest doesn't know/understand about Duffy's origins, even if you just see him in the park, isn't he all about giving you a big hug? At least, he was last year. I don't know about you, but I can sometimes use a hug.

    He's also supposed to be about taking him places and taking pictures with/of him. I think that may appeal to the Japanese more than Americans...here he seems to be pretty much a child's toy (and a pricey one at that). I'm not sure if that's something Disney can remedy, though, given cultural differences. But some characters here CAN sell just because they are cute...we have a mall here with a Sanrio store for goodness' sake, and Build a Bear has sold several Sanrio/Hello Kitty characters.

    (Duffy is also full of Mickeys, hidden and not...the soles of his feet have mouse ears and even his face is a "hidden" Mickey.)

    QuiGonJ, Disney recently "wrote" their "own" story...they basically rewrote/tweaked the Japanese one, but said they were "inspired" by it. Most folks on the Duffy sub-forum say the changes are not for the better (in fact, "gutted" the Japanese story is how a lot of us see it).

  9. #39

    • Banned User
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    322

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiversOfAmerica View Post
    This is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Look at how many people complain about movie tie ins. Here you have an example of something that's not a movie tie in, and those same people are complaining anyway.
    You've missed the point of the complaints. Duffy has no defined character and no real story other than the flimsiest of premises that sounds like it was tacked on as quickly and with little thought as possible after the fact.

    It isn't that Duffy has no movie tie ins, it is that Duffy is a sterile piece of merchandise with no soul.

    And you are correct, there is no real difference between Duffy and the bland and overpriced food at the parks.

  10. #40

    • Not on the Jedi Council
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    676

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    I knew there was something different/diluted about the American version, thanks for bringing that up, but that's why I showed the original Japanese storybook. Other than some American marketing exec wanting to justify their existence, why didn't they just use what was working already and run with it?

  11. #41

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Autobot Base
    Posts
    2,098

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    I think you've hit the nail on the head at precisely why he's a bigger deal over there than here. Its a major cultural thing in the way that the Japanese culture embraces characters. I think the whole anime phenom started over there. (Not a fan so someone correct me if I'm wrong). They took all the anime characters, and marketed the daylights out of them because.... well... because they loved them. And while anime is popular over here, with a lot of devoted fans, its not embraced nearly as hugely as there. (Yes yes... I know we have big anime conventions here but overall we don't have the same emersion of the culture here).
    Anime is just a Japanese term for all animation. It's only international distributors that turned it into a trendy label for Japan's stuff.

    Tom and Jerry and Disney are among the most popular "anime" in Japan and much of the modern styles we see evolved from the works of Osamu Tezuka, who himself was a huge Disney fan, friend of Walt and took a lot of inspiration from old Disney cartoons and Carl Barks comics.
    M-I-C-K-E-Y P-R-I-M-E

    Flickr
    Lend a hand at Disney Wiki

  12. #42

    •   
      MiceChat Senior Moderator
    • Jester of Randomness
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Trying to keep it light and fluffy since '05...
    Posts
    65,575
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by FigmentJedi View Post
    Anime is just a Japanese term for all animation. It's only international distributors that turned it into a trendy label for Japan's stuff.

    Tom and Jerry and Disney are among the most popular "anime" in Japan and much of the modern styles we see evolved from the works of Osamu Tezuka, who himself was a huge Disney fan, friend of Walt and took a lot of inspiration from old Disney cartoons and Carl Barks comics.
    Ah! See I knew that the term "anime" was a shortened name for animation in Japan, but I thought it was also, and more accurately, the name of a style of animation (Sailor Moon et al) that was indigenous to Japan. I thought anime was also the style of Japanese animation, and the manga books were comic books made in the anime style. But then like I said, I'm not a fan of those cartoons so I personally don't know the history or details. (But my daughter who is a fan surely must. )

    Thanks for the clarification. I knew there was someone out there who had more info than me!




    Help me get more security in Pingvinivlle! Click here!


    Quote Originally Posted by AGhostFromThePast
    all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.

  13. #43

    • Lemony Goodness
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    188

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seawolf View Post
    The problem with Duffy is that the character lacks any kind of artistic integrity or personality, it's a complete joke to compare it with beautifully crafted Disney originals like the fab 5 which all have in-depth personalities.
    Nothing looks good compared to the Fab Five. But to say he lacks any kind of character isn't all too correct either. He may not have the strongest personality at US parks, but Tokyo has given this bear more personality than most people I encounter everyday. I strongly recommend those who are confused with Duffy's purpose to look at Duffy's story, which can be found at a fellow Micechatter's blog: DuffyClo: Stories. But the story isn't where his personality comes from; it's the fans. Fans make the rockstar, so of course they make Duffy who he is today.


    Little bear, huge personality. ^^^This is (my) Shellie May for those who are wondering.

  14. #44

    • ...
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,055

    Thumbs up Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    This will be very long, as I came late to this thread. Feel free to post about how you didn't bother to read all of it or that I reposted the whole thread (untrue) or what have you. Just know that I know it is long and am fairly nonplussed about it. I'm more interested in having a discussion of ideas. If you're not, or if reading a lot doesn't interest you, I strongly encourage you to skip right along to the next post.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    ...To me, Duffy is a soul-less exercise in extracting additional dollars from their guests.

    The design and quality of the actual bear is sub-Build a Bear Workshop and the outfits are disgustingly over-priced.

    I recognize pins and vinylmations to be just as much of a money-making exercise, but at least they feature Disney characters, have an element of artistry and are inherently collectable. Duffy and his/her (?) outfits are simply a rip-off. Build-a-Bear at DTD even stocks its own range of Disney costumes so what is the point?...
    I am sure everyone else agrees so lets have a nice gentle discussion on the subject....
    Arrogance in assuming that everyone agrees with your opinion notwithstanding, I can understand your reason for feeling this way. Disney in the US has done very little to present Duffy's true nature. In fact, they have actively diluted and corrupted the core of what Duffy is actually about, and clearly in a misguided attempt to capitalize on an idea they already failed at. It is true, unfortunately, that America's Duffy is a soulless cash cow "created" with middling to no artistic integrity, without even the decency to honor or even give credit to the Japanese original which made the concept work. The US costumes are not "inherently collectible" because they are neither conceived nor designed, constructed nor intended to be of long-term value. It is true that the American Duffy is a soulless money-grubbing bastardization of a beautiful Japanese concept, but that doesn't diminish the authentic Duffy in even the slightest, and it hardly makes you impervious to being contradicted.

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    ...it's not really a secret they brought it over to try and sell a lot, not because it supported a film or a attraction or was inherently awesome on it's own: it's just a bear. Some like it here, but fact remains Duffy is basically a failed trend in American parks. Lacks any sort of wide appeal or interest, and was intended solely to move units like it does in Japan.
    Duffy is inherently awesome on his own (in fact, that's just about the best description of him ever!^^), but it's true that Disney is not interested in or motivated by this in seemingly any way on any level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursulalvr View Post
    ...I certainly don't see him as a failure. And I don't think Disney does either, he just had his one year anniversary, with strong sales numbers and a promise for a bigger presence in the future. They are even rumors they're bringing Shellie May here too...US costumes, to me, are a hell of a lot cheaper than what I have to pay for the TDS merch, the costumes go for around $50 there, but you get what you pay for...I really don't see Duffy leaving the states any times soon, especially since they're extending his presence to other Disney resorts around the world including Aluani, Disney Cruise Line, and this Christmas, Paris.
    Honestly, at this point, I'd almost be releived if the US declared him a failure and focused on other things. Ideally, they'll actually care about him, but it's been a year and I'm not seeing evidence of this. Why drag Shellie into this mess? Why globally extend an impression of the character that is cheap and lacks vision and does not represent what Duffy really means? I don't see Disney's financial success as a good thing until they invest some heart and soul. I don't think they deserve strong sales numbers. I think they should be boycotted for taking my favorite character, skinning him alive, pimping his exposed carcass for every dime they can get and throwing his bloody pelt back onto their garbage "Disney Bear" failure like a mask we all see through. But that's just me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    As I pointed out in my OP, Duffy is new to me and so I was blissfully unaware of any previous Duffy-bashing...

    I suspect the mark -on the bear and the costumes is so high that Disney does not need to shift too many units to make a massive profit and hence see it as a success.
    I've never been one to be blissful in ignorance, but I suppose we each have our own goals. I guess "mark -" means "mark-up," and I'd further imagine you're correct, considering the abominable quality of the US costume releases. I wouldn't want to assume, though; you know what they say.

    Quote Originally Posted by WED View Post
    Duffy...was a surprise success in Japan, so it never originated from some horrible merchandising plot (unlike pin trading and vinylmation).

    At the very least Duffy is a unique character not descending from any existing film property, only tangentially connected to Mickey and Minnie. I thought everybody wanted more characters unique to the parks?
    Duffy is he, not "it," but everything else is spot on...at least in Tokyo.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    ...I too wish Disney would come out with better quality costumes and outfits for Duffy here in the States. I only bought a few that I felt looked the best (most look really flimsy and cheap). In comparison, the costumes that TDS releases are very high quality with better material and details (i.e.: actual buttons instead of an embroidered circle representing a button). I get the rest of the clothes at Build-A-Bear, but now my aunt is working on some custom outfits and costumes for both my Duffy and my Shellie May, which is how things really took off for these bears in Japan. Lots of fans make their own special outfits for the bears and a lot of them are HIGHLY detailed. You'd be absolutely amazed at what some people have come up with.
    Duffy in Japan has been a slow-burning collaborative, creative project that involved fans and the Japanese Duffy Merchandising Team. The cottage industry of fan creations is truly astounding, and still going strong. Duffy is sometimes a kind of template, in a way like Vinylmation, but filled with far more heart and much more character. Duffy inspires. The Oriental Land Company responded incredibly, but it is undeniably the fans who deserve the lion's share of the credit for making Duffy the smashing success he has become in Japan.

    And yet, when Disney releases such uninspired crap, how can anyone blame those who aren't already Duffy fans for turning away? If my only impression of Duffy was what I could see in America, not only would I not be interested, I would hate this freaking bear. So, I get it. But what the detractors dislike is not Duffy, and that's Disney's fault, not the character's. Fans in the US should be demanding more from Disney, not making excuses for them. Not that you are, I know. I'm just saying. What Disney's done/doing is transparent and insulting, to both the character and to "consumers," with no real intention of honoring either Duffy or his true fans, much less creating enough excitement to give rise to a new fandom.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    I agree with this as well. My problem is that most people who bash Duffy don't seem to understand what he's really about. To Disney here in the States they obviously want to use him as a cash cow because they saw how popular his is in Japan and wanted a piece of the action. That's blatantly obvious. But Duffy's true fans know he is more than that. Much more. To me, Duffy is about having fun, going on adventures and making new friends everywhere he goes. And that's been true for me. I take my Duffy and Shellie May with me lots of places (WDW, Busch Gardens, baseball games, etc.) and everywhere they go, people comment how cute they are. I've had more than one person say to me about Duffy, "He's one happy bear!" He sure is!

    I know there are some who's minds are made up about Duffy. But to those who are still on the fence... give the little furry guy a chance. Read a little more into his backstory and history. See how us Duffy fans are trying to show he's more than about making money. To us, Duffy about spreading joy and love and happiness to everyone he meets. You can NOT deny he's cute (anyone who thinks Duffy isn't cute must be dead inside or something). You should come check out the Duffy forum here on MC sometime and see for yourself how us Duffy fans here in the States adore that little bear and the fun we have with him.
    I how positive and optimistic you are here, Aimster. But the sad truth is that unless Disney gets on board and invests more in Duffy than just castrating Japanese concepts, there is little that our enthusiasm can do to sway the hearts and minds of the uninitiated. Disney is running a much wider-reaching, far more powerful campaign of mediocrity and apathy that is hard to jam or even compete with. I would love to imagine a grassroots movement of folks who really "get" Duffy pushing the boundaries, but they'll have to do two things: 1) make their own clothes (or buy handmade or imports) and 2) STOP BUYING INTO DISNEY'S CRAP AND DEFENDING THE WAY THEY ARE COMPLETELY EXPLOITING THIS CHARACTER. If the "hardcore/get it" fans keep buying and defending Disney, the best that's gonna happen is that you convince a bunch of other people to accept mediocrity. In a BIG way, the naysayers are a necessary nudge to encourage Disney to improve the quality. I'm more for that than for everyone becoming fans of a pale imitation of Duffy and never getting to know the real thing. If Disney cared about showing people the real Duffy, I'd agree with you, but until they do, I can totally understand why folks are uninterested and unsupportive. Again though, it's Disney that's wrong, not Duffy.

    Quote Originally Posted by PanTheMan View Post
    Duffy is garbage. My kids who LOVE to visit face and costume characters of all sorts in the parks, when asked if they wanted to go say "Hi" to Duffy as there was no line, simply said no. That is how I gauge the popularity/failure in my house, and he is a flop.
    Oh my gosh! I can't believe it! Right here on the same message board as me is that guy who along with his kids is the arbiter of the ultimate value of everything! I am so honored! And he has reached his well-deliberated and eloquent verdict: "Duffy is garbage." It must be so, then. I shall burn my entire collection right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by bayouguy View Post
    Can't say he's a horrible failure. Some folks like him. Someone in the management tent must really love him. He'll likely be around a while. Pan the Man, Duffy is a definite miss with my daughter. And she knows who she really likes. It ain't Duffy.
    I don't see evidence that anyone in management cares at all about Duffy. I imagine they're still baffled at why they aren't making the money that Duffy generates in Tokyo. That's what they love - money. Of course I know that Disney is a business, but such blatant prostitution of so wholesome a character is not just unseemly; it's morally wrong and as much as I sincerely wish your daughter could know and love the real Duffy, I'm impressed she has the fortitude to resist Disney's sickening and truly evil marketing agenda. Sounds like you must be doing something right!

    Quote Originally Posted by KiMcHeEfOrLiFe View Post
    Each to their own, I suppose. To me, the snout just looks a little too pointy compared to the walk-around character. In my opinion, I like the look of the walk-around than the actual doll.
    That upturned nose in Duffy's profile is a signature element and, I'm guessing, another subtle nod to Mickey. Duffy is in many ways arguably the fresh embodiment of the same stuff that brought Mickey to life. And for those who see it, witnessing and being a part of the birth of a character like this is truly exciting and inspiring. For those who don't, you really are missing out, but, hey, whatever. If he doesn't grab you, he doesn't grab you. Everybody doesn't like Mickey Mouse, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael808702 View Post
    I like Duffy first time i was at DCA and no one was at his meet n greet so i decide i would go its the best one on one bonding time with a character after that i ran to the store and bought a teddy bear and took more pics with Duffy and got to interact with him because no one was in line line this is why hes my favorite
    I wish this didn't sound quite so much like "Duffy is my favorite because nobody else likes him," but it still made me .

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    Lets face it, everything Disney markets, including Duffy is for one reason and one reason only. Adding money to the coffers. Disney is a for profit operation, and unless it makes a profit it can't survive as a company. No merchandise is in the parks for any other reason than to be bought, Duffy included.
    While that may be true of the current Walt Disney Company, it doesn't have to be and it isn't true in Japan (can expand if necessary^^). And it wasn't true for Walt:

    "People look at me in many ways. They've said, 'The guy has no regard for money.' That is not true. I have had regard for money. It depends on who's saying that. Some people worship money as something you've got to have piled up in a big pile somewhere. I've only thought about money in one way, and that is to do something with it. I don't think there's a thing I own that I will ever get the benefit of except through doing things with it. I don't even want the dividends from the stock in the studio, because the government's going to take it away. I'd rather have that in (the company) working..." —Walt Disney

    "There is nothing wrong with good schmaltz, nothing wrong with good heart... The critics think I'm kind of corny. Well, I am corny. As long as people respond to it, I'm okay." —Walt Disney

    On CalArts: "We've got to fight against bigness. If a school gets too large, you lose an intimacy with the students; they begin to feel they're just part of a big complex. I don't think you can create too well in a big plant. That's why I always tried to avoid bigness in the studio..." —Walt Disney

    "We grew to our present size almost against ourselves. It was not a deliberately planned commercial venture in the sense that I sat down and said that we were going to make ourselves into a huge financial octopus. We evolved by necessity. We did not sit down and say to ourselves, 'How can we make a big pile of dough?' It just happened." —Walt Disney


    "In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future." —Walt Disney

    "I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds." —Walt Disney
    `
    "You know, the only way I've found to make these pictures is with animators. You can't seem to do it with accountants and bookkeepers." —Walt Disney

    `
    "I've always been bored with just making money. I've wanted to do things; I wanted to build things, to get something going..." —Walt Disney

    `
    "Anything that has the Disney name to it is something we feel responsible for." —Walt Disney

    Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money. —Walt Disney



    *Most of these quotes came from DisneyDreamer, except the last which is found freely all over the web. They're in no particular order, as I think all of these together sum up the miracle that is authentic Japanese Duffy very well. This is what Duffy embodies. Duffy is a surprise/natural/organic hit because fans love him and professional artists love creating for him. Everyone is genuinely excited. The creators aren't "just following orders" and the fans aren't just following trends. And it just keeps growing, yet somehow Japanese Duffy remains ever true to his spirit; probably because the quality just keeps spiraling up and the commitment just keeps digging its roots in deeper, both among fans and the creative team. Duffy in Japan is so fundamentally different from and opposed to the crassness of what's happening in America that the Walt Disney Company should be unspeakably ashamed of itself. They have completely forgotten who they are, so much that they don't even recognize in Duffy the opportunity to find their way back, try as he might, poor little guy.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    ...As to "another thread...." MiceChat is a discussion board. We discuss. And sometimes multiple threads on the same or similar topic come up. If topics are identical and in a close enough time frame we merge them. If not... then they provide a new place for new ideas.

    And please remember to respect each others opinions no matter what those opinions are. If you love him and think he's cool then great. If you hate him and think its the dumbest thing Disney has ever done, well thats cool to. But lets not knock the other person regardless of what side of the issue they stand on.
    As long as this thread isn't suddenly deemed "too heated" and closed the moment Duffy fans come over here and represent, as often seems to be the case, I'm cool. This is kind of a dead horse, but we can hardly just say nothing, right? It's a dilemma.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by biggsworth View Post
    I voted for no opinion. I don't care for him but I collect pins. I am sure he has a fan base and they love him
    Hm...that's not really an option. The option is for "I have no opinion on the matter but still wish to vote," which seems like a joke made with the same tongue-in-cheek bravado that presumes one's own opinion to be universal and shared by all. A shame, really, because your moderate consideration is well worth actually representing.

    Quote Originally Posted by RiversOfAmerica View Post
    This is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Look at how many people complain about movie tie ins. Here you have an example of something that's not a movie tie in, and those same people are complaining anyway.

    Duffy in the US is seeing a steady trend upwards, first among the asian female population, and next in the female teen population in general. I'm not a Duffy fan at all. But enough people seem to like Duffy to warrant his regular appearance. I have no particular problem with it.

    Every food, beverage, and merchandise item in the parks is there to make the company money. To have a problem with it is plain silly.
    No one thinks the company should not be interested in turning a profit, but have we really become so jaded, cynical, apathetic and sheepish that we openly embrace the notion that the art house legacy of Walt Disney is nothing more than a soulless corporation? I can't believe that. I don't think we're there yet. I think we still believe Disney is supposed to be more than that. Not a little more, mind you - much, much more.

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    ...The query was, was it brought in as a basically a marketing ploy. And it was, by all accounts...that's a fact. Doesn't mean I particularly like the bear, but it's not something I hate in any shape or form. The reasons behind the push for Duffy in the states explain themselves clear enough I think. I don't see a "I hate Duffy" movement going on....people either like him, or are indifferent, and both seem to acknowledge the decision making buying purely monetary as opposed to 'story'/quality based for the U.S. That does not negate the product as being enjoyable for some folks, of course, and if people enjoy it then that's a good thing
    I think you're right that Disney's motives are transparent, but if you don't hear hate-tinged venom in the first post in this thread and even its title, I'd suggest reading both one more time. The intensely negative presumptions are full of animosity, and it's not surprising. What Disney has done to Duffy, as with the name (re: brand) itself is understandably off-putting. Duffy fans feel a real need to counter this vitriol, at least in my case, not because the OP is wrong (arrogance and bravado notwithstanding), but because Duffy as a character is so much more wonderful than most of his detractors know.

    Quote Originally Posted by The First Star View Post
    ...I was annoyed at first, but he's grown on me in the past year or so.
    I'd to hear this story!^^

    Quote Originally Posted by WorldDisney View Post
    OP, these are the kinds of lines and interest they were HOPING Duffy would have in DCA as it did in TDS. Observe:



    You see the madness! Do you understand now?? They thought once Duffy took over Japan, he could take over the world! Someone has to stop this bear!
    Why stop a bear whose raison d'etre is to bring luck, happiness and love? Who has too much of those things? Put me squarely in the real-Duffy-takes-over-the-world camp!^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Seawolf View Post
    The problem with Duffy is that the character lacks any kind of artistic integrity or personality, it's a complete joke to compare it with beautifully crafted Disney originals like the fab 5 which all have in-depth personalities...The reality is that not being related to a movie has nothing to do with the characters shortcomings, it has everything to do with being artistically underwhelming and is consistent with Disney's overall performance over the last 15 years.
    I agree with so much of what you say here about the Disney Bear, which is still who the Walt Disney Company seems to think Duffy is. But when you really take a moment to understand what OLC did - they took a failed, generic, obviously pandering teddy bear gimmick that did not connect and gave it a name, gave it a home, made him a him and brought him to life. What Disney is doing now is corrupting, eroding and destroying that process, in a sick attempt to profit off their own previous failure, now that someone else invested it with heart that made it a goldmine. Yet, even with the road map and blueprints, they can't get out of the driveway and they can't build anything worth caring about. Still, this is not Duffy's fault. The real Duffy is filled with artistic integrity, the kind of which actually subverts the original intentions of the Disney Bear fiasco and reminds us of what Disney is really supposed to be all about. The real Duffy artwork is beautifully handcrafted, with a gentle and tender sensitivity. The real Duffy merchandise is so carefully planned and orchestrated that every release is a bonafide event. The real Duffy is the fulfilment of a Disney promise. The real Duffy is what Disney could be if it loved its legacy and its potential as much as its fans do. The real Duffy is what Disney could be like if it took as much pride in its work as the Oriental Land Company does, and as Walt did. I understand, all too painfully, how you feel. Still, I encourage you to look around and learn more about authentic Duffy.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by doppio View Post
    The thing creeps me out.
    Care to elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisakd View Post
    Never heard of him until last week when I saw him at DCA. I was, like, what is that!? And kept on walking. JMO, but for me it's not Disney...
    I couldn't agree with you more, sadly, but I think we're speaking from polar perspectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShelbyH View Post
    I think a huge majority of people don't even know he started out at Tokyo Disney, let alone was popular there. I consider myself reasonably informed and I had no idea of that until right now reading this thread. So to expect guests to like Duffy because of its tie-in with Tokyo is a bit much, I think.
    Especially since they hardly even give the Tokyo artists any real credit at all. The Oriental Land Company is never even mentioned by name. For the vast majority of the public who do not frequent message boards like this, there is no suggestion whatsoever that the ideas that brought Duffy to life in Japan came from a Japanese team who do not work directly for Disney, which is what allowed them to have the creative freedom to achieve their phenomenal success here. Disney is dropping the ball on so much more than just getting the message out, but keeping people blissfully unaware of the fact that everything good about Duffy comes from Japan does not look like an accident to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by calsig31 View Post
    ...And what is a Shellie May?
    Click the link in my signature to go to the MiceChat Duffy Forum and read the FAQs at the top.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    ...IMHO Disney overlooked the major cultural differences that make Duffy a success in Japan. Japan has a lot of rich animation storytelling but they also have a large number of characters who are popular simply because they are cute. One of the Sanrio characters in Japan is an anthropomorphized bullet train. There's no story; it's a bullet train with a smiley face. Japanese advertising has all sorts of cartoonish characters. So putting a cute character like Duffy at the Japanese Disney parks makes sense.

    At the CA parks, both adults and kids tend to bond and relate to characters because of their stories and distinct personalities. Duffy doesn't have either. The backstore he has is flimsy, he hasn't been in one of Disney's films, etc. The Disney bear? Is that Baloo? Pooh? The Country Bear Jamboree bears?

    He's a cute bear, but I think Disney would have had more luck marketing Mickey and Minnie plush that could be dressed in outfits.
    He doesn't need a movie at DisneySEA. He has Cape Cod. Park guests are literally in Duffy's world, and because of his travel persona, that world extends to wherever Duffy goes. Not only the parks, though. You can't go an entire day if you leave your house and get on a train without seeing Duffy merchandise somewhere. He is as huge here as the turn of the century invention of the teddy bear boom, with no signs of slowing down. Duffy is, as intended, the character through whom the park experience and reality merge and intertwine. It is a remarkable magic. It is Disney magic, but you're right... Disney has forgotten how and lost interest in doing it, and Americans are often too cynical or jaded to let their own imaginations guide the creation of what Duffy means. That really is the miracle of Duffy, though. There is something to him, undoubtedly, but it is limited only by the imagination of fans. Duffy is always Duffy, except when you suck out his soul. We know that when we see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    If you saw Duffy completely out of context and for the first time, would you immediately identify him as Disney? The answer is of course 'no'. The only thing that makes Duffy a DISNEY bear is the logo stamped on his butt and a very flimsy backstory (Mickey's teddy? What next? Goofy's socks?). It is almost as if Disney were offered a job lot of cheap generic bears that nobody else wanted, copyrighted them following a ten second marketing meeting and then sat back and waited for the money to start rolling in. Which of course it did. At least anything tied into a movie or existing character has genuine and artistic roots. Even park specific characters such as the Country Bears came out of years of development. Duffy embodies everything that is wrong with Disney today.
    I see Duffy as a worse development than putting a Mickey sticker on a cheap plastic lunchbox and charging $10...


    That's all true for the Disney Bear and Disney's "Duffelganger" Duffy which is really the Disney Bear with a stolen name, but that doesn't describe Duffy at all. The Disney Bear design was probably created exactly the way you said (though there is something special about the proportions), but the decisions and care that the Oriental Land Company have invested in Duffy embody the faith of true believers in what Disney has the potential to be and what Disney magic is supposed to mean, because that's precisely who they are.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Seawolf View Post
    I'm glad you brought up the Country Bears because those are a prime example of characters that weren't related to a movie yet were still very popular with guests and had great artistic design and personality.
    The revised Japanaese design has both artistic integrity and wide appeal, and the Japanese Duffy has loads of personality.

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    Actually.... he started out at WDW before he was send overseas as just "The Disney Bear." He was a flop back there so they sent him packing. Once he went to Japan, they gave him a name, a back story and.... the rest is history... over there. Once he became such a hit over there, with people in this country paying big bucks on eBay to have one, the bean counters thought that maybe now that he had a following they brought him back...
    To suggest for a moment that Duffy is still the same old Disney Bear is like saying that Buffy the series is the same as Buffy the film. Sure, there are lots of similarities in the humor, but you didn't really notice there was so much potential for genuine heart, authentic investigation of the human spirit and deep storytelling until the series kicked down the door.

    The key difference between Duffy and Buffy, though, is that the people who actually created the version of Duffy that works are unfortunately not the same people who created and hold the rights to the failed initial concept of the Disney Bear. So, Disney can run its Disney Bear sham all it wants, but please don't believe that has anything to do with OLC's Duffy, who is the real deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    I think what Duffy fans there are here just like him not because of his story per se, but because he is cute, and there is a segment of the population that will love him just because he's "Disney" and he's soft and cute. Doesn't matter that he doesn't have a real "personality" or much of a history, all we need is cute and a connection to Disney. (And yup... thats pretty much why I like him.)
    Well, thankfully, that's not actually true of all Duffy fans, even in America; not that you are a fan, as you said. I think many Duffy fans are truly inspired by the message, and Duffy absolutely has one.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiGonJ View Post
    Well, to give Duffy his due, check this out (It's a Micechat thread):
    The story of Duffy the Disney Bear, with pictures.

    The US parks would do well to bring that storybook over, if they haven't already, IMO.

    I'm not that sold on him myself, but I do not see him as being of the devil either. I woulda voted had there been a "he's okay" option.
    Again, shame. That really would have been a nice option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    ...And though the average guest doesn't know/understand about Duffy's origins, even if you just see him in the park, isn't he all about giving you a big hug? At least, he was last year. I don't know about you, but I can sometimes use a hug.
    I am ever more glad you're here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    He's also supposed to be about taking him places and taking pictures with/of him. I think that may appeal to the Japanese more than Americans...here he seems to be pretty much a child's toy (and a pricey one at that). I'm not sure if that's something Disney can remedy, though, given cultural differences...
    They could have tried, I think. They could have made a genuine, wholehearted, full-throated effort to honor the work done by Japanese creators and fans to make their discarded trash into a shining example of the power and potential of love-infused character and product design. If they had tried and failed, I'd care. But most of the people who don't get or respect Duffy are hearing the Walt Disney Company's message loud and clear...and accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    (Duffy is also full of Mickeys, hidden and not...the soles of his feet have mouse ears and even his face is a "hidden" Mickey.)

    QuiGonJ, Disney recently "wrote" their "own" story...they basically rewrote/tweaked the Japanese one, but said they were "inspired" by it. Most folks on the Duffy sub-forum say the changes are not for the better (in fact, "gutted" the Japanese story is how a lot of us see it).
    Absolutely. The US book is hacked rubbish, a shadow of someone else's creative endeavor. It really pushes Mickey and Minnie closer to the center, which I don't actually like. It implies that Duffy isn't a character in his own right, that he's just a "sidekick" to Mickey, which is sorely not the case. It is an empty and discarded shell, but if you listen close enough and choose to believe, you can fool yourself into hearing the ocean. Disney just makes me so angry! You want to love Duffy, because you understand. You feel something, you connect to something. Yet you know they don't really honor that. Yet you don't want the character to fail just because they don't care. Yet you don't want to financially support what they're doing, even though they also clearly send the message that you'll never get what you really want unless you do. But will they ever really care? Is that day really coming, or is it just good money after bad, the fool who keeps gambling for more of the same sense of loss? Why can't Disney just love him as much as fans do? He's so fluffing loveable.

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfblat View Post
    You've missed the point of the complaints. Duffy has no defined character and no real story other than the flimsiest of premises that sounds like it was tacked on as quickly and with little thought as possible after the fact.

    It isn't that Duffy has no movie tie ins, it is that Duffy is a sterile piece of merchandise with no soul.

    And you are correct, there is no real difference between Duffy and the bland and overpriced food at the parks.
    It's true. Someone has missed the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiGonJ View Post
    I knew there was something different/diluted about the American version, thanks for bringing that up, but that's why I showed the original Japanese storybook. Other than some American marketing exec wanting to justify their existence, why didn't they just use what was working already and run with it?
    The latest rumor is that the Oriental Land Company refused to just hand it over. It looks like Disney thought, "Meh, why pay you when we can just chop your story into bits, take what we need, and our idiot flock of followers will fall in line and buy what we tell 'em to." None of the people who really understand and care about Duffy don't see this, but none of what Disney is doing is Duffy's fault.

    Of course another alternative for the American storybook might have been an all-new Duffy adventure, filled with heart, soul and creativity. Oh, wait, I must have fallen asleep and started dreaming...

    Quote Originally Posted by FigmentJedi View Post
    Anime is just a Japanese term for all animation. It's only international distributors that turned it into a trendy label for Japan's stuff.

    Tom and Jerry and Disney are among the most popular "anime" in Japan and much of the modern styles we see evolved from the works of Osamu Tezuka, who himself was a huge Disney fan, friend of Walt and took a lot of inspiration from old Disney cartoons and Carl Barks comics.
    While it's true that the word "anime" does just mean "animation" in Japanese and in Japan, it's equally true that all over the world, outside of Japan, the word "anime" is used to describe a distinctly Japanese style of animation, often even if that animation was produced elsewhere. An example of this is the American/Korean "anime" Avatar: the Last Airbender. I think it's good and right to use the word in this way outside of Japan, and for Japanese to use it in this way when speaking English, as they often do.

    As for Osamu Tezuka, man, did he get taken for a ride by Disney! Can you imagine what would have happened had he ever blatantly stolen from a Disney property the way Disney hacked Tezuka's classic work Kimba the White Lion as a template to make The Lion King? And to have the gall to say they had "never even heard of" the creator of Atom/Astro Boy?!? Oh, man... Either they're shamefully unaware of the history of their industry and craft, or they've got a boldness that falls into contempt. I'm gonna bet on the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    Ah! See I knew that the term "anime" was a shortened name for animation in Japan, but I thought it was also, and more accurately, the name of a style of animation (Sailor Moon et al) that was indigenous to Japan. I thought anime was also the style of Japanese animation, and the manga books were comic books made in the anime style...
    Yeah, that's so.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by LilTeacup View Post
    Nothing looks good compared to the Fab Five...
    Honestly, I think the Duffy in the Tokyo artwork stands shoulder to shoulder with the Fab Five, the Illustrious Eight (when we include Daisy and the 'Munks), and every character in the history of character design.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by LilTeacup View Post
    ...He may not have the strongest personality at US parks, but Tokyo has given this bear more personality than most people I encounter everyday...
    Tee-hee...

    Quote Originally Posted by LilTeacup View Post
    I strongly recommend those who are confused with Duffy's purpose to look at Duffy's story, which can be found at a fellow Micechatter's blog: DuffyClo: Stories.
    Thanks for the plug.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by LilTeacup View Post
    But the story isn't where his personality comes from; it's the fans. Fans make the rockstar, so of course they make Duffy who he is today.
    And there it is.^^
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 10-22-2011 at 08:46 AM.

  15. #45

    • Senior Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    8,890

    Re: Duffy the Disney Bear - A Shameless Cash In?

    ^ Kudos for an eloquent post that truly calls it like it is. Although I'm not a Duffy fan, I am appalled by the lack of creative investment that Disney has displayed in importing him from Japan. Their M.O. has been shameful -- and as DuffyDaisuki has pointed out, not because of their legitimate desire for a profit, but because with Duffy they abandoned the creative attributes that made Disney what it is (or rather, what it was), and instead have acted like any cheap toy importer.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 123456 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Chat] Best outfits for Duffy The Disney Bear
    By MikkiMausu99 in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 114
    Last Post: 01-09-2010, 03:45 PM
  2. [Pictures] The story of Duffy the Disney Bear, with pictures.
    By gurgi in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-29-2009, 07:12 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •