I feel as if some people are missing the point:
Yes, the Disney Bear was created in an American park and flopped. The Disney Bear then crossed the pond to Japan and gained a back story and the name of "Duffy". Those confused with his name should realize that this was created by the Japanese. This is a very Japanese sounding name for a cutesy character. He became the face of DisneySea, complimenting Mickey and Tinkerbell, the faces of TDS.
He is not soulless in Japan. He is not without a back story, point, or purpose. The fact that he is the face of a theme park makes him important. The personality comes through how the fans choose to style him. He is a very rich and important character in Japan.
To write off the entirety of Duffy-dom as uninspired is, to me, ignorant. Yes, in DL and DCA he is poorly handled. However, do not let that poor handling lead you to believe that he has always been a "shameless cash in."