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  1. #16

    • Future Indy Castmember
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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by rage View Post
    Thank you so much for the Duffy thread, Malin. I was getting really hot and bothered by some of the trolls over on the Disneyland Resort forums.

    I have an idea. Why don't we have a Duffy meet up? Everyone could come to DCA with their Duffy and have a day with all the Micechat Duffy fans. We could all take a group picture with Duffy at his meet and greet and really show that there are people willing to show support for the little guy. Plus I would imagine people seeing a group of Duffy fans will encourage them to buy their own! Maybe this would get TDA rolling the ball on him. Just a thought... comments?

    And and I love the Valentines day Duffy, I must get it for my girlfriend!
    I would love to do a Duffy meet!



    Duffeteer Society of Tenders, Artists & Romantics
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  2. #17

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I for one have never heard of duffy till I got on here. (being from australia maybe a reason for that!) but once I saw him and read his story of how the bear came about, he has become one of my top must haves when I visit HKDL next year. I think its his story that makes him so special and that needs to be put out there more - as dustysage says its about a connection. And I cant wait to get my Duffy and bring him home to Oz where he can have some more adventures!!

  3. #18

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    re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I took these images from a thread DuffyDaisuki posted on. But these give you characiture images of all the costumes coming outin the States for the 17 inch Duffy Bear. The second image is for the 12 inch Duffy Bears that come with the costume already attached.




  4. #19

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    Thank you Malin for starting this thread! I was really getting anoyed by the thread in the DLR forum! So many people hating and even flat out insulting Duffy fans, it's nice to have a place where we can talk about him freely without confrontation from other members.
    Its a shame many hold such a negative view on Duffy. Its a great product and I know it does have fans. I only hope Disney will give it time and the support the product so it becomes a suscess. Its a refreshing alternative all Pin Trading and Vinylmation stuff. Hope many will join us on here.

    I think Dusty brings up some great ideas. As far as I'm concern its not a question if Duffy can be suscessful, but if Disney Stateside can make the right decisions to make him a suscess. Its up to Disney and at the moment I'm not too confident in its marketing.

    One idea I would implement right away is a Duffy website. I would include his backstory and list of merchandise and meet & greet details. Then I would have it placed as a banner on both the WDW and DLR websites. Most people visit the Disney website before visiting a park. So this would be a great way to introduce the character.

  5. #20

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I'm definitely down for a Duffy meet at DCA. :0

    here's my bear! photo.JPG
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  6. #21

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by MatterhornJ View Post
    I'm definitely down for a Duffy meet at DCA. :0

    here's my bear! photo.JPG
    Your bears clothes is tempting me to go to TDS!



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  7. #22

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    Our friend Duffy is being used for all promotional artwork on a one off merchandise event for WDW. Love is Magical will take place at the Wonders Pavilion on the 5th of Febuary 2011.


    Guests of all ages are invited to attend a magical event filled with love, trading and desserts at Love Is Magical on February 5, 2011.
    This ticketed event will be held at the Wonders Pavilion in Epcot® from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Event admission is $50 per guest.



    EVENT ADMISSION INCLUDES:
    First opportunity to pre-purchase limited edition items via a random selection process.
    Enjoy a delicious dessert buffet (menu to be posted soon)
    Receive three (3) coupons for themed trading activities and games.
    A limited edition commemorative pin.
    Opportunity to participate in a silent auction containing unique and collectible items.
    Opportunity to meet Product Developers and Artists from Disney Theme Park Merchandise.
    The Duffy Facebook page has some images of the pins.

    http://fb.disneyparks.com/media/0273...3363.share.jpg

    http://fb.disneyparks.com/media/0273...3363.share.jpg

    Sounds like this could be a great opportunity to pick up some unique Duffy pins. Anyone planning to attend?

  8. #23

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I would love some of those pins! Too bad it's a WDW event, but I will be picking up the upcoming Duffy pins being released in a few weeks.
    \Duffy, the Disney Bear
    Mickey with Duffy, the Disney Bear
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  9. #24

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by MatterhornJ View Post
    I'm definitely down for a Duffy meet at DCA. :0

    here's my bear! photo.JPG

    awww that's the outfit i want most from TDS!!!

  10. #25

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I really feel Disney chose the absolute worst time to release Duffy! As the park is right now, there is no way to promote him! The park is in a middle of expansion and most guests don't even want to head over to DCA and go to Disneyland instead! You can't even feature Duffy in any shows or parades because all venue space is taken up, and he wouldn't fit in PPP. I think they should have release Duffy AFTER the expansion was over! It would have been a more comfortable environment and would change the park's perspective. They could have included him in a marketing campaign to promote the new changes and release costumes with the new attractions! The job they're doing right now to get the word out is very poor, but Duffy IS here to stay contrary to popular belief and they can really use him as a tool to promote the new park's direction! Just an idea!

  11. #26

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I just saw this on the TDS website! It looks really cute! It's a handmade Duffy for 2011. It looks a little different, but so cute! It'll cost you a lot though! 14,000 yen!($166) thats way too much! LOL. Can anyone else translate what it says? Is there anything else special about this Duffy?

  12. #27

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureImagineer183 View Post
    I just saw this on the TDS website! It looks really cute! It's a handmade Duffy for 2011. It looks a little different, but so cute! It'll cost you a lot though! 14,000 yen!($166) thats way too much! LOL. Can anyone else translate what it says? Is there anything else special about this Duffy?
    I was just coming to post this (LINK to official site, "Year Duffy" formerly known as "New Year Collection Doll"). These Duffys have been released annually after Christmas since 2007. They are considerably smaller than normal Duffys - about a quarter the size - handmade, numbered, and I imagine highly collectible, though I've never met anyone who has one or seen one firsthand. This year marks the first time that this information was posted on the official site prior to release, and also the first time we see the traditional Duffy colorway, although a bit yellow. Previous versions are:

    2007: Chocolate
    2008: Pink
    2009: Blue
    2010: White

    The Blue and White versions look especially cute together, as can be seen on this BLOG.

    This year's, with its "Classic Duffy" color scheme is the first one I'd really want, but sadly, I can't afford it at the moment. It really is a shame; even the ribbon is the classic color. This actually makes me really very sad. I had been kinda waiting for this...

    Anybody wanna buy some Japan-only TRON goods to fund my "Collection Duffy?"

    It's nice to see so many people active in here. I loved Dustysage's strategy, which is in line with what I've always said worked in Tokyo and that the US needs in order to succeed. Japanese people created an emotional culture first, that OLC reflected with their marketing strategy. The fanbase was there before they noticed they had a hit! If WDC wants to repeat this, they definitely need a website that gives the character a home and position in the Disney mythos. "Cape Cod is Duffy's hometown" took on a whole new meaning once the storybook with fresh, location-specific artwork was released and the official site was redesigned. In order to have that kind of success, he needs the same sense of a "home abroad" in the other parks. I also think it would help if there was an international home, the "Friend/ship" boat for Duffy fans to meet globally. They need to be doing photo contests and publicizing fan involvement. They should NOT have missed the opportunity with TRON, a film whose costumes are at the center of what a lot of fans love about it (and the forefront of design technology). They need someone at the helm who actually, sincerely loves the character and can envision his future. This, really, is the main problem, I think. There needs to be a clear vision based on a deep love. That's how characters come to life.

    I agree with you on the timing, FutureImagineer. For all the attempt at fanfare, the Duffy release not being linked to anything fans already know or care about was probably lost on most people.

    More than anything in the thread so far, I would reemphasize what Dustysage said: too much product with no demand = failure. Both literally, and in the all-important hearts and minds of fans/consumers.

    My marketing vision for Duffy would have included guest designs from some of the many artists working in the designer toy industry, and perhaps even brands and fashion designers if they'd do it. I'd paint him as a superstar - an adventurer and a supermodel. Fashion needs to be part of who Duffy is if they wanna sell clothes. Exactly like Dusty said here and as I've said before, the costumes need to be tied to something in order to succeed. In Tokyo, they're tied to park events and seasons, and only once to a particular story (Sweet Duffy). That only works here, though, because Duffy is truly a superstar on par with the Mouse himself for Japanese TDR fans. In the US, I think it would be better for each outfit to come with a charmingly illustrated, charmingly produced storybook (or at least release simultaneously). The stories themed to park events, like FutureImagineer envisions, would be wise. And seeing the stories come to life as free animated webisodes on the main Duffy site would be a given. Obviously, this only works if, as Malin suggests, WDC actually has people in planning and promotion who are doing more than their jobs - who actually believe in "birthing" a character.

    Duffy could be and should be every Disney park fan's "park buddy." Using the "Pal Mickey" technology and the only centralized official message boards for global Disney park visitors and keeping all that cross-cultural community energy centered on the character could skyrocket him into something really incredible. Dumbing him down as a toddler and presenting him - once again - just as something to buy, because, "Hey, he's cool in Japan" was not really the way to go. Duffy is magical, not juvenile. There are some fundamental problems of perception among the decision makers, I think, that are limiting his potential.

  13. #28

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    Red Face Epic Post...Someone shoulda pointed me at this topic sooner. I may edit later.

    This will surely be my longest post ever. I’ll just say that up front, so there’s no need to discuss it later. If you don’t like long posts, skip this one. Seriously, it's looong.

    Also, I’ll be double posting in the Disneyland Resort thread and the new Duffy thread in the Collectibles forum. I think now that the conversation has shifted (appropriately) to the Collectibles area. However, I’m quoting a lot of folks here whose responses to this post might go against the terms of service as antagonizing in that thread, and I don’t wish to silence them by hiding somewhere they can’t see what I wrote or feel free to respond as they wish.

    Let me also say at the outset, that I am personally, as a HUGE and committed Duffy fan, very grateful to every poster in this topic. I think that exactly, precisely this conversation, with all of its viewpoints is a necessary part of Duffy reaching his full potential, as well as being what Duffy is all about. My excitement is immense to see so many people reacting, no matter the reaction.

    Let me also start by introducing my old translation of the unabridged Duffy storybook from Japan. It’s not clear to me how many Japanese fans have actually read the story in its entirety, but it showed in the work of “Team Duffy” throughout 2008 and 2009 that they believed in it. Duffy fans (Janell, flylikadove22, Kritter, MatterhornJ, Dustysage, FutureImagineer183…) have likely already read this in one of my earlier posts or on my blog, but it may help others understand more about Duffy’s very apparent-but-not-overly-pinned-down personality. Then again, it may not. I have always thought that Duffy has a “get it or don’t” element that is one of the things that makes him so unique and special, particularly in the context of corporate Disney’s “play it safe by the numbers for the masses” approach to character. Duffy, even in Tokyo, grew from a grassroots “underground” support of a product to the phenomenon we know now, and it took several years, not a few months.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy Daddy View Post
    …What story? I am a huge Disney fan. Been to DLR 6 times this year with another visit coming up in a couple of weeks despite living 7 hours away by car and I have seen no Duffy nor a Duffy "story". I visit various Disney related sites both official company sites and ones like MC...never seen a Duffy "story."

    So as to the topic of the thread...Duffy (IMO) doesn't appear to be popular because for even many of the more fanitical fans, let a lone the casual park visitor, he is an unknown who appears to be nothing more than a shameless attempt to sell a common Teddy Bear at inflated prices because he is possibly maybe kinda sort of related/attached to a Disney character. Apparently their "word of mouth" marketing ploy isn't spreading as well as they'd hoped. It's cool that you like the character and buy the stuff, power to you, free country and all that, but since the thread is about if he is popular or not, I say he doesn't seem to be...otherwise I would think I would have seen him around or at least know more about him by now.
    GoofyDaddy, this is for you:^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear of Happiness & Luck, original English translation by DuffyDaisuki
    Duffy

    The Bear of Happiness & Luck

    One day, as Mickey was about to set sail for one of his long adventures, Minnie thought he should have a special keepsake to remind him how much he was loved while he was out at sea. Mickey is Minnie’s favorite mouse, so she gave him a teddy bear she had hand-made with her whole heart. Minnie wrote a rosy “Bon Voyage!” message and carefully dropped it into a small glass bottle. She gently tied the little bottle round the bear’s petite neck, capped it with a cork and sealed it with a kiss for luck. Voila!

    Minnie presented the bear to Mickey at the pier by the old lighthouse on a blustery day. Mickey smiled brightly, and placed the teddy lovingly into his duffel bag. “I’ll call you Duffy!” And the two were off to begin a wonder-full journey.

    One night out at sea, Mickey was dog-tired from navigating all day. He decided to go to bed early and fell fast asleep.Duffy appeared in Mickey’s dream, wearing a sailor’s uniform and smiling. The happy little bear opened Minnie’s message in the bottle and showed it to Mickey:

    DEAR MICKEY,
    THIS BEAR IS MEANT TO BRING YOU LOTS OF HAPPINESS AND LUCK.
    LOVE,
    Minnie

    Mickey smiled in his sleep, and awoke feeling totally reenergized and cheerful.

    Mysteriously, upon waking, Mickey found Minnie’s message in his own hand! But he was sure that it had been in the bottle and sealed tight when he fell asleep! Not only that, but somehow Duffy had got dressed and was wearing the very same sailor’s uniform from the dream!

    When Mickey returned home from his voyage, he told Minnie and his friends about his surprising and inspiriting dream come true. They all agreed, but Goofy said it best: “Gawrsh, that Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!”

    Everyone wanted one of Minnie’s special Duffy bears. So she did her best to make them, one by one, for all of her friends. The waiting list was so long; Duffy was just too popular! There were too many orders, and Minnie couldn’t keep up. So her friends said, “We’ll help, Minnie!” And they all worked together, Minnie and all of her friends, making the lovely teddy bears. Each one charmed with a message in a bottle from the heart – we can’t forget that!

    A lot of people love Duffy now… From children to princesses, to adventurers and explorers like Mickey. Everyone feels happier when Duffy’s around! People especially love taking photos with Duffy. They say when anyone sees these pictures, the smiles in the portrait overflow to the viewer! When snapping photographs of cherished memories, you always find your warmest, brightest smile when you’re with the bear of happiness and luck!

    There’s even a rumor that sometimes you can find Duffy by himself, strolling along the pier in his sailor uniform, perhaps returning from his own adventures… But how can this be?! He’s just a teddy bear, right? Nobody understands it, but you should try to meet him yourself! Can you think of a new adventure for you and Duffy? Then you’ll be saying, too, “That Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!”
    *the word choices are my own, as is natural with any localization of translated work, and I chose to have Goofy speak the line, “That Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!” to create impact at the end of the story, but with these two caveats in mind, this translation is an accurate picture of the charm and heart of the original Japanese version.

    Here’s the neutered US version, courtesy Duffy’s official Facebook page. I know that the Japanese version of the story tagged on the dolls is also truncated, but in the US, no larger version even exists so far, officially:

    Quote Originally Posted by Facebook
    The Story of Duffy The Disney Bear:
    One day, Mickey Mouse was getting ready to set sail on a long sea voyage. Minnie Mouse made him a special teddy bear to take with him so he would never be lonely. Minnie presented her hand sewn bear to Mickey in a duffel bag. Mickey loved the bear and named him Duffy.

    As Mickey and Duffy sailed on their journey, they visited all sorts of exciting places and make new friends along the way. At the end of their travels, they sailed back home for a wonderful reunion with Minnie.

    Mickey and Duffy shared their magical memories and photos with Minnie, who was thrilled that Duffy was such a great friend and companion for Mickey.

    Bring Duffy Along:
    Minnie Mouse has made dozens more plush bears, just like Duffy, so you will be able take him on your adventures throughout Disney destinations around the world and beyond. Try taking a picture with your Duffy in front of your favorite Disney attractions, restaurants, shows or experiences.

    Are you planning a trip to an exciting destination or perhaps just sightseeing in your backyard? Take Duffy along with you to capture memories of your adventures with him.

    Is there someone you know who is far away? Send them Duffy so, like Mickey, they will be reminded how much they are loved at home.

    Where will you take your Duffy?
    Duffy’s magical message-in-a-bottle is gone. His ability to travel through dreams vanishes. His mysterious power to come to life on his own seems implied more heavily to Minnie than in the original, rather than love’s unexplainable (and brilliantly unstated! – you either get it or you don’t!^^) power to transform. With the release of Shellie May and My Friend Duffy, Minnie’s role has felt stronger in Tokyo, too, and demand, though still booming, has fallen with overexposure and wider availability. Takara/Disney’s cannibalizing “Cuddly Bear” and “Minnie Couture” projects don’t help much, and effectively take away from the specialness of both Duffy and Shellie May. Disney UniBEARsity, despite all my hopes, is a sad, sick joke…but it will probably make a lot of money here. All of these work in Japan because of Japan’s affinity for “cute for cute’s sake,” but Duffy was never about Minnie’s “strange new power to make living dolls.” What made it work, initially, is that the Disney characters themselves were surprised and fascinated (like the public), but fans understood – what animated Duffy was love itself, deeply expressed from the heart. Duffy was also presented as a plucky and playful adventurer himself, who goes where he pleases on his own voyages. Now, Duffy is very clearly presented as Mickey’s tagalong, which besides being boring, leads very quickly to the thought “not mine.” The original author of the Tokyo story had a brilliant solution – make it clear that every Duffy, including yours, is Duffy and every Duffy is unique while at the same time, still Duffy. Instead, we are now just all supposed to want to carry around Mickey’s bear. That’s (part) of what didn’t work for the Disney Bear, and it’s not working here. Finally, instead of showing us ways Duffy creates connections with people through a charming story, they just switch to “marketing mode” and tell us what to do. Nobody likes that.

    I disagree with those who think the solution is to associate Duffy and Mickey more strongly. In fact, I think it’s the opposite. Duffy needs to be a character in his own right, and not the “idiot child” version we see in the My Friend Duffy show in Tokyo. Duffy is a fashionable adventurer, stylish and daring, magical and mysterious, the bear of happiness and luck…and love. Classic Duffy is full of both personality and that rare quality called “Disney magic.” All those people who feel Duffy has no personality – that’s not Duffy’s fault; it’s Disney’s. This makes me even more convinced of my old suspicions that the new stories (Happiness & Luck and Sweet Duffy) and the year of incredible costumes (2008-9) were engineered by a Japanese team, or at least a different team than whomever’s steering the boat now. Duffy looks more and more like the Disney Bear (even in Tokyo), and fans of Duffy have no one to blame for that except Disney. I totally get where the naysayers are coming from.

    But in fact, Duffy is the redemption of that worthless and insulting marketing gimmick, not its continuation, and nothing Disney does to ruin that is gonna change my mind. The failure of the Disney Bear (which really was nothing more than likely an hour or two of design once the basic concept sparked) was reborn like a phoenix in the hands of a design team who very clearly LOVED what they were doing with Duffy. I wish these people were also clearly being given credit for their inspired and inspiring work. What they did was not only genius, it was brave and bold! From the new story and its incredible artwork to the Photo Points and Meet & Greets and Sweet Duffy campaigns in the parks to the photo contests and “Duffy Stories” from fans (that are still part of the Japanese site) to the amazingly high quality official costumes to, of course, the unprecedented and unpredictable enthusiasm of all the fantastically skilled fans who made a BOOMING cottage industry of Duffy clothes on Yahoo! Auctions Japan, Duffy really did Bring Love. At every level, it was a character full of heart and soul that was – not in some imaginary on-screen way – but quite literally, connecting people. We were all working together to breathe the character to life...and it worked! Disney magic in the real world!

    The fact that when Minnie (Disney) made Duffy she had no idea that he would come to life is a crucial element of the story for me, as is the fact that later the Duffys were mass produced by friends working together not to make money, but because they all actually wanted one themselves and the only way it could happen is by pitching in together to share the work. All this is lost in even the new version of the US story. What Duffy did in transforming the Disney Bear concept was much like his own transformation into a mysteriously living being in the story, and for me he will always be full of the promise that Disney as a brand, a company, and a concept still means “a place where artists create magic and wonder to inspire us to dream,” even when they start with banal directives from a bean counter. Mickey can’t even do this for me. It is shocking, inspiring, and beautiful…and no one could have engineered it. That’s Disney’s real problem – they can’t make it happen; they can only properly plant the seeds and nurture them to let it happen. In Japan, it happened because people were genuinely excited and working together for something that made them happy. It took a lot of love, and a healthy dose of luck. For me, watching just what’s happened during the past two years has felt like nurturing the birth and growth of a very special character who represents, simultaneously, everything offensive about Disney and everything I want it to be. I would love to see Duffy’s success in America exactly because it would be so surprising – it would mean that we are far less cynical and prone to violence, far more comfortable laughing at ourselves, and far more quick to embrace love than I often fear we have become. It is true that it takes a very special, and probably, sadly, very rare kind of heart to accept even the fundamental elements of the Duffenomenon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    ...Interesting so it seems Duffy as a walk around character doesn't have much appeal. But people are still into the merchandise.

    It does seem like something needs to be done in order for the audience to fall in love with Duffy. What Disney seems to have done up to now doesn't appear to be working. A mickey and Duffy photo location like you say would draw people to him via Mickey.
    See above. I really believe that the problem is deeper than “throw Mickey at it.” It seems like the people calling the shots are only in it to sell merchandise, which severely limits any long-term broader appeal. Characters need love. If they don’t “get it” or they don’t feel excited about it, how can they sell it? Seems obvious. You can’t fake genuine enthusiasm, and there is no other reason to spend hard earned money on a character except that we genuinely connect with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    A big reason Duffy sales are so good in Tokyo is because of the frequent costume releases. I'm not sure how Disney is handling the costume releases but it really needs to support all new merchandise releases or Guests may not realise new lines are available to purchase. Disneyland like Tokyo Disneyland depends on repeat Guests much more than say WDW for instance. Could the reason for the slump in sales be because of a lack of newer merchandise?...
    Of course this is part of the problem! In Tokyo, and even on MiceChat’s TDR boards, there is always some new release to anticipate. Something is always happening. There can be speculation, criticism, dreaming… With the US launch, they seem to have released all the costumes they ever plan to right away, on the cheap and with no story (although the EPCOT/world traveler attempt was headed in the right direction). The lack of expense/investment speaks volumes to the much-more-critical/skeptical-than-Japanese consumer who is not interested in buying a product the manufacturer/seller clearly doesn’t believe in/use. The Duffy release looks like it’s “testing the water” rather than confidently offering you a treat. As Dustysage has said elsewhere, each costume ought to be tied, a la Teddy Ruxpin, to a particular story and available for a limited time at a particular location. Duffy didn’t take “a couple of years” to blow up in Tokyo; the “Disney Bear” arrived in 2004 and became Duffy in 2005, clearly blossoming in 2008 with the Sweet Duffy campaign. As Dusty also rightly said, too much product and self-produced hype creates an impression of failed attempt, which leaves distaste for both the product and its seller. But again, this is not Duffy’s fault, but Disney’s. In Japan, he is an overwhelming success, and, as he should be, the embodiment of the Disney park fan experience – at this point – more than any other character. If he fails in the US, it is not because Duffy failed to transform the “Disney Bear” gimmick, it is because Disney failed to notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by ICe101 View Post
    Duffy was implemented horribly compared to Hong Kong Disneyland. Hong Kong Disneyland jump started him with TV Ads, and continued to weave him into the Holiday theme. He is also a major part of the Christmas lighting ceremony.
    I couldn’t agree more. It really is a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    Great observations. And I'm starting to realise maybe we expecting to much to soon. Going back to the old days in Tokyo before he became a hit. Duffy start was a slow one. It took time for word to get out. Hearing about Guests between the ages of 5 year olds to 70 year olds walking around with Duffy's is a step in the right direction. How many more people will accept and want a Duffy once seeing other people walking around with them. Thanks for sharing.
    For me, too, this is inspiring. Don’t give up!^^ The Duffy phenomenon, even in Japan, has always reminded me of Anton Ego’s review at the end of Ratatouille – to date, my favorite Pixar and one of my all-time faves:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anton Ego, from RATATOUILLE
    In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new; an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook". But I realize — only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
    The reason this works so well in the film is that it wasn’t just a tacked on moment; it was part of the underlying themes that held the film together. It wasn’t just clever packaging. The current US Duffy (and increasingly, the Tokyo Duffy, too) is more a repackaging of the Disney Bear rather than an actual Duffy launch. Duffy’s primary themes are: love, self-awareness and community connection, magic and mystery, fashion and photography, traveling and adventure, happiness and luck. Without those elements in clear focus, what you have is not Duffy. In Japan, the fans put these elements in place with their interactions with the Disney Bear BEFORE “Duffy” was ever officially launched or that storybook existed.

    The Ego review so clearly expresses how I have felt about Duffy since Day 1. It was designer toys (and post-rave aesthetic) that brought me to Duffy and Duffy that brought me to the parks. Before Duffy and getting into the park experience, I actually hated Disney as a company. I saw it as a serial abuser to artists who married young and committed years, believing someday their prince would come. I saw it as commoditizing real human emotions and ambitions and selling people fantasies to make them to docile to actually chase their own dreams. My time at MiceChat has been a revelation for me, which never would have happened had I continued thinking “all those Disney fans are a bunch of freaks and sheep who waste their money on a corporation hell-bent on exploiting the human heart for profit,” as I used to. Thanks to this community, I have restored a love for a truly American pioneer in Walt Disney, and a very reluctant pride in Disney as a global arthouse from America. While there are still many things about the man himself and the corporate empire his company has become that I absolutely abhor, Walt Disney’s vision and commitment are still alive and well in many of the artists still working at Disney; and this legacy is inspiration worth holding onto and celebrating. As always, thank you MiceChat…and Duffy.

    Quote Originally Posted by noleafclover1980 View Post
    Duffy just seems the the most transparent attempt at shilling merch ever. Like there was a brainstorming session that got lazy and someone just said "How about a Teddy Bear that really isn't any different then any other Teddy Bear out there, and we will make up some BS about it being Mickey's? That way we can charge more for it"
    Quote Originally Posted by wulfblat View Post
    Bingo. Duffy is a soulless product plopped out the back side of Disney marketing in the hopes of reaping quick and cheap profits.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrMemory View Post
    Yeah, it just totally escapes me how someone can be a "fan" of a characterless generic teddy bear launched in such a blatantly shilling, and totally non-creative, way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hank Hill View Post
    I couldn't agree more. I laughed out loud when I first heard about this gimmick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy Daddy View Post
    Awesome, so put a Mickey mark on a Teddy Bear and suddenly ordinary becomes amazing and worthy of resort prices…
    Again, that was the Disney Bear. Duffy is the redemption of this, and quite successful in Japan. I can see why Disney wouldn’t play it that way, though.

    I understand exactly where you’re coming from, but you’re wrong. You might not be wrong about Disney, but you’re wrong about Duffy. He is – precisely and by design – the absolute opposite of exactly this. Duffy is for the Disney park experience and park merchandising what Epic Mickey promised to be for Mickey Mouse. He is unlocking the past and liberating the future. Still, I think you’d be right to say that Disney continues to fail to understand that. Fans know.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Ummmmm, No View Post
    Internally, he hasn't been successful enough. It's kind of a sad joke at this point.
    If things don't (drastically) change soon, Duffy will almost completely disappear within the coming months.
    I guess we'll see. Either way, Duffy and the fans win. Better official support is awesome, but underground fandom is fun, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by matterhornlove31 View Post
    I love Duffy. When I first went, I figured he was a marketing ploy to get people to buy super expensive teddy bears, a la Build-A-Bear. But then I really liked taking pics with the bear. He throws kisses, loves to hug and because there are so little people (sadly) he gives the individuals extra attention. Although I wouldn't buy a 30 dollar teddy bear, I really like the character being there.
    I like him being there enough to spend way more than thirty dollars, and I appreciate you not judging/labeling/attacking/lynching me for it. I think fandom’s always better without schisms. Especially with the Disney fanbase, I can’t understand why someone who feels totally comfortable to join a chat community to talk about cartoons, plastic toys and pin collecting suddenly draws the line at a teddy bear character and everybody who likes it…???

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    The duff clothes are cheap quality here. On the other hand Build a Bear in DTD has a much wider selection of clothes, and they often will add new clothes, in much higher quality. PLUS you have the choice of selecting your own critter, stuffing it, adding a heart and a wish, fluffing it, and dressing it exactly as you want, naming it, and giving it a birth certificate. It a much more personal experience for the kids (yeah, and adults) than duff bear. Disney's delivery of this twice born bear has failed for a 2nd time...
    As I said repeatedly when I heard about the US launch, EPCOT should have offered a “Minnie’s Co-op Workshop” experience where fans could actually build their own Duffys, complete with certificates, hearts, and (perhaps) limited seasonal offerings of the old rainbow assorted colors. This would have built on the Tokyo story rather than hacking it (and also presented a bonafide destination for many Japanese fans), and it would make a lot more sense to American consumers whose plush expectations are far more influenced by the Build-A-Bear experience than the Japanese. I’m sure Build-A-Bear Japan is actually deeply grateful for Duffy’s existence and prays for his continued success. This concept could have even paved the way for design contests, with winners receiving a free trip to Disney World and their costumes made and sold for a limited time. *sigh* I wish this was my ship to sail… Shellie May would have a story, too, and her heart-shell would mean something. Alas…

    Quote Originally Posted by Mousecat View Post
    …People just don't want to take the time to read a bunch of boards to learn who this character is. The crowds are bigger at the carnival games on the pier. I would agree with the others that they would need to put up a show or ads on TV to suck the little ones in. For the most part, I have only seen him taking photos with adults…
    I also completely disagree with the idea of Duffy on the Disney Channel or in any media outside of park property. “Sucking little ones in” is not what I hope Duffy is about and being perceived that way will not endear what is basically an overly branded generic emblem to anyone. Duffy being a badge of the theme park experience is the BIGGEST unique feature of the character. That’s his trump card. When we see him outside the parks, we think instantly of the parks (and everything we associate with that) because that is the ONLY place he’s available. Just like the skyline at WDW, nothing else gets in to break our dream or interfere with the image. Mickey’s oversaturation makes this impossible for him. For Duffy, this is an incredible power. For Disney, if managed well, it could be a powerful opportunity. I smile every time I see Duffy out and about around Tokyo, which is at least ten times a day. While I doubt American Duffy fans can be relied on for the level of constant free advertising that Tokyo fans provide, I still believe that any of this media stuff needs to be available only in the parks and on the official park sites. That said, a webisode series is a good idea. I think Dustysage or Malin said that, too, and I concur. I also think, as we’ll get to later, that a global “social networking” site of Duffy fans is a great idea. If people had other ways to interact with fans around the world, could get to know each other and share the park experience and Disney love, while associating that with Duffy… I think that could really be something. “The new needs friends.”

    Quote Originally Posted by flylikadove22 View Post
    For those who don't understand the appeal of Duffy ,it's really hard to explain, but the reason i like him is he is suppose to be a bear of adventure, the slogan for him is "Where will you take your Duffy?", and i take him everywhere! I even got him a "grape soda"button from the movie"UP" (ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!) to where on his journey's Every disney related trip i go on with my friends or family Duffy is now taken with me and for some reason, i don't know why, he makes the trip even more fun! i love finding certain places at the parks and thinking "duffy needs a picture with this" . 2 weeks ago my friends and i went to DL when they saw me with my Duffy they were like"who the heck is duffy"by the end of the trip after they meet the meet and greet Duffy, whose line is actually was long,they were IN LOVE with him.
    My new favorite hobby at DL, taking pictures of Duffy…
    Like I said, there’s a “get it” factor to Duffy. Clearly, Flylikadove22 gets it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    I was thinking he would be great if he was introduced as a friend of Mickey's during an episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or something. His target audience in the States is not going to be the tween market. I see most of his sales coming from children and adults. In Japan his target audience leans more towards teens and young adults.
    Actually, children are a HUGE audience in Japan, probably much larger than even the potential in the US. The difference is that in Japan, teens and twenty-somethings are near equally interested; while in the US that would be difficult to replicate, which brings me to a point I’ve been longing to make…
    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    To the western world he needs to be marketed to the Winnie the Pooh fanbase. Duffy is a good quality product that will appeal to many because he's cute.
    Totally, totally no. Duffy is not Pooh. Until the inanity of the “My Friend Duffy” show there was no reason to even imagine that Duffy was anything like Disney’s aimed-squarely-at-children Pooh. Pooh is a toy bear, sure, but Disney Pooh is really a cartoon bear who lives in a forest. Part of my hesitation with making Duffy media is that another awesome thing about Duffy right now is that any and every Duffy plush is Duffy, not a “likeness of Mickey’s Duffy.” I think this creates a much more compelling stage for children’s creativity, as each Duffy’s personality is expanded and refined by the owner. Duffy is always a toy and always mass produced and always simultaneously alive and independent and never fully understandable. Give too much story beyond this, and you limit the possibilities of the character. I love the idea of an official character whose fanfiction is canon. Duffy has a sense of mystery and an adventurous spirit that are nothing even remotely like Pooh, and Duffy loves to create things – like his Sweet Duffy Café – on his own! That’s very different from lazy Pooh. Duffy is not animated by Mickey the way Pooh is, really, animated by Christopher Robin and it is a real loss if people just lump the two together because they are both bear dolls. Duffy has unexplained magical powers and travels the world. Pooh likes to eat, sleep and stay in his forest. Duffy is the embodiment of the Disney brand. Pooh, whose origins have nothing to do with Disney, can never be this. I love Winnie-the-Pooh, but he is not Duffy, and Duffy is not him. The fact that someone who actually supports the character would just throw them in the same pile is a real failure on Disney’s part, in my reckoning. Since the song was also played in English at the US launch, I get the sense that “My Friend Duffy” was developed in the US as part of the beginning of the US vision for “One Disney” Duffy, a vision that quite simply does not seem to understand this at all. Duffy cannot be both adventurer and teetering toddler…and Duffy is an adventurer. Just ask Flylikadove.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    People don't know who he is but thats a poor reflection in my opinion on the marketing job done up to now. Disney Parks havn't done enough to raise his profile at DCA. If more people were seen walking around the park with Duffy it would raise awareness. People would be asking who Duffy is?
    …Oh, right. That point I had been so longing to make. I almost forgot. (If you’re still reading, thanks and wow.^^) Yeah, Duffy needs to be seen with people. But it has to be the right people. In Tokyo, it’s the Disney geeks, for sure. But it’s also – and moreso! – the “Disney fashionistas.” The Tokyo girls dressed to the nines, whether high school or just-off-work; along with their cool boyfriends who are expected to carry their bag (with Duffy strap) and their Duffy (in the park) and have the Duffy half of a Duffy/Shellie pair set on their phone (even though Shellie is, in my mind, Duffy’s sister, not his sweetheart…I hope that remains undefined forever). If it’s just “a bunch of weirdos in mouse ears and Disney tees” who adopt him, it’s not gonna do much to convince anybody.

    I think the real audience would have been, and may yet become, the American otaku. Not only does the American otaku immediately and easily understand Duffy’s design sense, but unlike the Japanese otaku, the American tends to have a simultaneous joy for the material and for branding and yet thrills at seeing corporatism subverted. As more people know the Disney Bear/Duffy story and understand what it meant, and as they see the charm and power of the metastory it creates with the Japanese backstory, plus connect TDR with other Japanese cultural exports; this could really be a very devoted audience who knows how to do grassroots marketing very, very successfully. Thing is, it can’t only be the “geeks and freaks.” That turns mainstreamers immediately off. On the plus side, though, if the mainstreamers don’t get it, it belongs only to them.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    Exactly how popular were Disney expecting it to be with only one location selling the product. The marketing has been very poor up to now. Since many still don't know or care as to who is Duffy. The only sad joke I see is the job the Disneyland Resort has done in pushing Duffy out to park Guests. And I often wonder if Disneyland has any interest at all in making Duffy a suscess.
    Oh, I imagine they are very interested in his financial success. As far as his success as a character, no, I don’t think they care. I don’t think they even understand it. And if they did, I still don’t think they’d appreciate or respect it, so I don’t think they could envision a campaign that actually works. Disney’s failure to connect or be relevant is not limited to Duffy. The idea of one shop was smart in that, as has been said many times by many people, oversaturation of an undesired product looks like failure. But how they present that shop is equally important. At TDR, it’s Aunt Peg’s as “home of Duffy” after the character was already quite popular and McDuck’s, for which there could be no possible better themed Disney park shop, in my mind. The others are just to make the crowds lighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by NSObject View Post
    Sometimes pop-culture success is not a good way to judge financial success. Will Duffy become an all-out hit at DCA? I highly doubt it. Will Duffy raise the revenue at the stores that sell him? Probably. It probably cost them very little to bring the merch over from Japan and setup the Duffy queue. If the cost of doing that can raise revenues by some acceptable percent, then the bean counters might call him a success. I suspect that the Duffy introduction had more to do with revenue per square foot calculations than the desire to make him as popular as Mickey. (I could be totally wrong about this, but I’ve seen similar stuff happen in other industries.)
    Not only is this very smart thinking, this is one of – perhaps THE – only post that manages to remain absolutely neutral about presenting a personal opinion of Duffy and yet still be on-topic about his success. Impressive, and keen.

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureImagineer183 View Post
    I LOVE carrying around my Duffy every time I visit the parks! And I always get intriguing looks and guests even ask who he is and where to get him. I think the core to his success will be word of mouth. And I believe thats what DisneyParks is actually trying to do. They are too lazy to promote him that they want us, the fans, to promote him on boards like this and to our friends. It would work to an extent, but he needs more exposure! So every time I go I always carry him around just to promote him! He needs the love. Yes, he's a marketing scheme, but what he stands from and his roots in Japan really give it that sentimental feeling that I love! I don't know why people HATE so much on this forum. He's a cute lovable bear! Give him a chance!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ummmmm, No View Post
    What sentimental meaning? He's a marketing ploy.
    Doesn’t get it, but the screen name alone seems to reject everything that Duffy’s actually about, so that’s okay. Duffy doesn’t have to appeal to everyone. Mickey Mouse doesn’t appeal to everyone, either, nor does everyone agree about what he represents, but I think most reasonable people would agree that he’s a success. In Tokyo, this conversation takes on a similar level of absurdity. Time will tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureImagineer183 View Post
    I meant the sentimental meaning from Japan. I just love how popular he is there and how he is treated. It gives me a taste of their culture.
    Another definite “gets it.” I’m so happy to see more posts like this from Americans! I guess that’s one good thing about the US Duffy launch. I wish I could meet all of you! It’s true that any concept like Duffy will rely on word of mouth, but Disney Parks should also be engaging in some official campaigns to encourage people to get involved. Americans are not about to start sewing costumes the way Japanese fans did; the potential for that kind of exposure is not there the way it was/is in Japan, and this was a HUGE part of Duffy’s success. Duffy = fashion. The US Disney Parks have completely missed the boat with this by producing such crappy costumes and dumping them all at once with no clear idea about what else, if anything, to look forward to. The fact that there was no TRON/TRON:Legacy costume release, either through the parks or through collaboration with Build-A-Bear, suggests that a monkey is making all these choices. I’m sorry; that’s not fair. Monkeys are totally awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janell View Post
    …Why I like my Duffy bear so much is because my trip to Japan was a dream come true. I wasn't sure I would ever get there and when I did, it was like WOW these parks are amazing! (I have grown up at DL, been to Disney Pairs and WDW, so Ive seen other Disney Resorts) Duffy is done so well in Japan, because they made him a home in Cape Cod. He has a store that is just for him and he has amazing costumes. Why we don't get the same costumes here may contribute to the fail or Duffy, if he falls. Duffy is so loved in Japan, you want to be a part of it. Which Im not sure how they can create that here. I hope that Disney tries different things before they just give up on him. He needs a movie or some sort, maybe its only played in DCA and Epcot. He needs a storyline that ties him into Mickey more. I also think they should do two lines of costumes. I understand keeping things on the cheaper side. Its sad when Build a Bear clothing is nicer. If they had a more expensive clothing line, ie the costumes they sell in Japan. That would give guest options. I think Disney may surprise themselves when the pricier line sells. Adults collect many things and this could be one of them. I mean who though Pin trading would be as big as it is? Its a pricey hobby IMO. But people love it and that is great.
    I know you get it, Janell!^^ I still totally disagree with you about tying him to Mickey. Not only is it not what I think he needs, it’s also the easy way out and taking the easy way does not lead to innovation, especially for Disney. Duffy is the opportunity for a new classic character with Mickey-level appeal to be born, as has already happened in Japan, in its way. I don’t see Disney achieving it Stateside, but Duffy does not actually need to ride Mickey’s coattails in order to succeed. I know a lot of people think the Mickey connection is important, but that’s not what Duffy had that made him different from the Disney Bear. There is no way that being Mickey’s teddy bear could account for what has happened/is happening in Tokyo. Duffy is an undeniable superstar in his own right. For me, he actually made me like Mickey marks; I see them as “Duffy faces.” In Japan, Duffy became more independent, with Mickey almost a supporting “guest star” for his stories, and he had strong visible support from a fan culture that could both love Mickey and accept this at the same time. I see American Disney fans having a very difficult time with this. It would be like simultaneously practicing all of the Abraham religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – side by side with no problem, much like the Japanese have no problem blending any of these religions with Buddhism and Shinto, which are almost always blended in actual practice. In America, though, a bear who could eclipse Mickey if he got out of hand will probably be perceived as a threat…or even a sin!^^

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureImagineer183 View Post
    This! Disney needs to do this! I would happily spend more money for better costumes(which is what I'm sure other people like me are doing by just getting it from japan) I love Duffy so much because he gives me something to look forward to when I finally go to Japan! He's a peice of that legacy! The lagacy Walt built and is much stronger over in Japan than here.

    If Disney really wants huge numbers they need to start implementing more. I am all for the Ghirdelli idea! Lol I think they need Mickey or Minnie with him at the photo op so people are more enticed to see what he is all about! But like I said earlier a crucial part of his success would be word of mouth, so to all Duffy fans out there hold your Duffy proudly in the parks to get word out!
    Again, I think the first part is absolutely true, while the second paragraph presents a slippery slope that quickly leads to wondering why anyone would be a fan of a “prop.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy Daddy View Post
    Gosh...I can't wait until they bring out a line of toys to compliment Duffy. I'm sure Donald needs a stuffed dog named "Barky" and Goofy can have a stuffed toy rabit named "Hippity" and they could sell liknesses of them in the stores and do M & G's for them in DCA!!!!! Duffy is just the tip of this cash cow! ALL the Disney characters could have their own stuffed toy side kicks that in turn could be turned into collectible toys and characters in the park for M&G...and judging by this thread, there are plenty of folks out there who would shell out money for them. Go Disney marketers go!
    Actually, this is exactly what Disney UniBEARsity is and I hate it. Duffy is/was(?) the opposite of that crassness, and if it goes full circle, I have every reason to believe that it’s because US Disney wanted a piece of Japan’s pie. I really believe – though I can’t prove it – that Duffy’s name, backstory, designs…everything that led to his success in Tokyo was born in Japan, by a Japanese team. I’d love to be proven wrong, to think that American artists designed last year’s raincoat or cat costume, or conceived of the “Sweet Duffy” event, but I really don’t think so. Ironically, it’s been my experience that the same people who dismiss Duffy as some kind of marketing ploy are the ones quickest to drink the Disney Kool-Aid in other arenas…funny, that. They also tend to be mean and snarky, but that sorta makes sense. I mean, have you ever met a mean and snarky person who actually likes teddy bears?^^ …One does wonder what draws these folks to Disney, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    It seems I have to do a lot of work. My alternative choice is not to do a lot of work.
    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    "Until a character becomes a personality it cannot be believed. Without personality, the character may do funny or interesting things, but unless people are able to identify themselves with the character, its actions will seem unreal. And without personality, a story cannot ring true to the audience." -- Walt Disney
    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    merlinjones has already stated, in Walt's words, that they're not creative.
    "Here's a bear. You give him a personality. You dress him up. You take pictures of him. We'd like to help, but we're expecting a lot of money to pour in, and we have to count it."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kritter View Post
    Seems like you have to do a whole lot MORE work with a Build-a-bear. All I have to do with Duffy... Is make the memories with him.
    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    My alternative choice to Build-a-Bear is also not to do a lot of work.
    Is there some unstated assumption that I need some kind of bear? 'cause I'm gonna tell you right now: I don't need a bear.
    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    …Enjoy your life with your bear. I'm currently experiencing maximum happiness, without a bear. I don't want to risk exploding or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ummmmm, No View Post
    Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    You're not really trying to understand us. I think no matter what anyone says, you will take it as an insult. "Live and let live" is a personal insult?
    I'm beginning to wonder what kind of toxic chemicals the Chinese child-slaves are putting into Duffy that would cause such an outburst.
    What’s to understand? You don’t like Duffy and you think being creative is “work” that you would opt out of. I think that’s okay. Duffy fans tend to like being creative. I think there are actually a lot of Disney fans who don’t view creativity as “work,” at least in a negative way or as something they would make the conscious choice to avoid. You don’t have to do the work. He’s not popular with you and never gonna be. Got it. But if you’re so uninterested, why keep talking about him? This thread is clearly labeled and you might, in fact, have the highest number of individual posts. It seems to me like you’re already putting in quite a lot of effort, yet you’re also “experiencing maximum happiness” as you continue to comment here, so you must be getting something of value out of your posts. Good for you, because I have to say, I really can’t figure out what that might be. I do love the highly appropriate screen name, though.

    As for what Walt said, Duffy is, again – by design – the solution to exactly, precisely this problem, which was originally created by the Disney Bear. Duffy is not the Disney Bear (nor is he Pooh). Duffy is the park fans. At least the ones who aren’t afraid of having their manhood or maturity measured by whether they carry a teddy bear or not. I have such trouble with that as a rubric…

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    No one's created patterns for Duffy, so one can make clothes the old-fashioned, but with tons more love, way?
    Quote Originally Posted by MatterhornJ View Post
    Patterns have been created. Most of the Japanese make their own outfits.
    Such a surprising question from the sediment – I thought you were opposed to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kritter View Post
    How about this. If you don't like him, then fine. Don't like him. Just gives me more opportunities to visit Duffy "without a line". But honestly, it sounds like instead of bashing Duffy, you are starting to bash its fans and making us sound stupid or something for enjoying a bear that you don't…

    Open your eyes a little bit and stop being so negative towards him and maybe you can find the joy and happiness in Duffy that all of us fans do.
    “The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations.” Some people cannot wrap their heads around “cute for cute’s sake” and some cannot hear something like “keeping the childlike heart beating and the childhood eyes open” without dismissing it as hokey. It’s nice not to be some people, but rather be comfortable with who you are. It’s difficult to be one of the few who notices or understands something before everyone else agrees or someone explains it to you. It’s difficult, but it ain’t bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    Walt Disney's incredible success with memorable characters was always credited to unique, recongizable, appealing and very specific personalities that we knew and loved from the screen and favorite stories - - indeed, "personality" is is what separated his earliest works from the animated competition.

    But the true art of Walt Disney has been entirely lost when a creation like this lacks any personality whatsoever - - and what substitutes for story is a generic blurb on a price tag.

    Duffy is what animation was before Walt. A total retrogression, bland, empty and devoid of character traits. They need to read Frank and Ollie's books.
    This is like saying that we should celebrate the Disnefication of classic stories into “Tangled” messes. I actually find what I’ve seen of the film charming – juvenile, but charming. But the idea that the name of a classic fairy tale should be changed for marketing purposes (despite what they say now) is as absurd as mining the classic stories for whatever you can take and then copyrighting your version of them and psychotically enforcing your “intellectual property” rights. Oh, wait… By the way, that title is only for America – Japan and Europe did not board that crazy train and ship the film as variants with “Rapunzel” prominently in the title. Duffy is the park experience and its fans. If you’ve never been to Tokyo Disney Resort or read about its fandom, if you think of the Japanese as “weird” or “funny,” if you just don’t get it; fine, you just don’t get it. But to give kudos for art theft and then appall official support of a largely collaborative fan-made phenomenon is just plain crazy. Duffy is a total progression of the Disney marketing machine on some kind of crazy “they’ll-buy-anything-with-Mickey-on-it” drug into a bonafide character that many Disney fans have identified with in a very powerful way. Duffy has very specific, fully developed and interesting character traits. You need to read more about the Tokyo history. It is, after all, as FutureImagineer183 said, part of the Disney legacy. All I can tell you is that I would still hate Disney for exactly the reasons that you hate Duffy if Duffy did not exist. He is, for me, the symbol of Disney’s redemption, and its potential. Because what it takes to sell Duffy is to have a genuine sense of heart and love in what you do. OLC has it; until Disney does, you’re all right – it will fail. But it won’t be Duffy’s fault. It will be Disney’s. Again. The Japanese fans were lucky; they didn’t have to fight the company. Although there are signs of that changing…

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    If Disney wants to save Duffy, they need to do the following:

    1) Create a comic book series which features Mickey and his bear (or some sort of TV special or webisodes)
    2) Create a very limited edition line of high quality outfits and accessories for Duffy
    3) Offer all passholders a coupon for a free bear (just the bear with no accessories). Once the passholders get their basic free bear they'll want outfits and accessories which will jump-start his collectability.
    4) Once enough bears have been sold, start holding special merchandise events for Duffy which offer stage productions featuring the character as well as introducing new characters and event specific merchandise.
    5) Create a Duffy web site which offers interactive games and stories about Duffy and his pals.
    6) sell a book which tells the story of how Duffy came into existence and how he became Mickey's best friend (and offer the book VERY inexpensively). Get the Duffy story into everyone's mind by making it affordable for everyone to obtain.
    7) STOP overpromoting him in the parks. Having an overabundance of Duffy available at this time (of limited demand) creates a sense of failure. Instead, make Duffy much more difficult to get ahold of and a special commodity item. Create a sense of demand and a desire to obtain…
    Heya, Dusty. I think ideas #2, #5, #6 and #7 are great, and describe the Tokyo model pretty precisely, except that there are no games on the Duffy site…for now, which I prefer (although it is very subtly “interactive”). The problem with the first is a matter of opinion, surely, and I think it’s clear what mine is. You are one super moderator, Mr Sage, but I think the third is a terrible idea – giving people something they already don’t want for free is not a way to convince them of its value. It just makes you look desperate. No, no NO to this. You might get a few more people to accept it, but getting them to love or respect it – no. We sacrifice for what we love.

    I like the event-based ideas of the fourth, but Duffy does NOT need to be a franchise with tons of little living plushies. My stomach turning the more I understood about Disney UniBEARsity proved that for me. The presence of Shellie May has led to people in the parks trying to carry both bears. There is no need to bring an entire plush army to the parks or on attractions with you, and the power of these bears is that they are an integrated part of a day in the park – you see them everywhere! Almost literally every other person/group has one or the other or both. And then you see them on a bag or a phone in the city and you remember the parks. It reminds me of when I used to see folks with “phat pants” or “candy jewelry” out in the streets, outside of rave/club situations. (Does anybody here understand that?^^) There’s a sense of instant connection to the parks, and also between me and the person with the goods, because we both “get it.” Ah, Duffy magic at work.

    Without that, they are just another Disney franchise. That seagull added for “My Friend Duffy” was unnecessary. Duffy becomes less special if there’s this flood of magical living plush and other distracting characters. Shellie May was a gamble that fortunately paid off (and I was wrong about) – many collectors, probably most (including me now) – have both. But if there’s a “cooler” male bear or a “cuter” female, people will begin to feel the need to choose a favorite, and the originals lose what makes them special now. As you can see in this thread, there are already a lot of people who can’t and don’t want to understand. Dividing the fanbase is unwise. Dilution is not the solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by nish221 View Post
    …In addition, I would suggest a photo site where people could upload their pictures of Duffy in locations around the world.

    If I was WDC, I would then display codes that would entitle the submitter to various different items (esp. exclusive clothing) depending on the location in the picture.... e.g. picture of statue of liberty, then a liberty themed clothing. Yeah, takes an army of people OR really smart object recognition software. That would really make Duffy unique and give it a "Wow!" factor. They could really make that an alternative social media site if they're creative.
    Tokyo does photo contests from time to time, but with no prizes. They just post them on the site. That’s enough for Japanese fans. It would be nice to see a global Duffy photo album. By exclusive clothing, I figure you mean for the bear. While matching the area would be difficult unless the contest was predetermined for some particular area, rare clothing items as incentive does sound intriguing. I think I’d wanna see these contests limited to the parks most of the time, with special rare contests out in the “real world.” Good ideas!

    Quote Originally Posted by nish221 View Post
    One other thing that would help a lot is to feature some young star (Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Jesse McCartney, etc) with him in a video like this one for HKDL. Probably should have done that in this year's Christmas special. (Of course, maybe WDC did do that.... just don't know yet!)
    On the other hand, super NO to this, but with total love!^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    …Oh, to add, it's all rather ironic, as Disney had to approve the designs/clothing that build a bear made when they started carrying Disney outfits for the Build a Bear critters. Now when DL starts carrying their own bear clothes, they created something inferior to what they approved for Build a Bear.
    This and the lack of any form of TRON costume really does have to make you wonder who’s calling these shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by rage View Post
    I'm still wondering where the outfits are that were announced a few months ago. I would love to pick up a few of those outfits, especially the Buzz Lightyear outfit.
    And the pirate! And the fully sculpted popcorn bucket! I’m thinking some of these are never coming if he doesn’t “magically” become an unparalleled success.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    …Unless of course several in the company like what we are seeing on these boards don't like or understand the product and are hoping he falls flat on his face. I just wish the folk in Anaheim and Orlando would take note of the fantastic job the guys in Hong Kong have been doing on there Duffy launch. Duffy is heavily promoted in all the Christmas marketing including on its very own website. He can be found for Meet & Greets on Main Street at the front of the park. Duffy merchandise can be found in more then the one shop and the costumes are the same costumes that are sold in Tokyo which are a far higher standard to what we have in the States. And finally he's part of the Proccesion of Toys an entertainment programme that takes place all though the Christmas Event…
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Disney can (and has) blown financial and creative opportunities and shot itself in the foot with the same bureaucratic, often toxic, interdivisional politics that plague many large corporations. But purposeful submarining of a merch launch? Not a chance. If there's money to be made, everyone hits the dance floor, whether they like the tune or not.

    Meaning no disrespect to Duffy fans, they should remember in their frustration with Disney not doing right by the bear, that many people think the bear is a dumb idea -- generic, uninspired, insipid and faddish. If those folks are consumers, it translates into lack of purchasing. If they're Disney management, it translates into lack of inspiration -- which means awaiting marching orders from higher up the chain.

    Remember too that in toys and consumer fads (and Duffy is both), what markets well overseas doesn't automatically guarantee the same in the U.S. Nobody's going to risk a big domestic push on an essentially Oriental toy fad without plenty of domestic testing data -- nor should they.
    All of this is true, but for the last. The first thing they did was a HUGE in your face push that no one understood. Word is, they’ve actually toned it down in recent weeks. If the leadership was genuinely inspired by more than the insipid idea of making money off an engineered fad, if they did truly believe in and care about what they were doing, something bigger than any marketing research of a Japanese/Asian toy fad could predict becomes a possibility. The best things are unpredictable. But intention is important. The Japanese intention was to make cute stuff cos “we like to make cute stuff and people like to buy cute stuff so we can sell it and make more cute stuff.” We are so cynical in the US that we just shrug that off as impossible, but everyone I have ever met working in any division of the Oriental Land Company spoke openly about the rigorous expectations of the Company, but was absolutely committed, heart and soul, to their job. The US intention stinks too much of “make this thing we think is stupid as cheaply as possible and sell it for as much as we can cos these stupid people will buy it if we do.” But just cos that’s true, doesn’t mean Duffy’s a bad character. It doesn’t mean he didn’t transform the Disney Bear concept into something truly infused with Disney magic in Japan. It just means Disney’s a bad company that doesn’t believe in its own product or like its own supporters. And what it would take to make Duffy successful, again, would be for Disney to be a good company. Good like Duffy, full of happiness and luck…and love. So, good luck, Duffy!^^

  14. #29

    • Adventures with Duffy
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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I need to read everyone post, but I was thinking. I read somewhere, I think twitter DLR, that in 2011, all the closures and areas that are blocked off in DCA. I keep thinking great just one more thing to lesson the exposure for Duffy. I know the store that is in PP area that has Duffy, should stay and guest shouldn't have a problem getting him and his clothing. But I just can't help but think that the construction in DCA isn't going to help Duffy. I can see guest skipping DCA altogether. It just makes me sad. Duffy is such a cool character. I wish they do more with him to make him known and loved.

    DuffyDaisuki, I see your point in having Duffy be his own character away from Mickey. I just wonder if the State side guest will embrace him? I know the Tokyo guest do and he is such a key character and so well loved. I keep thing guest in the states wont buy the story line. Which means they wont buy Duffy and his clothes and then Disney will take him away. I don't want that.

  15. #30

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    Re: Duffy The Disney Bear - Discussion

    I see your point, Janell, but after "My Friend Duffy," I'd almost rather have no Duffy at all than "toddler fodder" or Mickey's prop.

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