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  1. #16

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Let's face it, most Americans are cheapskates and want quantity over quality. And WDW at least is run by a bunch of penny-pinching drunken monkeys that don't give a flying rat's patooie for the most part, which is REALLY sad.

    But there are a select few who want quality over quantity. I'm somewhere in the middle. I want quality, but willing to compromise... to a point. And sadly the bulk of the general public will never "get" what Duffy is about. People come up to me all the time asking if he & Shellie May are from Build-A-Bear. I kind of throw them a look, then say, "No, they're Duffy and Shellie May.. they're DISNEY bears!" and if that gets their attention, I go into the story how Minnie made Duffy as a companion for Mickey when he travels and then she made Shellie May as a friend for Duffy. I've run into a few who knew who Duffy was right off the bat (like the stilt walkers at Busch Gardens who were all "OMG IS THAT DUFFY? I WANNA MEET DUFFY!"). My Duffy love rubbed off on my mom, especially when I bought her her own 17" Duffy for Easter (she already had a Valentine's Duffy). And the little girl she babysits LOVES her Duffy so much he's already a ragged mess because he goes EVERYWHERE with her. She even has a "Duffy Bible" she keeps all the photos I send my mom of my Duffy & Shellie on adventures (she wants a Shellie May more than anything) and looks at the photos all the time.

    We're just an elite group outside of Japan that gets what Duffy is about (to me he's about going on adventures and having lots of fun... with a little mischief and shenanigans in the mix). Disney does need to try harder but like I said, at least we're getting something rather than nothing at all. The overall general public... they're too embarrassed to carry teddy bears around with them if they're adults (it's just not "cool" to them... whatever). The Japanese embrace Duffy and you seen young and old, boy and girl, carrying him and Shellie around and I think it's awesome. I wish more Americans would put the "cool" thing aside and do what they want to do, everyone else be darned.

  2. #17

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    DuffyD - It's seems you mis-interpretted my post :/


    1. I honestly don't think it's the quality. It's fine if you disagree with that, but that's not the only reason and having spoken to a few Japanese fans I met through their sites, they also told me they really love the story, if anything.


    And I find that's a really harsh assumption--I've found from my times in Japan and people I know who lived there, the history and reading behind everything is a big thing. In fact, that's why a lot of stories are so popular--here in the US, there is a reason "tl,dr" became a thing -_-


    But yes, honestly, as good as a quality of something could be, if you didn't like the character or story behind them, could you really tell me if you'd want them? I mean, I may have still gotten a Duffy as I love teddy bears, but I wouldn't have bothered with the fandom if I didn't care about the character.


    2. I never said that--I was saying I'm grateful we at least get things. That doesn't mean I'd buy everything--not all the costumes are my taste, but at least we're getting SOMETHING. That's something to be happy about. I grew up in a way where something as simple as being able to blow out a candle was a blessing and something to be grateful for.


    3. There is no proof of any of that. Just because they may do things differently than in Japan doesn't mean they don't care--and while Japan did create Duffy, the design of the Disney Bear was still made in the US.


    4. Maybe because I know people who have worked for Disney? Maybe because I've seen actual companies rip people off? I'm not saying Disney doesn't ever, but I am saying that it's not right to assume things without any real proof besides comparisons of two completely different cultures.


    Not all Americans want stuff cheap, however, there's a difference from wanting and needing to prevent being stuck in the streets.


    Not to mention Disney does have to make a profit :/ They're a company after all and they could have to close-down otherwise.


    5. All the statements were general. A few of my friends became students and moved to Japan so I do know several people who have been there a long time too--they, however, are not Disney fans.


    6. I didn't call you rude--again, it was a general post and I said statements like that were rude, not the person. And yes and no, it could be money or it could be "Oh, hey, look, it's that bear we had here that didn't go well. Maybe we should try again with their market." Even if the Disney Bear was removed, he still would occasionally show up even in 2009.


    I don't know, I know a lot of people have who didn't even know about this forum, to be honest. :/ In fact, I had brought up Duffy to one of my friends and she was super excited since she had gotten one when visiting relatives in Asia when I mentioned how he's coming to the US now.


    I've designed stuff on the computer. I have a lot of friends who are artists and who see work put into them. Just because they're not as detailed as Japan's doesn't mean they lack any detail whatsoever.


    7. That's the problem--just because you don't approve doesn't mean it's not part of them. It always upsets me when a game has all these different series and people trash a select few and say they're not even good enough to be part. There are fans of each thing and even all of it together and regardless of whether you don't find the quality there, it's still Duffy, and even the Disney Bear and Duffy are parts of eachother.


    8. Some people do not have methods of research or still aren't even sure how it all works. Saying they didn't try is a big assumption :/


    9. Just because things aren't out yet doesn't mean they were canceled and there's plenty of things that do get canceled. Vinylmations take a LONG time and they said they were even doing a whole new mold. The Popcorn bucket may be delayed because they want to do other stuff with it too. There's games that have taken 10 years to come out, I think it's silly to be annoyed something that was only announced in the Spring or later hasn't come out yet. In fact, I didn't expect to see some of the concept art costumes until next year.


    Like I said, I truly think the Halloween costume isn't that bad and even TDS started out with just a costume. I was never even angry with you! I wasn't angry with anyone nor did I call anyone rude--I was stating my opinion and saying that I think people should be happy any of it is even here now, regardless.


    Aimster - I'm also in the inbetween route, to be honest. I do like quality over quantity and thus, will usually hold out on something to get the more expensive if I prefer it rather than settling, but sometimes, I can't, and there's no reason I can't be grateful that a cheaper version exists.
    Last edited by Wondering; 08-22-2011 at 10:39 AM.

  3. #18

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    And the little girl she babysits LOVES her Duffy so much he's already a ragged mess because he goes EVERYWHERE with her. She even has a "Duffy Bible" she keeps all the photos I send my mom of my Duffy & Shellie on adventures (she wants a Shellie May more than anything) and looks at the photos all the time.
    I thought I was the only one to have a "Duffy Bible"! I have a digital scrapbook for my daughter for all their adventures. She has special needs and she is a visual learner. And her Duffy is also a ragged mess from all the love and attention he gets!
    I can't wait to go in November and get my own Duffy!

  4. #19

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post

    Yeah...I'm gonna go ahead and say no. Quality really is what makes this character. His story - the Japanese high-quality version - is awesome (even though Japanese writers and illustrators get no credit for it), but that alone would never have been enough. The quality is what sold him. Lots of Japanese fans have probably never even read the long version of the story, and it wasn't available anywhere in English before I translated it. So that's not what made the magic.


    Yes, I'm going to say that the story was not the sole reason, but it was a byproduct of the quality. Duffy in Japan was a slow build. He was sold as "Disney Bear" for several years before they gave him a name, and the story.

    I think the final story definitely helped his overall success, but nobody outside of Japan knew the story. Well, I can't say nobody. I'm sure there were people who could read Japanese and understood. Those people weren't posting it online though for everybody to read. DuffyD did translate that story with the scans I made of the book. It was a nice collaboration very early in Duffy fan community, which was tiny at that point.

    I think the main thing that "sold" us on Duffy was the very high-quality artwork and costumes. This wasn't truly unique to Duffy, but it showed that there was somebody there who understood quality will win out.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    As far as being happy with whatever you get, I think that's exactly, precisely the problem. As long as you keep sending the message to Disney that you'll dutifully pay for whatever they throw your way, expect to continue to be unimpressed. The main issue is not "everyone is constantly comparing." The main issue is that the more low-quality Duffy merchandise they produce, the more people see Duffy and think, "What the heck is this overpriced-piece-o-crap-not-a-character bear-thing?" And the more that happens, the more Duffy's image is tarnished. People think they know what Duffy is and hate it, but they actually have NO idea. What's happening in America is not Duffy at all. They should either start loving the character or stop trying to pimp him, cashing in on the creativity of Japanese artists and fans who finally made their bad "Disney Bear" idea work. It's disgusting, and if you don't get it, I'm sorry. Cos it's the worst possible scenario for Duffy. And I Duffy...because he represents a Disney that doesn't think I'm a sheep with a checking account...at least, he does here.
    I've seen many, many people around the internet bashing Duffy precisely because he comes across as a cheap product out to empty wallets. Disney fans may buy things because they say "Disney", but they aren't dumb. They know on some level what they feel is worth the money. You don't hear people saying the WDCC pieces are cheap, or the Olszewski miniatures aren't good quality. Sometimes people think they are too expensive, but there is quality there. With Duffy, because he's treated like any old plush you give a child without much thought, they don't market him to collectors at all.

    If they had a limited collector-inspired Duffy costume line, I think fans would buy it, along with a Duffy plush. Treat him with respect, and affordability (not impossible), and fans would react differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    It would be better that he stay exclusive to Japan than that he make lots of money for a Company that doesn't really care about him, doesn't respect the artists who created him enough to allow them to be credited, and only became interested in reviving the character when they saw they could market it as a "crazy Japanese phenomenon" and hoped that would help them make the same kind of cash as Tokyo. You go ahead and support that if you want to, but I won't sit here and let anybody fool themselves that such an attitude is in support of the character. US fans should be boycotting the Halloween release and all releases until Disney puts out something with real heart. It's not like they can't. If they don't, it's cos they don't care to and they don't think they have to bother. You just told them they're right.
    Comparison is inevitable, because Duffy is (and should be) the same character no matter what country he's in. Mickey Mouse is the same. He's the same everywhere. Sure, there are subtleties, but for the most part, Mickey is universal. Duffy should be too, and should be treated the same way. It does bother me that the US team seems half-hearted about it. Since I'm not there designing for the US Duffy, I don't know just how much work they actually do, but from the outside, it appears a bit lazy.

    I would be very curious to find out the size of both the US and Japanese Duffy design teams. Something tells me the Japanese one is not very large either, since the character is in one land within one park. They can have a narrow focus there, and it's paid off handsomely. Disney here is trying to spread Duffy like peanut butter...

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    I don't know why you, as a customer, feel such a deep need to make excuses for a company that is ripping you off. If you think Disney can't sell higher quality costumes at the same price point, think again. Of course they could! They don't want to, because their profit margin is considerably higher than TDS I'll wager. They could be a little sympathetic to all these people hit so hard by the economy and produce some amazing quality stuff at easily affordable prices, to make kids smile. That'd be cool. Don't hold your breath, though.

    It's true that in Japan Duffy stuff is not cheap, but relatively reasonable compared to the US when you figure the dollar-yen exchange rate. But Disney made Duffy and all of his base merchandise cheaper even than the dollar-yen exchange. In fact, my guess is that they could do the same thing with costumes, but I would hate to see the Japanese creative team and fans getting more taken advantage of by having Japanese stuff sold in the US for lower prices just because Americans demand to have everything cheap. That would be the day I gave up Duffy.
    Yeah, I don't think it's impossible to do something with a decent level of quality, while at the same time keeping the prices low. There have been companies recently doing that, because of the economy. Look at places like H&M or IKEA. They keep costs down, but have very nice-looking products. They are not "high-end", but they have a very nice design aesthetic. Disney could easily do that, but instead they take the cheap route to give them the most money for the least effort. To them, it's a plush, there shouldn't be that much spent on it. They are looking at it strictly from a financial perspective, and not seeing the "Walt Disney" philosophy of quality product will sell itself. Yeah, you might move a mountain of cheap Duffy plush wearing a thin fabric costume, but at the end of the day, will people remember him, or is it just one of those throwaway souvenirs? Duffy deserves more than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    I can't understand why Japanese fans want the American costumes at all, except that the hats fit better than Build-A-Bear. It really blows my mind... I have never been a "completist," even as a kid. I want what I want and I like what I like, and that's that. As far as exclusivity, though, I did not like that Cape Cod's Christmas costumes got shipped to Hong Kong last year and I would not like the US or France getting OLC-designed costumes, either. OLC worked hard for Duffy - blood, sweat and tears of joy - Disney does not deserve to just waltz in and take the soul out of that for some fast cash. No. NO. NO!


    I think Japanese fans want the American costumes for completion. They might not like the quality, but they want it to add to their collection. I didn't mind that they shared the Christmas costumes with HKDL. What I didn't like was that they didn't even create a different package for it. It said "Hello From Cape Cod" on it...Grr! They put "Disney Parks" stickers on it and that was it. I think if they are going to share designs in the future, they should at least change the artwork...

    That Christmas costume was strange though. It's the first time I felt the quality was not up to TDS standards, and since that was Duffy's "worldwide" launch, I wondered if the US and Japanese teams collaborated on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    Disney brought Duffy to the US for one reason: he was making a LOT of money in Japan and they wanted a bigger cut than 20%. No one is forcing me to get the costumes, but when Disney doesn't care about the character, then they're using my energy, too, as free marketing. They're using my love to hype their shadow of the character I have championed for so long. How many people would ever have known the long version of the story if not for me? Zero. How many people would have been hyped and primed for a US launch if not for people like me and gurgi and Janell and Travis who demanded that this character deserved more than quick dismissal? I am bashing what they do, because anyone who has ever designed anything on a computer can tell you that so far they're Duffy designs take about an hour (at most) of concept work, and probably all of the manufacturing planning and execution is done by the factory in China where its made. The Tokyo stuff, in contrast, looks like the same person who created the highly detailed and always original concept art and key visuals must have also worked with (or be) a clothing designer who can explain construction to the factory, because there is a cohesive high-quality vision. It doesn't just look like somebody used the "Fill Bucket" to create.
    Thanks for the shoutout. Yeah, I remember when you were pretty much the only one championing Duffy, and I soon followed. It felt like an uphill battle to get people to stop trashing Duffy. I think lots of heartfelt posts...very lengthy ones too, helped sway some people. I mean, if it weren't for that, and Duffy's stateside debut, we wouldn't have a separate Duffy forum.

    As for the artistic integrity; I get frustrated. I'm comparing because there are two separate Duffy design teams. It's inevitable not to compare and contrast. For those that don't know anything about the Japanese team, I can understand why they wouldn't want comparison. It's like the WDW fan hating that somebody from DL doesn't like a particular attraction at "their park" even if they have never been to DL themselves. It's what they know, and they don't like somebody telling them something might be better elsewhere. It's all subjective though. However, there are times when there are major quality differences, and it's not so subjective. Duffy is an example.

    Over the years, at Tokyo DisneySea, the Duffy artwork has been very consistent. He is almost always "on model". The only instance where he looks a little odd is his longform storybook. But, that's a special case, as it has a rough aesthetic. However, on all marketing materials, and park decorations, and websites, he always looks the same. The hanger you get with a costume has the same cute Duffy face as the dessert mug you just bought, and that design matches the wooden decoration you just saw at Aunt Peg's. It's consistent overall.

    When they launched Duffy in the US, they started using the Japanese art assets. I was happy with this, because it tied them together. It wasn't too long though, that they started using something closer to the old "Disney Bear" artwork that looked cheaper. Look at the hangers they use for the US costumes. The face is not so much "Duffy" anymore. There is no consistency. This drives me crazy, because it comes off as lazy, and shows that nobody has a cohesive vision for who Duffy is supposed to be.

    For example...compare these two Duffy designs...

    This one, based on the Japanese design:
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    This one done by the US team, but close to the Japanese style:
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    Then there's this design that doesn't look like Duffy anymore:
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    THAT'S what bugs me about the US design team. No overall "Duffy design bible". It's a hodgepodge...

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    I don't know why you're talking so much about money. I'm not saying the costumes should be more expensive. ABSOLUTELY NOT! I'm saying they should be of a higher quality level to be worthy of the current price, and to be worthy of the character. The costumes and the little dressed bears, in my mind, are not worth the price. But maybe that's because when I see them, I see them as basically cheap bootlegs, "knock-offs." Someone trying to make whatever little bit they can off somebody else's good idea and soulful work. It's not right, and it makes for an America where every Disney fan who doesn't go out of hir way to research and find out about Duffy's history believes the character to be something that he really is not. "The Disney Bear" by another name still smells as much of greed and crassness. It is not Duffy. And, no, I'm not gonna just be happy about that.
    I'm not sure Disney wants to invest in the quality. They could meet somewhere in the middle and design something that's better than Build-a-Bear, but not much more expensive. When they raised the prices on all the Duffy items, but didn't change a thing about the quality, that just said they wanted more money. It is possible to do both...they just don't want to.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    There's really no need for a website in the US. In Japan, there's constant new merchandise, a whole section of a park dedicated to the character, all kinds of snacks, a show... It's been almost a year. If Disney wanted to care about Duffy, they would. Whatever happened to those animated shorts? Where is the US popcorn bucket? What about Vinylmation? And what the HECK is up with that Halloween release? No, I'm not "rude." I'm right. And plenty of people know it. Unfortunately, as time goes on, more and more of them are gonna be Duffy "haters." And I'm really disappointed that it's easier for you to be angry with me, seeing this as somehow personal (it's not), than with the people who actually control the future of this character. That's truly sad.
    Actually, I think a Duffy website would be a good idea. There aren't seasonal events, but there could be a site that has his storybook, and photo locations, and the costumes that are currently available. In fact, that could help people understand who Duffy is. They already do a lot of research on trips to the park. If they stumbled on a dedicated Duffy site, they might be more interested, and then know who he was before meeting him in the parks. The Facebook page is just not thorough enough. They need something like the Tokyo DisneySea site, but of course without the seasonal changes...

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    I wish Disney would genuinely invest some of their most creative, pure-hearted talent in Duffy. I would love to see US releases that rival the Japanese! I would love to see US Disney artists really going for it, blending American fashion with quality materials and playful designs. I really wish they would, but the US fans keep telling them not to bother. I canNOT understand why...

    There are plenty of talented artists working for Disney. Lots of passionate ones too. I wish they would let some of them loose on Duffy. Maybe create a limited "artist series" set of costumes, or limited edition Cast Member costumes. Something...

  5. #20

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering View Post
    DuffyD - It's seems you mis-interpretted my post :/...
    Well, if I did then I'm doing it again cos I hear the same thing now. The only thing I would note is that if you have the gall to talk about me "assuming" one more time, I really am gonna be angry. The way you take personal stabs and then say you didn't is not sitting well with me. I never made "a big assumption" nor said anything like people "didn't try" to do research about Duffy; my point was that it should not be necessary. The marketing should be charming and at a level of quality that effortlessly reveals the character. Cheapening the character cheapens the character. I would prefer this not happen, but you know what, you win. Duffy will eventually be a flash-in-the-pan cash cow, just like the Disney Bear. Let's all be "grateful" for overpriced crap that cheapens someone else's commitment to artistic vision. That's sarcasm; I'm not actually agreeing with you. People have tried to tell me so many times that what Duffy is, conceptually, is impossible for Americans. Only right this moment am I beginning to fully understand the scope of what they meant.

    You're right, Wondering. I hope Disney keeps putting out stuff that's not really what fans want, in such high volume that there is no aftermarket value (especially since it's made of cheap materials anyway) and that the Duffy ship sails away from America as fast as it can. I hope US fans keep spending money to support them and Japan gets to hold onto the true Duffy, since fans here actually care about such details, which is precisely the reason the Oriental Land Company must continue to meet the demand for quality. I would love to see that happen in the US, but it won't. Most Disney fans have a blind devotion that makes it unnecessary to the point of wasteful. Color me convinced; Disney is right not to bother.

  6. #21

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    DuffyDaisuki- I understand where you are coming from but personally I don't want Duffy to leave x.x I think he is a wonderful addition to the parks and I think in time people will grow to like him
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  7. #22

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    I may be new here, but I've been lurking for a while, and when I saw this it made me want to post.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyD
    Did you actually just call me "rude???"

    From what I've been seeing, you ARE rude.

    I'm gonna choose to believe you weren't intentionally talking to me like I haven't actually lived here for the past ten years and just say that I agree.

    Rude.

    I think if you don't see it, it's cos you've got blinders on.

    Rude.

    The average American, apparently, will accept anything and should feel good about that for some reason...

    Very rude.

    I don't know why you, as a customer, feel such a deep need to make excuses for a company that is ripping you off. If you think Disney can't sell higher quality costumes at the same price point, think again. Of course they could!

    Rude.


    Most Disney fans have a blind devotion that makes it unnecessary to the point of wasteful. Color me convinced; Disney is right not to bother.
    Rude. By the way, why are you even here? You sound more like a hater of the franchise than a fan.

    The way you take personal stabs and then say you didn't is not sitting well with me. I never made "a big assumption" nor said anything like people "didn't try" to do research about Duffy;
    I saw nothing in their post that even implied they were "personally stabbing" you. You're obviously incapable of reading anything without taking offense to it. Chill out dude. Or at least get off the net and do something that's NOT picking on another member.

    You're right, Wondering. I hope Disney keeps putting out stuff that's not really what fans want, in such high volume that there is no aftermarket value (especially since it's made of cheap materials anyway) and that the Duffy ship sails away from America as fast as it can.
    If fans didn't want or like it, Disney wouldn't be bothering. :/

    And I'm really disappointed that it's easier for you to be angry with me, seeing this as somehow personal (it's not), than with the people who actually control the future of this character. That's truly sad.

    The sad part is that you're accusing somebody else of being something that you actually are. You're the angry one. You're the one ranting and raving constantly about American Duffy's quality. You're the rude one. You're the one taking this to a personal level and being a self-righteous know-it-all who rants and raves to the fanbase instead of taking their complaints directly to the company itself. Telling us will make nothing change, dude.

    Are you guys just trying to make my head explode?
    If it makes you stop forcing your opinions on others, then yes
    Last edited by catlover400; 08-22-2011 at 12:38 PM.

  8. #23

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    I wasn't trying to fight or insult you :/ Nor did I take any personal stabs. I'm just saying my point of view and my opinions and wondering why people can't seem to be happy that we're at least getting something here.

    It's more likely that we'll get more stuff of higher quality if it does well now. After all, this is a bit of a testing period for the Disney Bear being Duffy in the US.

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by catlover400 View Post
    I may be new here, but I've been lurking for a while, and when I saw this it made me want to post.


    From what I've been seeing, you ARE rude.


    Rude.


    Rude.


    Very rude.


    Rude.



    Rude. By the way, why are you even here? You sound more like a hater of the franchise than a fan.


    I saw nothing in their post that even implied they were "personally stabbing" you. You're obviously incapable of reading anything without taking offense to it. Chill out dude. Or at least get off the net and do something that's NOT picking on another member.


    If fans didn't want or like it, Disney wouldn't be bothering. :/


    The sad part is that you're accusing somebody else of being something that you actually are. You're the angry one. You're the one ranting and raving constantly about American Duffy's quality. You're the rude one. You're the one taking this to a personal level and being a self-righteous know-it-all who rants and raves to the fanbase instead of taking their complaints directly to the company itself. Telling us will make nothing change, dude.


    If it makes you stop forcing your opinions on others, then yes
    Well, nice to meet you! A great way to introduce yourself to everyone.

  10. #25

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering View Post
    I wasn't trying to fight or insult you :/ Nor did I take any personal stabs. I'm just saying my point of view and my opinions and wondering why people can't seem to be happy that we're at least getting something here.

    It's more likely that we'll get more stuff of higher quality if it does well now. After all, this is a bit of a testing period for the Disney Bear being Duffy in the US.
    I guess I'll just try to take that as you say it, but your "rude" comment felt very much directed at me, personally, since I was the only one really taking my position. I still feel that's the case, but I'm not interested in pursuing it. I also feel that American Duffy fans should be publicly more demanding, but at the end of the day, I live in Japan so I guess I don't have to choose to care.

    The thing is, to answer your question again, it upsets me so much because when the fans' interest in Duffy becomes less critical, less demanding, and less deep due to lower quality production and apathetic marketing... It results in a less critical, less demanding and more shallow fanbase. This leads to a lower quality, less interesting, dumbed down character. And once that happens, all the Duffy naysayers are right. For me, this is what the Duffy Post is all about. Learning that people don't really care about this quality difference either way and think we should be happy just to have "something," no matter what that something is...it makes me feel like it was a waste to invest so much of my time and energy into the Duffy community because he doesn't really mean enough for even new fans to be passionate about his representation. I don't get that. Especially from someone who's obviously devoted to the character. I feel like we're really misunderstanding each other, or I'm completely misunderstanding you or something... It's just incomprehensible to me that you actually fully accept and even support what Disney is doing to Duffy.

    And I'd like to add, that for me Duffy has always been about the story, too. But for me the story was that I had ignored Tokyo Disney Resort for seven years, totally uninterested. I saw Japanese people with Disney things all the time and thought they were stupid. In America, though I grew up loving Disney (of course), I came to hate them the older I got and the more I thought about soulless consumerism and engineered representation.

    But then in Christmas 2008, I went to the parks and instantly fell in love. There was this whole "other" Disney that people were really excited about! It was super fashionable. It was fun. It was sophisticated and playful at the same time. And then there was this bear... And he embodied not only what Disney meant to me as a kid, but every part of being a kid. He was a "super-thing." Seeing him in McDuck's Christmas shop display windows, I just had to have one! And then I bought the Annual Pass, and then I found MiceChat. And people just loved to tease me about my "obsession" with the teddy bear. But I did more and more research, and wrote about it and thought about it... I began to see Duffy's history of failure in the US and rebirth in Japan as emblematic of the entire Japanese Disney culture, which I began to see as representing the pure, sweet heart of the Japanese people. I began to take Duffy very, very seriously. Not because I'm crazy or something, but because the fact that Japanese love of character design and affective marketing transformed a failure into the most profitable character in the Japanese parks, eclipsing even Mickey Mouse...this is a big deal. Those artists should be very, very proud. But unlike the creative team for, say, the Disney Bear or Vinylmation, these people are uncredited, unrecognized. But the fans love them, and the fans make costumes, too, and work with them. And the Resort plans more events. And the fans take more photos. And the Resort gives more space. And the fans get more excited. A lot of money is being made, but it never feels like it's about that.

    And then Shellie May releases, and there are eight-hour lines that day, and there are so many white people in the park - Disney officials. They all look serious and people in the line are even commenting that it feels like we're being "observed," like lab rats, like some kind of experiment. Some of them are openly laughing at the "hysteria" of the teddy bear fans...

    And then I hear that Duffy's coming to the US and I wanna be excited, but I'm nervous. And now it's happened, and time and again the Walt Disney Company proves that they do not care about this character because they do not have to because people will buy whatever they put out. And now someone I know to be a true Duffy fan (whatever that means) is telling me that, yeah, it's good. We should just be happy to have "something." And I'm sorry, but it breaks my heart.

    I liked the story where Duffy transcended his crass "Disney Bear" beginnings. The story where some capitalist empire gives up on something, gives throws it away, sees people loving it and doesn't really care, sees it making LOTS of money and decides it wants it back just to make it cheap again... That's not a story that inspires me. That's a story that will drive me away. I thought all Duffy fans felt this way. I wasn't trying to "force" my ideas on anyone; I thought we shared this. I realize with no small degree of shock that I thought wrong. I stand corrected.

    ---------- Post added 08-23-2011 at 07:23 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by catlover400 View Post
    ...If fans didn't want or like it, Disney wouldn't be bothering. :/...
    My point precisely.

  11. #26

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    A lot of people have been saying how much the US costumes are a letdown to the Japanese ones. While you may have been the most vocal on it, you weren't the only one. :P

    It's not that people don't care about the quality--it's that people know it can't always be affordable and while people would pay more for the quality, they can't always do so. Plus, here, Teddy Bears are usually targeted at children as they are considered "toys" thus lower quality as kids tend to play rough with them. While I was a kid who took care of everything as if it was Porcelain, that is how companies see it.

    I don't think they don't care though--I just think they're not sure how it works because like I said, to them, it's aimed very differently and in the end, most adults would feel a bit odd carrying around a bear. That isn't to say all (Obviously, most of us are adults here), but we'd get odd looks and while there'd some people that'd be all "Yay!", there's many people who will give dirty looks and mutter to people about how much of a freak they are.

    Like I said, maybe I just grew up differently. But for me, getting anything was a blessing. From a new dress to a little stuffed animal. To see something Duffy come over in the US and to even be able to get official outfits here is something that I feel is a blessing. Maybe they're not as "great", but as I said, I was raised where everything was special and to be cherished--just because it's not as high quality doesn't mean people shouldn't be happy to at least have something. Like with food--maybe it's just a salad, but would you really rather starve if you can't have filet mignon?

    Many people can't get the Japanese outfits because they can't afford to. There's also a lot of people I know who don't shop online as they don't have a credit card or bank card. If they do not live near a Build a Bear, getting those outfits when they get a Duffy is their only option.

    Edit: And I would love to see the Japanese items imported over here to official Disney stores--not for Disney to get the credit or money, but for the credit and money to actually be sent to Japan and help Tokyo Disney and Duffy get more recognition in that way. I don't see there anything wrong with being a cheaper American version too though, for those who really just can't afford it right now.
    Last edited by Wondering; 08-22-2011 at 02:48 PM.

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    Thumbs up Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering View Post
    ...Plus, here, Teddy Bears are usually targeted at children as they are considered "toys" thus lower quality as kids tend to play rough with them...

    I don't think they don't care though--I just think they're not sure how it works because like I said, to them, it's aimed very differently and in the end, most adults would feel a bit odd carrying around a bear...
    That's the most helpful thing you've said to help me understand where you're coming from. That's completely a non-issue here. So much so, that I had actually forgotten the current American popular attitude toward childhood things. In Japan, the collector market probably is even larger than the actual child market, but children certainly have Duffy, and his clothes certainly get dirty. Where the US attitude is "make it cheap cos the kid'll destroy it," the Japanese attitude is "make it well so it lasts through childhood." That used to be the US attitude, too. We were not always so cavalier and our lives were not always so disposable. Still, I can finally understand at least something plausible about where you're coming from. I sincerely wasn't getting it at all.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering View Post
    Like I said, maybe I just grew up differently. But for me, getting anything was a blessing. From a new dress to a little stuffed animal. To see something Duffy come over in the US and to even be able to get official outfits here is something that I feel is a blessing. Maybe they're not as "great", but as I said, I was raised where everything was special and to be cherished--just because it's not as high quality doesn't mean people shouldn't be happy to at least have something. Like with food--maybe it's just a salad, but would you really rather starve if you can't have filet mignon?
    I'm a vegetarian, so I'd actually go for the salad. Also, I don't think you probably grew up that differently from most people. Lots of people value their possessions, and most people don't have or get everything they want. I wanted for lots as a child: shelter, safety, a father...that doesn't stop me from thinking that the largest entertainment and merchandising corporation in the world can and should live up to both its legacy and its potential. I have yet to meet anyone who thinks my childhood was anything other than a nightmare (probably where all this interest in Disney is coming from), so it's not like I'm demanding quality because I'm some "spoiled little rich kid who doesn't know the value of a dime." I know you didn't say that, but you keep mentioning your hard childhood and it's been thrown out there so many times now that it just feels like it wants a response. Most people's lives are difficult. That's how lots of us learn value. That's one of the problems I have with the decision-makers controlling Duffy, but that's all presumptive, so I'll just stop myself now.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering View Post
    Many people can't get the Japanese outfits because they can't afford to. There's also a lot of people I know who don't shop online as they don't have a credit card or bank card. If they do not live near a Build a Bear, getting those outfits when they get a Duffy is their only option.

    Edit: And I would love to see the Japanese items imported over here to official Disney stores--not for Disney to get the credit or money, but for the credit and money to actually be sent to Japan and help Tokyo Disney and Duffy get more recognition in that way. I don't see there anything wrong with being a cheaper American version too though, for those who really just can't afford it right now.
    The credit and money would never be sent to Japan; I'm sorry but let's not be completely ridiculous. Disney doesn't even allow these artists and writers to have their names printed in the storybooks they produce, because they work for OLC. How many American Disney storybooks have you seen with no credits? Even CMs are forbidden to give out any information about the Duffy creative team.

    If the Japanese costumes were ever released in the US, it would be at a reduced unfair price and Disney would be making full profits. You can count on it.

    Again, you are just not hearing what I'm saying at all. I don't know how many times or how many ways I can say it. I guess I'll try numbering, like you did:
    1. I am not saying people should import Japanese costumes. I'm saying US releases should be good enough that they don't have to. I agree with you about money and Internet access, etc. That doesn't mean just take Japan's.^^
    2. I am not saying that US costumes should be more expensive. I think they should be of a higher quality for the current price point. What they're doing now was originally sold for less, with no apparent changes. It was too much even then.
    It shouldn't be so easy for the Walt Disney Company to just steal creativity from the Oriental Land Company. And I'd like to think Disney is too proud to do that. The OLC worked for years to make right something that Disney got very, very wrong. And the only reason Disney apparently revived this project was exactly to target Disney-faithful consumers who would roll over and beg for whatever they were offered. I seriously hope the Tokyo costumes are never just given to the US, with reduced prices and no respect. This great goliath of greed should not be able to just take something that was redeemed with genuine heart and make it back into nothing but a cheap, disposable money-maker. Do you really not understand, not on any level, what I'm talking about?

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    1. I am not saying that US costumes should be more expensive. I think they should be of a higher quality for the current price point. What they're doing now was originally sold for less, with no apparent changes. It was too much even then.
    I agree, maybe a good example for this is this Jack Sparrow Mickey I got a couple years ago for what I remember he was $20 but he is well made, he has jewels in the ears, the buttons and pockets are fake but they look a lot better than for example the Woody suit , he has a beard, boots and pants.

    This is what I hope the US costumes could get.. MORE PANTS..




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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    I just wanna post for public record that it is not my intention to find fault with Disney. Nothing would make me happier than a truly creative, committed US Duffy team. I have said for years that my ultimate vision would be fantastic Duffy teams in the US, France and China. It would be awesome to see all the teams competing to make the best products at the best prices. It would require attention to planning and vision that we currently only see in Japan. If you think OLC couldn't sell Duffy for less, too, you'd be mistaken. They can get away with high prices because no one else on earth matches their product. If all the teams were having fun with friendly competition within reasonable budget constraints, we might see TDS prices go down as well. As it stands, prices have steadily risen since Duffy's US release. I'm sure it's just paranoia, but part of me can't help thinking that OLC sees how much some Japanese fans are willing to pay for these sub-par releases, feels somewhat indignant about the effort invested in their superior product, and feels justified raising prices near ¥5000 which, for me, is a breaking point. Or maybe it's just inflation.

    Also, it is never EVER my intention to create discord among the Duffy community. But I realized last night just how important Duffy is to me as a symbol of "Disney done right." Without that, I really feel he's lacking and inauthentic. I have to admit that until recently that seemed to be a common thread among Duffy fans I knew. Duffy's unabashedly indulgent quality seemed to represent a promise kept to Disney's legacy. For many, that element seemed to be a major factor in differentiating the character from more common goods. Especially since Duffy is unique in being a product first and foremost, the quality of that product was absolutely essential to defining the character. You could say, "Duffy means the realized potential of Disney creativity at its quality best," and mean precisely and literally that.^^

    I suppose I'll have to accept that Disney has successfully changed the message for many people in the US to "Duffy is cute and so is this uncredited story we stole from Japan. Our knockoff designs are not so cute, but you'll give us money for them. We're only in this for the cold hard cash, so our investment has to stay low to keep the profit margin where we like it. You understand, of course. And if you don't like it and don't buy it, you know we'll just take him away. Pushing ourselves to make people happy and working for smiles isn't even part of our endgame anymore. Duffy is cute, though, and the enthusiasm of these fans is gonna be big, easy money for us. As long as you're addicted, we'll fix you up." It is truly heartbreaking for me to accept the corruption of Duffy's brand image. But it is also beyond my control.

    I started Duffy Post to promote the quality because I think quality is the character. It was never just supposed to be about getting people stuff they want. I really believed I was part of galvanizing a hardcore fanbase that would demand excellence, solidifying Duffy's integrity worldwide. But so many in the Post don't participate in the community. And even really serious, committed fans who know Tokyo quality don't see this as a character-make-or-breaking defining distinction. I'm sorry that this has upset me so much. It just makes so much of my personal interest in the character seem pointless. I saw Duffy's arrival in America as a sign of the Company truly moving in a new direction, but if fans are willing to not only accept, but actually campaign for business as usual, that's what we'll get. And soon enough, Duffy will be a well-known name, but most people won't really know what it means at all.

  15. #30

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    Re: What Duffy Bear would you like to see at the parks?

    Mod Note:

    I've never had to prune one of the Duffy threads or move any of them to the litterbox before, and I'd hate for this one to be the first one. Everyone has a right to hold their own personal opinion, and for that opinion to be respected even if you disagree with it. The discussion in here is starting to get more than a bit heated, bordering on personal attacks and almost breaking our rules. Lets get back on topic please, and leave the intensity and anger behind.




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