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  1. #1

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    OLC's Conspiracy to Crush Creativity in Overseas Markets!^^

    These are all actually from another thread, but I think it's starting to go off-track and this topic has legs enough to just be on its own.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by poohstraveler View Post
    ...Monty is a good guy and a very talented artist. He only illustrated the book, he did not write it. It was written by someone in NY.
    I think I'd probably like some of his drawings better if they didn't have that generic Disney coloring, it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by poohstraveler View Post
    ...Something else important I learned is that Japan may be part of the reason things appear less creative in the US. When Duffy was brought over to the US, apparently OLC had implemented strict regulations/contract terms as to what costumes could be and how much creative control the US had. Given that, I don't think we will ever see the unique stuff that Tokyo gets because they want to be sure they are the only ones getting it.
    I love this! The first part comes off a little bit like the OLC is limiting US creativity, which I don't think they have the power to do at all. They are a licensee. They don't even own the rights to Duffy, but they do have their own talent...and they have their pride. I want to be sure I'm reading it right. In the last part, it sounds like they were unwilling to just handover "creative control" for WDC to simply re-release Tokyo-designed costumes at cheaper prices like it did with other Duffy merchandise. That sounds plausible to me, and that doesn't really limit US creativity in any way. It just means if they want it to be great, they'll have to invest in making it so themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by poohstraveler View Post
    Hong Kong should start to see their own merchandise soon -- the year test period is about up and I was told of some new things happening there, so keep your fingers crossed.
    Apparently Halloween was the first of these. Although, honestly, I think it's not fair to be too impressed with this yet, since it's still basically a copy of a Japanese design that was also copied by the US for 12". I'm excited to see what happens when Hong Kong really goes for it, though. I know some incredible artists there.

    Quote Originally Posted by poohstraveler View Post
    I am sure most people know Duffy is debuting in Paris next month -- I can't be there for the opening unfortunately, but I hope to get there a few weeks after. Dara has seen some of the outfits for him there and Paris has literally employed fashion designers to put together some stuff -- it sounds like down the line, the outfits from there could easily rival TDS.
    Now that's what I'm talking about! Duffy teams in Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo all pushing creative designs! This is really what I wanted from Paris and I'm happy to hear it's happening. This has always, always been my vision! I don't know who Dara is...

    Quote Originally Posted by poohstraveler View Post
    ...I'm going to remain hopeful and see how things go. At least I have a much better understanding on a lot of the "behind the scenes" things that many of us don't know -- many of the major gripes I had with Duffy's release last year.
    We all envy your backstage access,^^ but I'm more hopeful after reading your post, at least for Hong Kong and Paris. The part about the US kinda sounds like they're trying to blame Tokyo for their lack of creativity, which, especially after looking at this "new" storybook, is absolutely freaking ridiculous! I wonder whose decision it was not to include Cape Cod nominally, though. I can see how OLC might want to protect Cape Cod as a location in TDS, but what is more likely to me is that WDC didn't want non-Japanese fans, particularly Americans, to think of "Duffy's hometown" being somewhere in Japan. I am so relieved to think that OLC artists had the clout to be treated like the creators/owners of Duffy, which is how that sounded, and how it is, no matter what the copyright says.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by poohstraveler View Post
    I appreciate that the passion that some of the artists do have for their craft, I am just seeing how limited they are by all the red tape that most corporations, and certainly Disney, are known for...
    Yeah, I appreciate the consistent passion that all the Japanese artists demonstrably have for their heart-labored craft. I just wish I was able to know who they are like I know Monty and that "author" whose name escapes me at the moment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Janell View Post
    I didn't know the new sorcerer and aviator costumes were out. Im so not in the know. lol
    I didn't know that, either. Hopefully we'll get photos soon!^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Janell View Post
    Interesting that OLC maybe controlling the quality of costumes in other parks. Makes sense I guess. Just means Duffy wont find his fan base in other parks as much. I wish they could come up with something compromise with the costumes so other parks could get better quality...
    Of course I don't know what Poohstraveler knows and I'm not even 100% sure I understand exactly what was meant. But I do know from many experiences that the image of the OLC "controlling" what WDC does is at the very least dramatically overstated and more likely totally inconceivable. They are a licensee who depend on Disney to run their business. OLC surely brings in revenue and severing that tie would be harmful to Disney politically, but Disney is the Big Cheese, make no mistake. What I think this means is that they did not lose control of their own designs in the negotiations to bring Duffy to a global audience, and I applaud them for it.This would also explain the Halloween and Christmas costumes, as well as the storybook. WDC wanted to just copy and paste, but probably sell at a lower price point. OLC said "No, that's ours and that's not how we roll!" So, the US team made just enough variations to get away with it. You know, the kind of thing they'd sue someone else for. Of course, that's all just speculation. I'm sure Poohstraveler can tell us more.*hint, hint* I suppose Jessie Ward was kind enough to say she was "inspired by the hangtags." Yeah...I remembered her name.



    This is from yet another thread, but I also think it fits better here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursulalvr View Post
    ...Reading what Poohstraveler said about Duffy in the other forum makes me sad to think OLC restricts quality here in the states, but I guess that means OLC will always be on top. Hmmm it's almost as if they're showing off like "Only Japan gets the best stuff! hehe". But I just don't see these selling well in the states either. This type of product, to me, feels exclusively Japanese because of the ridiculousness of the detail! And I'm good with that!
    I'm not sure I understood what Poohstraveler wrote properly, but based on many, many interactions with CMs, office staff and entertainment planners here, as well as knowing some people at Disney Japan (not OLC-affiliated, but a subsidiary of WDC), I strongly-nigh-completely doubt that OLC has even the remotest inkling of the power to tell Disney they can't spend exactly as much talent and capital on whatever the heck they'd like and to whatever extent they wish. It is a wholly implausible concept and if someone at Disney said as much, they were lying.

    If OLC had that kind of power over Disney or even over Duffy, they would own the name and character design, too. If they could and if their modus operandi and motivation was to limit other companies'/artists' creative power, don't you think they'd have "©Oriental Land Company" on Duffy products - at least in Japan even? If they were gonna could tell the US what it can and cannot produce, don't you think they'd also insist on having their own artists credited or at least the Company's name mentioned when US artists are doing knock-offs of their work and capitalizing on their investment in an idea the US threw away?

    The notion that the OLC has tied Disney's hands and stopped them from being able to produce their "grand vision" of Duffy is patently absurd to the point of laughing out loud, at least as I can understand it, so I doubt that's precisely what Poohstraveler meant. Hopefully we'll get a clarification update from PT soon.^^

  2. #2

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    Re: OLC's Conspiracy to Crush Creativity in Overseas Markets!^^

    I'm sure theres gotta be SOME legal thing allowing some creative control. I mean OLC/TDR employees get discounts and tickets to go to the Disney run parks but it's not the same the other way around. Idk, but I'll wait for specifics from PT, it does seem odd, but I can see it happening.
    Poor unfortunate Souls.

  3. #3

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    Re: OLC's Conspiracy to Crush Creativity in Overseas Markets!^^

    Reading that it sounds more to me like the OLC has copyrights to their own designs but Disney don't want to pay them for them.

    I agree wit Ursulalvr that maybe some control.

  4. #4

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    Re: OLC's Conspiracy to Crush Creativity in Overseas Markets!^^

    I have a friend who is a CM at DLP and he sent me some photos of the Duffy displays going up in Paris and.... right now they have the exact same costumes the US parks have.

  5. #5

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    Re: OLC's Conspiracy to Crush Creativity in Overseas Markets!^^

    Yeah, I'm not sure how much control OLC can really have over Disney. Although there is a give and take. When negotiating for a new theme park (TDS), they had a lot of say on what was going to appear. Sure, Disney has creative control, and they make sure that everything is squeaky clean and looks just like it should, but OLC does seem to have some power in what actually happens in their parks. They also pay for it, which makes all the difference.

    I know Disney now regrets their deal with OLC, but they can't do anything about that, because it was done when the company (Disney) couldn't afford to own and operate it's own overseas park. So, now they have to deal with OLC. Still, they get lots of money from ticket and merchandise sales.

    With Duffy, I'm sure it's not quite copyright, because Disney is obviously using a lot of the Japanese designed logos and artwork, and...story elements. I think DuffyD might be right, in that it's about the specific costume designs and settings. Maybe they have a way of controlling that. Although...Hong Kong Disneyland did get a couple of the actual TDS designed costumes last year, so who knows?

    If OLC does have a say on what does or does not get done with global Duffy, then I'm glad. It should force the other teams to get creative and design their own costumes and artwork. I just hope they can rise to the occasion. Based on the storybook and the direction they've been going, I'm not impressed. However, hearing that Hong Kong and Paris will get unique designs does give me hope. I would love to see what fashion designers will do in Paris.

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