I do have some perspective on Disney's side, and I will say Duffy here is purely for profit. One of my old friends who works for Disney was there for the release of Duffy, and she told me they had goals set for all the stores on how much Duffy merch each location sold. They made it a competition about selling the bears. They wanted the CMs to encourage guests to sell the bear without so much as a small blurb about the bear. My friend knew more about Duffy to actually encourage guests to buy Duffy, but it really was all about sales figures. And to them, Duffy is a huge success. Why? For some reason the Japanese fans were buying them in hordes. Now what I would like to know is why the Japanese would buy so many and try to sell them over there? I know from DuffyD and other's perspective(and looking at DeepDisney photos everyday) I've never see any American product with the guests in Japan. So who are these bears going to? I think that's something to think about. With out the Duffy importer's from Japan, Duffy wouldn't be a supposed success that Disney thinks it is, in the states.
And I never said the merchandise defines Duffy. I meant the quality is what drew me to be a fan. And let's be honest Duffy is fully a merchandise endeavor. I'm not gonna kid myself with that. But it's treated differently here. It's more about sales and making things on the cheap than putting out an honest product. How many problems have we read about already about US costumes staining Duffy, Duffy losing his fluff, etc? It's not the same amount of effort, love or creativity that defined Duffy in the first place! And that's my main gripe with US Duffy. I know people will still love him just the same and will buy his costumes. I can't do anything to that, but it does sadden me that the Duffy they're getting is not of the same caliber of what I've grown to love and collect! Oh how I would love to give all the little girls and boys who ogle at my TDS outfits the real Duffy! They're the ones that get the most attention. And I'm not trying to do a "My Duffy is better than yours" kind of thing. It's more about spreading the true Duffy to new fans! People always flip when they see my costumes and get disappointed knowing Disney doesn't sell anything near the same caliber. And that's where a lot of the Duffy hate has been drawn from. The lack of creative merchandise and outfits.
---------- Post added 10-30-2011 at 09:31 PM ----------
I just also want to say, that it really is just shocking that Disney didn't copy one of the most famous release years of Duffy! The TDR 25th anniversary year, when they release CM costumes for various attractions and jobs. Wouldn't have been super awesome to do this with DCA's 10th Anniversary that just passed? Duffy in a cool aviator jumper for Condor Flats, Fishing/camping gear for Grizzly Peak. Boardwalk barker outfit for Paradise Pier, The Little Mermaid costumes, Carsland costume? That would have been SO awesome.
Or even for WDW's 40th that JUST passed! They didn't do anything! They even released a pre-dressed Duffy in a tacky sweater with WDW's logo all over it. Why didn't they push it further? Do CM costumes also? See this is what should be happening. And I'm so surprised that they're trying to copy TDS, and did not even try to do that popular offering.