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  1. #1

    • Dolcetto o scherzetto?
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    Lightbulb A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Happened upon this old thread from before Duffy launched in the US. Some of the concerns and predictions here are just so spot on, it's almost unsettling. It's interesting how many people were curious what Disney would do and cautiously optimistic, compared to how often they post now. On the contrary, some MiceChatters never wanted him to come to the US in the first place, because he's not a "real" character. Lots of insights. I remember now, too, that this was the thread that brought me back to MiceChat after a long absence. For folks who never saw it, this will surely make a fascinating read:^^

    It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice.
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 11-01-2011 at 06:53 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Damn, some interesting predictions. I made a few prescient ones...

    It's frustrating to me to see that Disney is squandering an opportunity here. They really could be making more money with Duffy, if they just invested a little "love" into him. Yeah, giant corporations don't really deal in "love", but the Disney brand should symbolize intangible things like that. If you can't actually produce it, then fake it so it looks like you can. OLC (and Japanese merchandise in general) is fantastic at doing this. There is a quality there that shows care, even in throwaway items. So, why can't they take even the Sanrio model and adapt it to Duffy? Sanrio is a huge success even in the US. And...yeah, little girls are the main target, but so are adult women and some men. I see grown women wearing Hello Kitty items all over the place. So, do something like that with Duffy. Obviously Sanrio is able to produce things cheaply, but they are absolutely adorable, and the quality is good.

    I still think that Disney could cater to the adult fan community by releasing limited edition cast member costumes for Duffy. I mean, wouldn't you think fans of the Haunted Mansion would buy Duffy and a costume if he had the HM butler costume? Once a person has Duffy, and sees the quality, and then there are special costumes not sold all year, they might just be hooked. Maybe not taking him into the parks and posing for pictures, but not every fan needs to do that. The North American market is a hard-sell for carrying Duffy around. There will be people who do, but it can never be like it is in Japan, it's a completely different culture.

    It makes me wish I was on the US Duffy creative team and was able to actually influence decisions. I know that quite often, the creative types are stifled by the suits, but I wish I could do something about that and implement my ideas for Duffy and really make more people outside of Japan love him.

    I would actually partner with OLC and make sure they got credit on costume design. There would be limited re-issues of TDS costumes from the past only available at one location in EPCOT (the Japan pavilion), and one location at DCA. And...the costumes between both would be different. For example, I would release the summer "Hello from Cape Cod" outfit from 2010 with the straw boater hat, blue vest & yellow pants only at DCA. It fits Paradise Pier perfectly, and would be a natural choice. In the Japan pavilion, I would re-issue the raincoat set, and probably some others over time. Make it a little treasure hunt to find the special costumes for Duffy. They would be more expensive, yes, but limited availability and location. Plus, I would make sure that signage made people aware that these were TDS originals. Sort of a special line, like TDS's "Cannery Clothing Company", only...not quite as expensive.

    Then, there would be special cast member costumes for Duffy, and they would also be limited quantity. Tie them in to attraction anniversaries or special events, or just holidays.

    Speaking of holidays, I would follow TDS's holiday themes and have Duffy's areas in the parks decorated for each. I'm sure the decorations OLC creates for Cape Cod aren't budget-breaking affairs. They seem to always be simple, and tasteful...but not overly expensive looking. Maybe work out an agreement with OLC to purchase the decorations from past events, like Disney has done for Halloween in the past.

    There have to be ways to innovate while keeping costs down...

    I know people seem to not like when the US stuff is compared to Japan's, but it's inevitable, and even though OLC doesn't do everything right (even they have missteps) they do things more consistently high-quality than Disney is currently doing with Duffy, and I would like to see that change...somehow.

    A year later, I'm not sure of the direction. I wish I could be optimistic, but I'm not feeling it at this point. Please, Duffy team, if you're reading this forum (and I hope somebody is) just TRY to push things through, I know it's hard to fight corporate, but we want Duffy (and you) to succeed.

  3. #3

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    Thumbs up Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    …Please, Duffy team, if you're reading this forum (and I hope somebody is) just TRY to push things through, I know it's hard to fight corporate, but we want Duffy (and you) to succeed.
    It may not sound like it sometimes, but if I believed they were well-intentioned artists who genuinely love Duffy making a sincere effort, I couldn't be more in agreement with this.^^

  4. #4

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Maybe Duffy will be accepted better if he got a cartoon or a show on Disney Jr. here in the US. maybe he can be added to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as Mickey's Bear that comes to life at the most inoppertune times.

  5. #5

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyfan5534 View Post
    Maybe Duffy will be accepted better if he got a cartoon or a show on Disney Jr. here in the US. maybe he can be added to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as Mickey's Bear that comes to life at the most inoppertune times.
    There's just one problem with that. If they do that, then Duffy would be marketed to really little kids... like the under 10 set. I don't want that to happen. I want Duffy to appeal to ADULTS as well as kids. I want him to be universal and synonymous with ALL age groups, young and old.

    Even Walt Disney himself said, "You're dead if you aim just to kids." That might not be the exact quote, but it's the same context. He felt if you aimed at just one age group, you're bound to fail. That's why he created Disneyland.... something to appeal to ALL ages.

  6. #6

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Wow, if only Walt knew what was going on today.

  7. #7

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Unfortunately, there would have to be a giant campaign in general with toys and their targeting because most people over the age of 11 don't feel comfortable walking around with plushies or dolls. (In fact, 98% of the time if I do see someone older than that doing so, it's for a costume or a cosplay)

  8. #8

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    IF they were to do some sort of cartoon series or something, I hope they would at least compromise by making a smart and entertaining show on The Disney Channel and NOT some dumbed down toddler stuff on Playhouse Disney (Disney Jr., whatever). Turning Duffy into The Wiggles or Handy Manny would certainly not be doing him any favors. Wouldn't be doing his current fans any favors, either. It's bad enough to be an adult carrying around/collecting teddy bear stuff in the US. Can you imagine if he was directly related to a show for preschoolers?

  9. #9

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Maybe a new Mickey and Friends show in the style of Mickey Mouse Works or Animaniacs (which I love by the way) that has Duffy as a character

  10. #10

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    ^ EXACTLY! I hate how TV for kids has been SO dumbed down over the years. If you watch old school Sesame Street from the 70's and early 80's, you would see it was NOT like that back then. Things went downhill once that red twinkie known as Elmo came around. He ruined it with his baby talk. Sorry if that offends any Elmo fans here, but I personally can't stand him (FWIW, I'm a big Cookie Monster & Grover fan).

  11. #11

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    It doesn't have to be a big, expensive marketing campaign either. They need something viral that will hit all the right buttons with hardcore Disney fans. Even OLC has never really marketed Duffy outside of TDS, and even within that park, it's been mostly limited to American Waterfront. The best advertising the could have ever hoped for was the fans.

    Disney needs to take that route here and think creatively and cheaply for marketing.

  12. #12

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Personally I think it has little to do with the character but is all culture.

    I mean.. how many adults do you see buying Mickey Mouse Plushes? Or any of the Fab 5? Maybe they buy one, but who buys many them as adults besides maybe a collector trying to save for the future?

    Adults in the US don't run around and show off plushes. Doesn't matter what the subject matter is.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus:1056655654

    Adults in the US don't run around and show off plushes. Doesn't matter what the subject matter is.
    I do!! I carry duffy everywhere. He has gone to a baby shower and a karioki party. The fair. As well as dland every single time we go. He also goes on any vacation we go on. Also be has multiple outfits. Mostly from build a bear. And some I have made.

    Im 28 and have been married almost 5 years and I dont care that I play with and dress up a bear. I always tell people who he is and why I love him! I have a few friends that do the same with duffy!. My friend Trisha's duffy (duffers) and my duffy are vest friends. Whenever we all go to the parks together they love to play together!

    Surprising thing at Dca is I see more adults with duffy than kids.

  14. #14

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Of course there are some that do.. there is a niche for everything in America. I just don't think the mentality the japanese have towards this carries over here... and the idea of showing off your duffy collection really appeals to the mass market here.
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  15. #15

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    Re: A year later, this is kinda eerie…

    Quote Originally Posted by imalwayscrazy View Post
    I do!! I carry duffy everywhere. He has gone to a baby shower and a karioki party. The fair. As well as dland every single time we go. He also goes on any vacation we go on. Also be has multiple outfits. Mostly from build a bear. And some I have made.

    Im 28 and have been married almost 5 years and I dont care that I play with and dress up a bear. I always tell people who he is and why I love him! I have a few friends that do the same with duffy!. My friend Trisha's duffy (duffers) and my duffy are vest friends. Whenever we all go to the parks together they love to play together!

    Surprising thing at Dca is I see more adults with duffy than kids.
    I also carry around mine and heck, a lot of people in this forum do, but it's true that most adults won't. It's a general thing. Kind of like how people say video games are only for children. If you're an adult who plays them, it's considered like it's a waste of time and you're wasting away your life/lazy. Toys, sadly, go the same boat. Board games also hit this where it's either a family thing or a kid's thing, not an adult thing (with a few exceptions).

    I've always enjoyed buying plushies, even now in my early 20's. But it's also what I like. My sister, on the otherhand, is only in her teens (and she was like this before she even hit teens) and prefers make-up and jewelery to plushies. She gave me her Duffy (which we brought back for her from Japan) along with several of her other dolls. Still waiting for her to find the rest of the clothes I had given her :P (We had split up the Pirate and Wizard costumes from the 2007 Halloween sets).

    My boyfriend has a Build a Bear I got him when we had first started dating. I didn't know what to get him so I got him a bear and when we finally got to meet, I threw it at his face because I was nervous and then ran away. We're still together (and have been for over 8 years now) and he does love the bear, but he admits that he won't really have it out as it's "too girly". He has it dressed as a Jedi and still doesn't feel comfortable doing anything with it because it's a teddy bear.

    And while I take my bears out and try to take pictures, I also feel really nervous. I'm a shy person--I don't like attention drawn to me, so anyone looking at me makes me incredibly nervous. Regardless, I like carrying around plushies. I have a little dolphin that hangs off my 3DS and a little penguin that hangs off my cellphone and various plushies all over the place.

    But it's just not something that's looked at as "okay" when it comes down to it with most people here. In Japan, everyone loves cute stuff--guys can have charms with all kinds of cute things. Women can have a cute hair barrette and it's -okay-.

    Here in the US, if you are a guy and have something cute people would either think:
    1. They are a pedophile
    2. They have some kind of mental problem
    3. They are gay. (I would like to point out I have no problem with gay people and this is silly reasoning for anyone to think someone is gay, but this is sadly how people think and there are guys who may not be gay and would have issues dealing with this (Whether it be homophobia or just dislike of being called something they aren't)--they would repress liking anything that's somewhat cute or feel it's "wrong")

    With woman, there's similar issues (though, not as bad for men, I don't think)--usually in how "mature" people think you are and of course, the pedophile thing.

    Because when it really gets down to it, that's what a lot of people will be thinking "If you play with stuffed toys and are over the age of 12, you are a pedophile or a freak". Which is really depressing.

    Other options that come into it is someone may think it's for a child or maybe you have children and it's really hard to explain otherwise because that pretty much says "you shouldn't be getting it for yourself".

    The one thing that Duffy could have going for it is that it's Disney and so many people have grown up with Disney. It isn't odd to see people in shirts with some of the cuter characters or having Mouse ears or anything. But even in that fashion, would I expect to see any of them wearing those things out of the park? Not so much--there would be some, but in general, not many.

    I do think Duffy could be more popular if they could better show his place in Disney, but even that can only go so far because it's just not "okay" here to most people, which is really unfortunate.

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