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  1. #166

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    You didn't upset me at all, Dazy! I just want to know that people know what's happening, that they see it beyond the narrow consumer perspective that Disney execs seem to imagine is all we are capable of. I think it's hard to understand Cape Cod Duffy outside Japan, and if I'm honest, I imagine the majority of Japanese fans are also just experiencing Duffy as "KAWAAIIII!!!" but because of the quality and heart the creators put into him, the experience is automatically so much richer. I just want to be sure that as many more people get to know Duffy, they get to know the real Duffy.

    And I'll also admit that with two companies with such a complex relationship, there could be numerous reasons for most of my concerns. I choose to beat the drum loudly for Oriental Land because they redeemed a once-great American company and made me love Disney again. To see them have apparently very little control or acknowledgement on their most significant character contribution to Disney history breaks my heart, both for them and because it makes me feel ashamed about so many ways that I feel Japanese get rolled over by Americans because they don't fight back. I like to imagine that, despite its scale, the WDC is not a selfish bully, copying answers on exams and stealing lunch money. Lots of that is my own baggage, though, I know!

    I don't blame you for buying US Duffy, either. Despite my protests, I really do get it. It's difficult to rationalize spending money on any hobby, much less a bear collecting hobby. When you think about cost, especially of importing, of course it's nice to have Duffy right down at the mall. But it does change what he means, if you only ever got him at the mall. Not for a child, probably. But for most adults, I think this is a big difference that probably negatively impacts his longevity potential. Duffy may trend for a bit with this new wider audience, who knows? But if he's just Disney's new Mickey bear from the mall, how long will people really care?

    Part of why I love Duffy is that I see myself making the choice to be invested. The global release isn't even offering that choice. Maybe the future Disney Store Exclusive releases will follow the Cannery Clothing Co. model and raise the quality… Maybe the merchandise from the Parks will be limited to the Parks once again as the Disney Store line establishes itself. Maybe Disney will love Duffy enough to openly, consistently, genuinely and passionately acknowledge The Oriental Land Company and the Japanese creators (by name) who have made Duffy possible and continue to develop him, ShellieMay, TippyBlue and their home in Cape Cod to spread their message of Happiness, Luck, Love, Joy, Exploration and Adventure.

    Maybe… But I'm not holding my breath.

    Also, I'm especially moody today because I'm sick and had too much time sitting around at home!;p
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 02-15-2013 at 08:06 AM. Reason: I'm sick and making lots of errors.^^

  2. #167

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    Maybe the future Disney Store Exclusive releases will follow the Cannery Clothing Co. model and raise the quality… Maybe the merchandise from the Parks will be limited to the Parks once again as the Disney Store line establishes itself.

    Maybe… But I'm not holding my breath.
    I'm not holding my breath too about US Disney ... the wait would be a long, long, long time.

    Disney has continuously spouted the 1 park idea, the shopping bags are generic and feature both DLR and WDW on opposite sides. Which coast did I just visit? The sad thing is that because Disney is a publicly traded company, "shareholder value" aka profits, seems to trump everything including long term vision.

    The Disney Store rollout, seemed like a Marketing plan to ride the Valentine's Day frenzy for last minute shoppers. No special marketing campaign, no emotional tug or tie in per se. I believe that the success of Japan Duffy, is because OLC was able to successfully associate Duffy (& ShellieMay) with a heartfelt emotion.

    Had Disney Store launched a media campaign, special costumes or done something big; I would have been one of the first to the doorstep and in line when they opened. After reading all the reviews and seeing the pictures. I haven't missed much.

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  3. #168

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    While I whole-heartedly agree with everything being discussed here, I think it’s important to remember that Disney has a different perspective on what “success” is. As fans, we define Duffy’s success very differently. We want the Duffy character to continue to be treasured and want his reputation to reflect his status in Tokyo. The truth is, that Disney USA is does not directly benefit from upholding that reputation. If they can monetize Duffy in a way that makes them more money, they will do so. They have established with their actions that their end-goal is to make the most money with the least effort. And really, that’s not an unusual goal for a multi-billion dollar company. Because the executives are so USA focused, they do not see the importance of upholding the standards of the “Duffy brand” because realistically there isn’t really a Duffy brand in the USA. Their goal is not to build another character in the Disney portfolio, it is to (as stated before) create the most profit for their investors. This is just a cheap means to their end.

    While I am thoroughly disappointed in the direction Disney has chosen to go, I think it’s important to focus on the positive. At least the Tokyo Disney is not canalizing its character for profit margins like the US has chosen to do!

  4. #169

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    Also, Aimster, you owe me $17. Enabler. Dusty the Arizona Bear! Since I bought him on Statehood Day. (Don't mind the tag; I looked carefully for a well-sewn outfit--not sure I managed--and ignored the fact that the buttons didn't line up right at ALL, so I'm debating exchanging the outfit. It reminded me of how some folks I know in Arizona dress... )

    I am COMPLETELY innocent!

    My 17" Duffy has that same outfit!

  5. #170

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmenning View Post
    …Disney has a different perspective on what “success” is. As fans, we define Duffy’s success very differently. We want the Duffy character to continue to be treasured and want his reputation to reflect his status in Tokyo. The truth is, that Disney USA is does not directly benefit from upholding that reputation. If they can monetize Duffy in a way that makes them more money, they will do so.
    Duffy is Duffy, and the name should mean something. I've used this analogy before, but it holds: if some other company produces similar-but-not-the-same products bearing the Apple or Louis Vuitton or Ferrari brand name, it is perceived as a problem. The unfortunate drawback for OLC is that it is formally and legally a licensee of the WDC and so the "knockoff" producer has more clout, as it "owns" the IP by default.

    However, the more Duffy fans know and understand this situation, and the less they spend on subpar products, the more profit incentive there is for WDC to engage in ethical acknowledgement of the OLC and upholding their quality standards for merchandising and marketing. If they feel they can only reap the biggest bounty by finding people who care about Duffy and giving them freedom to work their magic, they will. If they feel they can do it cheaply and generate the same or greater profits as with substantial investing, they will do that.

    The fans, as consumers, have real power here. Consumer demand and artistic integrity feed off each other in healthy creative commercial pursuits. This relationship is the only reason Japanese Duffy (and Disney and character goods generally — and all products, really) are produced and sold at the standards and prices the market holds in Japan. Like any economy, it is an ecosystem. And like any ecosystem, balance of power is relative. Disney is not holding all the cards. If consumers don't buy Duffy until Disney does it right, and then do spend money on higher quality when pressure forces them to try, the consumers prove that Disney should take the risk and try for something great. If Monty Maldovan the Easter chick designer is truly frustrated by what's happening and actually has better ideas, consumer pressure helps him get the execs off his back and out of his way.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmenning View Post
    They have established with their actions that their end-goal is to make the most money with the least effort. And really, that’s not an unusual goal for a multi-billion dollar company. Because the executives are so USA focused, they do not see the importance of upholding the standards of the “Duffy brand” because realistically there isn’t really a Duffy brand in the USA. Their goal is not to build another character in the Disney portfolio, it is to (as stated before) create the most profit for their investors. This is just a cheap means to their end.
    The OLC has shareholders, too, and they love Duffy because he's doing gangbusters.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmenning View Post
    …At least the Tokyo Disney is not canalizing its character for profit margins like the US has chosen to do!
    Margins would fall immediately if the OLC followed the US model. Consumers demand more and OLC clearly knows this. It's up to the fans to vote with their wallets. And ZT and Aimster are right. Letter campaigns and feedback to the Parks are not bad ideas. If Disney thinks what consumers want is cheap and easy Duffy, it's up to those same people to show Disney that they're wrong.

  6. #171

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    I am COMPLETELY innocent!

    My 17" Duffy has that same outfit!
    I love it! When I put the outfit on him, I was thinking "This looks kind of like Aimster's Duffy!"

    I know the US Disney Store release wasn't ideal (yes, that was putting it kindly) and I have no plans to buy anything else from them unless/until they come out with something great and new...OK, POSSIBLY another 8" bear for a shoebox child gift closer to Christmas. (I think the magnet bears are much higher quality, but when you're giving to a child I think something more huggable could have some great appeal, and the multilingual book is actually a plus since it increases the odds that the child who receives it might actually be able to understand Duffy's story! Or know someone who can translate for them!)

    But in a sense, the dream of a smaller/child-friendly-priced Duffy with a line of clothes DID come true. Not Disney's clothes, but given how skilled Build-a-Bear is at making nice bear clothes, these clothes are probably nicer than whatever Disney would've made anyway.

  7. #172

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    …But in a sense, the dream of a smaller/child-friendly-priced Duffy with a line of clothes DID come true. Not Disney's clothes, but given how skilled Build-a-Bear is at making nice bear clothes, these clothes are probably nicer than whatever Disney would've made anyway.
    True on both counts. Maybe if the 8" is a success and Disney notices they're losing costume sales to BAB, they'll come out with their own stuff. It really is impossible for me to make any excuses for WDC when I look at the quality and pricing structures in place at BAB.

  8. #173

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    I decided to check out DisneyStore.com to see what they offered. The jeweled figurine is completely tacky, in my opinion. Everything else I saw offered was available at the WDW parks when I went in December.


  9. #174

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    DuffyD, I understand what you're saying about fans demanding better from Disney and withholding their money until Disney does it right. However, I think something else would happen. Disney will not look at what fans are asking for, and they will never understand that people are not buying Duffy because of Disney's lack of effort. What will end up happening, is that Disney will see that Duffy's sales are not up to what they would like, and they'll just abandon him. They will not learn a lesson, and they won't increase the quality. I know that sounds very negative, but I believe it's true. Disney doesn't get the Walt Disney mantra anymore, about building/creating quality first and the money will follow.

    I think it's truly too late to get Disney to stop producing the cheaper Duffy products. And, I think we need to just accept it. What I DO truly wish Disney would do, is create a second "high end" Duffy line, that replicates the OLC quality, possibly even as high as Cannery Clothing Company. Disney could produce a limited number of these things, to cater specifically to adult fans. It's (again) similar to what Hasbro has done with My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. They have the obligatory toy line for little girls, of course. The prices are cheap, and the quality is basic. However, since the show has gained lots of adult fans, they have also created a "brony" line of merchandise to cater specifically to those adult fans. Even limited edition pony figures, clothes, accessories. They made a deal with Hot Topic to sell that stuff, and also Toys R Us sells some too. I saw some of the products there the other night. So, Disney could easily create that second tier Duffy line to make us happy, while keeping the regular Duffy series they've already started.

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  10. #175

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovegreataur View Post
    I decided to check out DisneyStore.com to see what they offered. The jeweled figurine is completely tacky, in my opinion. Everything else I saw offered was available at the WDW parks when I went in December.
    I got this as a Christmas present from my husband (they sell them in the parks) and the pictures make it look horrible! It is much cuter in person, but obviously not everyone's "cup o' tea". I love sparkly things with crystals, so it's right up my alley.
    Luv Duffy & Shellie May


  11. #176

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    Disney will not look at what fans are asking for, and they will never understand that people are not buying Duffy because of Disney's lack of effort. What will end up happening, is that Disney will see that Duffy's sales are not up to what they would like, and they'll just abandon him. They will not learn a lesson, and they won't increase the quality...I think it's truly too late to get Disney to stop producing the cheaper Duffy products...What I DO truly wish Disney would do, is create a second "high end" Duffy line, that replicates the OLC quality, possibly even as high as Cannery Clothing Company. Disney could produce a limited number of these things, to cater specifically to adult fans. It's (again) similar to what Hasbro has done with My Little Pony Friendship is Magic...So, Disney could easily create that second tier Duffy line to make us happy, while keeping the regular Duffy series they've already started.
    My sentiments exactly, gurgi. I would like Disney to truly dedicate themselves to Duffy, but Iím doubtful they will. The marketing campaign is currently in a nosedive, and I can only foresee two (2) possible outcomes. Disney can continue to be the foolhardy pilot who stubbornly believes, even until the end, that s/he can save this money-centric, subpar-merchandise-quality plane from crashing. Or Disney can be the pilot who ejects, deploys his consumer-centric, quality-focused parachute, and lives to enjoy another day. I hope fansí concerns, however they are relayed to Disney, will make the executives realize that their past and current efforts are not stabilizing this marketing campaign of a plane from its ineluctable fate, but Iím afraid fansí concerns are not and will not be enough. Duffy will plummet. He will crash, he will burn, and he will be abandoned all because Disney refused to try the ďnovelĒ tactic of either increasing general-merchandise quality or separating merchandise quality into designer and basic tiers. Theyíve adopted a tiered approach to merchandise quality with their jewelry, clothing, and various other Disney product lines, and those efforts seem to be very fortuitous for Disney. I donít understand why Disney is so adamant against employing either a tiered-quality initiative or an improved quality campaign to save Duffy; but whatever the reasons, I hope they were truly worthwhile and very good ones. I doubt failure is that great of a bedfellow.

  12. #177

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naelyan View Post
    I love sparkly things with crystals, so it's right up my alley.
    Naelyan, I hope I didn't offend you. I did not see this in the parks. Perhaps it is nice to look at up close versus the picture. Hopefully it is simply that the picture does not do justice for the figurine.
    ILG

  13. #178

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    everyone seemed excited at the disneystore (nearish) me! I was there Friday and he had a lovely sign, plus a nice display over the counter, but I am still learning how to use my iphone camera lol. it didn't come out so well.

    anyway I will share my one ok photo


    and the cast member did ask me if I knew where Duffy was originally from

    oh yes there was also a digital announcment on the outside of the store. (that sign that keeps changing)
    Last edited by deependgirl; 02-16-2013 at 04:48 PM.



  14. #179

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovegreataur View Post
    Naelyan, I hope I didn't offend you. I did not see this in the parks. Perhaps it is nice to look at up close versus the picture. Hopefully it is simply that the picture does not do justice for the figurine.
    ILG
    Oh heavens no! You didn't offend me! I was just commenting!
    Luv Duffy & Shellie May


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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    And I must say, from experience. Photos of sparkly things NEVER, I mean NEVER do the actual sparkles justice! I went to an exhibit of Van Cleef and Arpels jewlery, and it absolutely dazzled...however, the catalog that they sold just couldn't convey the qualities through photos. So, I think that although the Swarovski Duffy might look tacky in pictures, in person he probably looks much better. I've actually been tempted by him myself, since I also adore sparkly things.

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