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