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  1. #31

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    I don't think that the Duffy in Disney stores is going to be a lesser quality, cheaper version of Duffy. I think it is going to be the same Duffy that you get in the parks. That's what they did with DisneyStore.com.

    And who knows what is going to happen with Disney Channel. We don't know what they are going to do. Duffy may just be making appearances. I can't imagine that he would have his own show. What would they do? (The more I think about this the more I cringe, I can't stand Duffy being treated like a child. No offense to anyone out there but seeing Duffy in diapers creeps me out! My Duffy's and Shellie May's are not children to me, but pals/friends.)

    But I think we can all agree 1) We don't want Duffy to be dumbed down. 2) We don't want quality to decrease. 3) We'd like to see higher quality and quantity of items, clothing, accessories, etc. 4) We would like to see TDS quality of Duffy experiences in the parks.
    (Having cardboard cut outs on sticks that kids can decorate does not cut it!)

    So, maybe we should all start flooding the Disney company with emails about our concerns (although I don't know where to send them). Wouldn't it be nice if they actually listened to the fans for once?

  2. #32

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    I too doubt the Duffy merchandise released in the Disney stores will be of any lesser quality than what is currently available. What concerns me is that Disney will just continue its current Duffy merchandising campaign, and the result of their epic expansion will be consumer befuddlement about and eventual consumer hesitation towards Duffy. Initially, people may acknowledge his cuteness, but his cuteness may not be enough to endear him to the vast majority. People will view and rationalize Duffy as nothing more than an attempt by Disney to compete in the customizable teddy bear/plush industry in order to line their coffers.

    With their Duffy revitalization campaign, Disney has the potential to not only restore its former greatness in the public’s eye, but to also assure the public that the Disney legacy for greatness will endure, that it didn’t just atrophy starting in the early 2000’s. Disney was known for both creating its own and reinventing fabled characters by telling amazingly whimsical and magically fantastic stories that endeared these characters to us. We loved them when we were younger, and our parents delighted in our excitement about them because they saw how much Disney—their movies, their characters, etc.—enriched our childhoods and our lives. Even more, our parents desired the days when we too would be able to cherish our love of Disney with our own loved ones, and many of us hoped that we would still love these characters, old and new, when we got older even if we couldn’t always find the time to show and tell them of our appreciation.

    Recently, however, it is no longer the norm to expect such wondrous stories and characters from Disney; we are surprised by them. Gone are the days when critics and the public alike would unanimously heap praise on virtually every Disney release—movie, park character, or otherwise—and I think Disney is slowly beginning to realize (or at the very least no longer deny) this fact. Well, at least they appeared to recognize this revelation when the CEO stepped down after the disaster of a movie known as John Carter was released. But I digress.

    Naelyan, perhaps you are right. Maybe we should write letters to Disney. Duffy has the potential to be the torchbearer who ushers in the next wave of great Disney characters, but his success will be contingent on whether Disney gets it right when they introduce Duffy’s merchandise into their physical stores. First and foremost, the quality of the bears needs to improve. No more bears with lopsided faces or too much or not enough stuffing (it needs to meet the standards of Goldilocks and be just right). If the bears look terrible, then people will automatically equate Duffy as Disney’s version of an overpriced Build-a-Bear bear. Getting Duffy right will open people’s hearts to him.

    Secondly, Disney needs to offer more and better quality clothing options for Duffy. Give us ensembles and separates. Disney, you have a vault’s worth of characters beloved by people the world over, and people happily wear clothing depicting these characters. Emblazon them, Disney movies, and park experiences on Duffy’s clothing so people can make Duffy their own and make Duffy endearing to them. Duffy is a unique character all his own because his backstory is entirely your narrative. If Duffy is to be a companion who is an extension of his human pal, then Duffy needs excellent, not just good, quality clothing that helps Duffy express his companion’s styles, likes, loves, and interests.

    If Disney inputs the time, effort, and quality into Duffy, then they (and we) can rest assured that Duffy will flourish. He will be beloved by children young and old, big and small, newly born and wizened by years. They will take him with them, perhaps not on all their adventures, but at the very least, they will take him to experience the magic of the Disney parks. He will be not only an expression of past Disney experiences, but also a reminder of the memories to come that have not yet been made. He will travel with us physically and throughout time because Disney endeared him to us and his endearment endured. If Duffy is to succeed, then Disney is going to have to “go hard or go home!”

  3. #33

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    ^Well said, ZTRinZler!
    Luv Duffy & Shellie May


  4. #34

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Amen, ZT! The concern is not that the Disney Stores merch will be of lesser, lower quality than the "Disney Parks" releases, but that the Disney Parks version is already cheaper and significantly inferior to the gold quality standard set by Tokyo. To be a success at this point, the Disney Store release must be "better than," not "as good as." The Disney Parks Duffy does not capture the same magic that Cape Cod Duffy embodies so effortlessly (through tireless work^^), and if the mission of the Disney Stores release is not to aggressively and specifically correct this, it will be a pointless exercise and a deep disappointment. No excuses.

    As ZT said so well, and I have said countless times, Duffy is a beautiful opportunity for Disney. There are no excuses either for squandering it or for muddying the good name and pedigree that OLC creators have passionately and firmly established. There is definitely a right way to work with Duffy, and they have a very clear map. Plus, you know, Disney is the most powerful content creator on the planet — as far as we know, in the universe. If they don't get it right, the only reasonable conclusion is that they don't genuinely care to.

  5. #35

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    It seems that this will either be a make it or break it moment for Duffy in the U.S
    I hope that Disney tries their best to do quality like OLC. However, I feel like that won't happen. OLC has years dedicated into Duffy where as Disney threw him away when he was the 'Disney bear'. I am interested to see what Disney does to market him and to see if there work gets better but right now I'm on the fence. I fear that if Disney messes up again with this loveable bear that it might be it for him over here, and I don't want to see that happen. OLC's Duffy is absolutely amazing and I don't want Disney to mess up the image everyone has of him.

    Sorry I have a bunch of thoughts about this running through my head and it's hard to make it into sentences and make sense. Haha.

  6. #36

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    I tend to agree with everyone. I don't mind seeing the merchandise at the store because I don't get the chance to go to the parks very often. I live too far away and it is a little expensive for me. Would there be a way to find out who a higher up person and Disney corporate is? If they could see these threads and have people writing to them to express there concerns maybe something good could come of it. A lady I know her son's girlfriend works and corporate Disney in CA, maybe she could find out something. I will give it a try.




  7. #37

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    It's too late to even care anymore, but "everyone" does not think Duffy should be sold outside the parks. I am steadfastly against this and honestly believe there's no fixing it now.

    When you have to buy an Annual Pass and make trips to the park just to shop, when you have to find a local contact and pay them and pay for shipping, when you can only buy things for a very limited time and they are NEVER available in outlets or at sale prices, when you have to make an effort to keep up with news and releases, when you have to stand in line, when you have to TRY — just like Duffy's real creative team, you have to care.

    Making Duffy more convenient to get at a place that routinely has 50% off sales does not immediately suggest any change in commitment to quality or respect to the limited nature of the Japanese Duffy culture. It's like if Wal-Mart started selling some cheap version of Louis Vuitton. OLC could put Duffy in Bon Voyage and make more money. They don't want that. Duffy is part of offering guests an experience, like everything The Oriental Land Company does.^^

    Duffy is not just a product-thing here; he is part — and for me the embodiment — of OLC's near-perfect approach to all things Disney and a sincere, consistent commitment to crafting experiences that actually make people's lives feel a little more "magical." Either it's not just a company line to OLC employees or they're simply much, much more capable of performing the illusion. Either way, the experiential difference is quite clear.

  8. #38

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    As far as I am concerned, the Duffy OLC created will be the only one in my heart. Everything else will be more like 'The Disney Bear' it's sad but true. OLC has done so much work with Duffy to make him who he is and that's all that matters to me. Duffy will always be OLC and DuffyDaisuki will always be the person I go to, to get my 'Duffy fix.' :]

  9. #39

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    That's a great point about the Duffy difference. Sure, at its basic it's always about money, even to OLC. However, like you pointed out, with Duffy in Japan, it's truly an experience. You can't buy (official anyway) Duffy outside of TDS...anywhere! Even to the point that the Disney Stores there have created their own Duffy imposters in Disney UniBEARsity.

    There really is something to be said about exclusivity. It forces people to actually participate in the experience, and get inside the park, and also hopefully interact with other Duffy friends. It's about merchandise, but it's also how the experience affects your love of the bears. You can see where they are from, and it's all tangeable. The only way for anyone who doesn't want to, or can't get to the parks, is to have someone go for them, or to buy off of auction sites. So, there are levels.

    Having Duffy readily available anywhere takes that special experience away, and makes it much less of an experience. Admittedly, and selfishly, it is nice to have easy access to Duffy products, especially here in the US where most people don't live close to the parks, so really can't go. However, Japan is also a large country and there are people who have not been to, or can't easily get to TDR. They either have to buy online, or just not have Duffy. Or, save up for a once in a lifetime trip. That's when Duffy becomes truly special, as a memento of your big visit to TDR.

    Here, that whole experience is gone for the most part, because you really don't need the parks at all to have Duffy. He's not even tied to them the way he is in Japan. Sure, he's got greeting spots, but his storybook has no ties to the parks at all. Whereas the TDS book has him specifically at Cape Cod in TDS.

    I'm not going to say that people are wrong for wanting easy access to Duffy, and Disney certainly feels like that's one of the ways they can make more money from him (which is what they really care about). What I am saying is that DuffyDaisuki made a great point about the whole Duffy experience in Japan and how being such a limited product actually makes people more dedicated and probably sells more product because it's so exclusive and limited. It's almost a luxury brand in Japan, even though it's not luxury prices. It's a status thing. Duffy can only be found at TDS, and if you have him, it shows you've likely been to the theme parks and seen where Duffy and ShellieMay live.

  10. #40

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    ^ I agree with you completely gurgi

  11. #41

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying people are wrong to want easy access, either. I'm saying it's wrong to give it to them. I have endeavored to make the Duffy Post feel like an experience. Who thinks Disney is not capable of doing a better job than one little guy in Tokyo? Who thinks Disney artists can't design better? Or that Disney Imagineers (who as far as I know are wholly or at least mostly responsible for the absolutely incredible Village Greeting Place) are not capable of powerful park integration?

    No. The fault lies squarely with the Company for disrespecting both Duffy and his fans by treating the whole thing like an automated transaction with electric sheep. But every time we purchase uninspired products, we are telling Disney that's exactly the way we want them to see us, and this character.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffylovrDisney View Post
    …DuffyDaisuki will always be the person I go to, to get my 'Duffy fix.' :]
    I am deeply flattered, but I also hope it's clear that supporting the Duffy Post is not my agenda here. My point is simply that I would like to see Disney displaying a sincere effort and genuine enthusiasm worthy of the energy that Duffy embodies. It's not about having me shop for you; it's about not buying what Disney is selling until they do this right. It's about not letting them popularize a cheap, shadow version of this character we love.
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 01-30-2013 at 10:13 AM.

  12. #42

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Oh, I know you weren't saying people are wrong for wanting easy access. I was just making sure I wasn't coming across that way myself. I agree with you, it should be the company restricting it to maintain a certain level of quality. After all, they have these extremely limited park events with merchandise that they expect people to show up for. Like any of the special AP attraction events for Haunted Mansion, or Pirates of the Caribbean. You can't normally buy that stuff unless you are physically in the parks. Or, sometimes get on a waiting list to buy from the park's mail order departments. But that's it...no country-wide releases. Duffy should really be the same. I think it comes down to Disney seeing Duffy not as a collectible with moderate sales figures and a small footprint, but as a big, cash generating product that should be making them money hand over fist. They don't quite seem to grasp just WHY Duffy is successful in Japan. They just see the sales figures.

  13. #43

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    …I think it comes down to Disney seeing Duffy not as a collectible with moderate sales figures and a small footprint, but as a big, cash generating product that should be making them money hand over fist. They don't quite seem to grasp just WHY Duffy is successful in Japan. They just see the sales figures.
    Nail…hammer…BAM! In Japan, the design team headed for the high end and fans flocked with them. The more Duffy's popularity grew, the more the team pushed in the direction of high-quality collectible, even while making large quantities. Wait til you guys see the new Sweet Duffy stuff! It's unreal!

    One wonders how it was possible to miss this when we've been saying it for years. I am starting to wonder if it really is possible that no one at Disney has ever bothered to find these boards. I have just always assumed that was absurd. Maybe not…

  14. #44

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    I definitely agree that Duffy is an "Experience" versus just another park souvenir. I'm lucky that in 2007 I had the opportunity to see Duffy in TDS and it sparked my interest to do more research once I got home and now have someone who can get items for me from TDS. It's a blessing and I am SOOO lucky to have that option.

    I can see both sides of this argument. It's really pulling me in two different directions.

    On one hand I LOVE having Duffy here and enjoy dressing my bears up and visiting the parks, and we ALWAYS make a stop at Epcot to visit with the "Big Duffy" for pictures. On the other hand, I understand having the quality decreased just to sell more in the U.S. is a negative.

    It's too late for exclusivity to TDS because he's already in the other parks at this point. We can only hope that things don't take a turn for the worst.

    I think this thread could go on forever!
    "That's all I have to say about that." -Forrest Gump
    Luv Duffy & Shellie May


  15. #45

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    Re: Disney Store exclusive Duffy merchandise?

    they don't quite seem to grasp just why duffy is successful in japan. They just see the sales figures.
    this!!! Omg this!!!

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