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  1. #1

    • Dolcetto o scherzetto?
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    Lightbulb The "Round-Up" Factor

    US Duffy is like Woody in the first Toy Story film, charming and nostalgic, but a generic-feeling "cowboy doll" akin to Duffy's being a "teddy bear."

    Visiting Tokyo or understanding Tokyo Duffy is like the eye-opening moment in Toy Story 2 when we discover "Woody's Round-Up." Remember Woody's face when he realized who he was? Now imagine taking that away from him. Sure, he still has Andy's love, but he also has Jessie as a constant reminder of his impact and history. Imagine if the majority of Toy Story fans never saw the second film for some reason and completely missed the layers this adds to Woody. He finally carries the same weight as Buzz; just as in Japan, Duffy, in a very different way, carries the same weight as… No, I don't dare say it.

    Cape Cod gives Duffy a sense of place and independence that the US is not trying for. In the US, Duffy is part of the Disney character "family," like Woody is part of the Toy Story cast. He needs the others for context. In Japan, Duffy is a bonafide superstar fully capable of standing on his own.

    I thought this just illustrates the complexity, stakes, and relevance of the problem perfectly, so I thought I'd share and see if it fosters further discussion.^^

  2. #2

    • I love that tiny bear!
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    Re: The "Round-Up" Factor

    No time to expound at the moment (though I'd like to), but I like that. Many US Duffies have their own "Andy," and even as just a beloved travel companion, he's a wonderful bear.

    The good (?) news is that I wager the majority of Duffy fans worldwide actually have "seen Toy Story 2" as it were. It's just that for some reason the film was never released in America or Europe. (Or there are other ways to take the metaphor, but again, no time!)

  3. #3

    • Munchings & Crunchings
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    Re: The "Round-Up" Factor

    Oh, NOW I understand what you were trying to tell me, DuffyD. Yes, the analogy makes sense. The big difference is that Woody had decades to be forgotten. His show faded into obscurity, with only collectors knowing his real story. With Duffy, the stories are happening simultaneously, and there are far fewer people outside of Japan who know the OLC Duffy.

    Eeee-va, am I misunderstanding what you're meaning about Toy Story 2 not being released in the US or Europe??? It sure was released worldwide. In fact, it was originally supposed to only be a direct-to-video sequel, but the story proved so good that Pixar persuaded Disney to put it on the big screen. Personally, I liked it even better than the first movie. I love the introduction of Jessie, she's one of my favorite characters.

    Comparing Duffy again to Toy Story 2, I see Disney as Al "the chicken man". He's only in it for the money. Sure, he knows all about Woody, and has all the collectibles, but really he only has them so he can make lots of money selling them to that toy museum in Japan. He doesn't seem to really care about or love the toys. Disney (the company as an entity) is treating Duffy like just a money making toy. I know there are creative people who care, but the company seems to stifle creativity these days.

    After all, Disney just completely shut down Junction Point Studios, the game company that developed the Epic Mickey video games. So much hype for that property, even re-introducing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but apparently the games didn't make enough money to make it worthwhile for Disney, so they shut the whole thing down and kicked Warren Spector and his team to the curb. Now they are getting behind another video game concept called "Disney Infinity" that borrows very heavily from the Spyro the Dragon "Skylanders" series. It's a game where you buy small figurines and put them on a "portal" that adds a digital version to the game world so you can play as that character. The Skylanders series has done extremely well, and it's got a Pokemon "gotta catch em' all" mentality where people want to buy all the plastic toys to add to the game. So, Disney saw dollar signs and now wants to copy that formula. The game itself looks like it has potential, but it's not really a new thing, it's a copycat concept. But they abandoned the Epic Mickey teams for this. So, if Duffy doesn't do well after this new push at the Disney Stores, and on the Disney Channel, will they just dump him again?

  4. #4

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    Re: The "Round-Up" Factor

    Sorry, I meant Toy Story 2 metaphorically, Gurgi. As in, "Toy Story 2" is a figurative term for Duffy's Japanese backstory.

    So what I meant is, I would be very surprised if the majority of Duffy fans (by the numbers) weren't Japanese/possibly from nearby countries in Asia. The Duffy backstory (in the metaphor, "Toy Story 2") was released in Japan, but for some reason it was never shown in the US or Europe. But, since most Duffy fans know Duffy because of his presence in Japan, they have "seen the movie," so to speak.

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