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.^^