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  1. #16

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    That was a...very touching and excellent point, DuffyD...a very touching and excellent point that eloquently and summatively describes a relationship that itself is difficult to describe.

    Sigh, reading that excerpt made me reminisce about the nights my parents read that book to me. The French version was always my favorite.

  2. #17

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by ZTRinZler View Post
    The French version was always my favorite.
    LUCKY! Never read the new "improved" translation by Richard Howard. It will break your heart. It is exactly like watching Disney's handling of Duffy. It pains me to think of all the kids growing up who will think that is The Little Prince now that the Woods version is no longer in print. It's a very good analogy.

  3. #18

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    I think that the US and Eurpoe Duffy team/merchandising in general are making things for a throw away consumer society! As you say the effort is not put in so people don't get to appreciate the design of things and are maybe not willing to spend a lot of money on something with no longevity - it's a catch 22! I think Disney used to care about things and make good quality, highly detailed items (I'm considering merchandise in general). Maybe the costs of making these things were percieved as too high so the quality dropped or more likely they got greedy, cut corners and fobbed us off with inferior goods. I think it is blatently obvious they did this with the straight to video movie sequels such as Aladdin, Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, this then had a detrimental effect on the Disney Studios and they had to revert back to good quality hand draw features e.g Lilo and Stitch, Princess and the Frog. Since then it's been a mish mash of good quality, good stories compared with cheaply made and under-developed concepts and quick to release money grabbing projects.

    Oh and I'd never heard the story of the Little Prince before! It's fantastic and goes very well to explain the different approach of the TDS team compare with the generic Disney Corporation (I won't say US only as I believe that the UK and Europe can be lumped together with the cash hungry approach).

    Photos from Flickr

  4. #19

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by Becx View Post
    I think that the US and Eurpoe Duffy team/merchandising in general are making things for a throw away consumer society! As you say the effort is not put in so people don't get to appreciate the design of things and are maybe not willing to spend a lot of money on something with no longevity - it's a catch 22!
    I think you're right; consumer demand is key.

    Quote Originally Posted by Becx View Post
    Oh and I'd never heard the story of the Little Prince before!…
    That's just the twenty-first chapter! Do yourself a favor and read the whole book — but make sure it's the translation by KATHERINE WOODS!…unless you can read the original French!

  5. #20

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    I fixed it. Good LORD I'm dumb sometimes.


    True, but if you have a family member who sews, it can be fixed easily enough. It happened to my Duffy's foot and my aunt fixed him for me good as new. I believe Gurgi had the same problem and got his fixed as well.
    Yes, I was very lucky. I took him to Build-a-Bear, and this really wonderful lady took Duffy and sewed up his feet. It's not something they normally do, but she was obviously a tender heart and she acted just like a grandma, it was really a wonderful experience. I know BAB has a tendency to overdo the sweetness factor, but this woman made it all sincere.

  6. #21

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    DuffyD, that excerpt from The Little Prince was a fantastic analogy! Thank you for posting that. Why did they change the translation anyway?

    It's true, Duffy is Duffy, but the effort that OLC has put into him really has tamed him, and his fans. It's an expensive hobby, but one I willingly give my money to because I fell OLC has earned it, and nurtured Duffy and ShellieMay.

  7. #22

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Oh, and on the topic of the waffle fur. I do agree that if you love the Duffy you've chosen, then his looks won't matter. But, if you're still deciding, the fur may be a factor. Pictures are hard to do it justice. Think of it this way. The new waffle-fur bears have a pattern to them. You look at Duffy, and there is an almost checkerboard pattern to his fur. Little clumps in neat little squares all over his body. There are raised tufts, and flat spots. It's an aesthetic thing to be sure. I've seen other plush with similar fur, and I'm sure people like it. However, it doesn't look exactly natural. Now, the original Duffy bears, and the ones sold at Tokyo DisneySea have a more even look. They do look natural. The fur doesn't have any sort of pattern to it, it's just fluffy overall. It also hides the seams much better, so the illusion of life is greater. All of the tufts of fur are random, and tighter, so it looks much more like a teddy bear should.

  8. #23

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    ...Why did they change the translation anyway?
    The mind reels almost as much as the stomach; I cannot begin to imagine.

    BY THE BY, for anyone ever coming to Tokyo, there is a wonderful Little Prince Museum in Hakone. I that place! I went at Christmas so I could see the illumination, too! And it's just a...I'm not sure but I think less than or about two hours'...train ride away! Just realizing that I need to go back with Duffy......in a Little Prince costume! How has that thought not occurred before?! And Shellie dressed as a rose! Or the fox! Or a sheep in a box! Oh, I am high on giddy right now; thank you, OLC! ...I wish I knew your names and faces.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    It's true, Duffy is Duffy, but the effort that OLC has put into him really has tamed him, and his fans. It's an expensive hobby, but one I willingly give my money to because I fell OLC has earned it, and nurtured Duffy and ShellieMay.
    Duffy is Duffy, but Duffy deserves the best. And, honestly, it is an expensive hobby - that bear demands the best whether we do or not! And ShellieMay - don't get me started!

    One point to keep in mind, they didn't just nurture them. The Oriental Land Company are the true creators of both Duffy and ShellieMay. No, they didn't draw the original Disney Bear design, that's true. But Duffy's look has always been substantially different from all of the original Disney Bear art. And they are absolutely the ones who breathed life into Duffy. Everything that makes Duffy feel like Duffy comes from Japan. And they are the ones who created ShellieMay for sure. What I wish I could give them, even more than my money, is the international spotlight and respect they deserve.

    Everyone who has ever worked as part of the Tokyo Duffy design team should be inducted into Disney Legends. What they have done with this "throwaway" concept that they loved and built into a powerhouse character is no less impressive than Walt Disney/Ub Iwerks and Mickey Mouse. It is astonishly astounding, and they should be recognized for it - worldwide.

    It's not as common as sweet, not as simple as cute. It has taken and still takes a LOT of commitment, effort, creativity, heart, and very real financial risk to do what they're doing. I imagine every time they gear up for a new release, these artists are under real pressure wondering just how long this can last; whether they've outdone themselves enough - yet again - to ensure budget approval on their next big concept. Can you imagine anyone pitching Cannery Clothing Co. to the execs at Disney?

    And every time, with nearly every single piece of merchandise, they knock it out of the park. So the OLC supports them, keeps them working, gives them room* (financially and creatively) to play and impress, and invests in making their visions real, tangible objects. Yeah, I'll definitely support a company like that.

    *I don't actually know this to be true, but the Tokyo Duffy team just does not appear to be a group of people clocking in and out and phoning it in. Their work speaks for itself to me - these are extraordinarily talented people having a genuinely good time delivering a sincerely heartfelt message...or they are the best charlatans on Earth and laughing all the way to the bank. Honestly, with work this good, I'm cool either way!

  9. #24

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Thanks for clarifying, it really helped! Our bears are original style fur

  10. #25

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Yes OLC puts out amazing products with the best quality.

    OP don't feel you need to get another Duffy from TDS. You love your Duffy that's all that matters.

    I think we all want WDI to make things like OLC and that's why we comparing them. We don't comparing to make anyone feel what they have is less if its not designed by OLC. We just want more for Duffy then what WDI is giving him.
    Last edited by DuffyGuardian; 02-19-2013 at 07:29 PM.

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  11. #26

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    I agree with fellow Duffeteer's sentiments regarding the fur pattern. As long as you love your Duffy, his fur pattern is irrelevant and will remain so especially when your Duffy begins to show signs of being loved. My Duffy is from 2011, and he definitely displays signs of being well loved (although luckily for me, his feet stitches haven't popped despite my sleeping with him).

    If your concerns about the waffle pattern primarily revolve around durability, in addition to aesthetics, than you may want to purchase a TDS Duffy or try to acquire an older Duffy (not a pre-Duffy, just an older Duffy) via eBay. I don't know how durable a current Duffy's fur is, and my intention isn't to insinuate that clumps of fur will fall out after a week or two (2). The fur may be cheap-looking, but it may also be durable. But if you have serious reservations about the fur pattern, then you may want to assuage your fears and concerns by adopting either a TDS or an older US Duffy bear. With either choice, both your heart and your mind will be happy.

    I will admit that I haven’t been too thrilled with this waffle pattern fur. Whatever the goal was, the execution is terrible. D.B., my Pirates of the Caribbean pre-Duffy Disney bear, has a beautiful checkerboard/waffle pattern. His fur is still very soft (almost as soft as the day I adopted him), his feet stitches are intact, and his beautiful patterning has not diminished in the slightest. I see Duffy’s waffle pattern potential in D.B., and whenever I contrast that potential against this crummy execution, it angers me because I know Disney took the cheap route.

  12. #27

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovegreataur View Post
    Firstly, Aimster! You have the best outfits for your Duffy! I simply adore the outfit he is wearing with the Star Tours badge. The photo hugging the leopard is a treasure.
    Thanks! That outfit came from Build A Bear. I saw it online and it was out of stock, but I kept checking every week for awhile and they got a limited amount of stock back in so I ordered it quick. I really love the outfits from Build A Bear. They have dressy stuff and casual stuff for all reasons and seasons.

    Oh and... Duffy is actually hugging a cheetah in that photo. That's HIS cheetah plushie, which he named Kasi, after one of the cheetahs at Busch Gardens (that's where we bought the plushie too).

    As for the fur... I guess it is all personal preference. I personally don't really like the waffle fur, but I am Disney seems to have fixed the lopsided/deformed faces that were plaguing the bears last year. Some looked REALLY bad. So bad they didn't look like Duffy at ALL. Now the faces are a bit cuter and it looks like the ears are a little bigger than the 2012 bears as well, which to me is a good thing. I just LOVE those big ears on Duffy!

  13. #28

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Thanks for this great thread! It's a topic of serious interest to me because I really want a Duffy without the waffle fur because I really don't like how it looks. Every time I look at it, it makes me think of the pattern on raw cube steak. If you don't know what that looks like, do a Google Image Search. No cube steak furred Duffy for me, please!

  14. #29

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by Janell View Post
    ...I think we all want WDI to make things like OLC and that's why we comparing them. We don't comparing to make anyone feel what they have is less if its not designed by OLC. We just want more for Duffy then what WDI is giving him.
    Everyone knows this, right? Sometimes I sound harsh, but it's not to "insult" what some people have; it's to criticize what some people are being offered. The level of talent, effort, heart, and resources that OLC puts into Duffy is bigger and better. There's no question or debate here. There is no comparison really. But that doesn't mean your Duffy from WDC isn't special to you, even if he isn't, apparently, all that special to the company you bought him from. In fact, that gap is the whole point.

    I don't "just" want more for Duffy; I want more for Duffy's fans. I want this quality gap to not exist. I don't think the Walt Disney Company hires untalented idiots. I want the Duffy produced and sold by WDC to not be less than what is designed and developed by OLC. I'm not trying to "hurt someone's feelings"...obviously, I hope. But I will not pretend that what WDC is doing with Duffy is okay. It is unethical to their business partner, and to Duffy's fans. But if you love your Duffy, he doesn't need any of this OLC stuff. It's all just stuff.

    Heck, as a fan, if you get some other teddy bear and paint your own "Micktoos" on the face, paws, and hip; I say you can call him Duffy if you want to. Fans have no rules. All fans need is love and heart. That's a given. The company on the other hand, is rightfully held to a different standard. I'm not apologizing for that.

    I want Duffy fans to really think about whether they want to give their money to WDC, a company which is directly benefiting from all of OLC's investment, while not giving them credit for their work. Most people outside of Japan absolutely do NOT understand that the Tokyo Disney Resort is not owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company. They do not know that the Oriental Land Company even exists.

    When most people read this timeline on Facebook, it is not somehow "great" that WDC is acknowledging Duffy's Tokyo roots - what they have done is retcon their Disney Bear disaster out of history - like it never happened - and now they're taking all of the credit for Duffy in Japan - like they planned it, which they didn't - which they have not earned:

    History by Year




    First of all, they don't even spell ShellieMaY's name correctly, and they call her Duffy's "girlfriend," something the Oriental Land Company never does.

    And from 2010, it becomes all about Disney "events" (with the exception of ShellieMay, whom they intend to sell in the future). Where is 2009's inaugural Sweet Duffy event on this list of "milestones?" What about how ShellieMay's 2010 launch was directly tied to this event? And where the fluff is Spring Voyage, the first park-wide event for a purely merchandise character in Disney history? How much courage and guts did that take, to believe so much that Duffy had grown beyond just his fan base and was ready for such a HUGE spotlight, this character who has no cartoon or film and no traditional "attraction...?" How much risk-taking faith was offered by the company to these artists, but these moments are NOT EVEN REMOTELY REFERENCED. Hmph...weird. I'm certainly not trying to "make someone feel bad," but I am not gonna pretend that this doesn't make me feel terrible.

    There is no mention of the Oriental Land Company at all - nothing - even though until 2010, ALL of this was their work and they put up ALL of the capital for it. Just like they foot the bill for everything else at TDR. On top of which, OLC is legally bound to pay for the licensing on every product they develop and they also share the profits with WDC in the form of royalties on every sale. Every product they ever made, in-house, from development to realization - not only did not have any acknowledgement of the names of the Japanese artists who worked on them...they are also all marked "©DISNEY." "Oriental Land Company" is not there.

    On every other product, I accept this. The OLC does a great job with Mickey, Minnie and the other Disney characters but they did not create them. Duffy and ShellieMay belong to the Oriental Land Company, heart and soul (but not legally). Erasing them from recognition in the global launch is not just irresponsible, it's wrong. Muddying and devaluing the brand they have created while also profiting from their investment while they are also paying you both for the "right" to develop their character and sharing those profits with you...that's just approaching a kind of evil.

    When OLC uses Disney's characters and IP, they have to pay for it, and they pay more to do it better than the WDC does for its guests in the US and around the world. If the US was showing some reciprocity and putting its best people and investing real resources in making the best global version of Duffy that Disney can afford, I would support it. I would import it. I wanted that to happen. I wrote extensively about it. But that is not what they are doing. They are trying to milk Duffy for everything they can because they were not satisfied with the licensing fees and royalties they were already getting, in spite of the fact that they invested no resources to receive these revenues.

    That would even be okay except that the WDC has also raised prices and simultaneously lowered quality on its offerings to its fans outside Japan simply because they can, and they can still rely on the energy and heart that the OLC has invested in Duffy to keep him selling, which is clearly ALL they care about. This is not okay.

    Or check this out, also from the Facebook page:

    WHERE TO FIND DUFFY THE DISNEY BEAR AT DISNEY PARKS:

    Duffy The Disney Bear is available at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort.

    At Disney California Adventure, visit Duffy's Landing in Paradise Pier, near the Treasures In Paradise.

    At Epcot, visit Duffy The Disney Bear headquarters in Disney Traders East located at the entrance to World Showplace.

    At Tokyo DisneySea Park, visit Duffy The Disney Bear in the American Waterfront Area.

    Duffy the Disney Bear can also be found at Hong Kong Disneyland.


    TDS is almost last. The website is actually last, even though it is by far the most content-rich experience. I guess I'm supposed to be happy it's even there at all.

    Cos, I mean, it could be like this:

    WHERE TO PURCHASE DUFFY THE DISNEY BEAR ITEMS:

    You can find select Duffy the Disney Bear items for sale via the Disney Parks Online Store:
    http://www.disneystore.com/duffy-the-disney-bear/mn/1006801/

    (Please Note: Each Guest will be limited to ordering a maximum of 3 of this item per order. Items cannot be shipped internationally.)

    At Disney California Adventure Park, guests should visit Treasures in Paradise in the Paradise Pier Area.

    At Epcot, guests should visit Disney Traders East at the entrance to World Showcase.

    If they only mentioned the web store, I could almost accept it, right? Tokyo products are not made available online. But to list shops and not mention Aunt Peg's Village Store which is a part of the Duffy brand itself and McDuck's which has always played a major role...it's just plain wrong.

    I want people to understand - very clearly - that it was Oriental Land Company which invested and continues to invest human and financial resources to develop Duffy conceptually from the Disney Bear and creates his ongoing story, ShellieMay, all the seasonal wood-carved installations that we see in Cape Cod and New York that are mostly original several times a year, all the costumes and other merchandise...all of this is developed and paid for by the OLC. Some of it may be produced by Walt Disney Imagineering, but I really suspect it's only big things like the Village Greeting Place. I imagine that all of the seasonal and merchandise stuff is planned, developed, and produced locally, with approval from Disney Parks in the US.

    In addition to all of the OLC's investment, they have paid licensing fees and royalties on every item they created with what is ostensibly their character. That wasn't enough for WDC. They want all that money, but without the investment, and they don't even make it clear that the Oriental Land Company is wholly responsible for Duffy's genesis and continued development. OLC writes about it in their annual reports, and has done for years.

    Love your Duffy, no matter what. Of course. For sure. But what the Walt Disney Company is doing IS less. It is disrespectful to its partner, disrespectful and disengenuous to its fans, uninspired with its art direction and unsatisfying in its execution. Could it be more? Yes. Should it be more? Yes. Could Disney even surpass the Oriental Land Company? ...Maybe?

    No doubt, Disney's got the resources. I love the artists, designers and engineers who joined the Walt Disney Company to find a place with the resources and vision to help them realize their dreams and make the world just a bit more magical for all of us. I love only this version of Disney. And I have said it many times, the management at WDC need to fall in love with the company. The legacy needs to be more than a marketing tool. Duffy could have led the way back; I have written a lot about just that very concept. But that is NOT what is happening; they don't genuinely love him, either. And so what is happening is indeed far, far less than I ever imagined it would be.

    I'm VERY sorry that it's happening, but I'm not sorry for pointing it out.

    PS: The fact that My Friend Duffy appears on this list (even though the Village Greeting Place, another significant moment, does not) suggest to me heavily that this show was developed by an American team, or at least with a lot of US influence. I have suspected as much from its execution and the fact that the English version of this song played at Duffy's launch event. I would love to know this is true!
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 02-19-2013 at 05:47 PM.

  15. #30

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    Re: Quality of Duffy fur

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    ...But that doesn't mean your Duffy from WDC isn't special to you, even if he isn't, apparently, all that special to the company you bought him from. In fact, that gap is the whole point.

    ...But what the Walt Disney Company is doing IS less. It is disrespectful to its partner, disrespectful and disengenuous to its fans, uninspired with its art direction and unsatisfying in its execution. Could it be more? Yes. Should it be more? Yes. Could Disney even surpass the Oriental Land Company? ...Maybe?

    No doubt, Disney's got the resources. I love the artists, designers and engineers who joined the Walt Disney Company to find a place with the resources and vision to help them realize their dreams and make the world just a bit more magical for all of us. I love only this version of Disney. And I have said it many times, the management at WDC need to fall in love with the company. The legacy needs to be more than a marketing tool. Duffy could have led the way back; I have written a lot about just that very concept. But that is NOT what is happening; they don't genuinely love him, either. And so what is happening is indeed far, far less than I ever imagined it would be.

    I'm VERY sorry that it's happening, but I'm not sorry for pointing it out.
    Yes, I am resorting now to quoting myself! Here's the thing:

    When I imagined that Disney would one day take on Duffy, I dreamed it with pure joy in my heart. I imagined an official English version of Tokyo's beautiful original Duffy story, with the same artwork, the same heart and sophistication...and credit to the creators.

    I imagined fans all over the world dreaming of going to Aunt Peg's and McDuck's and the Village Greeting Place...the way that Japanese fans dream of going to the original Disneyland or to the great big WDW.

    I imagined a virtual Cape Cod online, where Duffy fans from all over the world would hang out. Although, to be fair, I don't know for sure that the lack of Cape Cod isn't OLC protectionism, but as they are the licensee, all items are marked with Disney's copyright, and ShellieMay is mentioned freely and frequently, I'm gonna go ahead and say I strongly doubt that scenario. I don't think the Oriental Land Company has the power to shut that down even if they want to, but I'm glad that Cape Cod is being preserved, honestly, at least for now.

    I imagined Duffy projects on a scale and of an Imagineering quality that - on the whole planet - only the Walt Disney Company is uniquely capable of. I imagined Duffy as the flag-bearer of a new Disney Parks renaissance. All of the potential was there, and all of the feedback was there...it was ABSOLUTELY possible. And Disney has aggressively selected NOT to pursue this path. It is heartbreaking. It highlights some undeniable realities that I do not like to believe exist.

    And stealing OLC's thunder while also cashing in on their work, on top of everything else, is just deplorable.

    It's not about "mine's better." That is not the point.

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