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  1. #31

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    The backside Mickey mark on the 8" Duffy I bought on February 14, 2013 looks very much like my Tiny Duffy (magnet Duffy from US 2010) and Tiny Shellie May (magnet Shellie May from Japan 2011).

    I don't mind the Mickey mark on the Sulley costume--the circles of the ears are still mostly distinct--but I'm not a fan of the one on the new bear. Of course, most Duffies here wear pants, so in that regard it's not the worst change in the world.

    Even before the changes, I came close to buying a used and Duffy from eBay, because the original ones are that much nicer. :P But I don't want to get into buying full-sized clothes from Build a Bear, Disney, etc...I need to sit down and make them.

    The First Star, I think your Duffy has an absolutely adorable face!

  2. #32

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Ok I'm not seeing much difference outside of the Mickey buttmark. The feet aren't like the FB photo... they're the same as they've always been. I'm waiting to see what the ones with the new feet and what looks like new fur look like.

  3. #33

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    The 17" bears have been gone from ALL stores at WDW for at least a couple weeks now. They're claiming they're "sold out" but even the ones on display behind the register in the main Duffy store at Epcot were all gone, which is odd. But we've been talking about this in the "Strange things are afoot..." thread. On Duffy's official Facebook page, the current profile pic is of a new footpad design. The photo was captioned "Duffy's new look" but the caption has since been removed. It also looks like his fur is changing again as if you look closely at the profile pic, the fur looks more plushy.

    There are plenty of 12" pre-dressed bears, wristlets, costumes for 17" bears and keychains, magnets and storybooks... just no 17" bears.

    Thanks for clarifying that.^^


    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Ummm... Duffy was $25 when he was brought back to the US in 2010... his price later increased to $30, which is the current price. When the price when up before they didn't pull all the bears off the shelves. They just put new price stickers over the old price.

    I just can't neglect to mention that "brought back," to my mind, really misrepresents and distorts the reality of the situation. It implies that the old (notice I didn't say "original" or "classic") Disney Bear had the name, heart, charm, message, style, integrity, sophistication… as Duffy. It didn't.


    It was not an explorer. It was not about cooking and crafting and gifting and seasons and fashions and photographs and bringing love to the world. Its home was not Cape Cod and it had no connection whatsoever to sailing or the sea. It did not have magical photographic smile-spreading powers. It was purely a marketing gimmick and everything about it underscored that fact.


    Although Tokyo kept the basic product design, the materials, stuffing and head construction were tweaked, as well as naming the character and giving his merchandise a specifically designed logo to match its name — an effort and honor exclusive to Duffy products, and which itself is even tweaked and enhanced for seasonal events. The Tokyo design team also changed the illustration style completely, using a soft, artistic, intricately detailed style for the storybooks and a more detailed and charming graphic style for site and packaging design. Further, they created a range of products to keep Duffy in the daily lives of fans, most with actual utility and all with heartfelt, instantly visible design integrity.


    Tokyo completely overhauled the walkaround mascot character, and gave him changing costumes for every season, as well as releasing those outfits for the plush. The Tokyo team wrote the story with Minnie and Mickey (out of respect), but in the original Japanese version, both the magic that animates Duffy and his sailing spirit are self-generated and self-possessed. He walks in dreams and sails distant lands on his own. And great, conscious effort is made to present "every Duffy is different and every Duffy is Duffy." Minnie's true-hearted intention matters, but it is not the source of Duffy's magic. Although the Message Bottle is very important, and that has been inexplicably and carelessly discarded from the soul-excised US version, which also uses a much simpler illustration style in addition to cutting out layers of beauty in the story itself.


    To date, even with the US/global launch, the majority of the elements that make Duffy "Duffy" are still missing. Some of them, like the precious Message Bottle, seem to be highly deliberate and damaging omissions. The US launch of Duffy was not and has not been a "triumphant return." It often feels like a blatant "us too" cash-in attempt, and choices that seem solely designed to make this global "Duffy" into the Disney Bear, stripping him of the defining characteristics that actually make him Duffy in the first place. So far, the US/global release is still just selling a "Disney bear," banking on Duffy's good name.


    Not only is the US release not some kind of "homecoming;" as far as I'm concerned, there's still work to do before it even constitutes a bonafide debut of the character I know and love.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrita View Post
    Totally strange! I was there on May 14th and I thought it was strange that the shelves in Disney Traders almost empty.


    I just went to the Disney Store in the Florida Mall today. They had plenty of 17", 12" & 8" Bears. They had 2 ea 24" bears. They had several 17" & 30" Sailor Mickey with Duffy plush.


    You can get a free outfit with the purchase of a 17" Duffy. The sign just said 'while supplies last' - no specific end date.

    I really wonder if they intend to separate the Stores version from the Parks version? I might support that.

  4. #34

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Quick update while still at DCA: the Duffy store at Paradise Pier has both types of bears: new mark and old mark. The stuffing has most definitely improved. They are no longer overstuffed, and the stuffing no longer feels like tough foam. The newest version is more huggable. And the face is much cuter than the ones they replaced. I think they're less lopsided, and the nose is pointier. I'll post a picture when I get home.

    EDIT: pictures:

    Older version on the left / Newest version on the right





    I think the face looks more like my Duffy's face (from late 2011)...









    So now I have mixed feelings, and the question of the madeover foot is still unanswered (!!!).
    Last edited by The First Star; 06-16-2013 at 12:51 AM.

  5. #35

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Hey, First Star!^^ Thanks for the continued updates. I thought the face you posted yesterday was super cute, and I'll agree that the body looks extra stuffed, too. That fur, though… And I still find the Mickey change totally cringe-inducing. It feels like a direction I don't wanna go. I guess we'll see what happens. I reeeally hope that teaser foot turns out to be something fantastic!

  6. #36

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Looks like the bears at DCA are similar to the bears WDW had up until they were all pulled recently. The faces are much cuter and they're not overstuffed like before, but they were understuffed and too floppy for my liking.

  7. #37

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Very interesting thread! I bought my 17 inch Duffy at the Disney Store at the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington in late May of this year. Checked him out and he has the new style of Mickey mark. He is not over stuffed (actually is less stuffed than my Tokyo Disney Sea Duffy) but is not floppy, either. I think he is super cute and loveable and he has a really sweet, perfect Duffy face. After getting him home I noticed that his nose/snout tilts slightly to one side, but it doesn't detract from his cuteness and if anything it helps separate him from other Duffys. There were some less cute Duffys on the shelf at the store, but no uggos. I've seen pictures of some Duffys that hardly look like Duffy at all! Oh and I swear his fur doesn't have the awful waffle pattern that some Duffys have, though it is more waffled than Japanese Duffy's. I must admit that I prefer the original style of Mickey mark, but it seems maybe that the new one has been improved (with stuffing and fur type) so I am alright with it.

    Hope this is helpful!

    As a side note- and please don't lynch me for saying this- but my American Duffy was made more nicely than my Japanese Duffy. Japanese Duffy is cute for sure, but the Mickey mark on his face is definitely not as neatly done, and one of his feet always turns to the side. He's still a nice looking Duffy but I guess it just shows that there are variations in all types of Duffy!

  8. #38

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    …As a side note- and please don't lynch me for saying this- but my American Duffy was made more nicely than my Japanese Duffy. Japanese Duffy is cute for sure, but the Mickey mark on his face is definitely not as neatly done, and one of his feet always turns to the side. He's still a nice looking Duffy but I guess it just shows that there are variations in all types of Duffy!









    (Japanese Mickey voice)No lynching! Ha ha!^^

    It's totally true about variations. Every Duffy really is different, and every Shellie really is special. Finding the Shellie's on this last trip was nearly impossible. In the end I had to do something I've never needed to do before — I actually had to ask them to bring out more from the stockroom, even though the shelves were practically full. That's happened with other kinds of merchandise (it happened a LOT with the dreaded silk-screened bags and totes for SV13), but never with a large enough selection of plush! Ultimately, though, I didn't leave with a single Shellie I wouldn't be happy to tend myself.

    It's not really the product variations that bother me so much, at least not where the actual bears are concerned. It's the lack of Cape Cod integration, which Disney could have easily created through a web or app experience (and even surpassed Tokyo's), the lack of seasonal rhythms to releases (and a variety of merchandise creating an "event"), and the general lack of character-/story-driven design integrity that drives and defines the Duffy concept in Japan. The omission of the Bottle Necklace and other changes to the storybook that radically alter Duffy's character are really at the heart of my frustration and disappointment. If Disney explained why they made these choices, perhaps that would help. Unlikely, but maybe.

    Also, just for my own peace of mind, I didn't select your Japanese Duffy, did I? I seem to remember you posting an interest in the Post, but then when we emailed each other, you ended up getting one off eBay as a gift instead…? Is that right?
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 06-16-2013 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #39

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    DuffyDaisuki, you have a great memory! Yes, my Duffy is from eBay. I did see photos of him before I purchased him, but the face unevenness wasn't really noticeable in the picture and I saw the turned foot but hoped it was just how he was set down for the photo. I will honestly probably sell my Japanese Duffy on eBay so he can continue his adventures. He is a bear who likes to travel! Might get another Japanese Duffy (or Shellie May!) at some point and will definitely get one from you Only thing is my Duffy has a female best friend who is a Build a Bear polar bear (seemed perfect since we live in Alaska) so I'm not sure if Shellie May has a place here, cute as she is.

    I really do wish they would do more with the Duffy storyline and events and clothing here in the US. As cute as he is, it was his STORY and background that captured my imagination and I'm sure it would do the same for many other people if they did more with it here!

    Funny side note, when I picked my American Duffy at the Disney Store, I had already pawed through about 5 bears before I picked up the one I ended up purchasing. Right as I picked him up, a group of several young Japanese people came crowding into the Duffy area and very happily descended on them! Figured it was a sign that I had the right Duffy My Japanese Duffy was in my bag (I brought him along so I could compare the bears in person if I decided not to buy an American one) but was too shy to get him out of my bag and show him to them, in large part because I wasn't sure if they spoke English. I knew enough to recognize that they were speaking Japanese but certainly not enough to talk to them!

  10. #40

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    …Only thing is my Duffy has a female best friend who is a Build a Bear polar bear (seemed perfect since we live in Alaska) so I'm not sure if Shellie May has a place here, cute as she is.
    Whew, I'm relieved to know I didn't send something disappointing. And as much as I have grown to love sweet Shellie, I'm equally relieved Ms Polar Bear isn't just being evicted to make room for her!

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    I really do wish they would do more with the Duffy storyline and events and clothing here in the US. As cute as he is, it was his STORY and background that captured my imagination and I'm sure it would do the same for many other people if they did more with it here!


    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    Funny side note, when I picked my American Duffy at the Disney Store, I had already pawed through about 5 bears before I picked up the one I ended up purchasing. Right as I picked him up, a group of several young Japanese people came crowding into the Duffy area and very happily descended on them! Figured it was a sign that I had the right Duffy My Japanese Duffy was in my bag (I brought him along so I could compare the bears in person if I decided not to buy an American one) but was too shy to get him out of my bag and show him to them, in large part because I wasn't sure if they spoke English. I knew enough to recognize that they were speaking Japanese but certainly not enough to talk to them!
    Wow! Those girls came all the way from the other side of the world to "help" you choose your Duffy — no wonder he's so cute! As for talking to them, most likely it would be okay. Everybody knows "Hello" and "I like…CUUUTE!"^^ But sometimes Japanese people can be shocked when faced with "unexpected English," and sometimes this shock expresses itself as a strange and frightening paralysis, or sometimes a frigid coldness or burning furious panic. I think you'd probly be "safe" at WDW, but I don't think you have to kick yourself for being a little shy about putting international tourists on vacation into a situation that demanded your mother tongue. It might, possibly, have been better that you just smiled and moved on. You smiled, right?

  11. #41

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    The foot on the new bears actually is different. If you look, they "rounded" the paw mark. On all previous Duffy bears, even the ones from TDS, the paw pads are in a straight line across his foot. This is in contrast to all the artwork and everything else. The small smiling bears from Spring Voyage have the new rounded paw, but if you look at the new US design, they have now rounded 17" Duffy's paw print to match the artwork, and his shoes. But...the overall design isn't as nice looking as the Facebook artwork. Also, that Facebook pawprint to me looks like it is artwork and not actually a picture of a real Duffy foot. It's just too perfect looking. It does look much better than the actual plush foot though...

  12. #42

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    DuffyDaisuki, if I had purchased my Duffy from you, I would have kept his little issues to myself and not blabbered about them on the forum And I definitely did smile at the Japanese girls. They were so happy to see Duffy. I was a foreign exchange student for a year in high school and also am friends with quite a few Japanese exchange students that I met in college (my university had a large exchange program that attracted many Japanese students), so I completely understand being in a different country where another language is spoken. Have a funny memory of speaking English to an American friend of mine in a store in Austria and hearing the shopkeepers talk about us snidely to one another. They sure were surprised (and pleased) when I turned around and spoke fluent German to them!

    Gurgi, I agree that the Duffy foot does not look like a photograph to me. It looks computer generated. Odd that the Mickey face on his foot is unlike any of the faces on the Duffys that have been made so far (I think). Wonder if it's just artistic style or if they actually are going to make Duffys with Mickey faces like that!

  13. #43

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    DuffyDaisuki, if I had purchased my Duffy from you, I would have kept his little issues to myself and not blabbered about them on the forum
    Hey, FD. It doesn't sound like such a small issue if you're considering adopting him out to a new home. I would absolutely want everyone to know if my selection was so disappointing; I wouldn't want you to keep that to yourself at all. I hope it didn't sound like I thought that.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    And I definitely did smile at the Japanese girls.
    Also, I figured you had smiled with the girls and had some kind of opportunity to interact, from the way you told the story. But I was really not implying any obligation to, just in case. I was worried I wrote that poorly and it might come across wrong. I thought in your first message you sounded a bit like you regretted not talking to them or blamed yourself for being too shy or something. I just meant you never know what would happen, so no worries.

    I have a kind of example that happened recently. Coming out of Tower of Terror with my friends, this middle-aged woman (accompanied by her husband, I assume) hit me a little roughly on the arm to get my attention. I turned, expecting someone to grimace as though I'd been horribly in their way. She beamed at me and enthusiastically gestured up at the screen for the ride photo, then turned to beam at me again, expectantly. I was a little perplexed, as she made no attempt to communicate with either Japanese or English words, but just looked at me as if it was obvious what I should do next and how fun it would be, like trying to get a little baby to say your name or teach a dog to sit or roll over. Finally, she turned to her husband, still beaming, but exasperated.

    I understood that she thought the picture was funny; I always make funny faces in the shutter moment. But I couldn't figure out what she wanted from me and I didn't want my "wrong" reaction to ruin her day or stain her image of "foreigners" or make her less reluctant to be so open again in the future. I pointed slightly at the monitor and said to her in Japanese, "Yeah, it's funny, right?" beaming myself, as much as I could. She looked a little dismayed and disappointed, but still with the big, enthusiastic smile. Keeping the smile, she turned to her husband(?) with a "what now?" look, to which he seemed relatively oblivious. Then she turned back to me with the same smile, but with eyes of disappointment that I just didn't "get it," whatever it was. Since she still wasn't using words even after I spoke to her in Japanese, I just decided to smile back, clumsily said "thank you" in Japanese and English and went about leaving and enjoying the day. Though even now I kind of wonder what she was really expecting or if the experience was satisfactory for her. I hope that she isn't turned off to international communication just because I didn't understand what she never tried to say.

    Picking up a conversation with people we don't know, especially across language and cultural divides, can be difficult, as you know so well. I guess now that you weren't really being shy anyway, based on your bold and awesome German/Austria story, so my whole discussion is kinda pointless. But I think it's so cool that your language skill not only disarmed the situation, but impressed them…even if they were being rude. Maybe I should've said more to her in Japanese… I'm certainly not fluent, but I could've said more. It was just very confusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyDuffy View Post
    Gurgi, I agree that the Duffy foot does not look like a photograph to me. It looks computer generated. Odd that the Mickey face on his foot is unlike any of the faces on the Duffys that have been made so far (I think). Wonder if it's just artistic style or if they actually are going to make Duffys with Mickey faces like that!
    Yes, that image looks totally CG, like concept art, but the small changes we've seen still look nothing like it. I'm still expecting another design. I like the concept a lot.

    And Gurgi, nice lookin' out on the rounded toes; I thought it was just the angle of the photo, but the outer two are totally moved downward. …And I gotta admit, I really like it. Shame about the Mickey marks, though.

  14. #44

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    DuffyDaisuki, I was very entertained by your version of how you thought it might go if I had talked to the girls No bad feelings at all! And as for my Duffy, I wouldn't have said anything if he'd come from someone on the forum simply because I don't like to stir the pot and my extreme attention to detail doesn't mean that 95% of other people wouldn't be happy with my Duffy.

    I wonder what that lady was trying to say to you! How odd. Like you said, hopefully she won't be afraid to speak to foreigners in the future! A lot of people in Austria were reluctant to speak to me, too, in either German OR English. German because they were afraid I wouldn't understand what they said and English... uh, also because they were afraid I wouldn't understand what they said. I did manage to make a couple friends at first and I always found it amusing and slightly frustrating when people would approach one of my friends and ask them a question to ask me, or say something like, "Tell FluffyDuffy to have a great weekend!" instead of saying it to me directly. After a few months I dealt with it simply by no longer speaking English. I would answer them in German if they said something to one of my friends to pass on. It was surprising to them for sure but got the point across pretty well that I could indeed understand what they were saying and would be able to communicate back fine. Ah, the joys of being 15- I picked up the language really quickly and really well to the point of speaking German well enough to pass for a local after a year. Not sure I could manage that now but I still love languages.

    Sorry about the bit of language derail! In any case, I hope speculations are correct and that Disney is working on a special collector Duffy That would be interesting for sure.

  15. #45

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    Re: Strange things are afoot...

    I just checked the new Duffy I purchased at DLP for my Daughter last month and it's the new design and so is the 2 we received from the DDE as gifts. HOWEVER the DLP ShellieMay has the same Mickey Mark as our first Duffy.

    You know I did think Duffy's face looked different compared to my Daughter's first Duffy we purchased in 2011 but didn't really see the comparison until now.

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