Thanks for the info on him! I had no idea!!
Good morning, son
In twenty years from now
Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
And I can tell you 'bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you'd feel the same things...
Here is one of the most popular characters in TDR, Duffy the bear. Reason why I am including this photo is so you can see the plush she is holding... as they sell them in different sizes all over TDS, and you can also buy various costumes to go with it, which Duffy himself wears at the park. Crazy, eh? We call Duffy fans "duffuses".(bold added by DuffyDad)
They don't really sell Duffy "all over," only at McDuck's and Aunt Peg's. He is not available in any form in any other shops. Though I prefer McDuck's for both location and theming, Aunt Peg's often has stuff that isn't available there. Also, when stock on any Duffy item begins to run low, it's all moved to Aunt Peg's before it sells out. So if you're looking for Duffy, always check Aunt Peg's.
I'm not sure who "We" is, but I think most Duffy fans (and I can attest to this personally) wouldn't really think "Duffuses" is all that funny (if they could understand it, being mostly Japanese). But TDLFAN, I know you love your little jokes.
If we need a name, how about "Duffy-dachi?" It sounds like "tomodachi" or "friend." The suffix "-dachi" is actually used when describing a group of people as a unit together. Plus, it has alliteration! It's much kinder, and more appropriate for TDR and for describing people whose hearts are not so calloused that they can't understand the appeal of a charming plush bear. Far more appropriate, I think, than a stupid insulting American pun. "Doofus" means "stupid," right? Or did I not get the joke?
Duffy is the Disney bear- I don't know the full reason why, but they did name him out in TDS. Obviously it caught on big time in Disney Sea- I've seen people go absolutely nuts over him.
I have a few myself from my trips there- I never really looked into if their story is different than the story of the disney bear that WDW and DL started years ago- I know Mickey hugged him and that's why his famous mouse ears were now on the Disney Bear.
They can't seem to fill a wall or fixture out in TDS, I've seen people buying them as they are filling them.
I think they named him so that people could say, "I love Duffy!" or "That Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!"
A character with a name is much more endearing. "Duffy" is a charming name. Sounds and looks similar to "Teddy," could be omnisex, and connects to "duffel bag" and thereby to exploration and adventure. Also sounds kinda like "Dachi," which means "buddy" or "pal" in Japanese. *edit: Actually, technically "dachi" means "many people," but there is something of the "friend" vibe from "tomo," I think, too.^^
The story changes, I think, were made to suit a Japanese audience and the function of the Japanese parks - romantic v. "for kids." The story also establishes Duffy's presence/function as both merchandise and mascot - He's all about the photo op!^^ Also, the TDS version frees him up from being only "Mickey's teddy bear" and very intentionally gives him to everyone as well as giving him his own freedom and independent identity, all very conscious (I imagine) and very intelligent story design choices. This, actually, is why I love him so much. More than any other character possibly could, Duffy's history embodies everything I love about TDR/OLC - doing it with heart and getting it right. I think he is arguably the most consciously-designed, intimate Disney fan character; the Japanese version I mean. I find Duffy utterly different in concept and execution from "the Disney bear," regardless of similarities or origin. The American bear is not Duffy, in my opinion. The WDW Disney bears I've seen actually look different to me, too. I do want those WDW Cast trading pins, though.
Here's the American story, courtesy of gurgitoy2 in the LaughingPlace forums[:
"One night, before the park opened, Mickey was sitting by the castle. The rest of his friends had not arrived yet, so Mickey brought along his favorite teddy bear to keep him company.
Mickey was so excited to be in such a magical place that he wished he had somebody to explore the park with. Suddenly, Tinker Bell flew down out of the starry sky and saw Mickey sitting there with his stuffed friend.
She had heard Mickey's wish and sprinkled the bear with pixie dust. The pixie dust filled the bear and he miraculously came to life! Mickey was so excited and happy that he gave his bear a hug. As soon as Mickey hugged the bear a magical Mickey head shaped impression appeared on the bear's face, forever bonding him with Mickey.
From that moment on, Mickey had a very special friend to share all his magical memories."
I translated the Japanese storybook myself, so please don't post this anywhere without asking first; it wasn't actually "easy." Enjoy:
One day, as Mickey was about to set sail for one of his long adventures, Minnie thought he should have a special keepsake to remind him how much he was loved while he was out at sea. Mickey is Minnie's favorite mouse, so she gave him a teddy bear she had hand-made with her whole heart.
Minnie wrote a rosy "Bon Voyage!" message and carefully dropped it into a small glass bottle. She gently tied the little bottle round the bear's petite neck, capped it with a cork and sealed it with a kiss for luck. Voila!
Minnie presented the bear to Mickey at the pier by the old lighthouse on a blustery day. Mickey smiled brightly, and placed the teddy lovingly into his duffel bag. "I'll call you Duffy!" And the two were off to begin a wonder-full journey.
One night out at sea, Mickey was dog-tired from navigating all day. He decided to go to bed early and fell fast asleep.
Duffy appeared in Mickey's dream, wearing a sailor's uniform and smiling. The happy little bear opened Minnie's message in the bottle and showed it to Mickey:
THIS BEAR IS MEANT TO BRING YOU LOTS OF HAPPINESS AND LUCK.
Mickey smiled in his sleep, and awoke feeling totally reenergized and cheerful.
Mysteriously, upon waking, Mickey found Minnie's message in his own hand! But he was sure that it had been in the bottle and sealed tight when he fell asleep! Not only that, but somehow Duffy had got dressed and was wearing the very same sailor's uniform from the dream!
When Mickey returned home from his voyage, he told Minnie and his friends about his surprising and inspiriting dream come true. They all agreed, but Goofy said it best: "Gawrsh, that Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!"*
*original is more like: "They all agreed - that Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!" but there's an illustration with Goofy and the gang and I just think it works better this way when you see the actual book.^^
Everyone wanted one of Minnie's special Duffy bears. So she did her best to make them, one by one, for all of her friends. The waiting list was so long; Duffy was just too popular! There were too many orders, and Minnie couldn't keep up.
So her friends said, "We'll help, Minnie!" And they all worked together, Minnie and all of her friends, making the lovely teddy bears. Each one charmed with a message in a bottle from the heart – we can't forget that!
A lot of people love Duffy now… From children to princesses, to adventurers and explorers like Mickey. Everyone feels happier when Duffy's around! People especially love taking photos with Duffy. They say when anyone sees these pictures, the smiles in the portrait overflow to the viewer! When snapping photographs of cherished memories, you always find your warmest, brightest smile when you're with the bear of happiness and luck!
There's even a rumor that sometimes you can find Duffy by himself, strolling along the pier in his sailor uniform, perhaps returning from his own adventures… But how can this be?! He's just a teddy bear, right? Nobody understands it, but you should try to meet him yourself! Can you think of a new adventure for you and Duffy? Then you'll be saying, too, "That Duffy sure is one special teddy bear!"*
*I think this last line, too, packs more punch if a character actually says it directly earlier in the story.
Thanks for reading.^^
If you've checked out my Galleries, maybe you saw this already. There are lots of Spring Carnival pics, too! Some of them are still very different from what's been posted here in the forums, if you're curious.
PS - Designing and sewing custom clothes for Duffy is a BOOMING cottage industry on Japan's Yahoo! Auctions, too. Some designers are raking it in, and making some very impressive fashions! Japanese people - especially girls - are famously crafty, especially with gifts. I have no doubt this was exactly the response anticipated by the writer(s?) who decided that in Japan it was very important that Duffy be hand-made and gifted.^^
Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 06-11-2009 at 01:51 PM.
Reason: Japanese clarification/correction
DuffyDad, thank you so much for the background info on Duffy and the story translation. We saw the storybook, but did not buy it since we could not understand it. I did get a full size Duffy bear, as well as one of the little ones with the chain to hang it on your purse. I love him so much! He's absolutely adorable. But, I've always been a fan of stuffed bears, so it was inevitable that I'd fall in love with Duffy.
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I am new, I come from Switzerland and speaks very little English.
I'm looking for pictures of merchandising in Tokyo and I have already found beautiful here. I search among other photos of the decorations and merchandising Mac Duck Pawn Shop.
Thank you to you and good day.