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  1. #16

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    It's too soon to dump Donald's Boat Builders. I am mystified about the carrying-on about a silent bear that has no backstory and no personality.
    From what I understand, Duffy is/was Mickey's bear he had taken for himself on a big sailing mission. I think that was the very first time he had discovered the worlds of DisneySea(?). His personality is what you want it to be; you create him.

    But I agree. I don't understand how they can create a show centered around a character without a pre-determined personality. In the show they'll have to GIVE him a personality... removing the story, the magic, and the whole idea of Duffy. I know I'll get clobbered for saying this, but this is a horrible idea that's mooching off of the cash cow that is Duffy.

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  2. #17

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    I agree with Disneyson and Fukai. There will probably be some narration describing Duffy's actions and thoughts. The narration might be included as dialogue spoken by another character. Or, there will be an unseen narrator throughout the show.
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  3. #18

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Donald's Boat Builders is a fantastic show but I think this new show will be a win win for everyone. Cape Cod really needed some kind of Duffy attraction and this is one of the ways they could do that. Yes they will make mad money but us the guest will get a new attraction with characters we want to see too! I don't think Duffy will talk because that would totally kill it and they must know that. The only thing is how they will run it? It would be nice if they make it lottery actually! Also it will be a long run the first morning ha ha!

  4. #19

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    Thumbs up Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by lighttragic View Post
    Donalds boat builders would rotate a set of shows , I want to say 3 maybe 4 shows on a pretty continual basis , I wonder if this will be the same with Duffy. I also agree with the above comments since duffy is madness in japan , will they turn this restruant into a major time limit, or a larger coast maybe like sailing day buffet?
    That is the system at the moment, just like Boat Builders. No tickets, no lottery, no time limit, and no minimum orders. Despite what some of you may think, I am not one of the people who would stay there all day. It seems like a lot of people who don't understand this character's popularity are dismissive - even bordering on riled - about the fact that it exists, and also with the people who love him. (And yes, this sometimes makes me feel on the defensive.^^) That said, there are plenty of hardcore Duffy fans whom I suspect will stay all day, given the chance, and I'm still a bit concerned about how they'll manage crowds. I'm relieved not to be a CM in Cape Cod Cook-Off!

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    I don't know if I would say 100% Japanese though. His backstory is completely tied to Cape Cod, and it's distinct American look. I think his nature and personality is 100% Japanese, but he really is tied heavily to that "New England" vibe. It works great for him because it's so charming. Honestly though, if TDS were built here in America, and Duffy debuted at Cape Cod there, I think his story would be just as strong. Whether or not he actually became popular in the US if he had an identical story to the one at TDS I don't know. I think Americans are not as attached to cute things like the Japanese are. There are other factors too.
    Duffy is absolutely grounded in Cape Cod and nostalgic American charm (as romanticized through Japanese eyes). Don't get me wrong. But the decision to ground him there in writing his new story was developed in-house at OLC, approved by Disney Parks. The genius of making him both handcrafted as a loving gift and factory-produced by a group of helpful friends made him not just "Mickey's bear," but everyone's. This is a key difference in approach. The mass-produced version we buy in McDuck's has the same romantic feeling as the one Minnie makes in the story. It's not an imitation. It's not "something like it." It's the same. The message in a bottle suggests a charming way to present the gift to a loved one in real life (as I have done whenever I gave one as a present). Even carrying Duffy around for photos in the park is integrated in the story. Duffy's magic to be independently conscious, travelling through dreams and across oceans to bring happiness and luck (and love), to have his own mysteries and yet be "just a teddy bear" - even in the story, his magic and appeal are seen as unexplainable! Every step of the way, every beat of the story, you can see that the Duffy planners had a vision that was firmly and carefully grounded in the actual experience of this character and merchandise in the real world. Duffy is in concept almost identical to what he is in reality; that is an amazing achievement for any designer/writer/promoter/creator. And, really, no other character has that. For me, this kind of awareness and attention is as worthy of fanfare as the creation of Mickey himself (i know...i said it...blasphemy^^).

    I don't love Duffy - as some of you probably think - because I live in some twisted dream world hugging my teddy bear and hiding from life; I love this character because of the same meticulous and he/artful attention to design execution as I see everywhere else in TDR, especially TDS. He epitomizes what OLC does so well, what I think Disney has always done when it wasn't just selling stuff and branding (and what PIXAR consistently does) - connect with the audience. The fact that he was designed in the US as nothing but a brand icon and that he hawks more junk than nearly any other character in the parks is beautiful irony, I think.

    The fact that it is a resurrected character from a corporate branding failure is fascinating and inspiring to me. It says that while corporations are right about fandom consumers - we will stampede like cattle to buy their crap - they have to invest in making it actually mean something first. They have to push the right buttons. The people who created the new backstory, artwork and events for Duffy have clearly done exactly that, where the Disney Bear could not. Even Duffy's costume-changing, which has become a huge business, was part of the fundamental reconceptualization of the character in a country where Build-A-Bear is not what it is in the US and doesn't even sell Disney costumes. In fact, I imagine that a lot of BAB sales in Japan come from Duffy fans. The Duffy team knew what they were doing and have watched as their work came to fruition, like all Disney artists, like all commercial artists, like all artists. All of this, as I understand it - the costumes, events like Sweet Duffy with original stories, artwork, and merchandise - is conceived and created at OLC, then approved for production by execs at Disney Parks. At least, that's what I've been told. Dismissing their work and their success is unfair, to say the least.

    That said, I would be pleasantly surprised and happily stand corrected to learn that there are American Imagineers working on Duffy, too, who really understand the Japanese sensibility for character design that has made him a hit. As far as I know, though, this is not the case. The Duffy team is all OLC, which, I think, is also part of why this character is flourishing so well in this niche market.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    I wondered recently if Disney would try to re-introduce Duffy, (with that name) after seeing his popularity in Japan. I mean they have put out the smaller versions lately. After seeing how much even those sell for to Japanese buyers, I can see American Disney execs getting greedy again. Still, I think the character would be doomed to fail (again) if there were not a more specific focus like Duffy has. The "Disney Bear" story is just too generic.

    Also, even if he had such a story, I don't think Americans care as much. Sure, there are a few, but still. Most American adults would not really get "into" Duffy. They might buy them as a novelty, or for their kids, grandkids, etc. That's what happened with the Disney Bear. I can't put my finger on it, but I just don't think US Disney fans would have the patience for the "Duffy" version of the Disney Bear. I've never seen fans here go as crazy for one character like they do in Japan.
    I agree with you completely, Gurgi. There will be some Americans who connect with this, but the concept is tailored to the Japanese market. There are countless issues in Japanese society, as in most/all? societies, but there is almost no fear about loving the cute. Cute is king. In America, it's cool that rules, and often at the cost of cute. Personally I think this is grounded in strange machismo gender issues, another thing the Japanese have less of...in a sense, even while there is rampant sexism to this day. Looking for a while at how cute/cool plays out unearths both cultures' confusions about sexuality and maturity, but that's a looong digression I'll resist making. Humans are so fascinating!

    Anyway...Even American adults who collect teddy bears may be turned off by Duffy's mass production and corporate branding; while American Disney fans seem to think rooms full of music boxes or figurines are okay, but draw the line at teddy bears. I don't get that, but they don't get me, so whatever.^^ I think Duffy's appeal clearly grows out of the Japanese character aesthetic, which is why it seems so reasonable to me that everything about him was designed here, unlike other elements of TDR. I have heard this from people who work for both Disney and OLC, but never actually met someone from "Team Duffy" so I can't swear. Still, because of how much I think the Duffy concept wouldn't work in the US and in light of what happened with the Disney Bear in the first place, even with an existing BAB fanbase and partnership with Disney, it is very difficult for me to imagine that Duffy is in any way the product of American Imagineers. Honestly, the more I think about it, I hope it stays that way. There are definitely Americans who could do great things with Duffy, but as Disney wants to reach the widest audience possible, I think "the Disney Bear" is the way to go. The relatively few people Stateside who really get into Duffy's place in Disneyana will find a way to get theirs.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    But...now that I'm thinking about it, there is one Disney character that I can think of that did/does have a US following (not as hardcore as Duffy though). Figment the dragon! He was EPCOT's exclusive character, since they wanted to keep Mickey & the gang out in the early days. People loved him, and proved so when they re-did his signature attraction and removed him entirely. Fans were upset, and complaints at guest relations were piling up. So, they re-did the ride again, and added Figment back in. He also has his own line of merchandise that sells fairly well, and has had a walkaround character.

    So, I guess it is possible to get a character created in the parks to be loved by people. But, it takes more than just a plush. Figment, the Country Bears, and even the pirates and ghosts in POTC and HM all had major attractions that introduced them to the world. So, for Duffy to be re-introduced here, I think he might need more than a new backstory.

    Anyway, I'm just rambling now, so I'll stop before I start repeating myself, or typing random stupid thoughts.
    Yeah, I've heard about Figment. I don't really know a lot about him. I found a site and watched a video and wasn't really blown away, but I was very impressed by how much fans seemed to love him. Thanks for reminding me to look back into that. I love your random stupid thoughts.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    It's too soon to dump Donald's Boat Builders. I am mystified about the carrying-on about a silent bear that has no backstory and no personality.

    This just stinks all around because it takes a restaurant out of the loop: the lines will be nutty and I bet you'll see an online reservation system soon ala what they've done to both the Diamond Horseshoe and Tahitian Terrace. And that stinks because if you can't read Japanese you can't make a reservation, which basically excludes anyone but the Japanese (just like Funderful Disney).
    Aw...I usually love your posts. I'm bummed this bothers you so much. I think, thematically, the fans have already decided that Cape Cod belongs to Duffy, so following up by changing the show demonstrates to me exactly what I love about OLC - connection with fans. There will be no online reservation system, nor any limitations but the line, or so I heard from Guest Relations this morning. I'm happy that at least since you're concerned about the line, you sound like you kinda wanna go. I mean, there are plenty of other restaurants. If you aren't interested in the show, why choose Cape Cod Cook-Off anyway? It's charming, but it's hardly the best restaurant in the park, at least for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyson 1 View Post
    From what I understand, Duffy is/was Mickey's bear he had taken for himself on a big sailing mission. I think that was the very first time he had discovered the worlds of DisneySea(?). His personality is what you want it to be; you create him.

    But I agree. I don't understand how they can create a show centered around a character without a pre-determined personality. In the show they'll have to GIVE him a personality... removing the story, the magic, and the whole idea of Duffy. I know I'll get clobbered for saying this, but this is a horrible idea that's mooching off of the cash cow that is Duffy.
    ...

    Hey, no mobbing here! I do have to offer a clarification, though. I hope I've made the point that while the Disney Bear belongs to Mickey, the same is absolutely not true for Duffy. And Mickey's Duffy was a handmade gift, another important point about the vibe-setting of the reconceptualization. The planners really invested in this.

    Duffy does have some personality. He is concerned with Happiness, Luck, and Love. And he can move through people's dreams. He loves fashion, and like most cartoon characters, seems capable of learning skills by changing outfits, which he can apparently produce himself from thin air. He likes adventure and has a carefree, independent spirit. And yet, he loves love, and he loves to connect with people and bring people together. I think that's enough for a short show, and not too much.

    As for the cash cow, part, absoLUTEly! OLC is OLC and Disney is Disney and both are about making as much money as they possibly can, like most businesses. So, yeah, their goal is shockingly not world peace or solving the energy crisis, but making boatloads of money. Clearly. Decidedly. Why would anyone think otherwise? But OLC does it with such style and Duffy does it with such appeal, that I love it and will pay for it. Lots of folks do and will. Is there some other part of Disney that's running for some other reason that I don't know about? We don't actually think Disney's goal is making magic, do we? And anyway, as far as that goes, the truth is that Duffy is as close to a real world manifestation of a concept as Disney has ever come, just like the parks themselves and more than the costumed characters. I feel sure that the Duffy Team is having fun and enjoys what they're doing every bit as much as the Imagineers working on films and other parts of the parks. The fact that it makes money isn't really doesn't seem like something to complain about, especially with this company.


    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInJpn View Post
    I agree with Disneyson and Fukai. There will probably be some narration describing Duffy's actions and thoughts. The narration might be included as dialogue spoken by another character. Or, there will be an unseen narrator throughout the show.
    Hm...like a storybook, you mean? That could be interesting. As long as he doesn't talk, I'm good.
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 12-02-2009 at 09:11 PM.

  5. #20

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Too soon to remove Donald's Boat Builders? It's been there since the beginning, so I think it's quite appropriate to change out the show. Most Disney fans complain when a show or parade stays longer than 5 years, so I'm surprised it's "too soon".

    As for the Duffy show, I'm sure they will work around any speaking issues, and also I'll be that the boat set will be re purposed. I would imagine that the Mice & Ducks will do quite a bit of speaking, while Duffy mimes actions, and narration describes what's going on. I have no problem with that. Also, I'm sure even if the show is popular and guests are lining up for it, that won't clog up the food service counters. You can probably still go in for a burger or whatever, and just avoid the show area entirely. It's not like it's a sit-down restaurant like Diamond Horseshoe or Tahitian Terrace, so a reservation system would be out of place at the Cook-Off.

    I personally don't think it's that much of a big deal that the show is being changed out, and it's themed to Duffy. Also, who cares if the show makes it more tailored to the Japanese? It is their park, and the percentage of foreign guests makes it silly to cater to them. I don't see it as any different than the AP situation in Anaheim. There will always be crowds.

  6. #21

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    Duffy is absolutely grounded in Cape Cod and nostalgic American charm (as romanticized through Japanese eyes). Don't get me wrong. But the decision to ground him there in writing his new story was developed in-house at OLC, approved by Disney Parks. The genius of making him both handcrafted as a loving gift and factory-produced by a group of helpful friends made him not just "Mickey's bear," but everyone's. This is a key difference in approach. The mass-produced version we buy in McDuck's has the same romantic feeling as the one Minnie makes in the story. It's not an imitation. It's not "something like it." It's the same. The message in a bottle suggests a charming way to present the gift to a loved one in real life (as I have done whenever I gave one as a present). Even carrying Duffy around for photos in the park is integrated in the story. Duffy's magic to be independently conscious, travelling through dreams and across oceans to bring happiness and luck (and love), to have his own mysteries and yet be "just a teddy bear" - even in the story, his magic and appeal are seen as unexplainable! Every step of the way, every beat of the story, you can see that the Duffy planners had a vision that was firmly and carefully grounded in the actual experience of this character and merchandise in the real world. Duffy is in concept almost identical to what he is in reality; that is an amazing achievement for any designer/writer/promoter/creator. And, really, no other character has that. For me, this kind of awareness and attention is as worthy of fanfare as the creation of Mickey himself (i know...i said it...blasphemy^^).
    Oh, I see what you mean, I misunderstood. Yes, he is 100% Japanese, in the fact that the way he is presented at TDS was done by OLC. I also find it amazing that a character that was designed in the US as a means to sell plush and promote a specific store; had a cheesy and contrived backstory, and has languished as a result, has been "reborn" so successfully in Japan. It goes to show that even if you have a great design, which the Disney Bear is, it doesn't mean anything if you can't get people emotionally invested in the character. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. The fact that the TDS story "gifts" Duffy to everyone makes a huge difference. It gives whoever picks up a Duffy "ownership" of him. The US version is specifically Mickey's teddy bear, so you don't really own one, I guess you are "borrowing" Mickey's bear. They also don't explain in the story why the Disney Bear is mass produced (there is only one bear...Mickey's). The TDS story makes it clear that the Duffy bears you see on the shelves were made by Minnie & friends to share with the world. So...there's a reason there are 50 million bears on the shelves! It may be commercialism, but it's successful, in that it explains the motivations.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    I don't love Duffy - as some of you probably think - because I live in some twisted dream world hugging my teddy bear and hiding from life; I love this character because of the same meticulous and he/artful attention to design execution as I see everywhere else in TDR, especially TDS. He epitomizes what OLC does so well, what I think Disney has always done when it wasn't just selling stuff and branding (and what PIXAR consistently does) - connect with the audience. The fact that he was designed in the US as nothing but a brand icon and that he hawks more junk than nearly any other character in the parks is beautiful irony, I think.
    I would say it's the same for me. I've also always had the Japanese sensibility when it comes to "cute". I have no problem embracing it. Heck, in my teens & early 20's I was totally into Sanrio (Hello Kitty & friends). Plus, my love of Disney. So, embracing Duffy was not out of the ordinary for me. With Duffy, I do think that's the key difference between Disney in Japan and the US. I think that OLC pays more attention to their fanbase, and develops things to sell, but in a way that is much less crass commercialism than their US counterparts. Sure, they make money hand over fist on the character merchandise, but it always seems tasteful. The US seems to have a problem putting that much effort into merchandising. They figure people will buy it just because it's Disney, regardless of the quality or effort put into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    The fact that it is a resurrected character from a corporate branding failure is fascinating and inspiring to me. It says that while corporations are right about fandom consumers - we will stampede like cattle to buy their crap - they have to invest in making it actually mean something first. They have to push the right buttons. The people who created the new backstory, artwork and events for Duffy have clearly done exactly that, where the Disney Bear could not. Even Duffy's costume-changing, which has become a huge business, was part of the fundamental reconceptualization of the character in a country where Build-A-Bear is not what it is in the US and doesn't even sell Disney costumes. In fact, I imagine that a lot of BAB sales in Japan come from Duffy fans. The Duffy team knew what they were doing and have watched as their work came to fruition, like all Disney artists, like all commercial artists, like all artists. All of this, as I understand it - the costumes, events like Sweet Duffy with original stories, artwork, and merchandise - is conceived and created at OLC, then approved for production by execs at Disney Parks. At least, that's what I've been told. Dismissing their work and their success is unfair, to say the least.
    It is all pretty ingenious that Duffy has become what he is despite starting as just a brand experiment. I mean, you had Disney Bears flooding the Disney Outlet stores because nobody bought them...now you've got Duffy selling out in a matter of days... It's also interesting that Build-a-Bear doesn't have that much of a presence there, and Duffy could help them make money too. I do wonder what the execs at Disney, or whoever has to approve what OLC submits, thinks of all this. Somebody somewhere has to be wondering how they can cash in on all of it too. I do wish that creativity would bleed into Disney over here, but sometimes I think there is jealousy, and stubbornness, and not wanting to admit somebody else might be beating you at your own game. That's probably why TDR hardly ever gets a mention in "Disney Parks" marketing over here.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    That said, I would be pleasantly surprised and happily stand corrected to learn that there are American Imagineers working on Duffy, too, who really understand the Japanese sensibility for character design that has made him a hit. As far as I know, though, this is not the case. The Duffy team is all OLC, which, I think, is also part of why this character is flourishing so well in this niche market.
    I would also be happily surprised if there were Americans designing for the "Duffy team". If so, please let them do more work stateside too!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    I agree with you completely, Gurgi. There will be some Americans who connect with this, but the concept is tailored to the Japanese market. There are countless issues in Japanese society, as in most/all? societies, but there is almost no fear about loving the cute. Cute is king. In America, it's cool that rules, and often at the cost of cute. Personally I think this is grounded in strange machismo gender issues, another thing the Japanese have less of...in a sense, even while there is rampant sexism to this day. Looking for a while at how cute/cool plays out unearths both cultures' confusions about sexuality and maturity, but that's a looong digression I'll resist making. Humans are so fascinating!
    I think you're right. Once people hit a certain age, it's totally unacceptable to like something "childish". If you do, you're looked at like you've got some kind of mental disorder or something. That whole "machismo" thing drives me so crazy sometimes. It's true that both America and Japan have some cultural deficiencies though, but I prefer the love of cute over the macho any day.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    Anyway...Even American adults who collect teddy bears may be turned off by Duffy's mass production and corporate branding; while American Disney fans seem to think rooms full of music boxes or figurines are okay, but draw the line at teddy bears. I don't get that, but they don't get me, so whatever.^^ I think Duffy's appeal clearly grows out of the Japanese character aesthetic, which is why it seems so reasonable to me that everything about him was designed here, unlike other elements of TDR. I have heard this from people who work for both Disney and OLC, but never actually met someone from "Team Duffy" so I can't swear. Still, because of how much I think the Duffy concept wouldn't work in the US and in light of what happened with the Disney Bear in the first place, even with an existing BAB fanbase and partnership with Disney, it is very difficult for me to imagine that Duffy is in any way the product of American Imagineers. Honestly, the more I think about it, I hope it stays that way. There are definitely Americans who could do great things with Duffy, but as Disney wants to reach the widest audience possible, I think "the Disney Bear" is the way to go. The relatively few people Stateside who really get into Duffy's place in Disneyana will find a way to get theirs.
    Yeah, I think teddy bear collectors might not love Duffy in the same way either, since he's so heavily branded (at least here anyway). It's the same thing with something like "Care Bears". There are people who collect those, but I think the bear collectors tend to stay away from them too since they are so mass produced and commercialized. However, get people who grew up in the 80's, and they might be more nostalgic and get attached to "Care Bears". I also don't get how some Disney fans can compartmentalize and dismiss Duffy and those who like him, while at the same time, collecting plush of Mickey, or snowglobes, or fast food toys. It's all the same kind of thing. Everyone has their likes and dislikes. I'm not going to judge another Disney fan for liking something I don't. If I don't "get" somebody's passion, I'm not going to dismiss it. I've seen many things over the years and I've learned to be tolerant of quite a lot. So, if somebody loves Disney Princess dolls (which I know several people, even men, who do), I'm not going to hold that against them. We all love different aspects of Disney here, and Duffy fits right into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    Yeah, I've heard about Figment. I don't really know a lot about him. I found a site and watched a video and wasn't really blown away, but I was very impressed by how much fans seemed to love him. Thanks for reminding me to look back into that. I love your random stupid thoughts.^^
    Thanks, I appreciate that. The thing about Figment, is that he was all about sparking your imagination. He was born from Dreamfinder's thoughts...he's literally a "figment of imagination". So, there's creativity there. His attraction was "Journey into Imagination". The thing about him, is that he really did make you feel like you wanted to create things, and have fun with him. So, I think that, like Duffy, he was created with "heart", and could really be anything you projected onto him. Over the years, they have sold versions of him in all kinds of costumes, because he can imagine he's anything; a knight, a ballerina, a skunk, an artist, an actor, etc. He's what you want him to be. Of course, he does have a voice (and talks a lot), but still, he's something people can do anything with, so that's his appeal. He was not made to sell plush, or be a corporate symbol. I think that's why he's so loved now.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    Duffy does have some personality. He is concerned with Happiness, Luck, and Love. And he can move through people's dreams. He loves fashion, and like most cartoon characters, seems capable of learning skills by changing outfits, which he can apparently produce himself from thin air. He likes adventure and has a carefree, independent spirit. And yet, he loves love, and he loves to connect with people and bring people together. I think that's enough for a short show, and not too much.
    LOL, damn, if he can produce costumes out of thin air, I sure wish he'd use that talent at my house, it would save me tons of money!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    As for the cash cow, part, absoLUTEly! OLC is OLC and Disney is Disney and both are about making as much money as they possibly can, like most businesses. So, yeah, their goal is shockingly not world peace or solving the energy crisis, but making boatloads of money. Clearly. Decidedly. Why would anyone think otherwise? But OLC does it with such style and Duffy does it with such appeal, that I love it and will pay for it. Lots of folks do and will. Is there some other part of Disney that's running for some other reason that I don't know about? We don't actually think Disney's goal is making magic, do we? And anyway, as far as that goes, the truth is that Duffy is as close to a real world manifestation of a concept as Disney has ever come, just like the parks themselves and more than the costumed characters. I feel sure that the Duffy Team is having fun and enjoys what they're doing every bit as much as the Imagineers working on films and other parts of the parks. The fact that it makes money isn't really doesn't seem like something to complain about, especially with this company.
    Yeah, the making money thing is not surprising to me. It's not like they are a charity, or obligated to cater to fans. The fact that OLC bothers to make sure to connect positively with fans through merchandise is something I appreciate. Because they don't have to. It's nice to see them making the effort, where Disney sometimes...ok a lot of times, does not.

  7. #22

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    Thumbs up Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    Too soon to remove Donald's Boat Builders? It's been there since the beginning, so I think it's quite appropriate to change out the show. Most Disney fans complain when a show or parade stays longer than 5 years, so I'm surprised it's "too soon".
    I was surprised by that, too, and I agree with you. It was time for something new, and a Duffy show is clearly the most natural choice for the location.

  8. #23

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    Thumbs up Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    They figure people will buy it just because it's Disney, regardless of the quality or effort put into it.
    Isn't this often true, though? I think consumers have some responsibility for this part.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    It is all pretty ingenious that Duffy has become what he is despite starting as just a brand experiment. I mean, you had Disney Bears flooding the Disney Outlet stores because nobody bought them...now you've got Duffy selling out in a matter of days...
    ...and people who were fortunate enough to buy up those colored Disney Bears at Outlets selling them to the Japanese fans for hundreds or even thousands of dollars! I'm not kidding.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    It's also interesting that Build-a-Bear doesn't have that much of a presence there, and Duffy could help them make money too.
    I don't understand at all why the Disney BAB costumes aren't available here...must be some kind of licensing issue. There's no way management is just blind to the potential market, even without Duffy.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    The thing about Figment, is that he was all about sparking your imagination. He was born from Dreamfinder's thoughts...he's literally a "figment of imagination". So, there's creativity there. His attraction was "Journey into Imagination". The thing about him, is that he really did make you feel like you wanted to create things, and have fun with him. So, I think that, like Duffy, he was created with "heart", and could really be anything you projected onto him. Over the years, they have sold versions of him in all kinds of costumes, because he can imagine he's anything; a knight, a ballerina, a skunk, an artist, an actor, etc. He's what you want him to be. Of course, he does have a voice (and talks a lot), but still, he's something people can do anything with, so that's his appeal. He was not made to sell plush, or be a corporate symbol. I think that's why he's so loved now.
    Yeah, I think if I'd actually seen the attraction, I'd love him. I love how he's all about imagination, and the vocal silliness kinda reminds me of Roger Rabbit. I love Roger Rabbit, by the way.

    But I do worry about all the silliness. Like you've said, Gurgi, Duffy is grounded in a kind of classic, nostalgic Americana. There's something more subtle about it. I realize as I write this that I'm a little worried about this now for the presentation of the show. I expect it to be fun, but I hope it doesn't cross the line into being as silly as Boat Builders or Figment. Duffy is a different kind of character, I think, more classic and romantic.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    LOL, damn, if he can produce costumes out of thin air, I sure wish he'd use that talent at my house, it would save me tons of money!!
    Me, too! I think you just have to dream about him wearing something. Try hard and let me know how it works out!

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    Yeah, the making money thing is not surprising to me. It's not like they are a charity, or obligated to cater to fans. The fact that OLC bothers to make sure to connect positively with fans through merchandise is something I appreciate. Because they don't have to.
    Actually, for their market, I think they kinda do. I appreciate it, too, but I honestly think that if they failed to do this for any length of time, there would be plenty of abandoners who'd say it wasn't good enough or relevant enough to them anymore and move on. There are lots of hardcore Disney fans here who would buy a piece of poo with Mickey ears on it, but LOTS of the hardcore Disney fans are buying stuff more because of its quality and design than just because it has Mickey ears on it. Disney is as synonymous with quality as it is with Mickey Mouse here, and the entire brand's status in Japan is directly related to the quality of OLC's merchandise and events, and the zeitgeist radar of its marketing/planning teams. In this year, I have finally come to understand why Disney seemed so different in Japan. It's because it really is fundamentally based on a different company's efforts as much as it is on the brilliant Disney Imagineers' work in the US. And while all the other characters rightly still belong to the Walt Disney Company in America, no matter how the legalities work out and where the intial concept came from, I think OLC has really earned Duffy as their own. That's what makes him so special to me, and I imagine, to many Japanese fans. That's why this show is such a big deal to me. Although TDL and TDS were designed by American Imagineers and Japanese people just work there (I know that's way oversimplified^^), what Cape Cod has become now grew so much from OLC's original initiative. And Cape Cod is such a classic American area. I think that's great. It's a beautifully seamless circle, and I love it.
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 12-03-2009 at 11:49 AM.

  9. #24

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    This sounds like a great idea, the Duffy phenomenon is huge at the park and like others have pointed out is already is Disney's answer to Hello Kitty. The one negative thing I have on the whole Duffy craze is that I actually feel OLC and Disney are kind of sitting on the backbench here and are missing so many great opportunity's with the brand, and yes I like to refer to Duffy as a brand now days. I don't no much on who owns the likeness to the Character, it being either OLC or Disney but I would start pushing the Duffy brand outside of the park now. Could you imagine Duffy merchandise filling the OLC operated Disney Stores though out Japan. Imagine how packed these stores could get if the Store's decided to release new costumes each month like at the parks and not so long a go the Disney Channel created its own unique Stitch Animated Series, exclusive to Japanese audiences. I actually think the backstory to Duffy is really cool and I feel an animated Duffy series telling his adventure's on the high Sea's would only make his appeal stronger. I think my idea are worth considering and maybe are already being discussed, but would it be a wise move to exploit him in such a manner, or are OLC making the right move keeping him exclusive to DisneySea, and its loyal fanbase.

    While giving Duffy some thought I have started to realise he could fit in quite well with the Toy Story Characters who will be arriving to the American Waterfront in 2012. Duffy like Buzz and Woody is a toy and brings on a life of his own.

  10. #25

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    ichigopara, thank you for the post on Donald's Builders. Looks like a really cute show.

    The more I read about Duffy here, the more I agree with a lot of you, I hope the show leaves Duffy as a non speaking part. Not sure how they will do it but Im sure they will do it well. I agree Duffy really is what each person wants him to be and I think that is the best part of him. I love the fact that he has a home in a Disney park and is part Disney. But really he does so well because he is what ever you want him or need him to be.

    Its funny how the Disney Bear started State side but got bigger and much better in Tokyo. Im not sure about WDW, but DLR has The Disney Bear now sold like Duffy with no clothes. DLR offeres little t-shirts sold sepratly. Where before the Disney Bear at DL was sold waring PJ. Which he still is, they had just added more. The bear is smaller, doesn't have the quailty of Duffy nor the storyline. But interesting that state side is trying.

    I too don't think it will take off in the states. He doesn't have a good home here like Cape Cod. There is no movie to him so why would people here go for it? Guest tent to go for movie based items and the regular fab five items.

    In a lot of ways I hope Duffy stays in Tokyo. I think he will grow there much better then here. And I would hate for his story note to be a good one. And as much as I wish I could get all the Duffy stuff here in the states. I think having something different in all the different parks is great thing. Gives the reason to travel and makes each park special.

    I can see how to bring Duffy to the masses with out being in all the parks and that is to have an on-line thing. not sure what to call it or how to do it. But one idea is they release two different costumes each month. If they could up production to three a month, have one sold on line only. This would still draw a crowd into the parks for the out costumes but give the world wide Duffy followers something too. Maybe that is stupid not sure. But I do think Duffy should stay at TDS. Its his home. And soon it will be where his show is.

  11. #26

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    Could you imagine Duffy merchandise filling the OLC operated Disney Stores though out Japan. Imagine how packed these stores could get if the Store's decided to release new costumes each month like at the parks and not so long a go the Disney Channel created its own unique Stitch Animated Series, exclusive to Japanese audiences. I actually think the backstory to Duffy is really cool and I feel an animated Duffy series telling his adventure's on the high Sea's would only make his appeal stronger. I think my idea are worth considering and maybe are already being discussed, but would it be a wise move to exploit him in such a manner, or are OLC making the right move keeping him exclusive to DisneySea, and its loyal fanbase.
    I have to disagree with you. I think if they did this they would kill the whole thing and lose the profits they are making. Do you know Hanabatake Farm? They were an extremely popular nama caramel company from Hokkaido and opened a shop in Tokyo. One shop was fine and always had a huge line because it was exclusive and a great product. Then they opened two more stores and now nobody cares anymore and if you want you can just walk in with no wait anytime. It became not special and if they took Duffy out of TDS and in the Disney store and on television the same thing would happen.

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    If they maintain his endearing quality (that also, in paradox, prevents him from developing a personality), then the show will no doubt be a success. I can just imagine the show taking place with Duffy being plush-sized for the main duration of the show and then having a short part as a character.
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  13. #28

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ichigopara View Post
    I have to disagree with you. I think if they did this they would kill the whole thing and lose the profits they are making. Do you know Hanabatake Farm? They were an extremely popular nama caramel company from Hokkaido and opened a shop in Tokyo. One shop was fine and always had a huge line because it was exclusive and a great product. Then they opened two more stores and now nobody cares anymore and if you want you can just walk in with no wait anytime. It became not special and if they took Duffy out of TDS and in the Disney store and on television the same thing would happen.
    Off topic a bit. When Crispy Cream Donut(an East Cost Company I believe) came to the Los Angles area, the first one was by my house. You would find a long line at midnight. That place was packed. After they opened more stores, not as bad as Starbucks, but close. People lost interest. There was never much of line anymore and some stores closed, including the first store in California.

    Thats why as much as I love to see Duffy in the states, it just wouldn't be the same. To me he is special because I traveled to Tokyo. Just wish I could go there more often. lol

  14. #29

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    I think the biggest factor in Duffy's success is that he (she?) is Mickey's bear. That fact in itself gave Duffy a lot of credence in the eyes of many Japanese guests. Perhaps from now on, Duffy doesn't "need" the support of Mickey and Minnie in terms of marketing and merchandising. However, it got a big boost from the start when it was associated with Mickey.

    When he was first introduced for Harborside Christmas 2004, Duffy was Mickey's favorite toy sprinkled with pixie dust to come alive. From that point on, the bear became part of DisneySea lore. Within a month, there was already merchandise available. By the following July, he had found a home in Cape Cod.

    Other characters introduced in attractions but pushed by OLC (not necessarily Disney), Chandu, Rocky (from "Ride and Go Seek") and Shiriki, haven't fared as well. None of them have really been associated with Mickey much.

    "Orange Bird" came in before "The Disney Bear" in 2004 and hardly made a dent in the minds of Japanese. It's had limited success outside TDR without Miickey around. Hehehe.

    When Ikispiari opened, OLC wanted to make their own characters and concept with Camp Nepos (outside of Disney and the Mouse). We all know what happened to that project.

    As much credit as OLC is being given with the success of Duffy, I believe it was the connection to Mickey and Minnie as one of the biggest (or the biggest) reason why it has become the success that it is in Japan.

    The whole Americana, innocent, non-flashy atmosphere of the bear lends well to Cape Cod, which I have been told was a WDC suggestion. And of course he fits in well with the Japanese "kawaii" concept. But let us not forget the power that Mickey has in the hearts of Japanese.
    Last edited by JoeInJpn; 12-03-2009 at 09:06 PM.
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  15. #30

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    Re: 「My Friend Duffy」 SHOW coming March 2010!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ichigopara View Post
    I have to disagree with you. I think if they did this they would kill the whole thing and lose the profits they are making. Do you know Hanabatake Farm? They were an extremely popular nama caramel company from Hokkaido and opened a shop in Tokyo. One shop was fine and always had a huge line because it was exclusive and a great product. Then they opened two more stores and now nobody cares anymore and if you want you can just walk in with no wait anytime. It became not special and if they took Duffy out of TDS and in the Disney store and on television the same thing would happen.
    TDR manages its characters and merchandise really well. They really know supply and demand. I think they want to keep the demand high for duffy so they would not be inclined to sell it all over japan... Its a great idea to keep duffy exclusive... I just hope its not a huge mob scene at cape cod cookoff.


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