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  1. #31

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    Re: Is America ready for DUFFY?

    To answer the head line.. NO. Americans are not as gullible for fads as the japanese are. Nor are they into "cute". So no, the Duffy fad will not be successful in the USA. I much rather the WDC tried to imitate OLC in how to operate their parks, as opposed to mimic fads that are solely a gimmick to make money, as opposed to spending it where it really matters: maintenance and quality.

  2. #32

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    re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    I'm guessing Duffy's backstory will be the same as in Japan. Otherwise why not just give him a different name?
    But neither Epcot or DCA have a Cape Cod area which is important to the backstory. Unless both parks acknowledge the existance of Cape Cod how could it work. And if it kept to the original backstory would this not make Duffy a visitor to the park. Instead of a permanent Character?

    If WDW Management were smart and unfortunately that is questionable at times. The Countries in Epcot's World Showcase should all have individual costume releases for Duffy. 11 countries would mean 11 costumes for Duffy.

    Now that Duffy is going global I wonder what will become of his Japan fanbase. Will he loose his spark now that he can be purchased outside of the Tokyo Disney Resort.

  3. #33

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    Re: Is America ready for DUFFY?

    I don't know if it will take off but it would be cool to see if they release Epcot Center and DCA cast costumes for Duffy!! I think with a proper release it has the potential to do well, maybe...
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  4. #34

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    re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    But neither Epcot or DCA have a Cape Cod area which is important to the backstory. Unless both parks acknowledge the existance of Cape Cod how could it work. And if it kept to the original backstory would this not make Duffy a visitor to the park. Instead of a permanent Character?

    If WDW Management were smart and unfortunately that is questionable at times. The Countries in Epcot's World Showcase should all have individual costume releases for Duffy. 11 countries would mean 11 costumes for Duffy.

    Now that Duffy is going global I wonder what will become of his Japan fanbase. Will he loose his spark now that he can be purchased outside of the Tokyo Disney Resort.
    Do both parks really need to acknowledge Cape Cod? I don't think the original story ever specifically mentions it. Mickey sets out on different adventures and Minnie Makes Duffy to keep him company. I don't think Duffy going global will affect the Japanese fanbase except that they will want to purchase the overseas goods.The only thing affecting us is that maybe this is the reason why we have the not cute Duffy doing character greetings here. I think that they just wanted to make the cheaper Duffy for their parks and convinced OLC to use it too.
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  5. #35

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    re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    Duffy will fail in the States. He's a blank, like Hello Kitty. He exists only as an object for what people project onto him. In Japan that makes sense, in the US it's not what people want.
    I don't know if that's the best comparison, since if Duffy's anything like Hello Kitty, he'll be rather popular in America. I know I see a ton of Hello Kitty merchandise still in all kinds of random places.
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  6. #36

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    re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyFan28 View Post
    Duffy is coming to the US?
    Awesome!

    I can imagine the look on kids faces if he appears in the parks at times XD.

    Or is this just the toys?
    According to Al, it's both. There will be character meet 'n greets, as well as the plush, and accessories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I wish Duffy well. I always thought he was cute as the "Disney Bear" but that name was so generic (as was his marketing) that he just never took off.

    What sorts of things could Disney do to make him more successful to the US audience this time around? Does he need a backstory? Should he just be Disney's Build-A-Bear clone? Work him into a Disney Channel cartoon? Merchandise events for the parks?

    I'm just not sure. I remember liking the Disney Bear the first time around the block, but Duffy has a lot of work to do to catch on in the States.
    I also wish him well, and hope Disney has learned a lesson from the first failed attempt. I do think that by even giving him a name, it's a big step. I mean, how generic was "Disney Bear"? It's like calling yourself "basic human" all the time. I do think he needs a better backstory than the one they gave him originally though. Not sure about the Build-a-Bear aspect though. Maybe, but then Disney would be pissing off a tenant at DL's Downtown Disney...they may not care though. They could work him into maybe a Playhouse Disney show of his own. That would then limit his appeal to preschoolers, but then again, that's probably the tolerance most Americans will have for him anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger55 View Post
    I'm guessing Duffy's backstory will be the same as in Japan. Otherwise why not just give him a different name?

    The Japanese Guests coming to WDW and DLR are going to be thrilled. They will however be perplexed if Duffy had a different backstory.

    Just having a name for this go-a-round in the US will help IMO. The Disney Bear was just too darn generic.

    Maybe they should replace Grr the bear from Grizley River Run with Duffy? There is at least one tie-in. As far as Epcot goes... I am sans any good ideas. Duffy the World Showcase Ambassador?

    If they don't have a consistent story between TDR, DLR and WDW for Duffy, I think that will just contribute to his failure once again in the US.
    I'm not sure they need to use the exact same story as Japan, but they could actually. There is no specific mention of Cape Cod in his storybook, only the artwork gives it away. They could just create new art for the US version, but keep the text the same. I do agree that there needs to be some kind of consistency, like you said.

    I was thinking of his placement in the parks, and if they actually reuse his Cape Cod roots, and themes, it might just work in both DCA and EPCOT. If they place him in Paradise Pier at DCA, the seaside theme he already has would be a perfect fit. Lighthouses, seagulls, beach chairs, anchors...it all fits. At EPCOT, they could put him in American Adventure, sandwiched between japan. They could possibly note his connection to TDS somehow, but the themes could work for the American section anyway.

    The Japanese fans might not care that he has a slightly different story. After all, look at the lengths they go to for the original Disney Bear version, and they don't seem to mind that the story is different. It's just that it looks like Duffy and can wear the same outfits.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatterhornJ View Post
    The majority might not, but I'm one of the people who would want something like that in the US.
    Me too, but then again, I'm already a fan of Duffy, so I guess I'm not an impartial example, LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    But neither Epcot or DCA have a Cape Cod area which is important to the backstory. Unless both parks acknowledge the existance of Cape Cod how could it work. And if it kept to the original backstory would this not make Duffy a visitor to the park. Instead of a permanent Character?

    If WDW Management were smart and unfortunately that is questionable at times. The Countries in Epcot's World Showcase should all have individual costume releases for Duffy. 11 countries would mean 11 costumes for Duffy.

    Now that Duffy is going global I wonder what will become of his Japan fanbase. Will he loose his spark now that he can be purchased outside of the Tokyo Disney Resort.
    Like I said above, I think Duffy could fit thematically at both DCA and EPCOT if they put him in Paradise Pier, and American Adventure respectively. They don't even have to change much about his TDS appearance or themes. The World Showcase costume idea is great though, and I would love it if they did that.

    Not sure that Duffy would lose his spark for Japanese fans, since not everyone comes to the US. They already buy the early versions on Ebay, so I'll bet they would still buy him at TDS.

    Quote Originally Posted by ichigopara View Post
    Do both parks really need to acknowledge Cape Cod? I don't think the original story ever specifically mentions it. Mickey sets out on different adventures and Minnie Makes Duffy to keep him company. I don't think Duffy going global will affect the Japanese fanbase except that they will want to purchase the overseas goods.The only thing affecting us is that maybe this is the reason why we have the not cute Duffy doing character greetings here. I think that they just wanted to make the cheaper Duffy for their parks and convinced OLC to use it too.
    Yeah, the storybook doesn't mention Cape Cod specifically, but the artwork does. They would have to change that, but keep the basic story the same. And, if they did that, it could work at both DCA and EPCOT. I thought the exact same thing about the new Duffy mascot too! It would not surprise me if that is the exact reason they changed him, to have him consistent around the world, and to have OLC pay for the changes, while WDC rides the money train...

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Romantic View Post
    I don't know if that's the best comparison, since if Duffy's anything like Hello Kitty, he'll be rather popular in America. I know I see a ton of Hello Kitty merchandise still in all kinds of random places.
    Yeah, Hello Kitty is not a good comparison since she is a global force to be reckoned with. In fact there was a recent article I read that stated she is one of the most familiar character icons around the world. She might be a blank, but she's one heck of a cute powerhouse! If Duffy could be like Hello Kitty then he should be one very lucky bear!

  7. #37

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    re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Hello...this is actually my first post to the boards, but I've been a lurker for ages, but wanted to say hi first!

    I'm very excited to get confirmation that Duffy is coming to the US parks. I am a US Expat living in Asia and am flying back home to the US in part because of the "rumor" of Duffy coming to the parks. Unless you visit Tokyo DL regularly, you cannot imagine how the popularity of Duffy grows. I was there in December and June and his (and Shellie May's) popularity has at least doubled. Previously we saw a few people carrying a Duffy in Disneyland, but not that many (Everyone practically has one in Tokyo DisneySea). This past trip, I was snapping photos left and right of people carrying their Duffy bears in DL.

    There was an hour long line to get into Aunt Peg's in TDS on a Saturday with no new releases. I was stunned and made the hubby stand in it "just in case". LOL. Duffy is more than a character or stuffed toy, it's an extension of their life. It's rather insane (although I readily admit I got sucked in). Hong Kong DL has one now too, but not near as cute (resembles more of My First Disney Bear from DL). We were recently at HKDL with our Duffy and Shellie May and ended up meeting another couple that had their bears with them too.

    I am not sure the Duffy concept itself will work as well at the US parks (not as many people will be willing to pay $100 for outfits as many of the Japanese are. The bear itself retails for over $40 US an the outfits are $30 and up. Although I may be off base as the old Duffy bears from previous WDW Teddy Bear Festivals are pulling in some serious bucks on eBay.

    I definitely think a comparison to Hello Kitty is not valid. Hello Kitty has a cult following in many places (here in Taiwan we have a hospital, restaurant, and airport gate dedicated to Hello Kitty). Don't get me started on all the merchandise - nuts! A lot of people back in the US visit the Hello Kitty themed stuff here and in Japan because they are devout fans.

    I am crazy to admit this, but I'm flying to Tokyo Disneyland for the fall event opening weekend and plan to hit the Duffy store right away to see the new release stuff. Guaranteed I will be taking photos of the lines as I am sure I will be waiting a few hours in hopes of buying some Halloween stuff.

    A couple people posted links to the other eBay auctions on the prototypes. Not sure I should post or admit this, but there was an earlier cat prototype listed awhile back that we own. I had talked to the lister as he's a reputable Disney auctioneer and collector. The prototypes are from a few years back and came from a friend of his who worked in WDI. These were being destroyed and the Imagineer held them aside for this person. He had told me there were a couple more prototypes. There are a lot of similarities to the cat and the new Shellie May that came out in Japan earlier this year (minus the tail and bow). Here is a link to the eBay auction with the one we bought: DISNEY BEAR Pink Polka Dot CAT Prototype Plush Duffy - eBay (item 370403547839 end time Jul-11-10 19:00:04 PDT)

  8. #38

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    re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    First of all, poohstraveler, nice to meet you, and welcome! I'm glad we got you to post, it's always nice having new people with interesting things to say.

    From your avatar, it looks like you've got yourself a Duffy collection. I guess his non-Japanese fanbase is indeed growing!

    Thanks for that bit of information about the prototype bears/cats. I was wondering about them, and at what point they were in development. I'm glad somebody had the thought to save a few of them. Sure, they fetched a lot of money, but they did get into fan's hands rather than destruction.

  9. #39

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Sorry for the newb question but whats OLC?
    I heard that get thrown around a bit on this thread and was wondering what it stood for.

  10. #40

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Oriental Land Company (OLC)


    As for the Duff Bears, with selling different outfits, it's just a cheap take off of Build a bear, which is already in DTD at DL Anaheim. And the experience at Build a Bear is a much more complete bonding, with a LOT more selection. You pick out the specific type of animal you want, you help stuff it and fluff it, you put a heart in it, then there are all sorts of clothes and shoes and costumes to dress your bear in, right in the store. Then YOU name your bear, and get a birth certificate for your own unique critter, and get a carrying case that looks like a house, to carry your bear home. Duff Bear misses ALL that bonding. It ends up being just another stuffed animal, but at build a bear its an entire experience. Duff just isn't that special.

  11. #41

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by 006TOE View Post
    Sorry for the newb question but whats OLC?
    I heard that get thrown around a bit on this thread and was wondering what it stood for.
    OLC stands for Oriental Land Company. This is the company that went to Disney Co. and acquired the rights and licencing to own and operate the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. Unlike DLR, WDW, DLP and HKDL, Disney Co does not own any portion of the Tokyo Disney Resort project. Disney only makes a percentage of profits from merchandise and ticket sales generated at TDR. Since Disney does not own the resort, the entire operation and expansion expenses fall to OLC's responsability, which may be the single most important reason why TDR is the very best of all the Disney resorts in the World, because unlike Walt Disney Company and their penny counting budget restrictions, OLC spends vigorously in ever aspect of the TDR.. and that's why TDR is the best staffed, cleanest, most elaborate, and efficiently operated Disney resort on Earth, where Disney's name shines lavishly as the best, which is ironic, since Disney is hardly involved in their operation, except for the management team that's there to oversee OLC's duties. Yet, that disney management team on loan to TDR has learned nothing about running a Disney park to the best quality possible.

  12. #42

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Thanks TDLfan.
    I had no idea they didnt own TDL. Crazy

  13. #43

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    The only crazy thing about it is that OLC has done such a terrific job of running TDR that it makes our parks in the US look bad in comparison.. especially WDW. DLR is doing ok because by tradition... they have a higher standard, but even TDR (as operated by OLC) surpasses DLR operation is several ways.

  14. #44

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    For many of the Japanese Duffy fans, showing off their Duffys and being noticed by others is a HUGE part of the appeal.

    I have seen Japanese Guests that had 10 or more Duffys strapped to their body as they walked the park. I have seen other Guets that have made their own elaborate custom costumes depicting TDR CM costimes.

    I think many of the Japanese Duffy fans really crave and enjoy the attention they try to bring upon themselves. And even though it does draw attention, the behaivior is for the most part accepted in Japanese society.

    I don't think this aspect of Duffy mania will catch on and be accepted in the US. Closest thing I can think of in the US parks that resembles this slightly is the Pin Trading craze. There are those that wear those lanyards around their necks and haul around the parks bags and bags of pins around in baby strollers. I don't think though that they are looked upon by other Guests as "kawaii" or interesting.

    And pin trading is not even being held up and sustained by these die hard pin traders. Its success is mainly attributed to the vacationers that buy pins after they have been enticed to do so by being given the free Walt Disney Travel Company lanyard and starter pins, and by having the CMs weare lanyards to promote trading.

    I really don't see the Japanses type of Duffy mania happening in the US parks. Maybe IF they market him right, people will buy him as as souvenir and MAYBE buy an outfit or two. I just don't think that it will come close to the popularity level as in Japan because there won't be the maniacal fan base.

    If Disney thinks they can replicate the TDR Duffy craze and come close to the revenue being generated in Japan, and that is the reason they are bringing him back to the US, they have badly missed the mark.

  15. #45

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    Re: It was only a matter of time before Duffy made Disney take notice...(Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger55 View Post
    For many of the Japanese Duffy fans, showing off their Duffys and being noticed by others is a HUGE part of the appeal.

    I have seen Japanese Guests that had 10 or more Duffys strapped to their body as they walked the park. I have seen other Guets that have made their own elaborate custom costumes depicting TDR CM costimes.

    I think many of the Japanese Duffy fans really crave and enjoy the attention they try to bring upon themselves. And even though it does draw attention, the behaivior is for the most part accepted in Japanese society.

    I don't think this aspect of Duffy mania will catch on and be accepted in the US. Closest thing I can think of in the US parks that resembles this slightly is the Pin Trading craze. There are those that wear those lanyards around their necks and haul around the parks bags and bags of pins around in baby strollers. I don't think though that they are looked upon by other Guests as "kawaii" or interesting.

    And pin trading is not even being held up and sustained by these die hard pin traders. Its success is mainly attributed to the vacationers that buy pins after they have been enticed to do so by being given the free Walt Disney Travel Company lanyard and starter pins, and by having the CMs weare lanyards to promote trading.

    I really don't see the Japanses type of Duffy mania happening in the US parks. Maybe IF they market him right, people will buy him as as souvenir and MAYBE buy an outfit or two. I just don't think that it will come close to the popularity level as in Japan because there won't be the maniacal fan base.

    If Disney thinks they can replicate the TDR Duffy craze and come close to the revenue being generated in Japan, and that is the reason they are bringing him back to the US, they have badly missed the mark.
    Again, I'm going to agree with you. Disney will never be able to duplicate exactly the success Duffy is having in Japan. It just won't work culturally. Now, some parts can, and Duffy could be a minor success here, but if they're expecting 7 hour lines to buy merchandise...oh wait...that almost does happen, just with the limited event merchandise they've done in the past... Ahem, that aside, I don't think hours waiting to buy a plush bear will happen.

    I think you're right, that people might buy a bear and a few costumes, and leave it at that. There will be people who buy all the costumes, but even then, taking the bear into the park and showing off with him is not something I see happening to any extent like it does at TDS, if at all.

    Still, I'm remaining optimistic that he catches on finally, and Disney does a good job with it. Even if he can sustain a cult following like Figment has, I consider that a success.

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