Duffy Christmas 2010 - Costumes, etc...
I hoped perhaps DisneyFAN was leaving out some details. I have to say I'm pretty disappointed that Duffy's costume includes neither pants nor shoes for ￥3300! And with $hellie Ma￥, you get only a bow and a cape for a whopping ￥2500! If you want a dress or even a skirt, you have to buy the Christmas doll set, too (assuming it is what I think it is) - an additional cost of probably around ￥4300. If you, like me, have waited to buy Shellie May, this is perhaps acceptable, but I suspect some collectors who already have the bear will consider Build-A-Bear this year. If you want shoes for either, you have to go to Build-A-Bear anyway, or have them from last spring's Hello From Cape Cod outfit. I guess a lot of people don't want shoes, cos they like the footprint. But that's why I wish they'd make more of those "signature" shoes with the Duffy mark, like last year's Halloween and Slumber sets.
Compared to last year's offerings, it feels like the time when OLC had to impress us with value in order to sell Duffy is over. With Duffy's costume set, I just think it's unnecessarily overpriced...but Shellie's ribbon has virtually no detail and the cape barely covers her shoulders - it's hardly 2/3 of the typical costume releases from last year. It still looks to be very high quality material and the cape is beautifully lined and appliqued. There is no question whether these are worth the money compared with market competitors like Build-A-Bear. In Japan, BAB is about the same price as Duffy goods - ie double US prices - but with no change in quality. It's an absolute ripoff. Nothing like that is happening with these Christmas costumes, but it's still not the same value we came to expect from OLC last year. What I liked about Duffy was that even though the cost was high, the quality difference was substantially greater than the price difference. That's less true with these two, especially $hellie's.
I'm hopeful there will be some very special Duffy sets next year for the 10th Anniversary. I'd like to see a budget-priced re-release PLUS a whiz-bang new accessorized design every month. Expensive for new collectors, but fun - and cheaper than auction sites.^^ Whatever happens, every month I lean more and more toward agreeing that Duffy is becoming a cardboard cash cow, like his Disney Bear predecessor. Maybe it was only my own imagination that ever allowed him to be more than that, but even if that's true, that would be a fantastic thing if it was sustainable - a character that inspires adult imagination rather than simple passive entertainment is a feat, I think. This decline in value, the over-pushing of merchandise and the new helpless toddler image make it harder and harder to enjoy being a serious collector or fan of this character, though, which is really a shame.
I'll still buy both of these Christmas outfits, plus the smiling Christmas Shellie May if it's available - though now I'm nervous what these are gonna cost... But there are nargles in my mistletoe this year.