They are totally counterfeits, though they have very official-looking blue paper "Disney" tags that even have hologram stickers! I don't think they have any kind of stitched-on tag, though.
I keep meaning to post about this, and to contact OLC about it. I've just been so busy with Spring Voyage.
They have both Duffy and ShellieMay, badges and full-sized. They even have badges of Duffy in his sailor outfit! One glance, though, and you can immediately see that texture, color, and construction quality are all way off. Still, it undermines the value of authentic Duffy merchandise and I'm expecting OLC to take it very seriously.:unsure:
I have my own photos I'll post later.
I called. They already knew. Can't say what they're doing about it and there's no way to know the result. Mentioned that OLC pays royalties to Disney and asked if I was asking if OLC was doing something, "You mean directly?" This left me with the impression that OLC expects Disney to enforce the violation. That much merchandise, I can't believe the breach isn't in Disney's own Duffy-producing factories… Can someone who's bought US Duffy recently tell us where it was made? I just hope they're gone soon.:shy:
Yeah they look... wider than the normal badge size. I had a strong feeling they were probably fakes. The tag on the back of the badge size bears just say "Disney" instead of the Duffy or Shellie May logo on one side and Tokyo DisneySea on the other.
LOL, I only wish Duffy was popular enough here to make people want to counterfeit the bears for claw machines. Just kidding....sort of.
The generic "Disney" tag reminds me of the Disney merchandise you can buy at Walmart or various other stores. Lesser quality than what you get at the parks, but still licensed. Not saying that this stuff is official, but that's what it reminds me of.
Hmmm those machines look exactly like the ones in the local bowling alley I've been to. It's called Round One and is based in Japan. Wonder if that's where the video was taken. It's interesting, but one look at the Shellie May and I knew it was fake.
They sure did go to great pains to make them look fairly authentic. I think the claw machines are notirious for copyright infringement, and not just with Duffy. Also, carnival games. This is prevalent in the US too. Just, that there aren't nearly as many claw machines, and also, they wouldn't bother to clone Duffy...he's an unknown entity outside of Disney circles. I guess that shows just how popular he is in Japan if people know about him who don't even care about Disney.
The culprit certainly doesn't have to be a company that's currently making Duffies, at any rate. I know some rare/retired American Girl outfits were counterfeited...everyone assumes it was one of the original Chinese factories, but I don't know if there was any evidence, aside from the fact that the counterfeits were identical to the original and I think they got ahold of some American Girl garment tags. At any rate, two of the outfits in question hadn't been made in 5 or 7 years, were not based on any current outfit, and commanded prices over $100 each on eBay. So suddenly counterfeits were appearing since the originals were rare and expensive--but there WAS no factory currently making the outfits, so you couldn't blame it on that.
It couldn't be terribly hard to reverse-engineer a pattern (just disassemble one of the finished products, and I'm sure any person with knowledge of sewing plushies could figure out how they go together). That might explain why the proportions on these Duffies are a little off, actually. I would think if they were using an identical pattern and process to the real factories, then the bears would be more likely to be better proportioned.
I'm sure in some cases counterfeiters go to the factory that makes the fabric and just buy some of it, or some fabric that's similar, or maybe other factories can make fabric that's "close enough" (and probably cheaper!).
Anyway, given the tags aren't right, I tend to think this isn't actually an "inside job" (or if it is, they didn't do a very good job of it!). But I guess we'll never know.
We're currently in Japan, and we've seen these in Ikebukuro (Sunshine City area) and Nakano Broadway.
I had assumed they were legit, just because the companies that had them had them out front, in major strips, and because Disney is so fierce with protecting their merchandise. I was confused, though, since they're so fierce about protecting the whole "Duffy in TDS only" thing.
Very curious. If they are counterfeits, it definitely falls in the "what the heck are you thinking?" spectrum.
Sadly to say I'm used to seeing these sort of things here in the us, copyright infringement seems to get pushed under the radar so to speak more often then I have seen anything happening, however seeing anything Disney is new to me, I will admit.
I see these types of machines while I'm walking into super markets and other places and normally you can see that the products aren't authentic. If you go to any swap meet you will also see different plush animals and other products that are knock off's and sadly those products are getting better and better at looking real with each passing day and some things unless you know what you are looking at look like the real thing.
I've never seen the Duffy or Shellie from OLC so to me they looked real, the tag however did throw me off. So I guess I can understand somebody getting confused that hadn't seen them before.
But in another light it does show just how popular Duffy and Shellie have become within Japan and that is saying something in it of its self. If the OLC does something I will have a greater respect for them (I hope they can and will do something because they do pay enough for licensing from disney that this should not be happening to them.)
Then again it can't be easy to find the company that supplies these plush and others like it so I wish them luck within this endeavor and hope that they are able to see it as both a negative and positive for what it is.