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  • [Question] Duffy

    I'm a newbie around here with only two trips to the Tokyo Disney Resort. And right now I have only one question:

    What is up with "Duffy the Disney Bear - The Bear of Happiness and Luck"?

    The Cape Cod area at DisneySea has signage that says "Cape Cod, home of Duffy the Bear" as if that's the real reason the area was built. All the cool stuff from the store has been replaced with enough outfits for plush Duffies to make An American Girl pout in jealousy. And when the character walked onstage I was nearly crushed by more girls in school uniforms than you see on a week long Cartoon Network Annime marathon.

    Did this start out as a merchandise ploy or just end up as one? I've heard Duffy was a special Christmas character and "caught on". Is the character actually that well known in Japan, or is this some version of 'Dole Whip Mania' among that fanbase?



    P.S. I'm also afraid Disney will try to do something like that in the U.S., but to cover all the franchises we'll get 'Duffia - Princess of the Fairy Pooh Bears' starring in a High School Musical.

  • #2
    Re: Duffy

    Haha what a funny name, I dont think Disney is going to come out with anything ridiculous like that. At least I hope not.

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    • #3
      Re: Duffy

      I think Duffy has existed at WDW, purely as merchandise and not as widespread. But I could be mistaken there.

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      • #4
        Re: Duffy

        No, you are correct. Duffy was (and still is, but under a different design) at WDW under the name of "The Disney Bear." The product was aimed at the three-and-under crowd from the selection I've seen, with very slim pickings for collectors.

        Duffy didn't really start out as a Christmas character. In fact, I think the first time I saw photos of Duffy, he was in a sailors outfit not to dissimilar to Donald's. The story is that Duffy was a gift from Minnie to Mickey before a boating venture, but how he came to life is anyone's guess at this point. Maybe Joe (*ahem*) or TDLFAN could fill in the blanks.

        All I know is that since he was introduced, the Japanese design of the character with its many hidden Mickeys has been rather popular at TDS. I mean, I've seen shots of Duffy as your standard teddy bear, Sailor/Over the Waves Duffy, Christmas Duffy.... He's kind of as unique to TDS as Orange Bird is to TDL in some respect...
        WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.

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        • #5
          Re: Duffy

          There has been a "my first Disney bear" around for a bit at WDW. I noticed last trip that there were a few more variations than normal. Also there was a book about Mickey taking the bear for it's first trip. I don't remember the bear having a name at all. I don't think he has really ever caught on.

          Duffy over at TDR, well he seems to be more at home at TDS. I didn't see any merchandise of him other than at Aunt Pegs in the Cape Cod area, so it's not like your tripping over the stuff everywhere. The Japanese evidently like their characters. Hence why there are a lot more unique opportunities for meet and greets than at other parks. Some of the girls I saw were bypassing the smaller, more manageable 16 inch or so bear, which I add was around about $40 and going for the huge Duffy, which was probably about the size of a toddler. I didn't even look to see the cost of that one. It's interesting to hear you say that the shop was dripping with merchandise, I was actually pretty disappointed with the lack thereof. It must have been a very large gaggle of girls hit the place before I did, as there were no outfits, save one strange little suitcase and hat combo!! Having heard so much about how popular he was, I kind of expected more merchandising!! I will say that I was generally quite surprised about the overall lack of merchandise variety throughout the resort. I think because I went just before the start of the 25th anniversary, they just didn't have much stuff out.

          Duffy was meeting and greeting outside. Big line. Some young tween's Mom, embarrasses him horribly wanting to get her photo taken with the bear. The boy went off in a huff, because he didn't want to wait. I thought that was kind of funny. Mom naturally stayed in line.

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          • #6
            Re: Duffy

            The Disney bear originated in WDW years ago... so yes, they have done ridiculous things before like someone else mentioned. In regards to TDS... Duffy's story is that Minnie gave it to Mickey as a present for luck and happiness. The character has become quite popular at TDS. You see? Most everything at TDS has a storyline of sorts..from the buildings to the attractions and even some shops. This whole deal with Duffy makes sense... and YES, it has become a merchandise bonanza for TDS. Duffy has a major line of merchandise that include costumes, keyrings, stationary... you name it.

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            • #7
              Re: Duffy

              It's funny, the Disney Bear was created as a merchandise line for WDW first, then made it's way to DL. At the time, there was not a name for him, and there still isn't for the US version. Originally, they came in all kinds of colors, and each one had a storybook attached as the tag that told the story of the Disney Bear. It's a totally different one from the TDS version though. From my memory, the US version was that it was Mickey's favorite bear and he brought it with him to WDW one night and hugged it so tght that his famous silloute was imprinted all over the bear. At some point Mickey wished the bear was alive so he could really share his experience with him, and either Tinkerbell or the Blue Fairy (I forget which) grants his wish and brings the bear to life.

              Anyway....he was availible all over WDW for a few years and there were lots of different colors. No outfits at all. They started selling him at DL, and within a couple of years they kind of fell out of popularity. I don't know why he didn't take off as well, but as some of you have seen, he is still around, although aimed squarely at toddlers and babies. They have blue & pink versions for baby's first bear, etc. I actually got one as a gift with purchase last year at the NYC World of Disney. He's a glittery white all over and has a NYC red t-shirt on.

              As for his appearing at TDS, I think it was part of the same kind of thing, just to introduce a new character line hoping it would take off...and boy did it! I do appreciate that they gave him a name and he does have his own character...not just generic. Oh, and his backstory there is MUCH better than the US version...less "cutesy" in my opinion.
              Meow

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              • #8
                Re: Duffy

                If you want to read (or at least look at the pictures) of Duffy's story from TDS, check out this page. Once it loads, click on the statue of Mickey at the wheel. A storybook will open up that will give you Duffy's backstory.

                http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/t...ffy/index.html
                Meow

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                • #9
                  Re: Duffy

                  I got my photo with WDW's Disney Bear back in 2001 or 2002. I still have the pic somewhere. He's so cute!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Duffy

                    I remember them at DL and DCA. I liked the red one they had for Valentine's Day.
                    I want my cake back!
                    sigpic

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