Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Duffy the Disney Bear: Here to Stay

In the past few months, Disney has been introducing Duffy the Disney Bear to visitors in their domestic parks. The bear was originally created at Tokyo DisneySea where he has been a huge hit, and it looks like he's catching on over here in the states.

Duffy's logo
The legend goes that Minnie Mouse created Duffy for Mickey as he was packing for a long voyage at sea. As far as Disney characters goes, he's not the most creative creation of the bunch, being a typical teddy bear dressed up like Donald Duck. It's as if Pooh and Daisy Duck had a bland, inimaginative lovechild.

So, during my recent trip to California Adventure, I decided to wait in the short line to meet Duffy the Disney Bear, just to get a picture with the new character. I thought it'd be a good momento to have, considering the bear's existence might be fleeting.

I got something I totally did not expect. Duffy was hilarious, trying to steal my lanyard, along with my fastpasses and Steam Boat Willie emblem, which I think is the thing that caught his/her eye. (Duffy's gender is also something that is a bit of a mystery, just throwing it out there. There was definitely some flirting going on, considering Duffy greeted me with a kiss, so I'm going to say it's a girl sailor teddy bear.)

Even Duffy's character attendants were laughing as Duffy tried to walk away from his meet and greet area, reminding Duffy, "There are other people, too."

In all, Duffy and I spent about three minutes together, much longer than I would have gotten with Mickey or Minnie, and I felt it was a great experience. I was a little iffy on Duffy before, but because of our interaction, I've grown fond of the little guy.

I'm not the only one. While shopping on my last day at the parks, I talked to a cashier at California Adventure, and she told me that Duffy merchandise was selling extremely well. She told me of one customer who buys Duffy swag in bulk, by the fifties to be precise. I've heard of this happening, as the American Duffy is popular to the Japanese.

Apparently, he's very hard to get a hold of at the Tokyo Disney Resort, where guests are limited to only three Duffy's a piece. The New York Times had a great article about the new bear, which you can read here.

So, do I think Duffy's transition from Japan to the US while be a lasting one? I hope so, but that's probably just because we are now totally BFF's.

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