Spaceship Earth at Epcot

An Update on Duffy the Disney Bear at Disney Parks

posted on April 7th, 2011 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Duffy the Disney Bear Pin Set Inspired by the World Showcase Pavilions at Epcot

Are you a fan of Duffy the Disney Bear? I am, and it appears that I’m not alone (especially when I look at Duffy’s official fan page on Facebook). Speaking of Facebook, here is something super cool: fans can now post photographs on that page showing where they have taken their Duffys. (I even shared a photo from a trip I took last October). I’ve been updating Duffy’s fan page with several sneak previews, so I figured it was time to share some of those previews on the Disney Parks Blog.

Duffy the Disney Bear Dressed for Easter

With Spring in the air, it means that Easter is on the way (it’s later this year – April 24). Duffy, however, is already dressed for the occasion. The Easter Bunny outfit has to be one of my favorites, besides his Canadian costume. Just look at those bunny slippers! Monty Maldovan, the Disney Design Group artist behind Duffy’s artwork, agreed with me about the slippers.

“I thought the bunny slippers would be the perfect addition to Duffy’s Easter outfit,” explained Monty. “The rainbow fabric used on his bunny ears, bowtie and slippers was specially designed for this costume.”

Duffy the Disney Bear Ear Hat

Another item that caught my eye was an ear hat inspired by Duffy. It is due to be released in late April / early May. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of Duffy wearing his hat. It’s the simple things that make me laugh. Megan Kachur, developer for ear hats, told me that the Duffy ear hat is the first time that an ear hat was made to look like a plush. I wonder if it will keep me warm next winter.

Also on the horizon is a seven-pin collection featuring Duffy dressed in costumes inspired by the World Showcase pavilions at Epcot. It will be released in late June in California and Florida. The pin artwork was drawn by Monty for the Duffy the Disney Bear style guide. This guide contains all sorts of graphics, background images, borders and more. In essence, it helps keep a consistent look for all things related to Duffy.

Duffy the Disney Bear Vinylmation Figure

One example of where the style guide was used is pictured above. This image features the packaging for the open-edition Duffy Vinylmation figure. The folded paper box is a mock up that gave the art team an idea of how the finished product would look. Donald Ferro, developer for Vinylmation, told me that the figure probably won’t be seen until Spring 2012. The figure mold, which will be used during the manufacturing process, is actually being created at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters via a new rapid prototype machine. This machine can literally print a digital file into a three-dimensional figurine. It’s amazing and a story for another time.

Please tell Duffy I said hello next time you see him. I can’t wait to see where you’ve taken your Duffy on the official Facebook page!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

22 Comments 3 Replies

1

Michael from CO on April 7th, 2011 at 11:24 am

Love the Duffy Merchandise, especially the vinylmations and ear hats. He is really cute, I was lucky enough to get a Duffy, before the re-introduction and I actually prefer his look more. Can’t wait to see Sallie Mae start coming over the Pacific from Tokyo DisneySea as well.

One question Steven, is the Duffy Vinylmation departing from the “Mickey” mold we know and love today?

Hope to see you at the Florida Project!

2

Travis on April 7th, 2011 at 11:32 am

Duffy’s girlie counterpart is actually Shellie May, also Steve the hats have already hit the stores.

Love the pins!

3

Christiaan from Netherlands on April 7th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Will Duffy ever be available online?

4

JC from IL on April 7th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I love the seasonal Duffy outfits, but I really wish you could buy them separately from a Duffy bear. I loved the St. Patrick’s day and New Year’s outfits, for example, but when I was at WDW, I could only buy them on a bear. I was so happy to be able to buy the Buzz Lightyear and Woody costumes separately! I have my Duffy; he goes everywhere with me. I want to dress him up for the seasons. :)

5

Steven Miller on April 7th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

@Michael – The Duffy Vinylmation figure will be a unique form. The Mickey Mouse shaped form will continue to be used for other figures, if that makes sense. Sadly I won’t be attending The Florida Project (see: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/04/the-florida-project-at-walt-disney-world-registration-opens-today/). Yet the merchandise looks awesome – super retro! The event team can’t wait. :-) Have fun!

@Travis – That’s great news! I guess they arrived a little earlier than anticipated. Bonus!

@Christiaan – At this point, we are not offering Duffy merchandise via the Disney Parks On-line Store. Yet it is something we may consider for the future.

@JC – Totally understand. I’ll share your feedback with our development team. I know they have a unique strategy in mind regarding the pre-dressed bears. If you like the Buzz Lightyear and Woody outfits, then I guess you’ll like the Lightning McQueen outfit too :-) It is coming soon in honor of Cars 2 (see: http://disney.go.com/cars/).

6

Travis on April 7th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I certainly see the comment about people wanting more outfits available to dress ones Duffy alot on the facebook page. I love the costumes I get from Tokyo, and they cost me over 40.00 dollar USD.

7

Frank on April 7th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

LOVING all the Duffy items…can’t wait to get my ears… :) And yes, more stand-alone outfits please…

8

Frank on April 7th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Is there a Halloween costume in the works? We will be there in late September, and would LOVE to find one! :)

9

Rande from FL on April 7th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

We want Shellie May!! Is she ever coming to the USA?

10

Dana on April 7th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for the update! Love the Duffy pins – by chance are they Limited Edition or Limited Release? Very exciting news about the Duffy Vinylmation – can’t be made soon enough :) still wish they would have kept the vinylmation tins ( a Duffy Vinylmation Tin would have been adorable )…..Oh and THANK YOU for the update on the next WDW Trading Night at the Contemporary 5/20/11 :) You have made alot of people very very happy :) Now we can start planning. Thanks Again!!! Dana A (S. FL)

 

Steven Miller on April 7th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

@Frank – Yes. Monty Maldovan drew the artwork. I’ll see if I can locate it and share on the Facebook fan page. It’s cute.

@Rande – Well, we are focused on only Duffy right now at domestic US Parks. But who knows, maybe…

@Dana – The seven pin set will be open edition. I didn’t have anything to do with the date for trading night, but I’ll inform the event team of your happiness. :-) May 20 will be quite an exciting day! Star Tours – The Adventure Continues opens, Pirates of the Caribbean in theaters, Star Wars Weekends 2011 starts and a night of trading … awesome!

11

Margaret on April 7th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

While the Mickey ear hat that I have was not meant to look like plush, it definitely had a plush material on it. I believe they were Christmas Mickey ears from DL with Pluto on the front and I think they had antlers. I know that they were official product. The ear part was not plus, but the beanie part was. Maybe they meant the ear part. IDK Regardless, the ears are very cute and that Duffy in the bunny suit is going to find it’s way into the Easter Bunny’s possession for my great niece’s Easter basket. Too cute!

12

Jackie on April 7th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I didn’t know there was a girl Duffy! Now I want to see what she looks like. I am so, so sad. I didn’t know you could only buy Duffy in the parks. When we were at WDW in December, I kept picking him up and putting him down. If I had known I wouldn’t be able to buy him at the Disney Store, I definitely would have bought him…sigh…live and learn…

13

Brooke on April 7th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Will the Duffy Vinylmation be Open Window or are they going to be a surprise (don’t know which one you are getting)?

14

Kevin on April 7th, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Hey Steven,

Let me say your doing a great job with your role as merchandise communications manager. I really appreciate what your doing for the fans as well as disney enthusiasts like me with sharing some of the product lines of disney products.

I liked your tron disk that was in the office. It turned out to be a great movie, especially the vinylmation line: Thomas Scott and Eric did a great job with the line! Especially love the old kevin flynn.

I just have one question, I see you usually speaking for the vinylmation line, however I dont see donald ferro doing some sort of activity of sharing news to the audience. I seen him at festival of the masters, and he seems that hes a great guy. I would love to see him have a spot on the disney parks blog as well as you too. Also, since your not the project manager anymore, would we be able to see someone speak more about the pin products in the future!!!!! Your are doing a great job.

Thanks and aloha!!!
Kevin

15

Jennifer on April 8th, 2011 at 12:27 am

Will we ever get some of the Tokyo Disney Duffy outfits and collectables over here?

 

Steven Miller on April 8th, 2011 at 10:17 am

@Jackie – You can see Shellie Mae on the official website for Tokyo Disney Resort – http://duffy-tds.jp/

@Brooke – The Duffy Vinylmation figure will be packaged in an open window box. The white sqaure with “Vinylmation” written on the front would actually be clear plastic.

@Kevin – Aloha! I’m humbled by your comments. I’m glad you are enjoying the articles as much as I’m enjoying writing them. It has been an exciting opportunity to share stories about all categories at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. Please tell me you have TRON: Legacy on Blu-Ray – It’s sooooo pretty! End of line.

In reference to your question, my role is to speak on the behalf of the Disney Theme Park Merchandise Team. I’m joined by Dara Trujillo and Michelle Harker who also provide articles covering merchandise events and happenings in California and Florida. Collectively, we are the communications team for our division. My role is focused on telling stories about the various categories (Vinylmation, toys, softlines, etc.). Donald’s role is focused on developing strategy and product for Vinylmation. It is a collaboration, yet I’m the writer and humble narrator. :-)

I actually speak with Donald nearly every day (especially since I continue to manage Vinylmation.com and the official fan page on Facebook). I just finished an article about the upcoming Vinylmation Muppets Series 2 being released on April 15. Donald provided some quotes and ideas for the article.

Stay tuned for some articles about Disney Pins. And mahalo nui loa!

@Jennifer – At this time, we do not have plans to carry specific items found at Tokyo Disney Resort. We work closely with the team in Japan. Many times, elements from their offerings may serve as inspiration for what is created for domestic US parks.

16

Brian from CA on April 8th, 2011 at 11:24 am

If you don’t get one of those in my hands….I might have to come to the paks and drool all over the display because Duffy is so cute!

17

Kevin on April 8th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Steven I actually bought them on blue ray during the week. Tron (1982), the original!! is one of those cult classics that I still enjoy. Especially the tron cycle that is available as a statue for sci-fi academy, what a beauty. I cant wait to watch tron legacy on dvd this weekend.

Thanks for the feedback steven, I was not expecting a reply from you after my long rant. Lol!!!! I cant wait especially for your article on the muppets 2 series. Consider yourself a great person, really appreciate the work that you are doing for the company.

Wait, what was the inspiration for the abraham lincoln piece from the park 6 line, was it based on the attraction in disneyland or a memoir to the hall of presidents.

Just tell Donald, I said thank you for adding the dumbo piece to the florida project, I still miss the hula girl piece, she wouldnt have been a great piece to add to my mom’s 70s collection.

18

brooke on April 10th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Any word on the Duffy popcorn buckets or mugs??? I thought they were supposed to be out in Janurary and it’s now April!

19

melissa on April 11th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I love all the Duffy Outfits but agree that you guys should make the special occasion outfits for the 17 inch as well. I would like to know when the Japan outfit is coming out and also the popcorn bucket and mugs. It would be great to see Shelliemay as well. She is very expensive to buy on ebay.

20

melissa on April 11th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Are there going to be any outfits for the 28 inch Duffy?

 

Steven Miller on April 19th, 2011 at 10:35 am

@Brooke – I do not have an ETA yet (sometimes things get moved for a variety of reasons). I do know that Epcot just installed two photo spots – one in Japan and one in Germany.

@Melissa – There are no plans at this time for 28-inch bear outfits. Sorry :-(

21

Anthony on April 11th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I am a scottish living reenactor, I am digging the scottish garb on the one if I ever get my hide to disneyland again who knows I might luck out and find one of the bears with it, or the bear and kit

22

Ben from NJ on April 27th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Steven, thanks for updating us on what’s coming for Duffy. I’m excited to see what the final Duffy Vinylmation looks like.

I’ve been a fan since he was a Tokyo DisneySea exclusive, and I’m so glad he’s now in more places. Thank you for also sharing with us that there is a Duffy “style guide” and that Monty Maldovan is doing a lot of the design work. Do you know if he was responsible for any of the Japanese Duffy artwork? I ask because it’s impossible to find out who is/was doing that same style guide for Japan. I love the consistency over there, and I’m glad he’s at least basing his guide from what they’ve already done. I hope he sticks to their designs as closely as possible, because their Duffy design is absolutely adorable.

Count me as another person who would love to have the holiday costumes available for the larger 17″ bears. I understand the need for the smaller ones, but to have both would be ideal. I also hope there are plans for more costumes that are released periodically like they do at Tokyo DisneySea. It gives incentive to keep coming back and spending money! ;-)

22 Comments