Duffy Ready to Break the Mold in 2012

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Update: 4/8/11 It has been brought to our attention our wording may have been misleading. I never meant to imply Duffy-shaped vinyl will replace Mickey-shaped vinyl. I know that is not what Disney meant, but my quick wording late last night of this article may have given that impression. I corrected the wording below and apologize to our readers and Disney for any confusion. Mickey-shaped vinyl is here to stay, and Duffy is a welcome new addition to the line.

Through a Steven Miller post on the Disney Parks Blog today, we got some more info on a future Duffy the Disney Bear Vinylmation series. We learned at Trade City last August that Duffy will play a big role in Vinylmation down the road, including Vinylmation shaped like Duffy instead of to go along with the Mickey shaped Vinylmation we all know and love. Steven says the Duffy mold is being developed right now at Disney Merchandise headquarters using a new “rapid prototype machine.” It sounds like amazing new technology that will greatly enhance the finished Vinylmation product… and he leaves us hanging saying it’s “an amazing story for another time.” The technology is basically a “3D printer” if you’ve every heard of that. Using additive manufacturing they add material until they get a 3 dimensional representation from a computer design. It’s pretty crazy.

Here is the image Disney released of a mock-up of the box you may see Duffy Vinylmation come in:

Vinylmation Product Developer Donald Ferro says to look for Duffy in the Spring of 2012. What are your thoughts on Duffy Vinylmation?

“I can not more strongly hate this idea. The whole thing about vinylmation was that the shape was Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse has such an iconic look to him. Even just his body shape is instantly identifiable. But Duffy is a bear. That’s not special.” – M.C.

“I was against it… until I met Duffy last year. Duffy is an amazing addition to the Disney Parks. He is great with guests and has a fun personality.” – Nick

Thanks to Eric Caszatt, who wrote in and let us know that this process only includes the 3D aspect, and that it doesn’t add color.

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has over a decade experience in the Orlando radio market. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects and currently co-hosts WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the attractions and has spent way too much money on theme park merchandise.

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  • ok. so i’m not really aware of duffy beyond some references i’ve heard. but i think that the mold should stay mickey. sorry. i’m not sure i’ll want to get “duffy” vinylmations. one of the things i love is that it’s Mickey. I hope they keep all designs to Disney Jr. with his mold. for me, i can’t think that he’s the other most iconic disney character, since i never even heard of him until february of this year. maybe it’s a new generation thing.

  • Well I’ll admit when I first heard of Duffy I wasn’t a fan of the idea, but after visiting Epcot in Dec. and seeing the story that ties him into the Disney universe I really like him. As far as vinyls though I think it could be a good thing as I would imagine some designs may work better on a different shape. I do think series that have already started like Park, Urban, Animation, & Viliains should stay Mickey, but seeing a special Duffy vinyl on occasion could be fun, id even like to see a 9″ one provided the prices don’t go up :)

  • I have to agree and say that I am NOT a fan of duffy vinylmations. I think keeping it only mickey is the best way to go. If duffy vinylmations start to make an appearance then who’s to say that others wouldn’t be on the way. Goofy, Minnie, Donald it could never end. I say stay with Mickey. Remember it all started with a mouse!

  • Duffy does not belong in EPCOT or anywhere on Disney property in my book. Disney has tried to make up a cute little story and shove him down our throats. Changing the Vinylmation mold is just another way to do it. Duffy replaced Figment and now they are essentially trying to replace Mickey. Not a fan of this at all.

  • The only good Duffy is the one on Twitter that eats people.
    This Duffy just needs to be taken out. With fire. It’s a horrible idea and it doesn’t belong at Disney. Send it to Build A Bear where it’ll make sense. Seeing Duffy in EPCOT scares me and I want to throw a Big Baby vinyl at it in defense.

  • I have no problem with Duffy as a character. Its not like he’s hurting anybody.

    But this Duffy mold thing has me a bit wary. As long as the vinyl Mickey shape is still used, then I really don’t have a problem with it.

  • Yes, as mentioned on the official Vinylmation blog;

    “the Duffy Vinylmation figure will be a unique form. It is NOT replacing the Mickey Mouse shaped canvas which we currently use.”

    So really, this is nothing to worry about.

    As I said before, I have no problem with Duffy as a character. He’s harmless and he’s not hurting anybody.

  • I don’t see what the hatred to Duffy is about. Every character was made up one way or another. For example: Figment. Figment is an imaginable character. He wasn’t starred in movies or TV shows… yet just about everyone loves him. On the other hand, you can find Duffy the Disney Bear being starred on his own little television show at the WDW resorts. He has his own program. He’s gone much further than Figment has in any way shape or form. Yes, Figment has a ride (not solely about him)… but he’s pretty much the only character that has a ride solely dedicated to him that hasn’t been starred in a film or on television.

    Like it or not Duffy the Disney Bear is a huge hit. Sources say Shellie May the Disney Bear is coming over next year to the USA for purchasing. Apparently… that means Duffy is a big hit. I love the little big bear with all of my heart. At first I wasn’t such a big fan of him but I NEVER honestly disliked him. There’s nothing to hate about him. He’s a fun, loving, adorable bear that was made with love from Minnie Mouse. Plus, he makes the company money. There’s nothing wrong with making money.

    As stated above, the Duffy Vinylmation figure will be a unique form and will NOT be replacing the Mickey Mouse shaped canvas. Who cares if we go outside of the box (no pun intended) for once — or twice. It doesn’t hurt to try new things. Disney will always be changing things whether you accept it or not. No where does it say you MUST purchase these Duffy Vinyls. Get over it. If you don’t like them, simply don’t look.

  • My dislike of Duffy isn’t really Duffy’s fault. It’s the mentality of the Disney marketing team. They see a cute innocent character explode in popularity in Japan Then the Disney marketing folks go “Hmm, Duffy is huge in Japan. There are More people in the U.S. Let’s bring him here and he’ll be even bigger! We’ll make a fortune.” No Duffy will never be big over here. He’s big in Japan because of his uniqueness to the parks there. Duffy failed here as the Disney Bear and will fail again. They would be better off pushing Figment around EPCOT because his popularity is strong at WDW. It wouldn’t work as well in Japan or elsewhere.

    And contrary to some belief, Duffy is not a huge hit here. He’s doing fine. He isn’t doing anywhere near the business that the Disney execs had dreamed up though. But when Disney tries to force a fad on people, there is always backlash.

    You can’t force these things. They happen naturally.

  • New molds old molds monorails park stars and Duffy any probably many more designs to come are all designs that Disney has decided to try and market. We have no control of what they market and should not worry about it. We should all buy or trade for what we like and want to collect. If it is not profitable for Disney they will not continue with a design, because as we most have grown to understand about Disney is if it does not make them dollars it will go away. We all have to realize if Disney is not making money on a product they will not continue to make it

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