|Disney's Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend.|
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Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convention 2005 : Part 2
Author: HumanX | Monday March 21, 2005
The best Doll and Teddy Bear Convention this year. And we have a first hand look at all the exciting events. Best of all, it is from the perspective of a man! Part 2.
DDTC Other Thoughts / Activities
Read Part 1 of this article
One of the best things about events such as this, is the opportunity to speak with the artists. Each company or artist tends to have such unique personalities and these differences are what extend to the diversity of products at an event such as this.
From the Mom and Daughter Duet at Koto Bears or the oh’ so wildman Chu Min Wu (Jamie) who has the gift to light up the room, anyone at DDTC could not forget his Kazuu serenades! The Chatty Merrythought Gang, the always interesting Muffy Company and the All American feel of the Husband Wife Team of Sandy’s Bearly Bruins. And who can forget Steiff, who always seems to be the flagship of the event. The curious president of Steiff North America, who seems to have taken one step from the highest building in Wall Street into a world where he preaches teddy bears! When you expect him to talk market conditions, he is talking excitedly about bears. These are great, vibrant people, one and all.
Disney does a good job of bringing everyone together, making the DDTC event a close and personal one. This year, each artist was placed at a table with the attendees, which was a good idea by Disney. Hopefully next year, they will not separate the guests from the artists while making initial purchasing decisions.
North American Bear Company had a sit down presentation at 3:00 on Saturday that quickly turned into a town hall meeting. They took the opportunity to not preach products but invited a session of Q&A. This gave Muffy collectors the opportunity to voice their wants to the core operating and design personnel of the company. We talked about the current product line, improving the secondary market and the focus of Muffy. I think people left that event with a positive sense of direction the North American Bear Company is taking. Good Job Muffy.
Once again we tackled Teddy Bear making at the Koto Bear workshop. Attendees have the chance to see just how hard it is to build a bear from scratch. The bears are delivered to the desk half finished. The attendee has to sew the ears, eyes, head and stuff the pre fabricated body into one complete bear. If you ever thought building a bear was easy, then try building a quality bear that has to stand the test of time. It is not easy, but trying is fun.
Another good idea from Disney this year was to automatically enroll everyone into the auction. This gives some attendees the opportunity to bid on bears that might not be driving high prices and could be affordable outside of retail. I think it filled a gap in the auction process and caused more people to stay throughout the auction.
The big, big dollars this year went to RJ Wright for “Mickey Mouse – The Band Concert” for about $24,000. This battle went on for a while between attendees on location and bidders on the phone. And correct me if I am wrong, but a phone bidder won that one. The auctioneer likes to play on this and competes the phone bidders against the local bidders.
The auction was fun as always, but I did miss the auctioneers side kick this year. In the last couple of years, there was a gentleman on the floor whose sole purpose was to enhance the adrenaline of the auction.
DDTC Changes, Likes and Dislikes
1. The core event was at the old millennium building and the breakfast / side events were held in the Wonders of Life, both of which are in Epcot. I did not like moving from building to building; it was a bit of a nuisance. I liked it much better when the event was consolidated in one main building. But I have to admit I did like the Koto bear workshop in the secret room at the Wonders of Life which left you a bit like feeling like “Alice in Wonderland”. But because it is secret, I will say no more. Disney should have done the breakfast at the millennium building in my opinion and side events at Wonders of Life.
2. I have said it before and I will say it again. Keep the artists and patrons together when we are making purchasing decisions.
3. Everyone entered into the Auction. Loved it! The best new idea.
4. At least one artist per dining table. Loved it! My second favorite new idea.
5. Having the event inside Epcot is great. In the past the events were held at various hotels. Having it inside Epcot makes it far more exciting.
6. Entering the park at the same time with other events was not good. They should have had a special entrance. The reason is security and I will leave it at that. Anyways, people are there to buy, don’t throw them into a line for some princess breakfast. It discounted the Teddy event a little.
7. Even with what I said above, security is phenomenal. Like it. Put it this way, a security guard spotted a small camera in my jacket pocket on my way into the park, do not know how it was done. But since they search everything, they needed to see it. These are not everyday security guards at this park.
8. Disney’s event staff are a great bunch of gals who are there to please. They want to hear opinions and work to improve the event. Like it.
9. Preferred DDTC in December.
10. And last but not least. It is the magic of Disney. Dislikes or not, the event is a great time and well worth any travels. And besides, you’re at Disney.
Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convention Closing
The new DDTC event this year was, I think, as good a previous years. A couple of minor tweaks and DDTC will be great. Do not get me wrong, we had a great time. There were a lot of changes to DDTC and next year after Disney gets comments back from Attendees, it will be fantastic. If they did it the same next year, I would go and still be very satisfied.
And like I said, if you want the opportunity to meet the faces behind your collectibles in a more personal way, then DDTC is the place to be.