If you know of Disney, then by now I’m sure you’ve at least seen a tsum tsum or an ufufy, even without knowing what they are called. These things are everywhere (as with most things Disney)- but what exactly are they?
To start, we have to look at tsum tsums. The first set of tsum tsums premiered in Japan in 2013, as merchandise to go along with the release of the tsum tsum mobile game, where people can match the tsum tsum versions of characters for points and coins.
These stackable versions of Disney and Pixar characters, named after the Japanese word ‘tsumu’, which literally means “to stack”, quickly gained popularity within the nation, for their cute appearance and their variable sizes (anywhere from small to giant).
In 2014, because of their popularity, the tsum tsum line was released in the US, with Paris following quickly thereafter. They are now sold in disney stores, at disneyland and disneyworld, D23, and various other locations around the world. They’re cute, soft, and collectible, which makes them insanely popular. There are even shorts about tsum tsums, which can be found online or showing at a Disney store.
But what about Ufufys? What was the point of them (aside from merchandising)? Well, unlike being tied to a game, the ufufy is simply a part of the “kawaii collection” initially sold exclusively in Japan in 2016. These versions of the characters are supposed to be “born of the clouds”- light, fluffy, and filled with happiness. These characters are pastel colored and in the shape of balls, and they some with a spray to make them smell sweet. They took off without a hitch in Japan, to the point so that they were released in the US and other locations less than a year after their Japanese release (a slightly shorter time period than the tsum tsum).
The word ‘ufufy’, unlike tsum tsum, is not based off a word. It is simply to add to the cuteness of the ufufy. That doesn’t make them any less cute, however (I have a weakness for cute stuffed animals, if you couldn’t already tell).