Recently, a group of fellow dancers and I bought a pack of Disney Tsum Tsum plushies as a gift for our choreographer, and we’ve become obsessed with these miniature stuffed toys. The appeal of the Tsum Tsum plushies is certainly intriguing because they are just one of many cute stuffed toys, yet they are able to get incredible business at a somewhat high price (the miniature Tsum Tsums, which are only 3 inches in length, sell for $5 to $15 depending on the rarity of the item; larger ones that are 13-18 inches length sell for $20-50).
Visually, the Tsum Tsums are designed to be incredibly adorable, thus attracting interest for their cute factor. Disney characters depicted are only the heroes of the films, never the villians, and they tend to be furry creatures or animals instead of humans (though the Star Wars and Marvel series does include superheroes and robots). Furthermore, the Tsum Tsums are different than most plushies for their shape.
As shown above, Tsum Tsums are cylindrical, thus providing a visual novelty from most stuffed toys. This also allows the Tsum Tsums to be stackable, adding another marketable factor to the product. Materials-wise, the Tsum Tsums are also incredibly soft to the touch, and this design decision certainly helps reinforce the appeal of the products.
In those ways, the Tsum Tsums reveal how slight modifications and careful design choices can help differentiate a product from other competitors and create something incredibly interesting for consumers.