The New Peculiar, Yet Irresistible Toy Trend: Squishmallows

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Selling in unique collections, the massive popularity of Squishmallows has fans hunting specific types of these toys across numerous stores.

Cute or questionable? Squishmallows are the newest toy trend to take over the market for young adults and teenagers. The inexplicably soft and squishy plushies come in a range of characters and designs that are undeniably irresistible. And in a time where happiness and joy seems to be lacking, Squishmallows are comforting and the perfect companion.    

One enticing draw of the Squishmallows is that each one comes with a unique name tag that includes their pronouns and a short description of their personality. The newest collection of spring and Easter Squishmallows are just starting to be released in various stores like Walgreens and Kroger across the country. Some of the most sought after characters from the new collection include Claire the Cow whose name tag reads, “Picking clover, enjoying the sunrise, and bananas on toast are some of Claire’s favorite things. She is up bright and early every morning to help her family do chores.” Another highly sought after “Squish” from the Easter collection is a Cracker Barrel exclusive, Sophie the Sheep, whose tag reads, “Inspired by the flowers near her home, Sophie is an aspiring fashion designer. She loves creating new looks and staging fashion shows with her friends.” The personal touch of the name tag certainly adds character and context to each plushie. 

Reported sales of Squishmallows reflect the newest craze with the brand hitting 50 million sold since their debut in 2017. The plushies also have an impressive Instagram following of nearly 350,000,000, and the hashtag ‘Squishmallows’ on TikTok has 588.1 million views. 

Kellytoy CEO Jonathan Kelly said in an interview about the brand hitting 50 million sales: “The steadily increasing demand for our collectible plush toys and pillows have propelled the adorable squads of characters into an international phenomenon, making them one of the most recognizable and in-demand toys and pillows in the marketplace.”

Pioneer junior Winnie Jalet, an avid Squishmallows fan,  said, “I first found out about Squishmallows from my younger cousin who had bought me one for my birthday. It was a five inch chipmunk. I currently have 12, made up of two fruits, a collection of butterflies, four dragons and some other random ones. I don’t know all their names but I know my biggest one, a 16 inch dragon, is named Dalton.”  

Pioneer junior Vivian Vanrenterghem also has a notable collection of the plushies. “I currently have 12 Squishmallows and they’re mostly fruits and underwater animals,” said the Pioneer swimmer. “My first one was a light pink squirrel and my current favorites are my brown bear and my orange. Right now I’m looking for the brown cow and green bunny that are part of the new Easter collection.” 

Vanrenterghem said she likes the plushies because they brighten up her room and serve a real purpose. “I think that Squishmallows are so appealing to me and young adults in general because they’re so fun to collect and find,” she said. “They make nice pillows and have cute room decor.” 

For Jalet, one of the most appealing factors of the Squishmallows is the simplicity.

“I always liked having stuffed animals on my bed but as I got older I didn’t like how animated and oversaturated all the (new stuffed toys) were,” she said. “Squishmallows have such simple features which is why I like them so much. They have soft colors and simple eyes, they also look so content and happy so I find them really cute. They also make great pillows.” 

Many Squishmallows lovers spend time searching for the plushies in various stores near and far, as well as on online reseller sites such as Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari. When new collections drop online and in stores, it can be very competitive to obtain the new characters depending on popularity. Often the toys will be sold out in hours and get resold online at prices double or triple the original sale price, a market surprisingly lucrative for stuffed animals. 

Some of the charm is definitely in the hunt.

“I search for them at least once a week but I haven’t bought any recently because I’ve been looking for a cow right now. I normally stay in town to look for squishes but I can spend a whole afternoon looking for them. Some days I’ll travel to 10 or more stores searching for new collections,” said Jalet. 

Similarly, Vanrenterghem described the hunting process as a social activity.

“I search for Squishmallows, often with friends,” she said.  “Whenever I’m around stores I know sell them, I like to check in.”