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Squishmallows: Why Are They So Popular?

by Delanee Ensley

Squishmallows live up to their name; these squishy toys have become a powerful coping tool during the COVID-19 pandemic and are super fun to collect!

Squishmallows toys are cute and collectible with a super soft plush exterior that is filled with polyester stuffing, made for optimal squishing. They are perfect for holding after a long day or using them as a pillow at bedtime.

Squishmallows have many different types: from animals, mythical creatures, and even your favorite Disney characters; my favorite has got to be Stitch! The original Squishmallows were made by Kelleytoy in 2017 to “offer comfort, support, and warmth as friends, couch companions, bedtime buddies, and travel teammates,” as stated by the Squishmallow website. However, don’t let the cute designs fool you; they are not just for children. Most of the collectors happen to be like you, young adults!

TikTok, or “SquishTok,” as the Squishmallow fandom has coined it, has been a great way for collectors to showcase their stash. The hashtag, #squishTok, has over 88.7 million views and includes videos on collectors' newest additions and unique placements in their rooms; some have even built shelves or even laid them out on their beds so that they have a great place to cuddle after a stressful day. Some of these collectors have over 100 Squishmallows of all shapes and sizes and pride themselves on searching stores up and down for their newest squishy item if they can find them.

Squishmallows have been harder to find lately because of their popularity during the pandemic. Stores are either sold out of them, or they have the basics instead of the more rare ones. Squishmallows online sellers are not unaware of the popularity; many of them are selling the rare ones for upwards of $100. Users of sites like Mercari and Facebook Marketplace, known for their easy selling platform, are willing to ship Squishmallows throughout the country, keeping the collecting alive.

The other platforms keeping Squishmallows alive are message boards like Reddit. Collectors post things like their TikTok to share their newest finds or where to find rare plushies. Posters also share things like their personal stories and why Squishmallows mean so much to them during the time of the pandemic. There are even websites that have a rare collection guide so that you can keep up to date with the more rare or popular ones!

Depression and anxiety have been rougher the past couple of years, but having something to hold and squish makes it all a little better. The pandemic has been difficult for teenagers; there has been a lack of social contact, and even school has been rough, with some teens-only able to see their friends over Zoom. Teachers have made this transition a little easier by introducing Squishmallows days. Squishmallows days are coveted among teens; it allows them to showcase their squishmallows to their peers and friends in class, allowing them to keep the conversation going and to meet new Squishmallows fans!

Squishmallows notoriety does not seem to be going away anytime soon. With new designs coming out constantly, it's no surprise that collectors want to scoop them up. And with Halloween coming up, hopefully, we will see some adorably scary Squishmallows designs!

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