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Squishmallows; the cutest, cuddliest stuffed animals on the market. The weird thing about them? Everybody wants them. These super soft and super sweet little animals are not only popular with kids, but also adults. Take me, a 19 year old college student. I have over 30 squishmallows hanging above my head in my college dorm room.

   Squishmallows, are a collection of soft, huggable toys launched in 2017, has exploded in popularity because of social media, particularly TikTok, during the pandemic.

 So the question people are asking is, what’s the big deal? Why are grown adults obsessing over these stuffed animals? I believe they are so popular because they are collectible. There are over 1,000 different characters, each with their own fandom, and you have this squishy marshmallow-looking plush with a simple embroidered face. My favorite part of getting a new Squishmallow is having to go around looking for them. They have never been an easy item for me to find. The top places that have Squishmallows are Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and Five Below. The likelihood of actually finding them there is close to none. They are so popular that you can rarely find them in stores, and will probably have to buy them online. Squishmallows range in price depending on size. Smaller Squishmallows, like the keychains, start at $2.99, while larger toys can reach up to $59.99. The only problem with that is a raise in the usual $12 price at a store. Online, some Squishmallows are being sold for over $100. The robust Squishmallow community on social media, in addition to the real quality of the product, greatly adds to the hype and popularity around the stuffed animals. Each Squishmallow also has its own personality on its tag, which is always super fun to read. I typically only buy squishmallows when I happen to see them in a store, which adds to the excitement of having them. Since I never see them anywhere, it’s almost impossible to say no to one when I’m out in public. More than 82 million Squishmallows have been sold since Kellytoy in Vernon, California first brought them to the toy market in 2017.

     An activity that my friends and I have participated in many times is “Squishmallow Hunting.” The activity is exactly as it sounds. We drive around to different stores that typically sell the popular toy, and we try our best to find them. Squishmallow hunting is the new activity for college students looking for a getaway and cuddly new pals in this chaotic age of much-needed comfort. These spherical plush creatures have exploded in popularity in recent months, thanks to TikTok and other social media apps, especially among Gen Z. The only downside to my large collection of squishy toys is I will probably not make money back in the future. Unless you have one of the select few Beanie Babies that can sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay, your plush toy is unlikely to be worth much more than it was in the toy store in 1995. Squishmallows sadly won’t have the same effect as the Beanie Babies.

Megan Russell

Winthrop '24

19 years old, Mental Health Advocate, future educator!
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