The first time teen influencer Lexia Hayden noticed a TikTook video that includes a Squishmallow plush stuffed animal, she knew she needed to have one.
“I love their faces, I love how soft they are and I think it’s so cool how on TikTok the videos always show how someone’s Squishmallow matches their room,” stated Hayden, 14, who lives in New York City and posts pics of herself and her assortment of “plushies” to her 260,000 Instagram followers.
“What I love is that the shape is so appealing — there are no edges,” stated Lexia’s mother Adele. “Lexia is always cuddling with hers when she’s doing homework or reading — it’s like a stuffed animal that really curls into your body.”
Since 2017 when Kellytoy in Vernon, California first launched Squishmallows to the toy market, greater than 82 million have been bought. They vary in value from $10 to $100 and are available all kinds of merchandise, from keychains to a 24-inch beanbag-sized plush. And whereas you should purchase them on Amazon and Walmart or at Costco and Claire’s (or through the aggressive resale market on eBay and Etsy for those who’re in search of a limited-edition plush), the specialty shops, particularly, can barely hold them in inventory as soon as they hit cabinets.
Take what occurred at a neighborhood New York City youngsters’ retailer: A number of weeks in the past, an enormous line fashioned exterior Lester’s on the Upper East Side after prospects acquired the alert through the retailer’s social-media websites that 400 of the fluffy faves have been stocked and able to be bought.
Every single one bought out inside two days.
“Moms and kids of all ages, from as young as five to pre-teens, were grabbing whichever ones they could and buying whatever they could get their hands on,” stated Sabrina Cedeno, supervisor of the Upper East Side retailer, including that there shall be one other Squishmallow cargo mid-May and month-to-month gross sales thereafter. “It didn’t even matter which ones were the most popular.”
If this reminds you of the Beanie Baby — or Furby — craze of the ’90s, Jackie Cucco, senior editor at the Toy Insider, a go-to supply for toy opinions, information and data, would agree.
“I think these are so popular because of their collectability factor,” stated Cucco, who admits to having 30 Squishmallows herself.
“You have this squishy marshmallow-looking plush with a simple embroidered face and there are over 1,000 different characters and each has its own fandom. There are constant new releases, too, like their new line of food-themed styles like a burrito and hamburger, and a new collaboration with Hello Kitty, that makes it exciting.”
The social media buzz helps too. To date there have been to 2 billion-plus TikTook video views on Squishmallows-related hashtags, together with greater than 1.1 billion views on #squishmallows alone, based on an organization spokesperson.
“Fans go hunting for them and it’s a big win when they can find the character they’re looking for. People go crazy hunting them down,” Cucco stated.
Lindsay Grace, 24, who goes by “Squishy” on-line, has managed to squeeze “more than 500” of the comfortable sweeties into her Queens house.
“They’re all over my apartment,” stated the FIT scholar, who chronicles the travails of her toys on the @squishmallowlovers Instagram account.
“I put them in little floating shelves, they’re like little decorations, though I will say that some of them end up in bins. There’s just not enough room in my apartment so I put away the Christmas and Halloween ones and then I put them back out at those holidays. They can’t all be out at once!”
She added, “I live with my fiancé and he’s okay with it… he always tells me that as long as they make me happy he’s fine with it.”
But not everybody desires to be surrounded by “squishies” 24/7.
Candice Kilpatrick Brathwaite, founding father of Insider Society, a feminine enterprise success accelerator, and a mom of three youngsters, offloaded 9 small, 9 medium and a “super-huge” Squishmallow to a neighborhood trainer in her Bed-Stuy neighborhood when she thought of transferring to London.
While her assortment is way smaller since her giveaway, her two-year-old daughter, Lucille, loves sleeping in a toddler mattress with a bumper made up of the six remaining Squishmallows she owns. Her favourite even shares her title: “Lucille the seal.”
“The animals fit in there so nicely,” stated Brathwaite, who now lives in Hell’s Kitchen. “It gives her the feeling that I’m in the bed with her and, when she rolls over, she spoons the animals. It’s adorable!”
Maybe they are onto one thing: Squishmallow groupies are even crediting them with serving to them get some relaxation.
“I have trouble falling asleep and just sleeping with them has helped me feel comfortable,” stated Sophie Clair, 19, who lives on the Upper East Side and sleeps together with her two Squishmallows.
“They’re so soft and squishy. They make you feel so much better. I can’t wait to grow my collection.”