Squishmallows have become a huge sensation globally in a way that no toy or stuffed animal has ever done so before. Of course, through generations, there have been popular plushies or trending items. Yet, no one has ever seen anything like this. No matter where you go in the world, managers at toy stores are extremely familiar with the name “Squishmallows”, as well as the younger generation. I met collectors from all around the globe, including places like Europe, England, Germany, etc. Stores that sell these plushies are sold out of them in a matter of a few hours. So, what are these things, and are they worth the hype?
What are Squishmallows?
These plushies, made in 2017 by Kelly Toys, have a special kind of stuffing that makes them different from other stuffed animals. They are extremely soft and squishy in a way you can't describe in words. You just have to buy one for yourself to understand the softness of them. They make the perfect cuddle buddies, which I can tell you from personal experience.
Besides their cuteness and cuddliness, they each have a unique name and story behind their character. On the stuffy's tags, there are descriptions of their character's hobbies and friends. The best part is that LGBTQ+ members can feel included because some characters are a part of that community as well. For example, the plush, Jaelyn, is a nonbinary axolotl.
How did they become so popular?
Squishmallow collectors have been around for quite some time, but only recently did it become a trend. Everything happened so fast, but Tik Tok did help shine a light on this community. Collectors would post videos of their squish and when the videos started blowing up, everyone wanted one for themselves. The main Squishmallow Tik Toker is @imdatingfrog. They post a lot of videos about their frog plushies which took over the internet with millions of views. Since Tik Tok is available globally, people from all around the world were able to learn about these stuffies and became in love with them. Collecting is so exciting because there are almost 1000 different styles of these plushies to find. After people started buying more and more of them, celebrities like Lady Gaga and Charli D'Amelio have been spotted with Squishmallows. After this, there was just no stop to the growing popularity of the stuffies. Once you feel them in your own arms, it is impossible to not get addicted to these cuties.
Meeting Some Collectors:
In order to take a closer look at why Squishmallows are so loved by people in this generation, I decided to interview some members of the community.
Meet Ariella, the founder of squishmallow.iso
"I would tell a new collector to not impulsively buy a squish because, as we have seen, prices drop a lot after the squish becomes less sought after. Also, don’t just buy one to buy one, make sure you have a reason behind it and are actually going to love the squish."-Ariella
Octo.ohana (Ariella) is one of my good Squishmallow friends on Instagram, linked above. She has a love for octopi and puts creative thoughts into each of her posts. Her editing skills are beyond amazing, and she is one of the kindest people I know. She is also the creator of the squishmallow.iso account with a 4k+ fanbase. Most collectors use this account to help find their isos or disos.
What are isos/disos?
This is official "Squishmallow slang”. Iso stands for “in search of” and diso means “in desperate search of”. People use these terms to show what squish they are looking for, whether it's for sale or for trade.
"We originally made the iso account for people to have a safe place to come and have their ISO’s posted for others to help them find. It grew quickly into an amazing platform for people to come and see what is available, and we couldn’t be more grateful for all the love and support." -Ariella
Meet Porter, a talented squish collector
"I started customizing Squishmallows because of my love to create things and the artistic talents I was gifted with. I got inspiration from many lovely artists and was able to make my own that I am very proud of." -Porter
Porter is a 14-year-old collector who is extremely creative with everything she does. She designs iso/diso sheets and profile pictures for fellow collectors. The coolest part of what she does is making custom Squishmallows. Porter can repair the damaged plushies or make one more unique by adding fluff and sewing pieces together.
"My favorite squish artwork I have done is actually a custom Squishmallow named Drella! My love for sewing inspired me to try my hand at customs. For this one I added fuzzy fabric to a squishmallow for a super sweet customer and we both love the turnout!"-Porter
Meet the #1 Collector with 554k on tik tok, and the creator of squish alert
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with the amazing Jessica and get to know more about her collecting journey. She mostly buys and trades frog Squishmallows and makes adorable content on all her platforms. I am a huge fan, and it was extremely hard not to get too excited over the phone. Jessica is an incredibly kind person, and it was a pleasure learning more about them. I would highly recommend checking out some of their spectacular content.
"My boyfriend used to call me "froggy", so he got me Wendy, a frog squishmallow because of the nickname. I fell in love with them and immediately started just collecting more frogs." -Jessica (imdatingfrog)
Not only is she a collector, but she is also the creator of the famously used app, Squish Alert. It gives updates and notifications for when there are restocks for the new squish.
"I am also a software developer and love making apps or anything for others to use. I came up with this idea and thought it could be very helpful." -Jessica
My personal experience as a collector:
I have been collecting squish since February 2021, even though my first Squishmallow was actually given to me in May 2019. It really does become an addiction, and it catches you off guard. I bought one in Walgreens and never expected it to get to the extent that it did, with me having 120+ a few months later. My parents, especially my mom, are not big fans of my collection because of the amount of money I spend on them. However, people, including myself, use these stuffies as coping mechanisms. They help me with my anxiety and are really great for comfort at times when it's hard in life. Trading with collectors around the world and hunting in stores gives me excitement and genuinely gives me happiness. The cost is worth the smile it puts on my face. I will never forget when my boyfriend bought me two rare Squishmallows for my birthday. I literally screamed at the top of my lungs and ran across the room jumping with them in my hands. The amount of joy these things can give you is incredible.
I created an Instagram account, thedumbbrunette.squish with 500+ followers. I like to post about my new finds and make silly pictures with my squish. I even created the first-ever Squishmallow Collectors Club, with 20+ members. I have taken a break from the club due to my busy life, but my squish Instagram is still up and running with daily posts. I have made so many friends around the world, and it has been a lovely experience.
How do I get involved with the community?
The best way to start your squish journey is to create an Instagram account for your collection. It is a great way to meet other collectors and branch out. You can also try Facebook groups if you don't have insta.
Download Mercari and Depop so you can trade with others. However, please be sure to check reviews to make sure you are trading with reliable sources.
You can get Squishmallows at Target, Hallmark, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Amazon, Ebay, Depop, and Mercari. These are just the well-known stores, but there are plenty more.
Happy squish hunting!