Long after the craze of Webkinz in the early 2000s, Gen Z has found a new obsession with collecting plushies, except this time they’re Squishmallows, known for their cute and round designs.
Originally launched in 2017, there were only a total of eight characters and they were sold at Walgreens in three sizes. In 2020, Squishmallows began to really grow in popularity, and according to Google Trends, they began to grow a lot in December 2020.
Squishmallows come in the form of animals, food, objects, and popular characters. As the brand grew, Squishmallows were able to create new characters in collaboration with popular franchises. Baby Yoda, or Grogu, from The Mandalorian, is depicted as a Squishmallow.
Each Squishmallow has a name tag that tells customers about their plush. They come in seven different sizes and range from $2.99 to $59.99. As of now, there are 800 types in total.
In two years, over fifty million have been sold and can be found in stores and online on their website. Walgreens, CVS, Costco, Walmart, and Target all sell them in stores. The craze is mainly within Gen Z, and TikTokers commonly show off their collection.
Other than being cute, the plushies provide comfort through their soft texture, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They especially work well as gifts and many set out to grow their collections.
The Squishmallow craze is reminiscent of the popularity of Beanie Babies back in the 1990s. Adults and kids bought and collected the stuffed animals, and each animal was accompanied with a name tag explaining their character, just like Squishmallows.
Due to their popularity, Squishmallows are often sold out both online and in stores. The latest collection is known as the Easter squad and features nine new plushies: three Easter eggs, a chick, a cow, and other spring-themed characters. Each given a unique name, this highly anticipated collection is featured on TikTok, the #eastersquishmallow tag at 12 million views.
It’s clear that Squishmallows will continue to trend for a long time. The company, Kellytoy, will keep on releasing different collections as the demand for the characters continues. As long as social media sites like TikTok keep up with the obsession, Squishmallows will continue to be one of the most popular toys in the world.