The dawn of the Squishmallow

Three+recently+released+Squishmallows+by+Kellytoy.

Madelyn Hoffmann

Three recently released Squishmallows by Kellytoy.

Madelyn Hoffmann, Staff Writer

The popular, cuddly stuffed animal has been on my radar for quite some time. Ever since their abrupt popularity spike on the social media website TikTok late last year, the egg-shaped “Squishmallow” has found its way to the hands of many teenagers and kids alike.

Produced by the toy company Kellytoy, the plush first hit the market in 2017.  Over the course of the following three years, over 50 million Squishmallows have been sold worldwide.

According to its website, the squishy, polyester toy can be found in more than 500 different designs and in an array of sizes ranging from the 3.5-inch clip-on to the 24-inch extra-large size.

So, why are these toys so popular now?

It’s no shock to anyone that quarantine has been a harrowing and stressful experience. Approaching nearly a whole year of the pandemic, 114 million people have been suffering from the virus itself with 2.53 million deaths and endless more human beings suffering from the loss of family members, jobs, and motivations.

Now insert a soft, cuddly plush that comes in all kinds of adorable designs and personalities that can comfort you during these dark times! It’s no surprise that many kids, teens, and young adults have found solace in their comforting polyester.

I didn’t expect to love them so much, but after I bought one, I couldn’t stop”

— Bree Hayes

”I didn’t expect to love them so much, but after I bought one, I couldn’t stop,” said Bethel Park Squishmallow enthusiast Bree Hayes.

Helped by the many collection and review videos littering TikTok and YouTube, as well as the endorsement of the squishy products by popular celebrities such as Charli Damelio, the products have sold quickly in stores including, but not limited to Walgreens, Amazon, Five Below, Costco, and Learning Express.

While these plush toys may end up as a passing fad, one thing is certain: they will grace the stuffed animal hall of fame forever, right up there with Beanie Babies and Webkinz.

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