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Adults are Driving Sales for Squishmallows

By: Winston Wei

27-year-old Nick rushes down the aisles of Walgreens, adrenaline flowing as he searches for his object of desire. He finds it, and a feeling of happiness surges through him. It is a squishmallow which has recently been very popular with manyage groups.

“It’s similar to the feeling of winning at a slot machine,” said Nick, “I try to ride that high because if the high goes away too quick … I’m at the store again two hours later looking for another one.”

Squishmallows are soft and squishy plush toys with names and appear like animals. They are sold bythe company, Jazwares. For instance, one Squishmallow named Boden is a brown water buffalo. Squishmallows range from two to 24 inches and cost $5.99 to $39.99. Nick has about 400 of these plushies and estimates that he has spent at least 2,000 dollars on them over the past two years.

The toy has grown in popularity within all age groups in just a few years. According to Jazwares, the company that acquired Squishmallows from KellyToy in 2019, people 18 and older are the main buyers of the product.

Jazwares has not advertised their product; instead, timing and strategic expansion drove Squishmallows to popularity. Although Jazwares is a private company, Circana, a media company, reports that the 16-inch Squishmallow was the top-selling toy in the U.S. and Canada in 2022. Squishmallows are also popular content on TikTok, and it is on its way to becoming an enduring brand like Hello Kitty or Pokémon.

Toy expert and toy consultant Chris Byrne says that this toy is not a trend; it has not come mainstream yet.

“They are loyal and they are passionate and they are buying enough to make Jazwares very rich,” Byrne said. “So, will these become classic? Absolutely.”

Squishmallows have been attracting people of all ages. With marketing strategy, this product’s sales have skyrocketed over the past few years. Soon, these plush toys may become a brand as popular as Pokémon.

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