Adults Driving The Sales of the Popular Toy - Squishmallows
By: Grace Liu
After the pandemic, adults everywhere have been driving up the sales of the popular toy, Squishmallows. Squishmallows are soft, squishy plush toys that are usually animals, or foods.
Squishmallows were the top-selling toy in 2022 in the U.S. and Canada. The Squishmallow phase is also like the Beanie Baby craze. Squishmallows come in many different shapes and sizes, which makes enthusiastic fans want to have every Squishmallow available.
Squishmallows come with descriptions of Squishmallows’ personalities, and what they like to do. Squishmallows are also diverse. There are Squishmallows that are nonbinary, deaf, blind, and ones that use a wheelchair.
Sunny Cho, a designer at KellyToy, the company that invented Squishmallows, was asked to create a design with a soft and stretchy fabric. She started with basic shapes, and then she made all types of animal plushies, including cats, penguins, owls, llamas, foxes, and others.
Squishmallows started off with a small following, only selling at amusement parks and special mom and pop stores. However, as soon as more customers saw the plushies, the toy took off.
In 2019, the company Jazware took ownership of KellyToy, and now many big stores such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Costco, CVS, Five Below, TJ Maxx, Hallmark, and smaller independent shops all have Squishmallows in stock.
But it was during the pandemic when Squishmallows became really popular. Children and adults found comfort in squishing the plushies to help deal with the anxiety the pandemic brought. Since the pandemic, the Squishmallow fan base has increased.
Squishmallows have many super fans such as influencer Carter Kench. He has a corner in his room with a pile of around 430 Squishmallows stacked so high, it almost touches the ceiling. “I feel like Indiana Jones every time I’m on the hunt,” he said.
Another super fan, Nick, has around 400 Squishmallows. He drove an hour and a half to camp outside of a store at 5:30 A.M. just to try and find a new Squishmallow. He even went behind the store and opened an unattended box of Squishmallows to find the one he was looking for.
Jazware has also partnered with other famous companies including Poekmon, Star Wars, Hershey’s, Hello Kitty, and Disney to create special Squishmallows. There are also Squishmallow backpacks, apparel, stickers, nail polish, slippers, and bath bombs. Also, Squishmallows are now sold in over 50 countries.
Squishmallows have evolved from a pandemic stress reliever to a very popular toy all over the world.
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