By Gabe Jamison, contributing writer
For the past few years, Squishmallows have dominated the stuffed animal market and sparked a Beanie Baby-like craze for people of all ages. The craze has begun making waves in SHS as well. The bulbous and cutesy plushies typically cost around $40, which leads many to wonder, are these adorable stuffies worthwhile?
To start, Squishmallows started as a line of stuffed animals brought to the market in 2017. Social media such as TikTok have exploded the product’s popularity, especially during the pandemic, when people were looking for a little extra comfort amongst stress. The plushies feature animal-themed characters and collectibles, consisting more than 1,000 stuffies in the collection.
Senior Isabela Diaz, who has a collection of more than 200, said she started collecting in 2019.
“I have no idea how much I must have spent on them,” Diaz said.
Not only do the Squishmallows look cute, Diaz said, but the plushies provide a therapeutic way to help relieve stress and boost serotonin. The texture, made of super soft polyester, also played a role in the stress relief they offered, she said.
In 2019, when they first started to see a rise on social media, Diaz’s friends introduced her to the Squishmallows. After her first purchase, she loved them and continued to buy more and more.
Like most collectibles, Squishmallows have rare versions and can become difficult to track down. The fun of hunting a rare Squishmallow can also provide enjoyment for those in need of a new hobby or want to take their mind off of the day-to-day grind. The Squishmallows website offers a collector’s guide to help people see which stuffed animals they might want to try to locate next.
Diaz said to find the best prices on Squishmallows, she searches online to find prices below the $40 retail value. Retailers, such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Aldi, Claires, Amazon and Five Below sell the popular plushies.