Squishmallows: Gen Zs Beanie Babies


Photo Credit: Makayla Kennedy

Makayla Kennedy, OwlFeed Lifestyle Reporter

What are the six words that will send shivers down a Walgreens, Five Below or Target worker’s spine? The single sentence that will make any one of those workers want to quit their job? “Do you guys have any Squishmallows?” 

During October of 2020, Squishmallows blew up all over TikTok. “It certainly hit a fever pitch in the past year, and this craving for comfort is a big part of it,” said Kelly Dean, VP of Jazwares during an interview for the New York Times. 

People were sprinting to their nearest Squishmallow selling store to buy the Halloween themed plush. I was also a victim to the temptation and bought my first one, a vampire named Vlaad.  

Squishmallows are not new to the public. They were released in 2017 by Kellytoy at Walgreens. Each squish comes unique with their own name and a little description about themselves. Tally the tabby cat is a health and fitness coach, Vlaad is in a rock band and Peter loves to watch wrestling. Kellytoy also releases new squish during the holiday seasons, focusing on Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. 

Like the title says, Squishmallows are like Gen Z’s beanie babies. Once you buy one, you end up buying more. 

To ordinary people, they just look like stuffed animals. “It’s like hugging a cloud,” said Addi Wilson, a senior at Agua Fria. 

When asked about growing her collection, Wilson said, “Possibly a few more because I do like them and I’d probably replace my pillows with them.” 

I can also confirm they are like hugging a cloud. I have 18 of them and they’re far more than a pillow or stuffed animal. They’re the perfect amount of squish but can be a pillow with the perfect amount of density too. 

Unfortunately, scammers have gotten wind of the craze. Every time there’s a new drop of squish out they go and buy 99% of them and resell them on the internet for almost 5 times the price. Archie the Axolotl and Avery the Duck sell for $20 in stores but online sites like Ebay have them listed for upwards of $250. It’s very frustrating for people who genuinely like the product and don’t want a profit. 

Whether you’re an avid collector like me or even like stuffed animals, Squishmallows are certainly cute and I believe everyone needs one, as long as you aren’t reselling for a ridiculous amount. Pick one up at your local Walgreens, Five Below, or Target today!