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The Antelope

The Antelope

Squishmallows take over social media, spark fandom


Kylie Schwab
Antelope Staff

While walking through the seasonal section in a northern Texan Walmart in early 2020, I found Valentine’s Day edition Squishmallows. I was easily convinced by their cute designs and quirky biographies to buy one. Since then, my collection has grown far larger than I’d like to admit.

Kellytoys created Squishmallows in 2017 and released their first squad that included Connor the Cow, Wendy the Frog and Cameron the Cat among other popular characters. Steadily since, they have gained enormous popularity due to social media, namely TikTok. The overwhelming popularity of these plush toys has been compared to the Beanie Baby craze of the ‘90s.

Squishmallows are oval-shaped plush toys that come in various different sizes and styles. Fan favorite squads include sea life, farm life and the many food squads. They have a soft velour texture and have a good density of squishiness. Kellytoys have made all sizes from 3.5 to 20 inches large.

The online community surrounding Squishmallows is vast and varies depending on the social media platform.

One is able to find squish hunts galore on TikTok, or “SquishTok” to the community. People are trading their Squishmallows to try and get their most sought-after one which can be seen in the various Facebook groups connected to the community.

Some of the social media groups are tailored to specific regions, such as the Nebraska Squishmallow Fans group.

Thanks to this local group in Nebraska I have been able to meet with fellow collectors to trade and sell Squishmallows. Through these Squish Meets I have been able to get Squishmallows from stores that aren’t around me, like Costco or Baker’s.

Like many other college students, I have found comfort in Squishmallows.

While walking on campus, one can spot Squishmallows in dorm windows, hanging from rearview mirrors and dangling on backpacks.

The popularity of Squishmallows is prevalent within our Loper community.

Squishmallows were hard to come by during the peak of their craze.

Each store’s shelves were bare shortly after unboxing the new squads. One would hope that the lovable plush toys went to collectors but resellers trying to make a quick buck also contributed to the scarcity of the toys.

Stumbling upon fully-stocked shelves of the newest squads is the best feeling. As my friends and I like to say, the squish are returning to their natural habitat.

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