Article & Photo By: Alice Brookston
Squishmallows: have you heard of them? Even if you haven’t, I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ve walked down the toy aisle in Target, Walmart or even Costco and noticed these adorable stuffed animals which have essentially become the new “beanie-baby” of the stuffed animal world.
In recent months, Squishmallows have taken over the collection world, particularly attracting teens and young adults. These relatively inexpensive stuffed animals make for great pillows and come in all kinds of creatures, making them a fun token item to collect. If one wants to get involved in creating their own Squishmallow collection, they should consider a few things first, including but not limited to: cost and sizes, places to buy and priority shopping.
First of all, one should consider the prices of Squishmallows, which vary from store to store and size to size. If one is planning on growing a large Squishmallow collection, it might make sense to invest in some of the smaller 4, 8 or even 12-inch squishmallows so you won’t be spending as much money, and storing them in your room will come much easier as well. In most cases, the smaller a Squishmallow is, the cheaper it will be. Most 16-inch squishmallows have prices starting out at $20 depending on the store so if you’re going to buy some larger ones, make sure it’s one you really love.
Additionally, where you buy a Squishmallow will also determine its prices. Places such as Walgreens and Target tend to have Squishmallows for lower prices, whereas Walmart and Claire’s tend to charge more for them.
Costco also has good deals on Squishmallows, occasionally even selling 24-inch squishmallows for only $26 dollars, but most of the ones Costco sells range from 16, 20 and 24-inch, so if you’re trying to buy one from Costco, you should anticipate that it will most likely take up a bit of room.
Other good stores to buy from are Learning Express and Five Below, but there is a notable downside that the closest ones are not located in Sonoma County and tend to be at least a few hours away, so your best bet is probably just buying from them online.
Now, if you do plan on starting your own Squishmallow collection, I would definitely suggest that you prioritize which Squishmallows you are buying, rather than just buying the first one you see. Hundreds of different kinds of Squishmallows exist, with new ones emerging every few months, so prioritize buying the ones that you particularly like; it’ll help save you money and space in the long run. Also, once your Squishmallows do start to add up, consider stacking them on shelves, bookcases or even from a hanging hammock in your room.
Additionally, I would recommend that if you plan on collecting these adorable stuffed animals, that you should start to make a list for yourself so you can keep track of all of the ones you own so you don’t accidentally buy the same one twice.
On your list (Google Docs is easiest to use in my opinion), make sure to include the Squishmallow’s name (it comes on the tag with a description), the Squishmallow’s colors or any other notable features (i.e. Hearts, words, glasses, etc.), it’s size (this ranges from 2-24 inch) and whether or not it is a part of a particular collection (i.e. Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s, etc.).
Also, I would recommend that you do your research into some of the ‘rarer’ Squishmallows, which at the moment would probably be the blue axolotl, blue cow or the mallard duck. Squishmallows such as the cows and avocados have also been considered, but the rarity of Squishmallows vary depending on the season, accessibility and public opinion.
If you do want to get yourself one of these ‘rarities,’ take into account that they are widely overcharged online, ranging into the hundreds, and unless you find them immediately when they are released, your chances are slim – but not impossible.
One important fact to make note of is that Squishmallows come out in groupings at most stores. Most are released in one big collection at the same time but do tend to sell out quickly. If you know that there is a holiday coming up, make sure to check your local stores to see if they’ve received their new collection yet. Most of the stores in Sonoma County get about 3-6 shipments a year at varying times but are generally nearby an upcoming holiday.
As a side tip, the store may have them in stock already just not on the shelves but you can ask to see them from the back, the worst they can say is no, and in some cases, you can even get your hands on a rarity before most other people too! The newest collection to be released is the Easter Collection and most stores have already gotten their stock in, but have just not been yet put out for display and likely won’t until after Valentine’s day.
Now, there is an elephant in the room that I think I should address, because while I will admit that collecting such a ‘kid-like’ item such as a stuffed animal does sound childish, I myself have to admit that it’s done more for me than just giving me a fun task to complete. Everyone can admit that this last year has been hard, and honestly, just simply letting yourself immerse in the fun and excitement of being a child again can seriously help to keep spirits up.
These stuffed animals’ bright colors and smiling faces are a seriously big mood-booster, and honestly just do a good job of keeping up morale when things get hard. When you’re having a bad day, week, or even just month, go buy a Squishmallow. It’s as easy as that and I can guarantee it will at the very least put a smile on your face. Besides, at the very least you’ll have an extremely comfortable and cute pillow in your hands.
So, why should you start your own Squishmallow collection? Easy. The fun, uplifting experience of collecting an item matches no other, and with Squishmallows as your token item, you’re bound to have the most comfortable and adorable bed on the block!