Squishmallows: A National Sensation!


Courtesy of Claire's

A squad of Squishmallows

     Chances are if you’ve been to any retail stores within the past few months, you’ve seen displays for Squishmallows. Or, maybe you haven’t, because they’re often sold out just hours after they hit the shelves. Impossibly soft and filled with the lightest and squishiest polyfill, it’s no surprise that Squishmallows have become a viral sensation loved by children, and adults, alike. 

     Squishmallows became an international phenomenon when they were introduced to the public in 2017 by manufacturer Kellytoy. By offering over 500 characters in a variety of sizes, Squishmallows offer comfort and friendship for anyone and everyone. 

     Sophomore Alyssa Williams said, “I have two Squishmallows. I think they’re better than regular stuffed animals because their stuffing just feels softer, and they’re very cute.”

     While these loveable friends became an instant success four years ago, their influence has greatly expanded over the past year due to popularity on TikTok. 

     Freshman Emma Lindle said, “I first discovered Squishmallows about two months ago on TikTok and now have about 14-15 in my collection.”

     Many popular influencers, including Charli D’amelio and Jojo Siwa, have amassed their own collections of Squishmallows while others have created a name for themselves solely through collecting and showcasing their “Squishmallow Squads” to the public. 

     One main allure to collecting is that there is no shortage in the variety of creatures and colors to collect. Starting with just a singular calico cat Squishmallow named “Cam,” Kellytoy has expanded its repertoire to include food mallows, gnomes, dinosaurs, jungle critters, and many different animals morphed into unicorns, just to name a few.

     Senior Juli Russ said that her favorite Squishmallow is, “…Opal the Octopus because her colors are pretty and soft. She’s also a good size.”

     With the recent release of the new 2021 Easter Squishmallow Squad flying off the shelves of Kroger, Target, Walgreens, and Five Below, among other retailers, it doesn’t appear that the popularity of Squishmallows will dwindle anytime soon. 

A Squishmallows Tierlist (Courtesy of TierMaker)

Tierlist Rankings

     To present a small sample of some of the variety of Squishmallow designs offered, we ranked some of the most iconic and unique designs in a tier list and provided some of our rationales as to why we ranked them that way. Comment below if you agree or disagree with our rankings!

     YES- The singular Squishmallow in the YES tier is elite. Even though his general design concept of ‘bigfoot’ is a little lost because he, ehrm, has small feet, the overall fuzziness and adorable yet simplistic face concept brings him to be the sole squish in the top tier.

     S- The squishes chilling in the S tier are very high-quality mallows. A good mix of classics, such as Wendy the Frog, Austin the Avocado, and Cam the Cat, and new but wonderful characters, such as Belana the cow, recede up in this tier. These mallows have no design flaws, a cute appearance, pleasant colors, and look overall soft and squeezable.

     A- Squishmallows in the A tier are, yet again, a mix of slightly less well-known classics, like Avery the Mallard Duck, and a good mix of the newer characters as well. Many of the food Squishmallows, like Tex the Taco, recede up in this tier due to their round and squeezable shape. Most of the others are just as round and lovable but might have one flaw, for example slightly demonic-looking eyes, which prevents them from rounding out the top.

     B- Mallows of the B tier are cute, without a doubt, but might have a handful of flaws that keep them from the very top. For example, Herb the Turtle’s pastel colors are soothing to the eye but his lack of evident shell from the front makes him look much more frog-esque than turtle-esque. Gertrude the Goose is also very adorable and seems exceedingly plush, but her long white stripe underneath the beak looks like a creepy smile if stared at long enough, keeping Gertrude from the top tiers. Similar flaws impact the rest in this tier.

     C- Squishmallows in tier C are still cute, but are starting to near the edge between cute-adorable and cute-but-only-because-they’re ugly. Some of the mallows in this category are just too vibrantly colored, or perhaps are a little too dull. Others, like Vinny the Sea Turtle just have non-proportional parts… his eyes are too small for his head! The clothes on some, like Daryl the EMT Dog, starts to toe the line between animal and humans, and that’s a bit unnerving so those “clothed” guys are chilling down here too.

     D- The D tier represents the beginning of the squishes we no longer stan. These guys are just not it. They’re either way too bland, way too flashy, or simply not cute. Santino the Platypus is a prime example. He’s literally just a brown lump with another brown lump for a beak. Not creative. Quincy the Gnome is also down here too because, let’s face it, we’re here to cuddle with animals and cute mythical creatures, not odd humanoids. The same goes for the zombie. No humanoids allowed!

     Not a Mallow- These two are chilling in the not a mallow tier. Why? Because they’re imposters! Just look at their shape! No Squishmallows should ever have long tails or a discernable division between their head and body, or (the horror!) their eyes at the bottom of their head! Sorry weird blue hippo thing and teal narwhal. You two just don’t pass.

     DUMPSTER FIRE- Even below the mallows who are, um, not mallows, we have the “Dumpster Fires.” These guys are awful. Buzz the Sloth is hideous. Whoever decided to combine cupcake frosting and a sloth messed up. Chuey the dinosaur is a worse design of the much better dino chilling in the B tier. His face was a major un-improvement of his counterpart. Elda, though she most definitely is flashy and colorful, is simply too much. Also, she’s supposed to be Elda the OSTRICH, not Elda the pink blob with orange hair. Finally, we’ve got the tooth fairy. I guess the thought was okay, but she’s way too humanlike, and her starfish bow combined with seafoam blue as a prominent color makes her look much more mermaid-y. Just writing “tooth fairy” on a mermaid doesn’t make her a tooth fairy. It makes her a dumpster fire.