Here's a toy kids of all ages are going nuts over.
Every holiday season, kids clamor for some crazy toy—the trends change so quickly, trying to keep up can give a parent whiplash. This year, kids of virtually any age (including adults!) are going wild for squishies, which only begs the questions: What are squishies? Where can you buy squishies? What's the big deal about squishy toys?
We're here to help. We've worked hard to become pros at the squishy game, enlisting YouTube star Moriah Elizabeth to fill in the gaps. Moriah's made a name for her creative remakes of old squishies: "I am really into [them] for the creativity aspect. . . . I've become obsessed with transforming pre-made squishies into my own creations." And with more than 1.6 million subscribers to her channel, if anyone's an expert, it's Moriah.
A descendent of stress balls, squishies are toys whose main draw is not just bright colors and fun characters, but squeezability. The ultimate in squishies are the "slow rise" squishy, which means that once squeezed they take a longer time to return to their original form. "It's what makes a squishy different than a stress ball. It's more satisfying to squish," says Moriah, and we absolutely agree.
The general aesthetic of squishies is "cute," or to be more accurate "kawaii"—a Japanese word that means cute, sort of. Think Takashi Murakami, Hello Kitty, or even (to refer to another toy craze) Shopkins. Kawaii is imbuing ordinary objects, such as coffee mugs and chocolate bars, with an adorable personality. To this end, squishies often have wide eyes and cute smiles painted on them.
"There's such a huge variety of shapes, themes, colors, and characters available, so it makes them collectible." Fans from all over send Moriah their worn-out squishies so she can revive them for her channel. The biggest squishy she was ever sent was a foot wide and shaped like half an orange. The craziest? Shaped like a mouth, teeth and all.
Here are some of the most common squishies:
Ordinary Household Objects
OMG that milk carton is so cuddly, said no one ever—until they saw this.
Ever get the feeling someone's watching you? It's just this adorable watermelon.
Dessert squishies are among Moriah's favorite—these look good enough to sink your teeth into. But don't—that's a choking hazard.
French fries, popcorn, even sandwiches. "Maybe people like the idea of being able to play with food?" Who doesn't, Moriah? Who doesn't?
Whether real (like narwhals) or fantasy (like a dog that will also make you dinner), kids love animal squishies of all sizes.
Food + Animals
We never said squishies made sense. Is this a panda that's a cake or a cake that's a panda?
How could you resist poking that belly? (Hint: you can't.)
Who needs a keyfinder? You'll never lose your keys with these hanging from them.
If your phone doesn't have a notch for a charm, you can hang this from a backpack or wear them as earrings.
The smallest squishy Moriah ever saw was a "tiny little mango squishy, not much bigger than my fingernail." Can we just say squee?
Ever try to squeeze one of those pine tree car fresheners? This is much more satisfying.
First, start at our site, where you can find all kids of squishy toys to choose from. (Click here to shop squishies.)