What Are Squishies? And Why Won't My Kid Stop Talking about Them?

BY: Aimee Algas Alker | Nov 19, 2018

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.

What Are Squishies?

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.

What Kind of Squishies Are There?

"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:

 

Types

 

Characters

You can find squishies in the shape of fantasy characters, such as mermaids or this ghost.

Ordinary Household Objects

OMG that milk carton is so cuddly, said no one ever—until they saw this.

Fruit

Ever get the feeling someone's watching you? It's just this adorable watermelon.

 

Dessert

Dessert squishies are among Moriah's favorite—these look good enough to sink your teeth into. But don't—that's a choking hazard.

Other Food

French fries, popcorn, even sandwiches. "Maybe people like the idea of being able to play with food?" Who doesn't, Moriah? Who doesn't?

Animals

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?

Uses

 

Phone Cases

How could you resist poking that belly? (Hint: you can't.)

Keychains

Who needs a keyfinder? You'll never lose your keys with these hanging from them.

Phone Charms

If your phone doesn't have a notch for a charm, you can hang this from a backpack or wear them as earrings.

 

Mini

The smallest squishy Moriah ever saw was a "tiny little mango squishy, not much bigger than my fingernail." Can we just say squee?

Scented

Ever try to squeeze one of those pine tree car fresheners? This is much more satisfying.

Where to Buy Squishies

First, start at our site, where you can find all kids of squishy toys to choose from. (Click here to shop squishies.)

A great gift idea is to sign a kid up for a monthly box from Club Squishy Surprise, who'll send your kid up to 5 squishies each month ($19 for a one-month subscription).

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