It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Squishville

Posted Sept. 20, 2021

By  and 
Carolina News & Reporter
University of South Carolina

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You might think it’s only children who fight over stuffed animals, but adult collectors of the popular Squishmallows are facing the major problem of shelf clearing and reselling, causing animosity within the collecting community.

The minimalistic plush toys have been made by Kellytoy since 2017, but it wasn’t until the COVID pandemic that they exploded in popularity. Now, Squishmallow prices on reselling sites like Mercari or eBay are skyrocketing.

Haley Barlow, 25, a senior at the University of South Carolina, has seen Squishmallows go for exorbitant prices online.

“An axolotl, for example, and they’re selling him for 100 or 200 dollars,” Barlow said

Natasha Santiago, 20, a Squishmallow collector from Lexington, said her boyfriend paid $100 for one 5-inch Ronnie the cow.

Depending on the size, typically you won’t find a Squishmallow retailing for more than $30. Online however, certain popular Squishmallows, like axolotls and cows, can get quite expensive on the secondhand market.

In some cases it would be cheaper to buy a real axolotl than a Squishmallow one from a reseller.

Each Squishmallow comes with a name and short bio. For instance, Connor the cow is quite athletic. He loves to ride his bike and travel. Unfortunately, these days, Connor doesn’t do much traveling outside of USPS packages from sellers on eBay.

Part of Squishmallows’ popularity can be attributed to their soft, squishy texture.

Sarah Kamai, 26, from Elgin, South Carolina, is active in a local Squishmallow Facebook group. She collects Squishmallows because they help calm her ADHD symptoms, back pain, joint pain and migraines.

“Besides the fact that they’re like, super cute and colorful, is the fact that they’re functional,” Kamai said.

She’s found that shelf clearers have created drama, animosity and paranoia within her group.

At one point, the group erupted when a member believed they spotted a van belonging to a couple known for shelf clearing. According to Kamai, the member who spotted the van went as far as going into the store to “scope out” who the driver was.

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