I’m so glad you asked!
You might have seen them popping up more and more…moving from the exclusive online world “to a store near you.” I had only heard of the term “squishies” about a year ago from some extreme collectors who made YouTube videos on them, and not too long after, they really started taking off in a trend not too unlike the slime one a lot of us are familiar with today.
What’s a “squishy” you might ask? While there’s no exact term that I know of, I would call a squishy a type of stress toy similar to slime, kinetic sand, fidget spinners and cubes, or even a stress ball. They typically come in cute shapes and colors and are often scented as well, and are very popular among collectors.
Okay, time to come clean… I was actually a bit of a squishy collector for a moment.
Some of my very first YouTube videos were squishy themed, inspired by watching dozens of other YouTubers showing off their collections and making reviews. I eventually discovered that there were even “brand name” squishies, and I learned about the variations in quality as well.
So why bother writing a blog post about these unusual little toys? Well, I actually found squishies to be extremely relaxing to play with, and, similar to other stress or fidget toys, they helped me relax or focus on what I needed to do. And even though I’m not quite as into these toys as I used to be, I still keep one of my favorites on my desk for a stress reliever when I’m doing work or school assignments.
So, if you’re interested in a quick guide to squishies, keep reading!
Part 1: Quality
Trust me when I say that there are high quality squishies and low quality squishies. Seriously. These toys might seem like they’re all the same, but when it comes to quality, there are some major differences.
The first thing most collectors look at is pretty obvious: the squishiness. You can easily tell if a squishy is well made by how well the squishy holds “hand crinkles” (the dents your fingers make in the squishy after squeezing it) and how slowly it rises back to its original shape and size. Most collectors view slow-rising as high quality…these aren’t simple stress balls after all! The goal is to have a very soft and obviously squishable toy. If the squishy barely squishes, it’s just not the best.
Part 2: Scent
THE FIRST SQUISHIES I EVER GOT SMELLED LIKE ENGINE CLEANER AND IT WAS A BAD TIME HOO BOY.
That gif is my sister and me in my very first squishy video I made…and even though I think her reaction to how it smelled was a little dramatic, I have to admit that the eBay squishy grab bag might not have been the best way to introduce myself to squishies.
Scent also plays into the quality of the squishy, and most squishies are scented in a way that helps add to how relaxing they are (or in some cases, how terrible they are). Some of the most common scents are strawberry, chocolate, and “bread” (though this scent can vary quite a bit). Others just smell “sweet” and I even have one that smells like pineapple.
Part 3: Where To Buy
Where you buy squishies plays a major role in how good the quality is. As I mentioned, my first squishies I ever bought were from an eBay grab bag and they were all so bad that I ended up using them as deco experiments (which turned out surprisingly well)!
Not to totally throw eBay out of the picture, as I have actually purchased some nicer squishies from the site, but for people just starting out it can be pretty hard to tell which ones are real and which are fakes or dupes of nicer brands.
The above images are some examples of dupes (the left) vs. the actual product (the right).
If you don’t want to try your luck with sites like eBay, you can head over to some of my favorite reputable sites that I’ve used to buy my squishies before:
These are all known as “brand name” squishy sites that are all of pretty high quality. I’ve personally never bought squishies from in-store shops as most of them seem to be made pretty cheaply, but I will say that brand name squishies can be pretty darn pricey. If quality isn’t your main concern, then I’d say for sure try out eBay or stores like Target or Claire’s if they’re available in your area!
Part 4: Videos!
Don’t want to get squishies for yourself? Then videos are the way to go! I binge-watched squishy hauls and reviews before I decided I wanted any. Similar to crafting videos, I find watching squishy videos to be very relaxing and calming. Seeing all the cute styles and bright or pastel colors is always refreshing to me. I often will have a squishy video just playing in the background while I work.
If you’d like to check out some squishy collector YouTubers, then you can click on any of the links below:
TheHollycopter (almost exclusively squishy content with a few other crafty/collector videos mixed in)
grav3yardgirl (wide variety of videos, but she went through a major squishy phase with HUGE squishy haul videos like this one)
Ketchupgiri (another almost exclusively squishy channel, she does a lot of squishy related crafts along with her hauls and reviews)
Me. Surprise! I’ve made a few squishy videos in my day, so if you’d like to check some of them out, you can stop by my channel! And click here to see one of mine that seems to be kinda popular. 🙂
Have you ever heard of squishies before? What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorites? Be sure to let me know by leaving me a comment!