What the Squish is a Squishie?
You’ve seen them in stores, nestled invitingly in bins just before you get to the cash register.
They’ve appeared on your YouTube recommended videos list, sporting intriguing titles such as “Rare” “Slow Rising” and “First Time Unboxing”.
Somehow, in some little way, you’ve begun to become aware of a rainbow horde of soft toys in an array of whimsical shapes.
But just what are they?
They. Are. SQUISHIES!
But wait, you protest. That doesn’t explain anything! Just telling me that these cute little items have a cute little name doesn’t get me any closer to understanding what they are, what they do, or why I should want one (or several).
Don’t worry, friend!
We at Kawaii Squishies are here to help you. Our handy-dandy Squishie Guide will explain everything you need to know about these fun, adorable, stylish – and of course oh-so-squishable – toys!
WHAT Are Squishies?
Squishies are soft, squeezable toys made of polyurethane foam, similar to the classic “stress ball”. They can be squeezed over and over again and still return to their original form afterwards.
But they’re also so, so much more!
Squishies come in a huge variety of shapes including animals, food, and pop culture characters. Popular squishie types include fruits, cats, bears, and sweets such as cakes, breads and doughnuts.
Want to buy a squishie or ten, but can’t decide between your favorite animal or your favorite dessert? Try a – “combination” squishie, such as fresh bun with a panda face or an ice cream with kitty cat ears!
But wait – there’s more!
In addition to their bright, eye-catching colors and adorable shapes, many squishies are also scented. Fruit-shaped squishies give off enticing aromas of strawberry, apple and banana, while dessert-shaped ones let you catch a whiff of irresistible vanilla, chocolate, or even fresh-baked bread.
And it gets even better!
Squishies are available in multiple convenient sizes! Small squishies fit easily in a pocket or purse, while larger “jumbo” ones might earn pride of place on a nightstand or desk. Many also come in keychain form, so you can hook in your favorite squishie and take it with you wherever you go!
WHERE Do Squishies Come From?
“These sound amazing!” you’re probably saying right about now. “But where on earth did they come from? I swear they just started appearing all over the Internet one day!”
Well, the answer to that is simple. Squishies originated in a country that many have come to refer to as “the Land of Cute”:
Squishies, like so many trends, originated in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, Japan, an area known for its dedication to all things fashionable and cute. They were created about 30 years ago as part of an effort to design a toy that would appeal to all ages. Japan’s best minds asked themselves – what sort of thing can be a hit with both fashion-forward teenagers and stressed salarymen and –women?
The answer was squishies – small, portable, adorable, but also useful as a stress relief mechanism. Soon, squishies could be found in every storefront on Harajuku’s Takeshita Street, the heart of “cool” Tokyo fashion.
A Very Squishie History
Companies such as Sanrio and SAN-X began producing squishies featuring their adorable, popular “mascot characters,” Hello Kitty and Rilakkuma. (Meaning “Relaxing Bear” in English, Rilakkuma is an adorable tiny brown
bear who loves honey and naps!)
Soon, Japanese quishie enthusiasts were adding the adorable toys to their lives and outfits in every way possible. Tiny squishies could be attached to cellphones as charms, and were quickly a hit among enthusiasts of Japan’s deco-den (decorated phone) culture. Larger squishies could be used as keychains on bags, purses or even briefcases, and the largest models of all added that extra-cute touch to bedrooms and office spaces.
In 2000, the company Breadou introduced to the market squishies based on traditional sweets from around the world: Japanese melon buns, French baguettes, and Western doughnuts. Breadou also created the animal-dessert combination squishies that remain popular today.
With their soft designs and delicate scents, squishies are the epitome of Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. (Learn more about kawaii with our very cutest of products here!)
Squishies made their landfall in America in 2007, and have quickly reached a similar level of popularity among cute-lovers of all ages!
WHY are Squishies So Popular?
As mentioned above, squishies can make a super-cute accessory when attached to cell phones or bags. But there’s also so much more you can do with them!
With thousands of varieties out there, squishies are a collector’s dream. Pick your favorite shape, color, animal, food, or manufacturing company and start assembling a collection of cute!
Many squishie collectors take to YouTube to show off their latest acquisitions. Pick up a few of our Kawaii Squishies products and start your own channel to join in on the squishie fun!
Squishies were initially designed as a much cuter stress ball, and they still fulfill that function admirably. Squeeze them as many times as you like and feel the stress just melt away!
HOW do Squishies Relieve Stress?
Like the similarly popular fidget spinners, squishies allow users to relieve excess energy through repetitive motion – in this case, consistent squeezing and releasing of the toy. The squishies’ sturdy polyurethane design allows them to survive even the most frantic of squishing!
If squeezing isn’t your thing, squishies can also be bounced, rolled, or tossed hand to hand for a similar effect.
Studies show that repetitive motions such as squeezing a squishie improve focus and information retention. Playing with a squishie can also increase grip strength and quicken reflexes.
Squeezing a squishie can also be very calming. It shuts off the flow of stress hormones in the brain and body similar to meditation or yoga.
With their soft designs, bright colors and calming scents, squishies have also become a popular toy among individuals with sensory processing disorders or on the autism spectrum. Their size, light weight and keychain attachments also make them an easy comfort object to bring along to school, work or vacation.
HOW Do I Buy a Squishie Right Now?
Now that you’ve learned all about the wonderful world of squishies, our KawaiiSquishies site offers a dazzling array of fabulous designs. We’ve got bread, desserts, fruits, animals, characters, and so much more! Pick out your favorite one – or two – or several – and get your squishie fun started!
Whether you’re buying your first ever squishie or your hundredth, Kawaii Squishies has the right squishie for you!