News & Press

News & Press

  • The Power of Squishmallows: What’s So Special? | Toys
    The Power of Squishmallows: What’s So Special? | Toys

    Overview First hitting the market in 2017 and gaining notable popularity in 2020, Squishmallows have been a steady trend for two years. Though as supply increases and storage space in peoples’ homes decreases, the popularity of these stuffed animals might be dwindling. As we near the possible downfall of these Beanie Baby-esque collectibles, let’s reflect on what made them so popular in the first place.  Squishmallows for Mental Health  It would be ludicrous to discuss the causes for the popularity of Squishmallows without mentioning the supposed positive effects they have on mental health. Many collectors as well as casual consumers on the popular social media platform TikTok have cited the collectibles as benefiting trauma recovery and providing positive sensory stimulation. It is still unclear just how a simple stuffed animal is able to aid in healing trauma and generating a more positive outlook on the world – however, these plushies most definitely get the job done. Many people on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have shared their experiences regarding receiving some sort of emotional and mental benefit from Squishmallows. Usually, the people that receive the biggest benefits are people with large collections, however, those with one or two Squishmallows have also explained the improvement in their mental states as they obtain these collectibles. A possible explanation for these effects can be the fact that each plushie comes with a biography tag that explains its name, interests, and personality quirks. Through these biography tags, consumers are able to connect with each plushie since they are given a basis for the personality of the toy. Most people currently collecting Squishmallows were raised on the series of Pixar films – ‘Toy Story’ – in this series toys are depicted as being alive, having emotions, mental processes, and distinct personalities. Therefore, many of us now understand toys as having lives of their own. This aids in personal connection and secure attachment. A big part of growing up in a hostile environment that results in long-lasting trauma is the inability to form secure attachments due to the turbulent nature of the environment. This issue will often last well into a person’s adulthood, however, it is a lot easier to form a secure attachment to something that is incapable of reacting to one’s actions or emotions. An object (in this case a stuffed animal) that displays a personality can be very effective at providing a non-judgmental companion that a person who is not familiar with security and consistency can rely on. Within these biography tags, Squishmallow toys are able to say “this is who I am” and in the process teach consumers how to be proactive about their interests and personalities as well.  While the personalities are a big influence on the popularity of Squishmallows, another component that appears to be comforting is their simplistic design. Featuring dots for eyes and simple smiles, Squishmallow designs are extremely approachable. Their oversimplified appearance may also aid in aesthetic appeal due to the fact that they fit in with practically any interior as long as the consumer pays attention to the color scheme. This aesthetic appeal often results in large displays mounted along the walls in collectors’ homes. Usually, these displays will be organized by the type of animal/object that the Squishmallow is meant to resemble, but it is not uncommon to see displays organized by either size or color.  Notably, Squishmallows have a very pleasant sensory appeal. Seeing as the stuffing in these plushies is ultra-soft and (big surprise) squishy, they make great pillows or even cushions – depending on the size. Alternatively, Squishmallows have become a popular fidget and stim object due to the sensory appeal of the stuffing material as well as the outer fabric. Interestingly, for people with certain neurodivergence, Squishmallows can become a fidget/stim buddy of sorts. Since each plushie has a personality, they become friends and companions that aren’t capable of passing judgment. Therefore, if a person needs to let out excess energy through fidgeting or stimming, a Squishmallow may be a favorable outlet. Collector Craze  Of course, aside from the possible emotional benefits of collecting Squishmallows, there is also the financial incentive. As with the Beanie Baby craze of the 90s, the artificial scarcity of these collectibles has driven up prices in the resale market. A toy that originally retailed for ten to fifteen dollars, can often be resold online for upwards of thirty dollars. One of the most popular resale websites for Squishmallows is currently Mercari. This platform allows people to buy and sell their things, much like Depop and Poshmark. Many people run Squishmallow resale businesses, which entail buying up Squishmallow stock from popular retailers and listing them online at a higher price. Due to the fact that the Squishmallow manufacturer – Kellytoy – has elected to capitalize on the popularity of the plushies by encouraging an artificial scarcity through limited releases and exclusive collections, this method of business is actually effective. It takes a long time and many store trips to find particular Squishamallows, especially the popular characters such as Wendy the frog, Ronnie the cow, Monica the axolotl, and Caedyn the cow. Most people will not have that kind of resources and time. Because of this, resellers are able to make decent money by simply up-marking each Squishmallow they sell. Collectors often don’t mind paying higher prices for their favorite characters, which only encourages the resale market. While it is generally frowned upon to buy Squishmallow stock exclusively for resale purposes in the collector community, little is done to control this. Though oddly enough, official Squishmallow retailers have started limiting the number of plushies a person can get in a day, which is helping regulate resellers.  Final Thoughts  Whether someone is collecting due to the social media trends, the positive effect these plushies have on their mental health, or even the financial incentive of certain characters rising in price, there is no doubt as to the rampant popularity of Squishmallows. Stock seems to be becoming more abundant which may mean that Kellytoy has chosen to provide the supply for the demand instead of encouraging resale culture. Though in part, the increase in stock has more or less begun defeating the exclusivity of these toys which has driven down demand. Additionally, many collectors have stated that they are now overwhelmed with the volume of their collections. Whether or not this means that the Squishamallow trend will soon dwindle is still in the cards. But one thing is certain – these little guys have left their mark.  By Micha Jones Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE. I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.” Read original article here

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  • Amazon’s Guide to the Best Toys and Games of 2022
    Amazon’s Guide to the Best Toys and Games of 2022

    It’s time to start on your holiday shopping lists. When shopping for kids, it feels like a hot new toy comes out every few weeks, making it difficult to figure out which gifts are actually worth getting. Luckily, Amazon has just released its Toys We Love with nearly 200 picks — including more than 100 brand new toys for the 2022 holiday season.  “In 2022, we’re seeing enthusiasm for fresh toys and games from small business brands, as well as learning toys that allow kids to learn with games or arts and crafts projects,” said Anne Carrihill, Amazon’s director of toys and games, in a statement. “Additionally, action characters from Marvel, Pokémon, Disney, and Star Wars are as popular as ever, for both kids and collectors. We can’t wait to see which of our favorites become the hottest gifts of the 2022 holiday season.” Even if you’re shopping on a budget, Amazon’s selection of toys has beloved favorites for everyone, starting at just $6. For Star Wars fans, there’s plenty of Funko Pops with their favorite characters. For the budding equestrian, there’s Breyer horses. For a gift that brings the whole family together, there’s plenty of interactive card and board games for all ages. To help streamline your holiday shopping lists, we’ve rounded up the best gifts under $50 for every kid. Squishmallows Official Kellytoy Plush 8″ Plush Mystery Box Three Pack Read Original Article Here

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  • The 21 Best TikTok Toys for 2022
    The 21 Best TikTok Toys for 2022

    Once you start down the TikTok rabbit hole, it’s practically impossible to get out. And as soon as the algorithm starts sensing what you like, your FYP will be filled with the most random delights in the world. That’s when you’ll start seeing people (often grown adults, sometimes kids) playing with some of the most bizarre and fascinating toys. Somedays it seems like TikTok is basically the new “As seen on TV” and before you know it you’ll have a wild bubble gun or a Squishmallow in your Amazon shopping cart. If you are looking for a holiday gift for a TikTok fanatic, we’ve rounded up some of the toys that are trending on the app. Ludwig the frog is a favorite for Squishmallow fans, and these ultra plush, super cuddly stuffed friends are a must for any TikTok lover. A giant pile of these pillow-y pals makes bedtime a lot more fun. Read Original Article Here

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  • Squishmallows Again Named Toy of the Year
    Squishmallows Again Named Toy of the Year

    Squishmallows by Jazwares added to its collection of awards Monday after being named The Toy Foundation’s “Toy of the Year” and also snagging the coveted “People’s Choice Award” as part of the 23rd annual Toy of the Year Awards & Celebration. “Congratulations Jazwares on receiving the prestigious ‘Toy of the Year’ and ‘People’s Choice’ awards,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “On top of the joy a toy can offer, Squishmallows is a powerful example of the emotional benefits children and adults can gain through play. Whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old, everyone can benefit from a cuddly hug from a Squishmallow these days.” The “Toy of the Year” prize was voted on by a panel of experts made up of toy and play experts, retailers, academics and journalists, while the “People’s Choice Award” was voted on by consumers. Media and toy retailers from around the world. The Toy Foundation awards 18 winners across 17 categories during the awards ceremony on Sept. 20 in Dallas. It was during that event that Squishmallows took home both “Plush Toy of the Year” and “License of the Year.” Squishmallows also won the 2022 “Toy of the Year” and “People’s Choice Award” from The Toy Foundation. The Toy of the Year Awards received more than 500 submissions during the summer nomination period and was narrowed down the expert panel to 122 finalists. You can find the full list of category winners here. The next Toy of the Year Awards & Celebration will take place on Sept. 23, 2023 in New York City as part of Toy Fair’s market kick-off. Read Original Article Here

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  • Pokémon Squishmallows Have Arrived December 14, 2022
    Pokémon Squishmallows Have Arrived December 14, 2022

    The Pokémon Squishmallow collaboration is on sale in the United States as of Tuesday. Those interested have two options: Pikachu or Gengar. Each retail for $29.99, are twelve inches in size, and are available for purchase on the Pokémon Center website. At time of publication, the toys are already sold out. Polygon has reached out to a Pokémon Center representative about plans to restock, and will update the article as we hear back. Although Pokémon Center has sold plenty of squishy and huggable Pokémon in the past, these two will be the first official Pokémon Squishmallows released. The Pokémon Company and Jazwares first teased the new toys at San Diego Comic Con. Back then, con goers could only appreciate the Squishmallows’ round, plump beauty displayed within a glass case. Now, fans will be able to hug and squeeze the toys for themselves. The official Pokémon account on TikTok gave us a look at the plushes in action before they were released. The video shows the round and plump Pokémon being dropped onto a couch and bouncing afterwards in slow motion. Overall it’s looking like those who buy them will get some good hugs out of some super squishy Pokémon. Update (Nov. 28): While the 12-inch Pikachu and Gengar Squishmallows have sold out, Jazwares says that those Pokémon will be “available in new scales” at other retailers in the spring. They did not specify which sizes. (Squishmallows come in a range of sizes, from the smallest 3.5-inch clip-on keychain to the huge, very huggable 24-inch plush.) Read Original Article Here

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  • 34 Holiday Toys You’ll Want to Grab
    34 Holiday Toys You’ll Want to Grab

    With so many early Black Friday sales happening, you might feel like the holiday season is already here. So, it’s no surprise that both parents and kids have one thing on their minds: toys! But while kids spend most of that time excitedly counting down the days until they get to open their presents, parents have the tough job of finding the toys that they’ll actually love. That’s why every year, plenty of gift-givers turn to The Toy Insider’s annual toy list to help guide their decision. And we have some exciting news: The Toy Insider’s Hot 20 List is here and we have the exclusive details about all the buzzworthy, innovative and fun toys that made this year’s list. Plus, Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by TODAY with Hoda & Jenna to share some of her favorite toys to grab for the holiday season. From a Play-Doh ice cream cart to inflatable skee ball, Schacht has something for kids of all ages, and even toys the whole family will enjoy. Squishmallows Carlee The Camel 16-Inch Plush Meet the newest addition to their Squishmallows squad, Carlee The Camel! The 16-inch plush toy is the perfect size for snuggling at bedtime, on the plane or in the car. There are a range of different characters in the 16-inch collection and kids can collect them all to grow their buddy squad. Read Original Article Here

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  • Jessica Simpson’s 10-Year-Old Daughter is Showing Up Professional Photographers
    Jessica Simpson’s 10-Year-Old Daughter is Showing Up Professional Photographers

    Maxwell Simpson, Jessica’s 10-year-old daughter, has a secret talent — and it involves taking A+ glamorous photographs. Jessica shared a picture of herself modeling a new line of necklaces she’s selling, and it was captured by none other than Maxwell herself. “Personalized names on chains will forever be timeless thoughtful nostalgia fashion at its finest!” the singer wrote. “I’m obsessed to be wearin’ mine and can’t wait until the day these are required instead of stickers as name tags 😜 Grab yours exclusively on 💚📸 by Maxwell Johnson.” We can’t get over how professional — and cool! — this photo turned out. People hopped into the comment section to express just how great Jessica looked and offered props to her photographer. “Timeless and perfection 😍,” one fan wrote. “Favorite photo! ❤️” another added. We’ve gotten hints in the past that Maxwell shares her mom’s artistic spirit. In May, Jessica posted a birthday tribute to her daughter and revealed all of the wonderful qualities that the 10-year-old has to offer. “She is drop dead gorgeous, funny, empathetic, spacial, loyal, artistic, compassionate, drama-free, timely, hopeful, understanding, creative, athletic, thought provoking, ahead of the curve, resilient, and prayerful,” her proud mom wrote. And that’s just the beginning! Jessica also shared that her daughter has the best social skills. “Maxwell knows what she wants and communicates her reasoning logically and emotionally in a way that can change most minds (including mine 😜),” Jessica added. “Maxi can transform anyone’s subconscious random judgements or biased opinions in less than 3 minutes.” When the duo isn’t snapping glam shots or hanging out in a very cozy pile of Squishmallows, they’re taking on the world with so many fun adventures. This summer alone, the whole family ventured to the lake, lived it up in Austin and got in some adorable family time in the sun. Summer had to end eventually (sigh…) but Jessica recently celebrated the beginning of the new school year with her kiddos. She posted a sweet snapshot of her 9-year-old son  Ace and Maxwell after their first day back to school. “These two had an amazing first day of school! I’m so proud! Heart is full. Growin’ up and ownin’ it,” she wrote. “Happy kiddos.” Read Original Article Here

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  • Shop Walmart’s 2022 Top Toy List, including gifts under $25
    Shop Walmart’s 2022 Top Toy List, including gifts under $25

    Remember last year when you ran out of time to shop for holiday presents? Not this year. Walmart has already released its 2022 Top Toy List so that families can plan ahead for the holiday season. “We know our customers are shopping early, and finding the lowest prices on toy gifts is a priority for many families this year,” Laura Rush, senior vice president, Electronics, Toys and Seasonal, Walmart U.S., said in a press statement. The list includes brands like Lego, Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, Hot Wheels, Barbie and more. Plus, more than half of the toys are under $50, with a collection under $25 as well. So whether you’re hunting for holiday presents for your kids, want to load up on stocking stuffers or need a gift for an upcoming birthday party, shop below for all the top toys. Squishmallows 12″ Mango Fuzzamallow – Louie, The Stuffed Plush Toy Read original article here

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