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A Squishmallow gathering at the Fenton Parks and Recreation Center on February 12
A Squishmallow is a cute, plush, pastel-colored stuffed toy that has evolved into a collector's item. But are they the next Beanie Baby?
Lexi DeClue, the self-proclaimed “Squishmallow Queen,” seems to think so. She has 500 of them. She started collecting them in 2018, and says coming home to a room full of the them lights up her day.
“I went and bought my first [Squishmallow], Walker the Goat, then it just kinda took off,” Declue says. “I would go to Five Below or Walgreens and buy them, buy them, buy them.”
DeClue soon found online communities catering to her newfound passion. The Squishmallows of Missouri and Illinois Facebook group
, for example, has 1200 members.
Tara Jackson, another group member, soon noticed that Missouri didn't have an event for buying, selling, and trading Squishmallows. So she and her mother Sarah Jackson decided to do it themselves.
They hosted their first Squishmallow event at the Fenton Parks and Recreation Center in August; only 12 people came. They've since held five more, and more than 100 attendees now attend. Jackson had to rent a second room at the center. All sorts of Squishmallows were on offer, including everything from Disney characters to a limited edition Nightmare Before Christmas collection.
Squishmallows come with tags listing their names and birthdates. The tag colors indicate how rare they are; silver and black are the rarest, making them hot commodities.
“It’s the Beanie Baby rush," DeClue says. "They really took off last year and now they’re going crazy.”
Maybe they won't pay for any kid's college tuition, but some are selling for upwards of $500.
For this reason the Jacksons have a rule at their events: No price gauging.
It's all part of the spirit of the Squishmallow community — sharing the love for Squish.
The next buy, sell, trade Squishmallow event takes place on March 19 at the Fenton Parks and Recreation Center. Jackson asks sellers to bring their tables.
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