Squishmallows are basically the beanies of the 2020s. They’re a line of collectible plush toys, complete with special crossovers and artificial scarcity at play. At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Jazwares and Kelly Toys announced Pokemon Squishmallows are in development, with Pikachu and Gengar confirmed as the first two in the line. Due to the aforementioned artificial scarcity, the first batch has been sold out at the Pokemon Center their debut date. However, someone (me) won the battle with the site to secure an order for a Pikachu variant. Now that he’s settled at home, I can confirm… it’s basically a nice plump pillow.
Pikachu Squishmallow has a minimalist design, like other characters in the line of stuffed toys. For example, I also own a (terrible) Shark Squishmallow whose main highlights are fins, gills, two black eyes, a grin, and a pair of goggles. The Pikachu has a slightly more elaborate design, with embroidered forefoot paws at the front, a nearly matching tail at the back, distinctive brown stripes and rosy cheeks, and large ears. and sure. The fabric is soft, but not too ruffled or long. It’s a more subtle texture and grain that feels more like hugging or rubbing a very soft pillow than a stuffed animal.
What I find particularly impressive is how heavy the Pikachu Squishmallow is. This is a chonny boy. I’d say it feels fuller than the Squishmallow shark I bought to use as a pillow from Costco about a year ago. Perhaps it’s because a higher quality item is manufactured to meet The Pokemon Company International’s standards than an item manufactured and sold at a warehouse chain. However, I was happy to see that the ears did not sag. Not to mention if you hug or lie on it, it won’t collapse immediately or… flatten.
However, a build quality issue occurred with my stuffed animal. When I opened the box from the Pokemon Center and took it out of my pocket, I noticed the tail was sagging. Marketing photos show it will be sewn onto the Pikachu body at the top. When I investigated, I found the remains of a single small stitch at the top that must have come apart during manufacturing and packaging. Given the weight of the tail and the nature of things, it seems a bit short-sighted not to give it a little extra support or extra stitching to make sure it stays in place. But that means, at least for the moment, my Pikachu is being held by a pin while I search for the right thread.
But its very nature also means that the Pikachu Squishmallow might not be what those unfamiliar with the plush toy line expect. It’s a stuffed toy, but it impresses me more as something I would leave on the couch as a decoration or put behind my head while watching TV. It is absolutely a good “hug” size. Plus its nature means it’s good for people of all ages, due to no small parts. But it is purely a pillow product.
When it comes down to it, people are probably wondering if Pikachu Pokemon Squishmallow is worth that $29.99. I’d say sure, as long as you know this is a specific type of stuffed animal. It is completely soft and cuddly. But I find it more likely to be something to be used for lounging or decorative accents than a cuddly stuffed animal. I definitely find that I use it more, such as my Pikachu Build-a-Bear which now serves as a decoration as well as helping me keep track of some necklaces, hairpins, and hats. During the week I had the Pikachu Squishmallow, I used it a few times while relaxing on the couch. In terms of size, it also matches other Pokemon Center plush toys. If you are Pikachu or Pokemon and can find one at retail, this Squishmallow plush toy feels worthwhile.
The addition of Pikachu and Gengar Squishmallow is expected in the spring of 2023.