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How Squishmallows is planning to be the next Hello Kitty – Source

Every so often a toy comes along and gets its fuzzy grip on the public’s attention. Cabbage Patch Kids, Teddy Ruxpin, Furby, Beanie Babies, to name a few, transcended mere popularity with kids (and, yes, adults) to become full-blown crazes, complete with bemused media coverage, wiped-out shelves, and even in-store scuffles.

As with any craze, however, the fervor cooled and those toys receded into nostalgia.

But Squishmallows creator Jonathan Kelly is banking on his plump and indelibly soft creatures becoming more than the current trend they are. “It’s really transforming [Squishmallows] into a lifestyle brand that goes from generation to generation, like a Hello Kitty or a Pokémon,” says Kelly, co-president of Kellytoy, maker of Squishmallows.

Jonathan Kelly [Photo: courtesy of Squishmallows]

Founded in 2017, Squishmallows are a line of plush toys inspired by Japan’s Kawaii, or “cute” culture. Each Squishmallow has its own name and bio, which boosted its popularity as a…

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