Pikachu Squishmallow is Basically a Pleasantly Plump Pillow


Squishmallows are basically 2020s’ Beanie Babies. They’re a collectible plush toy line, complete with special crossovers and artificial scarcity in play. At the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con, Jazwares and Kelly Toys announced Pokemon Squishmallows were in the works, with Pikachu and Gengar confirmed as the first two products in the line. Due to that aforementioned artificial scarcity, the first batch sold out in the Pokemon Center the day they launched. However, somebody (me) managed to win the battle with the website to secure an order for a Pikachu variant. Now that he’s settled in at home, I can confirm… it is basically a pleasantly plump pillow.

The Pikachu Squishmallow features a minimalistic design, much like other characters in the plush toy lineup. For example, I also own a (ridiculously large) Shark Squishmallow with the major accents being fins, gills, two black eyes, a toothy grin, and a pair of goggles. The Pikachu is slightly more elaborate in comparison, with his front paws embroidered on the front, a tail that almost matches the size of his body on the back, his trademark brown stripes and pink cheeks, and large, sturdy ears. The fabric is soft, but not overly fuzzy or long. It’s a more subtle texture and grain, which makes it feel more like hugging or rubbing a very soft pillow, rather than a stuffed animal.

For context, here’s the Pikachu Squishmallow alongside the Build-a-Bear Pikachu. You can see the shorter fur, though the size between the two is comparable.
Pikachu Squishmallow is Basically a Pleasantly Plump Pillow

What I found especially is impressive is the degree of heft to the Pikachu Squishmallow. This is a chonky boy. I’d say it feels fuller than the Squishmallow shark I’d purchased to use as a pillow from Costco about a year ago. Perhaps it’s due to a higher quality item being produced to meet The Pokemon Company International’s standards compared to one produced and sold at essentially a warehouse chain. Still, I was delighted to see there’s no ear sagging. Not to mention if you hug or lay on it, it doesn’t immediately collapse or, well… get squished.

However, a build quality issue came up with my stuffed animal. Upon opening the box from the Pokemon Center and removing it from the bag, I noticed the tail sagging. Marketing photos suggested it would be sewn to the Pikachu’s body at the top. When I investigated, I did see the remnants of a single, small stitch at the top that must have come loose during the manufacturing and packaging process. Given the weight of the tail and nature of things, it seemed a bit shortsighted to not offer a bit more support or extra stitching to ensure it stays in place. But it does mean that, at least for the moment, my Pikachu’s being held together with a safety pin while I hunt for matching thread.

But the nature of it also means that the Pikachu Squishmallow might not be exactly what someone unfamiliar with the line of plush toys would expect. It is a stuffed toy, but it strikes me more as something I’d leave on a couch as a decoration or place behind my head while watching TV. It is absolutely a good “hugging” size too. Plus the nature of it means it is good for folks of all ages, due to there being no small parts. But it is absolutely more of a pillow product.

When it comes down to it, people are probably wondering if the Pikachu Pokemon Squishmallow is worth that $29.99 price tag. I’d say sure, as long as you know this is a specific sort of plush toy. It’s absolutely soft and cuddly. But I found it is more likely something to be used when lounging or as a decorative accent than, say, a huggable stuffed animal. I definitely find I use it more than, say, my Pikachu Build-a-Bear that currently acts as a decoration that also helps me keep track of certain necklaces, hairclips, and hats. In the week I’ve had the Pikachu Squishmallow, I’ve used it a few times when relaxing on the couch. Considering the size, it also falls in line with other Pokemon Center plush toys. If you’re a Pikachu or Pokemon fan and can manage to find one for retail price, this Squishmallow plush toy feels worthwhile.

The Pikachu and Gengar Squishmallow restock is scheduled for Spring 2023.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.