A squishy is a type of soft toy made of a specially formulated soft polyurethane foam, that slowly returns to its original shape after being squeezed. Squishies are manufactured into many different shapes and sizes, such as animals, fruits, and food items. They are often scented to match the object represented. The toy is also called kawaii squishy, kawaii meaning "cute" in Japanese.
Originating in Japan, squishies became available in the US in the spring of 2017. In the following years, the toys become popular all over the world,  and have huge presence on social media (especially YouTube and Instagram).
Squishies became popular among children and adolescents, but also among adults, for the tactile pleasure that one experiences squishing them — which is said to relieve stress.
Squishies are a recent member of a more general class of mindless manipulation toys, that includes stress balls and fidget spinners. The genre may be seen as very old, including for example the 16th century cup-and-balltoy (bilboquet).
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency tested 12 squishies and found that they all release unacceptable levels of harmful substances, such as dimethylformamide, leading to their removal from the Danish market and the recommendation that all squishies be discarded and that they can safely be disposed as household waste.
Squishies have also been taken off the market in Norway because of their potential choking hazard and their popularity with small children between ages 6-12.
- Lauren Schwartzberg (2017): "What’s the Next Fidget Spinner?". Article on the New York Magazine'website The Strategist, dated 2017-08-24. Accessed on 2020-01-13.
- Annaliese Griffin (2017): "Adults’ obsession with weird, squishy stuffed animals reveals a heartbreaking need in our psyche". Blogpost on the Quartz website, dated 2017-10-03. Accessed on 20120-01-13.
- "Skumlegetoej afgiver farlige kemikalier". The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (in Danish). Ministry of Environment of Denmark. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- "Suishies trekked tilbake fra markedet" (in Norwegian). 10 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.