I had a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment when my boyfriend surprised me by taking me to a Squishable shop at a mall for Christmas. He has an adorable mini bee and wanted to get one for me too. Unfortunately they were all out of mini bees--Though really it really wasn't that unfortunate! He told me to pick any Squishable I wanted instead :)
We looked at everything from the gigantic critters that require two hands to lift, to the tiny squishy key rings you can carry with you on the go. As we browsed, there were a several Squishables that stood out to me. I picked them up, held them, squeezed them, hugged them to test them out, and then returned them to their shelves.
I can't say for sure exactly what it was about the alligators that caught my attention, but I remember chuckling as soon as I saw them. Maybe it's because plushie gators are unusual. Or maybe it's because they have these cheeky little smiles.
When I picked one up, I was genuinely surprised by how absolutely soft and cuddly he was top to bottom, especially compared to some of the fluffier Squishables. I squeezed him, and he smirked at me. Then I hugged him to myself, and he smiled up at me. I turned him around and hugged him the other way, and he just fit me perfectly with his little arms and legs hanging out. I thought about picking him right then, but then I felt like I'd be silly to pick an alligator. Who'd ever heard of someone wanting a stuffed alligator?
I set him back down on the shelf, and he actually seemed perfectly happy to sit, smirk, and chill with his fellow gators. I dug his personality for sure and could tell we'd totally get along. Still, I walked away and finished my tour of the store, convinced it would be silly to pick an alligator out of everything there.
As I busied myself with fluffy moths and cool creature concepts, my boyfriend asked if I'd found anything I liked. Told him the top two choices I was considering, and then I added, "...But those alligators were pretty cool." My boyfriend actually agreed, and that was enough for me to make a beeline back to the alligators.
I looked over the few that were there, but that first gator I had picked up with the little smirk on one side of his face was the one for me. I knew it.
I've had my alligator about half a year, and he's my best bud at home. I named him Galileo and call him Gally for short, or Gally Gator for long. He gets into all kinds of trouble, but he's really a softy and cuddles with me every night. He's still chonky after tons of hugs and squeezes--and even after being used as an impromptu pillow on many occasions.
One of my favorite things about him as a plushie is that he's totally soft and there's nothing scratchy or hard on him (which means I can't accidentally scratch my face up at night!). As for the design overall, I have to say I really like it, and it's pleasantly simple. The little embroidered details are quite complimentary on the face, arms, and legs. Just little touches that enhance the design.
The large domed back actually works well with hugs and compresses so that he flattens and kind of curves over when you squeeze him in the middle (he almost looks like he's sitting up). The little arms and legs are well placed and look great, and the tale is just adorable. And somehow--I don't know how they did it--but his face is just packed with personality. Gally in particular has more of a mischievous smirk on his one side (it's just the way the little piece on that side of his head above his eye rests), and the other side of his face looks friendly and innocent.
I would definitely recommend that if you're on the fence, just take the plunge and pick one up. The alligator can be a great little buddy and a fun addition to your collection.