The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Sonny Angels: The Baby Boom of the 21st Century

Devin+Yalkin+for+The+New+York+Times%0A
Devin Yalkin for The New York Times

If there is one thing this current generation excels at, it has to be hoarding. People always find something new to obsess over and their brain has a craving to collect more and more of that item. Whether it’s middle school girls excessively buying skincare products that their acne-free skin definitely doesn’t need or teenage boys wasting all their money to play “dress-up” in a video game, humans have an innate craving to collect. But what is the new obsession amongst Tenafly High School students and Gen Z, one may ask? A series of mystery cherub figurines called Sonny Angels. These miniature collectibles have taken the collecting scene by storm, weirdly making an impact on this generation with irresistible charm and element of surprise. 

The angelic little dolls may be foreign to some, so what are Sonny Angels exactly? Sonny Angels are small, plastic collectibles that originated in Japan. Creator Toru Soeya molded this character after a two-year-old angel and used his own nickname “Sonny” to give this fictitious cherub a title. Soeya began this company in 2004, but these angels weren’t always so mini. Initially, the figurines were around seven inches and lacked their most notable feature: the varying headgear.  As they retain their cheeky smile and feathery wings, the cherubs possess additional decorative aspect in their headgear. Sonny Angels come in many different series packs, from fruits to farm animals to specialized holiday editions. Not only that, there are styles to the Sonny Angels beside the fun themes they come in. The classic Sonny Angel is a regular doll that stands straight up, but there are unique versions called Hippers. These Hipper Sonny Angels are flat on the stomach side, but have a piece of adhesive attached to the doll. With the Hippers, collectors can attach them anywhere, but recently many people put them on their phone cases and their computers. Sonny Angels spark a new joy in the eyes of the public, appealing to people of all ages.

In addition to the cuteness these collectables provide, the thrill of unboxing makes people want more. Blind boxes weren’t started by Sonny Angels, of course. The idea of a mystery surprise has been a marketing technique for years. One example is the iconic McDonald’s Happy Meal, which is so popular that around 220 million are sold each year. What makes this so enticing to children is the mystery toy provided in every box. The toy is the true X-factor to kids as it outshines the fast food itself. Other popular examples of this marketing technique in the current toy industry include Mini Brands and Shopkins. Blind box marketing allows for mass consumption. Buyers don’t solely buy for the product, but the whole experience. “I really enjoy being surprised when I unpack them and I love the thrill of guessing the Sonny Angel before I unbox it with my friends,” Reece Holden (’25) said. It is essential to realize how something like this truly impacts the popularity of Sonny Angels. 

Many THS students have participated in this fad and openly admitted to falling for the trend. Holden explained his love for this mini angel: “I think they are the most adorable things ever and they brighten my mood when I see them.” Likewise, Jenna Lee (’25) noted how she specifically loves the Hipper versions as well as the fruit collection of the Sonny Angels since they act as a cute accessory. Anna Rosato (’24) enjoyed “the kawaii look to the dolls.” While these are only a handful of opinions, it is evident that the puppy eyes of the Sonny Angels pulled the heartstrings of THS students.

The Sonny Angels phenomenon has undoubtedly plagued the people nationwide and swept through the halls of Tenafly High School, leaving a trail of joy and infectious enthusiasm. Looking past their adorable faces and petite statures, one can see that these whimsical figurines are more than just a doll; they represent a shared experience, a mystery that every box entails. The adventure behind unboxing and a wide variety of themes makes collecting Sonny Angels a communal venture, bringing people together in appreciation over the smiling cherubs.

As this toy is on the rise, don’t be so spooked when you see a baby angel peering at you from your classmate’s computer. Sonny Angels add some sparkle into this dull world, truly showing how the smallest treasures can bring the greatest delight. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Selah Jain, Staff Writer
Selah Jain ('25) is thrilled to be a part of The Echo to discuss topics from pop culture to local events and everything in between! Selah is currently stage manager for the THS theater department as she has a big appreciation for the arts. Aside from school, she loves music, traveling, and trying new things.