Sonny Angel, the little angel boy with tiny angel wings blind box mini figure which comes in a seemingly endless variety of headgear, has become the “Cabbage Patch” doll of 2023. Thanks in part to the anticipation of the blind box reveal, thousands of viewers worldwide on the social media platform TikTok (a social phenomenon in its own right), #sonnyangel has amassed over 95 million views, according to the New York Times which recently ran a feature in the Arts Section. What had been a fun curiosity has grown into a craze which resulted in a global rush for Sonny Angel. Now the shelves of quirky retail shops worldwide had no inventory! For the past few weeks Fun House has received about six calls a day asking if Sonny Angel was back in stock. The adorable mostly naked, little Sonny Angel mini figure blind box has become an obsession.
He May Bring You Happiness.
Created by the Japanese toy designer Toru Soeya. Sonny Angel was born on May 15, 2004. Measuring a not-so-mini 7” tall, Sonny Angel figure was quickly reformatted to the pocketsize version we know today. Sonny Angel is easily portable and can slip into a pocket to accompany you on your travels or sit quietly in a corner of your room or desk and transform the dialog of your day.
“Sonny Angel may bring you happiness,” according to Toru Soeya. “He is always by your side to make you smile.” In a world recently out of global shutdown when each of us experience a sense of isolation and loneliness, somehow it can be reassuring to have a pint-size Sonny Angel to just sit with us, “delivering smiles and healing all around the world.”
How Many Figures Are There to Collect?
Animal Series Ver. 1 was the first Sonny Angel mini figure released in a blind box series. Each regular series is made up of 12 different figures, but as they are blind box, you do not know which figure you will get. That is the nature of blind box.
The “regular” themed series are Animal Series 1, Animal Series 2, Animal Series 3, Animal Series 4, Flower Series, Fruit Series, Marine Series, Sweets Series, Vegetable Series. Several limited release Sonny Angel series are introduced each year, as well as occasional artist collaboration series which are slightly larger and not sold as blind box figures.
What is Blind Box?
Blind Box began commercially as a concept for toys in the 1980s based on the Japanese term and tradition of “Fukuburu” meaning “good luck bag.” With origins in the Meiji era, Fukuburu was a New Year custom when shopkeepers created grab bags of unknown, random merchandise at low prices to sell off otherwise unwanted inventory. “Fuku” comes from the Japanese saying “Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru” meaning “there is fortune in leftovers.”
Blind Boxes are sealed, and the figures are further hidden in a foil bag so even if you try to peak you cannot determine which figure you will get. The contents are a mystery, and their distribution random, making it difficult if not impossible to determine the contents of the box. I have had customers suggest that they could weigh the box with a scale to determine which figure is in the box. But, not knowing is part of the fun for collectors!
Each series has “secret figure/s” which are distributed randomly. Each secret figure or “chase” has varying levels of rarity, ranging from 10 to 100 (ever made).
Who is the Robby Angel character?
Robby Angel is Sonny Angel’s very good friend, whose body color can vary according to the series. Robby often imitates what his best friend Sonny Angel is wearing. Robby Angel is also considered a “chase.”
Fun Fact About Sonny Angel’s Ancestry
Sonny Angel is the descendant of the 1912 Kewpie Doll, the celluloid doll created in 1912, spawning a Kewpie Doll comic strip. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers played with and collected Kewpie Dolls before WWI, and these days are known to pop up on the Antiques Roadshow. Give it a few more decades and maybe we’ll see Sonny Angel making his debut on the auction block.
Fun Times with Sonny Angel: FUN HOUSE Ocean Ave Store
Join us this Saturday, July 8th at 10 am for an exclusive SONNY ANGEL DROP & SWAP MEET.
Here’s the details on the DROP:
We will put Sonny Angle Series Animal Ver. 1, Animal Ver. 4, Flowers, and Sweets out for sale. With the demand we cannot predict how long we will have inventory so if you’re a collector you should stop by Saturday. Our other two locations will not have all these series as there simply aren’t enough Sonny Angels to keep three stores stocked.
Here's the details on the SWAP MEET:
The difficult many collectors face is getting duplicate figures within a series. Not everyone wants triplicates of Sonny Angel Jelly Fish from the Marine Series. But someone else, someone you don’t know but also a Sonny Angels aficionado may be missing that very figure. FUN HOUSE Ocean Ave (1200 Ocean Ave, directly across from Asbury Park’s iconic Wonder Bar) will be hosting the first Fun House - Sonny Angel Drop & Swap Meet. We hope to see you there.
FUN HOUSE - Sonny Angel Drop & Swap Meet
FUN HOUSE Ocean Ave.
1200 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ
Saturday, July 8 @ 10am