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The world of tiny trinkets


Ben Hurney / THE GATEPOST

By Kristel Erguiza

Staff Writer


Ever since I was little, I’d always have a little trinket by my side. Either a stuffed animal or a “Hello Kitty” figurine my mom would give me, it always made me feel safe. I’d always like looking at my shelf at home and seeing the massive collection of stuffed animals I collected throughout the years from family and friends. 


The resurgence of these tiny trinkets has Gen-Z in a chokehold, with two popular brands, “Sonny Angels” and “Calico Critters,” being sold out of stores, resold on eBay and Depop for more than they’re worth. Not to mention the element of fun because you don’t know what you’re going to get.


The aspect of the blind box figurines is just like a game because I love guessing and trying to get the little cherub or critter I want, but sometimes I ultimately get the one I don’t really like - but they are still cute nonetheless!


When I saw them on TikTok for the first time last year, I thought they were so cute! These tiny little babies wear little hats and are often made with different themes such as vegetables, animals, and even baked goods and sweets! 


I really like their Valentine’s Day collection, which was sold out everywhere I went, but I did get two for Valentine’s Day which was pretty cool that I could still get at least the one that I’ve been dying to get. 


The other kinds of “Sonny Angels” are the hippers, which I have glued to my phone, always looking down on me making sure I’m doing what I need to. 

Walking into the Newbury Comics on Newbury Street in Boston one day, I asked the cashier if they had any “Sonny Angels” in stock. I was surprised to find them locked behind a glass wall and told that people had started to steal them. I had never thought that these tiny babies would be so popular the first time I saw them outside of TikTok.


However, when I walked into a toy store at Gloucester, the “Calico Critters” were not locked up and the shelf was stocked with different play sets that featured animals and their respective families, which I was so happy about since not a lot of people really frequent toy stores that often anymore.


“Calico Critters” and “Sonny Angels” were both made in Japan but in different years, with “Calico Critters” in 1985, and “Sonny Angels” in 2004. The mission of Sonny Angels, according to their website, is “a little boy that provides healing and is always by your side to make you smile.” 


One cool thing I’ve seen on social media about “Sonny Angels” is that you can make them clothes. There are many Etsy shops online that create crocheted pieces that “Sonny Angels” can wear, as well as actual doll clothes that they can wear as well. I’ve seen puffer jackets made for “Calico Critters,” as well as fancy dresses. 


The fact that there are different kinds of products such as “Calico Critters” and “Sonny Angels,” makes it appealing to people who wouldn’t know these trinkets to begin with. Especially with “Calico Critters,” you can really find an animal that suits you and create a whole world you didn’t even know was in your mind. 


Within the “Sonny Angel” universe, there is one mystery character in the blind boxes that you can get, Robby. He’s a little rat that changes color within the different Sonny Angel blind box categories and is the best friend to Sonny, which I just think is adorable! 


So, I urge you to go to your local Newbury Comics and grab a little trinket, you’ll never know how much joy it’ll spark!


“Sonny Angels” brings me back to being a kid and how precious and how much easier that time was compared to now. Having these “Sonny Angels” are very sentimental and bring me so much joy collecting them! 

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