Sonny Angels: A Bottomless Doll, A Boundless Companion 

Explore the world of Sonny Angels as MUK QI EN discovers the reasons behind their popularity and speaks to collectors of the doe-eyed doll.



Muk Qi En
Web Manager

Hype Issue #58

Published on
December 14, 2023

Step into 18-year-old Amber Liew’s room and you’ll discover shelves adorned with tiny cherub dolls. Amber is a passionate Sonny Angel collector. Her hobby started five months ago when she came across a TikTok video of the bottomless angel doll perched on a laptop.

sonny angels

Handpicked favourites from Amber’s Sonny Angel collection. Photo by Muk Qi En.

To date, Amber has a giant collection of over 100 dolls which she displays in her room and posts about on her Sonny Angel Instagram account, @yakultsonny. Like many Sonny Angel collectors, Amber enjoys dressing up the dolls in DIY crochet accessories and clothing. “There’s just something about Sonny Angels that’s very cute. You can bring them around and take cute pictures,” Amber said.

An internet sensation

Sonny Angel dolls have been in the market since 2005 but these winged “little angel boys” have only gained popularity in recent months. Capturing the hearts of young adults worldwide, these eye-catching figurines have people flocking to social media to share their passion for collecting the toys.

At the point of writing, the Sonny Angel hashtag has 532 million views on TikTok and 494K posts on Instagram. Collectors enjoy taking pictures of the photogenic dolls as they carry out their day-to-day activities. Some collectors even hang their Sonny Angels as accessories, placing them in transparent pouch keychains to show them off to the world.

A companion that heals your inner child

Sonny Angels are 8cm figurines of a two-year-old boy with an adorable smile. They were created by Japanese toy designer Toru Soeya, who took inspiration from the iconic Kewpie character.

bottomless sonny angel

Every Sonny Angel has a pair of tiny wings and a headpiece. Some wear outfits or costumes, but most are without pants. Photo taken from

Mr Soeya launched Sonny Angel with the mantra, “He may bring you happiness.” Created to be more than a child’s toy, the pocket-sized doll is meant to be a companion who brings you healing and a smile.

“I bring them around everywhere. When I’m eating alone, I’ll just put them beside my ramen bowl and take a picture. It may sound weird but it’s like there’s someone there with me,” Amber said.

sonny angel carrying case

Amber finds joy in bringing the dolls wherever she goes. She places them in a Sonny Angel carrying case designed for people to take them out. Photo by Muk Qi En.

Interestingly, the concept behind Sonny Angel is that of a “small boyfriend” for working women in their mid-20s who may be dealing with the stresses of navigating adulthood. “It’s nice [to think that] people are able to afford them, [and that] they are still in touch with the younger part of themselves,” Kimberly Tng, a clinical psychologist at Ardelle Psychology, said.

“Your twenties is a phase that is notoriously fraught. Some people online describe it as a dumpster fire situation because so many things are changing — you’re a new adult and people have all these expectations. Having something stabilising, something they can afford, makes sense,” Ms Tng said.

To unveil the mystery

If you’re fast enough, you’d be able to find these dolls in retailers such as Books Kinokuniya. Sonny Angel dolls are sold individually in blind boxes and cost an average of $14.50 each. They come in themed collections such as animals, fruits, and vegetables.

sonny angel blind box

There are usually 12 different figurines in a series. Photo taken from

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Blind box fans take to social media to express their excitement. #sonnyangelunboxing on TikTok has 97.4M views.

“It’s more fun to open them blind-boxed because you won’t know what you’ll get,” Amber said. 

The popularity of blind box culture could be attributed to its shared experience. Ms Tng explained that opening a blind box is an emotional experience that is also shared with others. As blind box fans go through similar experiences, they can relate to the excitement or perhaps the disappointment you feel when you get a duplicate design. 

“Cupid” cures your loneliness 

Humans are innately social animals. Yet, loneliness is an emotion often felt by the Gen Z demographic. Being one of the first digital natives, they were born into a world where there is less human interaction. These young adults crave to be part of a community where they can express themselves and create tangible, personalised experiences. To satisfy this desire, some turn to collecting as a hobby.

sonny angel love

Small but mighty, Sonny Angels may be the perfect remedy for loneliness. Photo taken from

The stress of making choices could also be alleviated with a collecting hobby. With technology and social media, Gen Zs are often bombarded with options and information. 

“Gen Zs have very unique challenges in the generation that they’re growing up in. They’ve got more liberation, but with that liberation can also come a paralysis,” Ms Tng said. Termed analysis paralysis, people face difficulty in making a decision due to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the number of choices. This pressure can be particularly intense for young adults who are faced with making the “right” decision in their career or educational paths.

In choosing to collect Sonny Angel dolls, people become anchored to a community of like-minded people. “There’s a culture and a brand that they can definitely associate themselves with. It gives [them] a firm option in a sea of many different options,” Ms Tng said.

An angel that brings people together 

Many Sonny Angel collectors in Singapore join the community through Telegram, a popular messaging platform, to connect with people who share similar interests. 

Natasha Neo and her friend, Marisa Ravichanthiran are the administrators of a Sonny Angel Telegram group, @hrteyes4sonny, with over 1200 members at present. They are both “parents” of over 40 bare-bellied babies which they started collecting to spruce up the appearance of their desk to romanticise studying.

sonny angel decor

Displayed on her table, Sonny Angel dolls motivate Marisa to study. Photo by Marisa Ravichanthiran.

Failed attempts at getting their desired figurines led them to set up the Telegram group where they post group orders. This helps to make collecting easier as they place bulk orders for full sets of a series on behalf of a group of fans, ensuring that everybody will get the design they want. They also discuss everything Sonny Angel related in the group chat, such as the locations where recent restocks have been spotted.

The Sonny Angel community in Singapore has been growing exponentially. In just a month, over 500 new members joined their Telegram group.

sonny angel meet up new york

Sonny Angel meet-ups are common in other countries like New York, where fans of the tiny doll gather at public spaces like parks where they can buy, trade, and sell their figurines. Photo taken from The New York Times.

With a larger fanbase in Singapore and by getting inspiration from meet-up events held overseas, a few avid Sonny Angel collectors organised the community’s first meet-up at Marina Barrage on Dec 2, 2023. At the event, fans of the little angels could trade with each other and purchase fan-made merchandise such as crochet doll accessories, keychains, and tote bags.

sonny angel meet up singapore

On Dec 2, Sonny Angel collectors met up in person to buy, trade, and sell their figurines and merchandise. Fans could also decorate their own Sonny Angel case at the tin box decoration station. Photo by Muk Qi En.

Regardless of whether your Sonny Angel dolls serve as decor or as lucky charms, the strange yet adorable plastic babies went viral for their sole purpose: To hold the hands of those taking their first steps toward adulthood, while connecting their hands to others alike.