Goodbye Sonny Angel

BlindBoxes News

What’s Happening?

No more sealed Sony Angel figures will be sold at BlindBoxes.com due to inconsistent and confusing packaging practices, which have caused some customers concern over the authenticity and security of the products. While the company has been willing to reassure individual customers of their change in packaging practices, they have failed to follow through in publically announcing these changes. To avoid any further disappointment among our customers, we will no longer sell Sonny Angel figures. We are opening our entire inventory and will sell them as open items until they are gone, then that will be the end of Sonny Angel on BlindBoxes.com.

Details of the Situation

BlindBoxes.com secured several display cases about three years ago and they sold very slowly resulting in our still having a fairly old inventory. For no other manufacturer has “old inventory” ever been a concern. To our surprise, customers started reporting that they were finding some figures “bubble wrapped” in the boxes they opened. There was a perception that we might be opening boxes and resealing them to sell as sealed boxes for some reason. It turns out that the issue is actually due to fairly regular (yet undocumented) changes in the way Sonny Angel is packaged.

Over the years, we’ve made a few orders for inventory of these products direct from the company responsible for Sonny Angel in the United States, Dreams USA. They came as sealed display cases and (like all of our inventory) we remove only one for original photography and then securely store them all until eventual sale.

That is why we were as concerned as anyone when some customers reported calling Sonny Angel about the way their boxes were packaged only to be told that they have never wrapped the figures in bubble wrap. This turned out to be simply untrue and speaks to the lack of understanding even within the company responsible.

A manager at Dreams USA (the company responsible for Sonny Angel in the USA) provided the following response to one customer’s concerns:

BlindBoxes.com told me of your concern. They are an authorized reseller of Sonny Angel. They have some old stock in square boxes (new boxes are hexagons). Packaging in the old boxes included bubble wrapped angels. If your box was sealed when you got it, you should be fine. When we switched to the new packaging, we added the sealed Sonny Angel bags.

But the ones the customer received in this particular case were actually in a hexagon shaped box, so the customer was not reassured and pressed again, causing Dreams USA to adjust their statement:

I want to assure you that the Sonny Angels you bought were new and authentic. The very first production run with the hexagon boxes were still packaged in bubble wrap. My reference to old only meant that the stock was not purchased from us within the last 12 months. The angels are identical to current production and there is nothing that can go bad on these figures. Some dealers order more frequently than others but your purchase was neither used nor defective.

The Story with Sonny Angel Packaging

To summarize, they started by packaging Sonny Angel in square boxes, then they moved to hexagon shaped boxes. The square boxes contained the figures wrapped in protective bubble wrap. After the first run of hexagon boxes, they changed to sealing the figures inside the boxes within sealed bags. Even in very recent shipments some of the hexagon boxes were shrink-wrapped and others were not, so this is yet a new inconsistency even among their most recent shipments to vendors.

We refunded several customers to maintain a good reputation with them even after Dreams USA wrote them with messages like those above. From our perspective, we have several hundred dollars in inventory we are not confident in. We repeatedly requested that Dreams USA document their packaging changes publically so that we could more easily reassure concerned customers that they had in fact received authentic and un-manipulated blind boxes. However, the company has not responded to these requests.

Even with such an assurance from the company, we don’t want to send customers BlindBoxes that may disappoint. You might read this and think, “if it was in a sealed box, what difference does it make how it was packaged inside given assurances it was authentic?” but I can assure you in dealing with collectors that they care very much.

And So, We Say Goodbye

Rather than risk upsetting any one else, we are opening our inventory and selling them as open items. We’ll only charge small amount over retail to account for the time and effort necessary to list individual items in this way. As they sell out, they will not be restocked.

Hours of back and forth trying to address concerns by customers about these products as well, as the cost of the several items we refunded at no fault of our own, make the decision to discontinue selling Sonny Angel an easy one. It is an unfortunate situation but BlindBoxes.com and its customers won’t be dealing with Dreams USA any further for the reasons listed here.