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The popular ‘budols’ that helped Gen Zs heal their inner child in 2023 

Rappler Lifestyle Team

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The popular ‘budols’ that helped Gen Zs heal their inner child in 2023 
Here are some of the most popular items among Gen Zs this year amid their quest to heal their inner child!

MANILA, Philippines – For Gen Zs, 2023 was all about healing their inner child. While you can heal your inner child in numerous ways, the most popular method appears to be retail therapy, and we’re here for it!

Little collectible cherubs have found their way to this generation, and books have also regained their popularity. It’s clear that while new things are here to stay, older trends are also capable of making their comeback, too. After all, Gen Z isn’t dubbed the throwback generation for nothing.

Take a look at the popular budols that Gen Zs have bought much of this year to heal their inner child! If you have a Gen Z in your life, chances are, they have at least one of these items on their list of purchases this year.

Sonny Angels

Ever spot a little baby doll perched on top of someone’s shelf or stuck to the back of their phone? That’s a Sonny Angel

Sonny Angels are adorable Kewpie-like babies that have captured the hearts of almost every Gen Z out there. They all sport different head gear and are typically naked, while the special series can either come fully clothed, with a t-shirt, or shorts. 

While there are a multitude of Sonny Angel series out there, they all share one goal: to bring its owners happiness.


Produced by the same company behind Sonny Angels, Smiskis are blind box figures described as “curious little creatures” you can display anywhere around your room or house. 

These little guys all have the same unamused look Gen Zs love them for, and are made to look like they’re doing a variety of activities: exercising, staring off into space, imitating famous paintings, or even cheering you on. 

The best part? They glow in the dark – so they can double as night lights, too! 


Gen Zs have found their way back to reading, and we’re here for it! From nonfiction to classic literature and modern fiction, books have now clearly become a big part of Gen Zs’ purchases this year. 

Whether or not we’d like to admit it, BookTok – the TikTok reading community – has played a big role in the revival of reading among Gen Zs, so much so that big bookstores have a dedicated table just for books that became popular on TikTok. 

Digital cameras

Capturing memories is a big deal for Gen Z, so it comes as no surprise that digital cameras from the early 2000s are now in their renaissance. You’ll often see these small cameras in any Gen Z-er’s bag, whether it’s for taking photos at a cute café or during a night out. 

These cameras are often bought secondhand on Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, or Carousell. 

All things Miffy

Made by Dutch author and artist Dick Bruna in 1955, Miffy is an adorable white rabbit that is often seen wearing a plain red, yellow, or blue dress. 

Over the years, it has been turned into merchandise of all sorts. Keychains, wallets, t-shirts, phone cases, notebooks, stickers, bags, phone charms, you name it – any Gen Z is guaranteed to have at least one Miffy-related item on them. 

Even Gram Cafe and Pancakes has its very own Miffy menu, perfect for the Miffy-loving foodie! 

Sylvanian Families

While Sylvanian Families are a ’90s to 2000s childhood classic, it seems that they’ve found their way back to Gen Zs – proving yet again that they’re the throwback generation. 

These felt animal figurines come in cottage-themed costumes, and often have houses and furniture of their own! They’re perfect as little companions, or as displays that can accompany other anik-aniks. 


This year, the boom in local art markets like Komiket, Sticker Con, and Art to Cart further amplified Gen Zs’ love for collecting stickers made by local artists. 

It’s become a common sight for tumblers and laptops to be fully covered in colorful stickers, so much so that the saying “Ang sticker, dinidikit, hindi tinatago (Stickers are meant to be stuck, not kept)” has even made rounds on social media – taking a lighthearted jab at many sticker collectors’ tendency to store their stickers in a container instead of sticking them. 


Anik-anik girlies, rise! This year, keychains have also earned a special place in the hearts – and on the bags – of Gen Zs. It’s one of the easiest ways to express your interests and individuality, and there are endless keychains made by our very own local artists to choose from! 

Pop Mart

Pop Mart is a popular kind of character-based blind box collectibles. Each Pop Mart character also has multiple series of its own, so there’s always something for everyone. 

Hirono and Skullpanda, in particular, seem to be among the most popular Pop Mart lines among Gen Zs. – 

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