Sonic Wiki Zone

Know something we don't about Sonic? Don't hesitate in signing up today! It's fast, free, and easy, and you will get a wealth of new abilities, and it also hides your IP address from public view. We are in need of content, and everyone has something to contribute!

If you have an account, please log in.


Sonic Wiki Zone
Sonic Wiki Zone
This is a Sonic Wiki Zone Featured Article

A box containing an item. Applying force will cause the item to pop out.

— Fish-o-pedia description, Sonic Frontiers

The Item Box[1] (アイテムボックス[2] Aitemu Bokkusu?), earlier on also called the Monitor[3] amongst other names, is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Having been featured frequently in the series since the very beginning, Item Boxes contain various kinds of power-ups or bonuses which can be used by the player. Placed on the ground, in mid-air or even hidden in different places in the various levels, the player can open Item Boxes in order to obtain their power-ups.


The appearance of Item Boxes has changed on several occasions throughout the Sonic series. In the early games of the series, they took the form of gray and rectangular/cubic computer monitors with the icon of the power-up contained inside shown on said monitors' black screens. Even though they were replaced in later games, classic monitor Item Boxes have made appearances in recent games, mostly in those that feature 2.5D gameplay, such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and Sonic Mania. Otherwise, since Sonic Adventure, modern Item Boxes were designed to look like ellipsoid glass capsules with a red cap on the top and an icon inside them that identifies the power-up they contain. In games such as Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Lost World, the appearance of modern Item Boxes has been simplified so that they resemble round glass capsules with red top and bottom covers.

Item Boxes are usually placed on the ground. However, they can also be hidden in a level's environment, such as in palm trees. They can also be found suspended in midair, particularly those designed without a base, or even upside down. In some games, when a classic monitor Item Box is hidden in the air or stuck to the ceiling, striking it from below will cause it to fall to the ground.

A classic monitor Item Box can be broken from directly above or from the sides with different attacks. This usually involves the player hit them with a Spin Attack-related move or attack them with similar ground-bound or aerial attacks. The Homing Attack can also target and break Item Boxes the same way it targets and destroys enemies. Certain playable characters can also use weapons to break Item Boxes. In several 3D games and certain 2D games since Sonic Adventure however, the modern glass capsule Item Boxes can be broken by simply touching them. After breaking open an Item Box, the icon that is seen in the Item Box will pop out and the player receives the power-up or item. Once an Item Box is broken, it will remain as such until the player loses a life or starts the level over.

If the player holds the jump button while destroying a classic monitor Item Box from above, the playable character will bounce back as if they hit a Badnik; that is, the longer the distance the player falls onto the classic monitor Item Box, the higher the higher will bounce back up. The player can land normally on the Item Box, if the playable character does not perform a Spin Jump or any other variations of the move.

In the classic Sonic games, there is a brief delay between the moments where the player breaks the Item Box and when the player receives the power-up. For example, if the player gets a Shield or Invincible item, it is still possible for the player to take damage before the power-up's effect is received.

The usage of Item Boxes has varied considerably through the series, being present in most 2D as well as 3D titles until Sonic Unleashed and its succeeding Boost-style games, in which they were replaced with different methods of getting power-ups, such as floating Super Rings and 1-Ups, which can be obtained by simply touching them. Despite this, Item Boxes continue to appear as a semi-regular feature in the series.


Floating Item Boxes[]

Main article: Floating Item Box
Item Box Balloon Adventure 2

A Floating Item Box, from Sonic Adventure 2.

The Floating Item Box, or simply Balloon, is an Item Box variant in the form of a red Balloon with white and blue circles containing a star on it. They function like regular Item Boxes, except that they are always floating in the air. While Floating Item Boxes do not display the power-up they contain, they do give an aerial boost when opening one. They first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2.

Target Switch[]

Main article: Target Switch

A Target Switch, from Sonic Heroes.

The Target Switch is an Item Box variant that appears as a target floating in midair. If the player tries to fly too close to it, the Target Switch will start spinning and cannot be hit. To earn its power-up, the player has to hit the Target Switch with Thunder Shoot from a safe distance. They first appeared in Sonic Heroes.



  1. Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) United States instruction booklet, pg. 11.
  2. Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 13.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 10.