A Guide to Sonic Merchandise Part 2: The Fighters Franchise

The Fighters Plush Range.
The Fighters Plush Range.

Although the West seems to be getting its fair share of merchandise nowadays, it wasn’t always that way. Sure, in the early 90’s us Americans and Brits were treated to a whole load of Sonic and Tails plushes, a couple of different comic series and the odd figurine now and again, but once we hit 1995, the widespread interest in Sonic seemed to die off. The West was pushed into Sonic-merch limbo until 1999 when Sonic Adventure came around. This was not the case over in Japan…

Continue reading A Guide to Sonic Merchandise Part 2: The Fighters Franchise

Pick up the Pieces: Sonic World Adventure OST Out Today!

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Tasty Gatefold Artwork!

Whether or not you’ve decided that Sonic Unleashed is a good game or not, you’ve probably heard a handful of tunes that have got your feet tapping as you blast through levels at break-neck speeds or smack goofy enemies with your Wolfy pimping-hands. So for those of you who are bonkers for Sonic soundtracks, you can rejoice in the knowledge the Sonic World Adventure: Planetary Pieces Official Soundtrack has been released today.

Once again, the usual suspects Tomoya Ohtani, Kenichi Tokoi, Fumie Kumatani & Hideaki Kobayashi have teamed up to create another monstrous album containing a comprehensive collection of all the tracks from the game. The staggering 91 track list includes the rather sexual Werehog Battle music, Jaret Reddick’s “Endless Possibility”, several versions of the game’s theme, and the pleasant “Dear My Friend” from the ending titles. Not only that, the presentation of the box is of the usual incredible standard (there’s a CD with Chip on it!)

You can check out the track listing over at the Video Game Music Data Base, and if you’ve got some coins to spare you can buy yourself a copy from Play Asia or CD Japan for about 4200 Yen...a bit steep at around £31 ($45 – and don’t forget you’ll have to pay for International Postage on top of that), but well worth it if you’re as mad as me for these soundtracks!

A Guide to Sonic Merchandise Part 1: Anniversary Edition

The 10th Anniversary statue and Sterling silver ring
The Sonic 10th Anniversary statue and Sterling silver ring

Sonic the Hedgehog related merchandise seems to permeate everything these days; it wasn’t too long ago that you couldn’t get moved for the overwhelming amount of very mediocre Sonic X gear that was lying around to pick up for next to nothing. There are however some absolute gems out there – the joy of collecting Sonic stuff is that you also collect a little piece of Hedgehog history along with them. I think a lot of the collectors amongst the Sonic community would be agreed that some pieces are truly works of art.

Over the next few weeks I’d like to focus on some of the best bits of nearly 18 years of collecting, from generally going about finding yourself a nice addition to your Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise collection, to some of the more elusive and exclusive things that have been produced in the past.

This first article takes a look at some of the most desirable items that there are going; the 10th and 15th Anniversary Merchandise. A lot of the community will remember the 10th birthday of Sonic, as it was the launch date of Sonic Adventure 2, which is still held in high regards amongst the 3D Sonic titles. If you were a resident in Europe Japan or the US, and fast enough off the mark, you had a chance to grab yourself a box set with the pre-order of the game, which contained a rather nifty CD of some of the best Sonic tunes, along with a Gold coin and a booklet full of interesting Sonic facts, pictures, and a rather odd little story. These were however produced in rather large numbers, so aren’t as collectible as initially intended; on the plus side, you can easily pick one up on ebay for £25 ($35USD)! Those lucky enough to attend E3 that year would have also had a chance to scoop up a 10th anniversary badge, which do occasionally appear for purchase.

The SEGA Direct version of the 15th anniversary figurine
The SEGA Direct version of the 15th anniversary figurine

The main contenders for collector’s money thesedays are the trio of anniversary gifts produced by the Sonic Factory (Which closed soon after), being the 10th Anniversary statue, the Crystal Cube, and the Sterling silver ring. Each object was made to extremely high standards; the statue (on an engraved marble base!) was hand-painted, and the crystal cubes were carefully laser-etched to create a wire frame Sonic inside the glass. Each item was limited to 500 units worldwide; some where given away as prizes at a SEGA sports event in Japan, with the remainder being quickly snapped up from the Sonic Factory. In the highly unlikely case you see one on sale online, you’d better get your cheque book ready and phone your bank manager – you are most likely going to be in a bidding war that will go into hundreds of dollars!

Fast forwarding 5 years, the 15th anniversary churned out a number of nice little items. We were treated to two different statues, one was again on sale through SEGA Direct, but was later released as a freebie in the US with the pre-order of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Xbox and PS3. The other statue was produced in a limited run of 2,500 pieces – each  was stamped on the base and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. A number of T-Shirts were also produced to commemorate the occasion, two of which depicted a running sonic in his pixelated form á la Sonic 1, with the 15th birthday logo on the back. Again, E3 goers in 2006 were treated to a nice distressed shirt, the number ‘91 (the year of Sonic’s launch) emblazoned on the back. The keen-eyed ebayer can still pick the odd one of these items up on ebay, albeit at a slightly higher price.

So, did you manage to get any of these items? Which are your favourite? Are there any items you managed to pick up that we’ve missed off our list? Let us know, and keep an eye out for the next feature!

Buying a Classic Car, Sonic Style

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Are you Sonic mad? Are you an Oil Baron? Then you might consider getting yourself this set of wheels, as it’ll be unlikely you’ll see another for a long time! Yes, you’re eyes do not deceive you; on Yahoo! Japan auctions, someone is selling an original Sonic Waku Waku Patrol Car. For a mere 900,000 Yen (about $1,100 or £750) you too can hunt down Dr. Eggman and prevent him from causing more traffic offenses.

For those of your tilting your head in wonderment at what this fantastic contraption is, allow me to explain: this was an arcade machine that featured almost exclusively in Japan; apparently even now there are still some in use in various theme parks across the Middle East. The idea of the game was that you drove around a city in a police car, in pursuit of Eggy himself, occasionally stopping to allow Flickies to cross the road.

If you do fancy having a look at the auction, follow this link.

According to the auction it’s still functional! However, you can only pick it up in person and it will require 6 people to move it.

So, phone your friends, sell your family heirlooms, and get going on your freighter to Japan!!!

SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for 360/PS3 Announced

Because you simply cannot own enough copies of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive, SEGA have announced today they are developing the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for the XBox 360 and PS3 consoles. Looks like our original rumour story wasn’t that far off the mark.

As well as being the first opportunity for players to have a go on Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3D Blast on current generation consoles, this compilation will also include other kick-arse titles from SEGA’s extensive 16-bit catalogue, including Streets of Rage 1, 2 & 3, Alien Storm, Golden Axe 1, 2 & 3, Ristar and Ecco the Dolphin. Not only that, there will be a whole host of unlockable 8-bit Master System titles as bonus material too!

Some fans will be a bit miffed that they have already shelled-out a few hundred Microsoft points for these games already, but I think that will probably be drowned out by the fact there are well over 40 titles to play; that’s a lot of gaming for your pennies! Plus, there will also be a set of achievements for XBox owners to collect – always another incentive to play through those classics once more!

The collection is due out early 2009, check out the Official Website for more info.

Me? I’m thrilled they’re putting Dynamite Headdy on there! YEEEEAAS!!!

Crush 40 Rock Tokyo Game Show

Junny Baby!

This has been coming for a long, long time.

Finally! the mighty guitar skills of the legendary Jun Senoue, and the vocal tenacity of Axel Rudi Pell lead singer Johnny Gioeli have reunited to perform what can only be described as an electrifying medley of classic Crush 40 tracks at the Tokyo Game Show on the 12th of October. I had been talking to Jun about a month ago, and although he told me to keep it all very hush hush, he said there would be a little surprise for those in attendance; that being a live performance of the new title track for the upcoming Wii title Sonic and the Black Knight, “Knight of the Wind”.

Johnny and Jun crash onto stage with an extra long opening version of “I am…All of Me”, before burning rubber into their version of “His World” (which we all know rocks the hardest, sorry Zebrahead). Other performed tracks include the “Sonic Heroes Theme”, “What I’m Made of” and of course, the obligatory “Live and Learn” theme from SA2. Continue reading Crush 40 Rock Tokyo Game Show

METALHOG! Meagdriver Unleash Yet More Sonic-Themed Metal!

Metal Up Your ASS

For those of us living on planet Metal, and who squealed with delight at the OC Remix Chaos Project’s renditions of tracks such as Malicious Fingers (a progressive metal cover of the Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles boss theme) and Live at the Sandopolis, there is more lead-lined tunes coming your way!

Megadriver, a Brazillian based Megadrive / Genesis tribute band (as if their name didn’t give it away) should be familliar to those on the Sonic music remix scene – a few years back they did a rather thrashy cover of the Green Hill Zone tune. There’s also a couple of nifty videos floating about on youtube of Nino, the band’s founder, and his rather awesome (and unique sounding) Megadrive Guitar! Continue reading METALHOG! Meagdriver Unleash Yet More Sonic-Themed Metal!

The Countdown To Sonic City Return Begins

Splish Splash Splosh

It has already been heavily hinted at, but it has been finally confirmed: Sonic City is set to return soon!

…and from what AAUK has said, it is set to be something a bit special. For starters, it appears that Mr. Eva has been taking notes and comments from everyone on suggestions and ideas that could potentially go into the website design; not surprising considering his “Omnipresence” throughout many forums and sites. It’s not too far fetched then to expect some big changes – including an expanded games archive, and the possibility of profiles on some of the older and more obscure characters from the Sonic Universe.

The Sonic City Website is already up to go and have a gander at, however at the moment it only exists as a splash page with a quote from Sonic, and the words “FINDING THE COMPUTER ROOM“.

To quote AAUK: “Things won’t be all up at first, we’ll start (unless matters change) with some basics and a GREATLY increased games archive; seriously you have no idea just how much more information is going to be added in.”

Lets hope there’s more Fang.

Official Sonic Chronicles Mini Game launched!

I can has chaoburger?

SEGA have released quite a snazzy little teaser flash game for all of you people who just can’t wait to get your grubby little mittens on a copy of Sonic Chronicles at the end of this month!

Apparently, Sonic is having visions of his up-and-coming adventure, and the idea of the minigame is for you to help make sense of these premonitions to see who Sonic will meet, what items he will need etc… Confused? Yeah, it confused the heck out of me; it’s got to be played to be understood!!!

First off you need an account on a social networking site such Windows Live, facebook, myspace (the rest are listed on the site). I’ve stuck it on my facebook account. From there you can play a number of different puzzle games, as well as point and click games, from which you collect points to go up Bronze, Silver and Gold rankings. There’s also a “Dark” rank – wonder what that’s for! A more comprehensive explaination is given on the site itself:

Official Sonic Chronicles Mini Game Site

As you go up ranks you’ll be rewarded with access to exclusive downloadable packs, which contain desktops, bebo and myspace skins, and instant messaging icons to show off to your mates. Not only that, there is a Chao Garden in which you can collect up to 20 different Chao, upon fulfilling specific criteria – such as having a friend grab the game from your social networking page!

A perfect solution for what looks to be a rainy weekend!

Sonic & the Black Knight Art Contest: Update

Right, it seems there’s been some crossed wires along the way as far as the Sonic and the Black Knight competition is concerned, but as per usual Mr. AAUK (or should that be Mr. AAUSA?) has been on to clue us in on some of the more hazey parts of the contest – it appears there is a bit of a delay with this news hitting the SEGA Blognik in his absence, and due to there having to be translations into several European languages.

  • First off, the competition WILL be open to the Europeans too; the competition rules are virtually identical to the US rules, so you can get cracking on your masterpieces immediately!
  • Austrailia is classed as part of SOE’s territory, so your Aussies can also feel free to enter.
  • Finally, the use of fan characters or non-Sonic Universe characters in the art is advised against, purely on the grounds they probably won’t be used.

It also turns out this is something that the Japanese branch of SEGA came up with, not their European counterparts! Maybe Japan have also finally realised getting the fans involved isn’t such a bad thing afterall…isn’t it?

Thanks again to AAUK for clearing this up.

Unleashed, De-Fanged

No Fang 4 U

After much hype and hearsay about the return of what some deem to be a cult character from the Sonic Universe, it looks like the Hatted Weasel/Wolf character, Fang the Sniper, WILL NOT be appearing in the up-and-coming multi-platform game Sonic Unleashed.

The SEGA Blognik, run and maintained by the ever present ArchAngelUK, made a post earlier afer enquiries had been made with SEGA’s brand manager in regards to the rumours about the return of Fang the Sniper: ” I asked the brand manager directly. The answer was “who’s he?” “.

So unfortunately kids, it looks like we aren’t going to see the return of Fang. Disappointed? Perhaps, perhaps not. On the positive side, the images released from Leipzig looks promising, so hopefully the lack of cork guns won’t ruin what looks to be a promising game.

I seem to have misplaced my DS…if anyone sees it, let me know.

Props to Mr. AAUK for the info!

Bird’s Eye View: Summer of Sonic 2008

YOSH!I remember back to October 2006, chilling out at Lee Rosey’s Tea Room in Nottingham after watching Richard Jacques and TJ Davis perform for the first time. I was conversing with my two new friends Kevin and Svend about the event; “We could do something like this” I remember one of them saying. The thought didn’t cross my mind that two years later I’d be setting up a mixer desk and sound system at 8:30am for the Summer of Sonic 2008 event in London, while having a quick chat with Richard Jacques about life in general, as he sifted through the selection of CDs I’d brought along to play.

To say the event was a success would be a massive understatement; it was a roaring torrent of win. Walking around the event after finishing up on my slot on the decks, my ears were treated to what I can only describe as a choral rendition of Live and Learn – everyone was singing along to the song as they explored the event, and it was beautiful!!! I couldn’t walk five steps without spotting a familiar face, or having someone stop me to introduce themselves, to put a face to a (screen) name. Nigel Kitching was trapped in his corner, surrounded by fans asking questions having cherished copies of Sonic the Comic signed. The room was filled with people of different colours, creeds and ages, some having travelled hundreds, even thousands of miles to be here, and all to celebrate their one mutual love…Sonic the Hedgehog.

Continue reading Bird’s Eye View: Summer of Sonic 2008

New Sonic Unleashed Teaser Trailer

AAUK has just given me a link to a new teaser trailer for Sonic Unleashed, which really does give us a heavy impression that the Sonic “Werehog” transformation will happen, and gives us the tag line “A New Adventure Awakens”.

We also find out that Werehog Sonic doesn’t like rings…
Thanks to AAUK for the heads up.

Sonic Officially Unleashed!

After weeks of hype and hearsay, SEGA finally confirm the existance of Sonic Unleashed which will be released almost universally on all major platforms: XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 AND PS2.

The game is set to use a new “Hedgehog engine” which will combine (as many have already seen) both 2D “classic” gameplay with rich new 3D environments. The aim of this is to amalgamate the new look of Sonic the Hedgehog with some older elements back from older Sonic titles. SEGA say “The Hedgehog engine will help re-define the gameplay experience for Sonic fans and newcomers to the franchise alike.” Continue reading Sonic Officially Unleashed!

More Sonic Plushes hitting UK stores!

For those of you who live in the UK and have been into GAME recently, you’ll have noticed you can pick up a Sonic and Tails Plush toy for the mere price of £9.99. Well, as advertised on the back of the box, the Knuckles Plushes are now available to buy, as I found out today while roaming Newcastle.

And here’s some guy with one… Continue reading More Sonic Plushes hitting UK stores!

Sonic City Competition – A Race to a Name!

It is finally time for you, the Sonic Fans of the world to have your say in the name of one of the alien species in the upcoming Nintendo DS title, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. The image of the Alien has finally been revealed, after a fortnight of only having a silhouette to tease us!

The top 10 names have been selected from a number of suggestions put forward different forums and communities, including members of TSS, SonicWrecks.com, SonicOnline.com and the Bioware forums themselves. Continue reading Sonic City Competition – A Race to a Name!

Classic Sonic the Hedgehog Figures coming soon!

It looks like the Classic range of Sonic goodies hitting the shelves will not be stopping anytime soon!
First 4 figures (the company that has produced the Assassin’s Creed Altair figurine and the incredibly detailed Link figurine from Ocarina of Time) have recently acquired the rights from Jetix to produce a series of vinyl figures based on the classic style of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters.

The first wave of figures will include Sonic the Hedgehog in a running pose, as well as a Tails and a Knuckles figurine. First 4 Figures hopes to preview these figurines at both the Nuremberg and New York toy fairs, with their release date currently being placed in July of this year.

Fans will no doubt be impressed that companies like First 4 Figures are now also catering for the Adult collectors market – I personally cannot wait to get my hands on a set!

Thanks be to M1k3.tayl0r of SCD for this info!

Crush 40 gets an Official Myspace

For those of you who have spent several years frustrated because you just can’t get updates on what the band Crush 40 are doing, rejoice! Crush 40 are the definitive Sonic Soundtrack band, who blasted their way into the Sonic Universe with incredible riffs and powerful vocals way back in the day on Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast.

The front men of the band, Johnny Gioeli (Vocals, most of the time!) and Jun Senoue (Guitarist extraodinare) have finally put together a Myspace page, on which you can go and listen to a selection of their tracks, look at pictures of the band, and even leave a message for them should you be signed up yourself! Continue reading Crush 40 gets an Official Myspace

More Sonic Merchandise for UK Fans!

UK Sonic Merchandise collectors rejoice! The UK videogames retailers GAME are now stocking a selection of Sonic the Hedgehog plush toys. Currently stores have stocks of Sonic and Tails plushes, but I was politely informed by a staff member that there will also be a Doctor Eggman and Knuckles plush available before the year is out. Continue reading More Sonic Merchandise for UK Fans!

Mario & Sonic London Launch Party – Friday 23rd November

For those living in and around London, and who have an afternoon to spare on Friday, you can head down to London’s West End to celebrate the launch of Mario and Sonic at the Olympics for the Nintendo Wii at the Oxford Street HMV.

The official British launch of the game will take place at 12:00pm noon, with festivities going on until around 3:00pm.

There is also an opportunity to see Radio 1 DJs Dick and Dom battle it out on the big screen, and no doubt get a snap of yourself with Sonic and Mario themselves. Try not to clothesline Mario though.

For anyone in Newcastle on Friday, the Northern M&S launch party is going down in my living room from 7:00pm onwards. Bring beer.

Sonic the Hedgehog Vocal Collection due out 2008

Good news for those of you who, like me, love your Sonic tunes!

It looks like we are set to see a compilation album due out early next year which will include a selection of the best vocal tracks from Sonic the hedgehog games, past and present.
Here’s what CD Japan have to say:

“Look back on fifteen years of “Sonic the Hedgehog” with the best vocal songs from each of the previously released “Sonic” games. Includes unreleased tracks, CD debuts, the latest remixes, and even bonus tracks from some of today’s hottest artists!”

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more exciting than a CD of unreleased material and remixes!

Keep your eyes on CD Japan for updates on album art, release dates and track listings!

Sonic Rush Adventure Confirmed!

Avast ye scurvy dogs!

Late this afternoon it was confirmed by both SEGA Europe and SEGA America, that development is now underway on a sequel to the Sonic Rush title, speculated a few weeks back on TSS. Sonic Rush Adventure is set to wash up on the shores in time for the Autumn this year.

Sonic will this time be pitted against a motley crew of Pirates, while fighting through 7 action-packed stages. Keeping in tradition of Sonic Rush, the game is pegged to “seemlessly Utilise” both of the DS screens once more. Not only that, but players will be able to assemble an Armada of ships to sail the seas, gathering rings, performing tricks and engaging in battles with other ships; all using the DS stylus control. Continue reading Sonic Rush Adventure Confirmed!