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!

Magazine Mania

The August edition of British games publication issue 6 of the new format Nintendo Official Magazine and issue 175 of Games Master both contain large features dedicated to SEGA’s spiky blue messiah. These publications come in the wake and aftermath of little boy blues 15th birthday bash, which portrayed a rather sombre affair, but scratch the surface and you’ll find that the boys and girls at Sonic Team were busy beavering away at interviews for Sonic Channel and both of these magazines. Continue reading Magazine Mania

Retro Gamer Sonic tribute

The British retro gaming publication aptly titled Retro Gamer has run a Sonic the Hedgehog Anniversary feature in its June Issue 26 edition. The magazine offers very little content that isn’t already readily available over the internet, however the feature does span a whopping 14 pages (ironically 15 if you count the cover), offering Sonics largest dedicated magazine feature since his golden 16 bit era, an interview (and exploration of his gaming career) with a rather reserved Yuji Naka, and finally a competition to with a Sonic related prize.

Viewable Scans:
Front Cover | Read a Page

Continue reading Retro Gamer Sonic tribute

The Summer of Sonic

While plans for Sonic’s 15th Anniversary all seems to be on the quiet side officially, on the Internet blue blur fans from all over the world are preparing to celebrate in their own special way.

The Sonic Stadium revealed some weeks ago to a surprised public that it will be leading one of the biggest fan collaborations in the history of the community, by launching a mini-site that will feature contributions from as many different Sonic fansites and fan creators as possible. Titled ‘The Summer of Sonic’, it aims to be a neutral ground for all fan creators and webmasters to get equal recognition for their hard work, while simultaneously promoting the exciting June 23rd birthday.

The website, once officially launched, will feature written articles on various aspects of Sonic history, a large gallery for all types of fan creation, a guestbook-style birthday card for visitors to sign, along with competitions for sending in photos and video footage celebrating Sonic’s 15th in unique ways. Continue reading The Summer of Sonic

Remix of ‘Open Your Heart’ Imminent

Remix Factory, the producers of the E.G.G.M.A.N. and Boss remixes in Shadow the Hedgehog, are to release an exclusive remix of Crush 40’s ‘Open Your Heart’ for Sonic’s 15th Anniversary.

Jun Senoue and LB have been working together for the last month or two on some collaborations, and ‘K-Klub vs Crush 40’ appears to be only one of these projects surfacing. The remix will be promoted during the Summer, as Sonic turns 15.

The decision to use the legendary ‘Open Your Heart’ perhaps has more to do with the fact that this track is the defining theme of not only Sonic Adventure, but the turning point in Sonic the Hedgehog and a firm announcement of the blue blur’s console return in 1999. If anything, it has become part of the soundtrack to a generation of Sonic fans, old and new. Continue reading Remix of ‘Open Your Heart’ Imminent

8 New SONIC the Hedgehog Screens

Earlier this morning Sonic Team finally came clean with 8 new high resolution shots of the much anticipated mysterious XBox 360/Playstation 3 title ‘SONIC the Hedgehog. Simply head over to Sonic Channel’s SONIC the Hedgehog page (In Japanese) to view the new content.

Not much is known currently about SONIC the Hedgehog, however given the emphasis around the title given to Sonic’s 15th Anniversary, it would be wise to assume a release roughly around that time (23 June 2006) on XBox 360 and Playstation 3 should it be available then. At current there are absolutely no details even hinting at a possible Nintendo Revolution release.

Thanks to the eagle-eyed Knuckles X at the SSMB forums for the tip.