Merchzilla: Sonic Stuff Up For Grabs In Japan

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I return! Before I delve into the fruitful world of merch once more, I’d like to say a big thanks to Paul Street and the TSS gang for holding the fort while we were roaming Japan; nice one guys and gals!

So anyway, to answer my question in one word…yes. There is most certainly Sonic merchandise to be had in Japan, some particularly nice stuff at that. The long answer, however, is that you really have to look for the stuff…and in some cases, you really need to look hard.

The COSPA brand are currently selling a range of high quality Sonic shirts and apparel, including a nifty selection of stylish shirts, a bandana and a tote bag. There’s even a reversible Sonic World Adventure shirt – so you can have Sonic on your sunny days and crack out the Werehog at night…just turn it inside out! The selection is not cheap though; you can expect to pay about ¥3000 (£22/$32) for a shirt, and ¥4200 for the reversible shirt. There’s even a Sonic Zippo lighter…but don’t expect to get it cheap! If you want something a bit more affordable, UNIQLO (another Japanese brand who produced a couple of Sonic UT print shirts last year) also have a Sonic shirt in their current Video game shirt line-up…and for a meagre ¥1500 it’s a bargain!

Considering JOYPOLIS is SEGA’s Mecca for state-of-the-art arcade games, there’s surprisingly little in the way of Sonic related goodies to pick up. The gift shop inside the complex is still selling boxes of its trademark Sonic Chocolate cake and sweets, as well as a set of mini plush toys of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy – each setting you back between £5-£7; a steal for nice little additions to a collection. You can also pick yourself up an odd little friendship bracelet set; very girly!

Having said that Sonic stuff is hard to find in general, Sonic soundtracks are not. Walk into any HMV or Tower Records in Tokyo, and not only do they have an extensive selection of game and anime soundtracks, you can grab the two recently released Black Knight Soundtracks as well as the Sonic World Adventure OSTs. It’s also not unusual to see earlier OSTs too…or a certain debut album by a Mr. Bentley Jones! We also spotted Charles Hamilton‘s CD going in Manhattan Records too – these guys get everywhere!!!

If retro gear is what you crave, then Akihabara really is the place you want to be! The main street is dotted with stores that stock immaculately kept copies of games and consoles of yesteryear. A copy of Chaotix on ebay can easily fetch £50 upwards; we managed to pick up a pristine copy for less than half that, as well as a copy of Tails Sky Patrol, complete with box, for a tenner. If you’re looking for any old magazines or references – put aside a few hours to rummage through shelves of “good as new” copies of magazines from well over fifteen years ago!

If you want to check out the COSPA range you can do so on their website, and if you’re interested in checking out some retro stores in Akihabara, my first recommendation is a store called Super Potato.

Good to be back TSS – continue to keep your eyes peeled for more Sonic stuff Merch Hogs!

Sonic the Hamilton

I like almost all music.  “Almost, you say, Slinger?”  Yeah, I cannot stand country whatsoever.  When you go to karaoke night at the bars every Wednesday night, the hicks in Nebraska love to sing their Garth Brooks.  I’m rather open about rap and hip-hop, as the beats and grooves can prove to be rather cathartic at the end of the day.  That, and it can really pump me up before I step onto the field.  I have been talking a lot about Charles Hamilton lately, because I like his sound and he has been making news with the release of his new mixtape, “Sonic the Hamilton.”  I have had a while to check out his new tracks and I urge you to give this Hedgehog-lovin’ rapper a shot.

As a mixtape, I expect a lot of songs to use sampling.  A majority of this mixtape does that and it is rather successful.  A well-executed sample can add new dimension to a song and allow people to relive the source material.  Many of Hamilton’s samples are, of course, Sonic tunes and when I heard the familiar Genesis tracks, I could not help but not my head with the beat. Continue reading Sonic the Hamilton

Sonic loving rapper, Hamilton: “I’m Not Crazy”

MTV caught up with The Sonic Stadium’s favorite rapper, Charles Hamilton, for an interview, where he professed his love of Sonic.  Although what he is saying may perplex you at times, he assures you that he is definitely not “crazy.”  He discusses why he chose Sonic the Hedgehog as his inspiration and goes into detail on the time he “woke up” as Sonic one day.  What I find interesting about the interview is when he breaks down his meaning of Sonic.

“Sonic” means “sound” and a hedgehog buries himself underground.  Thus, Charles buries himself into sound.  A novel concept that I certainly would have never thought of.

Anyway, Charles has been recently signed to Interscope records and I hope we can hear some more of his Sonic-inspired tracks in his next album.  Hint hint, Charles, you should rap over Lava Reef.

Watch the interview at MTV.com.

Catching up with Charles Hamilton

What has Sonic enthusiast and budding superstar, Charles the Hamilton, been up to lately?  Well, he recently released the first in a series of mixtapes, entitled “Death of a Mixtape Rapper.”  These eight mixtape releases will lead up to his label debut in 2009.  In light of this release, DJ Booth caught an interview with the 20-year old up-and-coming rapper where he discusses his musical inspirations, the fallout with his mother, and his continuing adoration of the blue blur.  At the end of the interview, DJ Booth asks Hamilton to freestyle, which he promptly does with incredible flow.

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE.

Los Angeles DJ loves Sonic the Hedgehog

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, DJ/musician Charles Hamilton spoke on his beginnings, his rise to fame through various mediums (most notably, the Internet), and his latest projects.  The article comments on his presence, charisma, and revolutionary style of hip-hop.  Most notably, he is a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan and some of his tracks feature heavy sampling of the original game’s soundtrack and sound effects. On the topic of Sonic, Hamilton said:

“I always felt like there was no life without sound and Sonic obviously means sound, and hedgehog is buried underground. Which means that I’m buried into sound, music and it comes full circle, like a Sonic the Hedgehog loop.”

I have got my hands on his latest track and a lengthy freestyle session on a U.S. radio station, Power 106.  Please, check them out, because you will definitely be entertained!

EDIT: Although the picture of the guy we had before is probably a very nice chap, it wasn’t actually Charles Hamilton. It was rapper ‘Papoose’. We got an email from ‘The Real Charles Hamilton’, who stood up and gave us a photo of himself. Sorry about that!

November 10th – Marble Zone remix, connections drawn between his life and Sonic.  The best part is at the end when he says, “Where’s my fuckin’ Genesis?”

Freestyle on the DJ Green Lantern Show on Power 106Very impressive.