Earlier at the tail-end of September, we reported on a leak that indicated that Sonic the Hedgehog was going to be an unlockable extra character in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD! And thanks to a data-mine, we now know that’s true! What we didn’t realize, however, was that it would feature Sonic’s “classic” design!
SEGA’s most downloaded mobile game just won’t quit! Sonic Dash has been the most frequently updated Sonic game on mobile devices, and that’s not changing anytime soon, as SEGA HARDlight announced on Twitter that they’re planning on celebrating Sonic’s Birthday, and a certain popular villain will be making an appearance!
Just over a month ago, I set myself a little personal project, I decided to research the various official Sonic Mascot costumes which have been used over the years, I wanted to see how they changed, if there was any relation in design to the games, as well as how other regions created their mascots.
It was supposed to be a short project, I thought ‘there can’t be ‘that many, this will probably be just a 5 min video at best’, I was very wrong. Not only did this project take a full month to complete, it ended up being one of the strangest research trips I have ever undertaken. You can view the full end result video at the end of the article.
For now, enjoy these highlights.
If you’ve ever attend any video game convention or event, chances are you’ll see at least one official mascot, every big publisher tries to have one near their stand. They’re like people magnets, you put a mascot at your stand, people go over to it, it’s a great way to get people to look at your game who may have otherwise past it by.
Sega knows this well, and with nearly 30 years of Sonic games, there has been nearly 30 years of these official Sonic Mascot costumes… And some of them are wild…
The Classic Era (1990 – 1995)
During the madness which was Sonic 2’s release, Sega created a Sonic & Tails mascot in the UK. The costumes appeared numerous times in the pages of Sonic the Comic but also appeared in video form on Bad Influence’s 1992 Christmas Special. The Mascots also entertained visitors to the Future Entertainment show in 1992 as well as the 1992 Sega Championship Finals.
The United states also had their own Sonic & Tails mascots at this time, whilst the Sonic was similar in design, their Tails took a different approach, it was still huge but was much less furry and and was a different colour tone.
Japan had a few costumes around this time, but this is the most infamous of the lot, because it hung out with Michael Jackson during the promotion of Sonic 3.
The costume has a very friendly look to it and a “Nice smile” but what you might not realise, the smile is actually a vital part of the design… it’s where the performer looks out of.
Adventure Era (1999 – 2005)
At the 1999 E3 expo, Sega debuted an entire cast of new costumes, Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles all got the mascot treatment. Whilst this was a major E3 for Sega, there exists very little media of the costumes at the event.
However, the costumes were so good and popular that they also appeared at several events in Japan and were even brought back into service when Sega were promoting both Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic X and even Sonic Battle!
Over time, Sega increased the number of characters to go along with this line, such as Rouge, Shadow, Eggman and even Cream! Cream made her only appearance at the 2002 Worlds Hobby Fair in Japan and from all accounts has never appeared at any other event since.
Shadow and Sonic’s costume was brought back temporarily to help promote Shadow the Hedgehog, but the other cast would remain dormant until eventually re-designed for later events.
Joypolis (? – Present Day)
This is probably the longest running Sonic costume in history, probably because it’s so good! Tokyo Joypolis has had this guy entertaining guests for at least 10 years, he’s normally available daily for photos at the park and during special occasions like Halloween and Christmas, Sonic will often dress up to get into the spirit of things.
Sega Republic was Dubai’s answer to Tokyo Joypolis, a huge indoor theme park with Sega themed rides and attractions. To help promote the park, they had three mascots based on Sonic, Tails and Amy.
Whilst Tails and Amy were reserved for media events, Sonic was a daily sight in the park, guests could get a photo with him and he would even attend birthday parties which you could book at the park itself!
Sonic Boom (2014 – Present Day)
Regardless as to what you may think of Boom, a lot of effort went into these creations, Tails and Amy especially since they’re completely original. Whilst the Sonic was based off the main Sega Sonic costume used at the time, they still went to the effort to give him new shoes and accessories.
Modern Era (2010 – Present Day)
Chances are you are more than familiar with these two costumes, they have been used at almost every video-game event since 2010, the above one has been a regular feature of Summer of Sonic.
The modern design has slimmed down the costume from the more bulky ones seen in the 90’s and in Japan, this means the performer is able to make more energetic motions, at Summer of Sonic this costume was even seen dancing with Crush 40 on stage and even attended the Alton Towers Sonic Spinball launch event and entertained guests with a number of recognisable poses.
It was used worldwide up until very recently… until this costume replaced it…
This costume uses much higher grade materials which means it still looks really good after a long days use. The shoes are much higher quality and it has a ‘nice smile’ instead of the creepy Sonic Heroes grin that the other costume has.
It was only ever used for one Tokyo Game Show, yet… look at it! They made a Werehog costume to help promote the launch of Sonic Unleashed, despite the size of the costume the performer is able to move very easily in it.
What little video exists shows the costume jumping, waving their arms in the air, walking quickly with confidence and even pulling some of the Werehog poses from the game
And from what I can tell… it was used for less than a week at one event, despite being one of the best costumes Sega have ever made!
…And The Rest
This was just a little look at some of the better and most iconic costumes which span the 27 years (technically 28) in which Sega have been promoting Sonic. There are many more and some of them….
…Are certainly unique…
Check out the video below if you’re interested and want to see the full history since it’s quite in depth.
With Gamescom having only just commenced, new information on Sonic Forces is already coming to light. Alongside the solo stages for modern Sonic, classic Sonic and the Avatar, there will also be a tag team option available.
From early information, it appears that this tag team mode involves the Avatar character teaming up with either Sonic, allowing their skills to be used in conjunction with each other for interesting gameplay combinations. In addition, there’s a unique feature to tag team mode called the double boost, which allows you to go even faster than the regular boost will allow.
As always, The Sonic Stadium will keep you up-to-date on all of the Sonic news coming out of Gamescom this week.
Source: Revue Multimedia (site is in French)
Image Sources: kitkatfox1 [Instagram]
A video showing Classic Sonic playing through Green Hill Zone has been uploaded today. Much longer than the snippet seen in the Nintendo Direct, it follows Classic Sonic as he traverses the entirety of the zone, presumably the first one Classic Sonic will go through in the game. Get the video below and screenshots;
Remember how I told you that London Toy Fair doesn’t usually have much in terms of Sonic? But New York and Germany are the ones to watch out for? Well… told you so. Spielwarenmesse is currently underway and as expected, there was a huge showing of Sonic merch! Someone managed to get inside Tomy’s booth and took photos of everything in sight! Resulting in one epic haul of Sonic merch for 2017 and beyond!
Based on the photos taken, the Sonic Boom toy line continues to be very profitable. Yes it is profitable, because if it wasn’t they wouldn’t keep making them… That’s how making money works, you make more of what is selling!
Anyway, on with the report.
The first images from the Tomy 2017 toy catalogue are beginning to surface, and show that their Sonic the Hedgehog license is set to continue well into next year.
Japans Sonic twitter account announced today that there would be a number of new 25th Anniversary pieces of merchandise released later this month. One of those was this rather nice figurine of Classic Sonic. Continue reading Classic Sonic 25th Anniversary Figurine Announced
So the latest issue of Licensing Today Worldwide has a rather nice surprise on the cover, it’s Sonic! Inside the issue there is a two page interview with Jason Rice, Sega’s Director of Brand Licensing for EMEA.
Despite this, most of the information is already known, except for one really odd detail.
That being, the Sonic franchise is divided into two licensing programmes; Sonic Boom and Classic Sonic. Wait…. what about Modern Sonic? Well… that’s the thing, Modern Sonic is not mentioned at all anywhere in the article.
Stranger still is that when you look at the imagery used in the article, it’s just Classic and Boom, whilst Modern Sonic is present, it’s just in a group shot showing how Sonic’s design has changed over the years.
Now the article is for the 25th/2016 celebrations, so it’s likely that Sega are just putting the Modern Sonic license on hiatus for a while.
But this is really interesting, we’ve speculated for a while that the 25th anniversary would be a Classic focused affair, with several companies confirming they’re making Classic themed products, but it’s never been stated that the Modern Sonic license isn’t being issued for the 25th?
Given how Modern Sonic appears on the cover and Sega have been using him in their promotional material, odds are he’s not been axed or is now just classic Sonic, even if that’s how the article initially reads, but it’s beginning to look a lot like there won’t be any Modern Sonic merchandise produced for the 25th anniversary, unless the Classic Sonic License now includes Modern Sonic?
Polygon has published a lengthy new article detailing the history and future of the Sonic brand, and it contains several key contributions from big names such as Yuji Uekawa, Christian Whitehead, Al Nilsen and Takashi Iizuka, head of Sonic Team. It also comes with some very… peculiar looking art to accompany it.
First4Figures have today revealed 2 renders for their upcoming additions to their Sonic the hedgehog statue range. The 25th anniversary statue depicts Sonic inset into a base playing games consoles, which according to the images are interchangeable, including a SEGA Dreamcast.
The Silver statue will conform to the “modern line” of statues (which so far includes Sonic, Shadow and Super Sonic) and feature a Kingdom Valley base (No Crisis City love?) and lighting in the exclusive version as seen previously with similar models.
Many thanks to Peter Robinson for the spot at Weston Super Sonic!
“Ok Detective TSS! Are there any clues as to the next Sonic game?” Well F4F saying that their 25th anniversary statue must be classic, press material from various licensing and toy fairs saying classic. Interviews also saying classic. And now Tomy are releasing a classic themed toy line with the 25th anniversary logo all over it…
It’s hard not to jump to conclusions, it’s really hard, so many signs indicate that next year will be a classic themed one, why would there not be a game to support that, anyway…
Found in Tomy’s catalogue for 2016 are a bunch of classic Sonic toys complete with a new version of the 25th anniversary logo. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Eggman are set to get a plush toy release and Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are also going to get a figure release with a collectable coin.
Now these are clearly just mockup images as they use the Boom figures as place holder images and official art as place holders for the plush line.
In just over a months time there is both London and New York Toy Fair which would be the most likely place for them to make their first appearance.
Items are set for release July 2016.
Keep checking TSS for more information as and when we get it.
Sega has been quite tight lipped on their plans for the 25th Anniversary of Sonic, whilst a logo has been leaked out of the Vegas Licensing Expo, and First 4 Figures teasing a statue for the event, very little else has been mentioned.
However we can now reveal some new details about the event. During the Vegas Licensing Expo there was a daily newsletter published which would detail news and photos from the event from various booths. Now Sega had a small section on their booth in one of the newsletters, primarilly the information was about Boom, in fact this information was later released, we even newsed it here.
However, the newsletter contains one extra detail which has since been omitted from other press material. Specifically regarding the 25th anniversary celebrations.
The article details that Sega will be planning a celebration for Sonic’s 25th anniversary, and the tiny detail comes at the end where it states the following.
SEGA is also planning to showcase the heritage of the classic “Sonic” franchise as part of its anniversary celebrations
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the next game is focused on Classic Sonic, it may mean that merchandise and some licensing deals with be focused on Classic Sonic, however, it does seem odd to put such a focus on the Classic Sonic brand.
To put it another way, we now have two completely different sources, Sega & First4Figures commenting on the 25th Anniversary stating that there will be a classic Sonic focus. First4Figures went as far as to say
-Classic Sonic is to be the main focus (of the statue).
Speculating, this to me strongly suggests that we might see the return of Classic Sonic in some way in the foreseeable future. Whilst I don’t want to suggest a Sonic Generations 2 like experience, it does seem very odd to be promoting the classic Sonic brand and not actually reflecting that in the primary sales asset (games).
Anyway, excited at the thought of Classic Sonic returning? Think it’s a new game? Or just a merchandise promotion. Look below you, see that? That’s a comment box, let us know your thoughts Blue Believers.
Source: Global License.
“Modern Sonic isn’t as good as the classics! and here is my fifty billion reasons explaining why!” We’ve all seen threads like this, we’ll all seen youtube videos like this. It’s an old argument and even when the dislike is aimed at classic Sonic, usually the best reply is to ignore the random person…
However when a one Yuji Naka allegedly agrees with a journalist who put it to him that ‘Modern Sonic games are not as fun as past Sonic games.’ Suddenly, you take an interest in that discussion again.
Founder of The Sonic Stadium and writer at SPOnG Svend “Dreadknux” Joscelyne got to speak with SEGA Europe Brand Manager David Corless recently and received some sad news for Classic Sonic’s future after Sonic Generations.
Joscelyne asked Corless if he thinks there’s a possibility of seeing Classic Sonic in future games.
“Sonic Generations sees a classic and modern form of the blue blur running around loops in the same game. If the gameplay is received positively, do you think there’s an opportunity to bring Classic Sonic back into future titles?”
Corless replied with the following “brutally honest” answer.
“Do you know what? There are no plans, to be brutally honest, to bring Classic Sonic back. The reason for bringing him back for this game was because this is a celebration of 20 years of Sonic. It was a real fitting time to do it. He’s really well loved. Let’s see how Generations does. You can never say never in this industry, but at the moment there are no plans.”
SEGA’s RubyEclipse said yesterday that more questions and information regarding the new PS3 and Xbox 360 Sonic title were on the way to the official Sonic Facebook page, and today the page updated with one of those things; a question. A poll is now available at the page for you to take part in asking “Which version of Sonic is your favourite?”, with the answers “Classic Sonic” and “Modern Sonic” to pick from. Whether this poll is just for fun or will hold a significance to the game or anything else in Sonic’s future is unclear, but whatever it’s for, Classic Sonic currently has a very large lead of about 4,500 votes over Modern Sonic.
To place your vote, head on over to the official Sonic Facebook page.
Have you voted? Which version of Sonic did you pick? Let us know in the comments, but please, keep discussion civil. We’re all fans here, no matter what Sonic looks like.