Shortest competition ever: The Result!

Yeah, I’m not good at the whole mystery game, but there you go. Anyway, earlier (or yesterday in my case) I caught up with legendary Sonic soundtrack composer, director and performer extrodinaire Jun Senoue in Shibuya, Tokyo. Needless to say I had a long chat with Jun about many things…things like the possibility of a second Crush 40 album…things about what he’s working on currently…and yes, even Sonic the Hedgehog 4 came up in conversation. So, keep an eye out on both Sonic Stadium and junsenoue.com for the interview on what’s going down over the next few days!

As well as the questions I had lined up, I also got Jun to answer what I thought were the seven best fan questions going, and so I asked both TSS and js.com readers to submit! I also said I would hand out a prize to the best question propped, but I had so many, I’m having to give out two prizes – one for a member of each site!

So first off, congratulations to both Michelle Palmer and Hawkz from TSS, who’s questions both made it into the final cut of the “Chaos Questions” as I’ve come to name them (there’s seven, see!), but, the my favourite question proposed was from….

Sinister Swiss!

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a Exclusive Japan-only COSPA Sonic the Hedgehog T-Shirt!

Please send me your name and address (and shirt size!) by either PM on SSMB or at tbird [at] sonicstadium.org. Also many congratulations to Ibbod0, Bluelightning, SoA and Sonic1991 (winner of the Sonic Heroes Triple Threat album!) on the JunSenoue.com forums – your questions have also made the cut too!

Thanks to everyone who sent in questions; there were many good ideas, and I hope in some way or another I will have asked a question you would like to know the answer too! Anyway, stay tuned for the full Jun Senoue Interview!

Merchzilla: Sonic Stuff Up For Grabs In Japan

bigmerch

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!