The SEGA Shop is open for business

Today, months after the closure of SonicMerchandise.com, SEGA has launched its successor: the SEGA Shop. As the name implies this shop is for more than just Sonic, featuring merchandise from both Golden Axe and Shinobi franchises as well as the SEGA Genesis console. So if you’ve ever wanted a or a bar of soap shaped like a SEGA Genesis controller, you can buy it. The store is also launching with some exclusive Sonic merchandise, including a Sonic Forces shirt, pictured below:

The store is currently only open in the Americas, New Zealand and Australia.

The Top 10 Sonic the Hedgehog Collectables of All Time

IMG_2766The Sonic Stadium’s list of affiliates increases on an almost daily basis, and we are very proud to say that we are now also affiliated with Forbidden Planet International, who many in the UK will know as one of the biggest retailers of sci-fi comics and collectables.

This month we’ve teamed up this month with the Forbidden Planet blog to bring to you my personal “top 10” Sonic the Hedgehog collectables, where I will be taking about what I think are the coolest and rarest pieces of Sonic merch ever produced…how many items on the list do you have?

You can check out the article here.

Hopefully over the coming months we hope to bring you even more blog posts that will pique your collecting interests!

TSS Review: Funko’s Sonic the Hedgehog ‘Pop!’ Vinyl Figures

For 15 years, Funko have been making products based on characters from pop culture. Their range is expansive with hundreds of franchises and over a thousand different products. They’re also no stranger to the Sonic brand. A few years ago they made several Sonic toys based on their Wacky Wobblers line, so it’s not like this is the first time they’d had a go with the Sonic license.  However, it is the first time that they’ve used the Sonic license for their ‘Pop! Vinyl’ line. Now the Funko Pop range has a certain ‘style’ to it, so how do Sonic, Tails and Knuckles look after their Funko Pop transformation?

Well…

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Oh my…

If you’ve not seen Funko’s Pop! Range before, these might come as a surprise, but I assure you, these are very much in line with the products Funko make. As Sonic fans, have they done the characters justice? Well, aside for their art style, is there anything about them that doesn’t resemble Sonic, Tails and Knuckles? If you took the box away and they were just sitting there, would someone not be able to look at them and say, ‘Aren’t those the Sonic characters?’

We’ve start by looking at Sonic. There’s no way to ignore this, Sonic looks… really angry. I’m not sure if this might put some people off since typically Sonic usually looks laid back and relaxed or has a happy expression on his face, angry is normally for random cut scenes or comic books. So to see a figure of Sonic looking angry is a bit different. Although not unheard of. The Nendoroid figure has the option of making Sonic look angry, however with no customisation on the Funko figure, you have no option but to get an angry looking Sonic.

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Though I think I know why he appears angry. The clenched fists by his sides isn’t what does it, there have been official images with him standing like that with his fists clenched and he doesn’t look mad.

It’s the eyes.

His eyes are slightly closed which makes him look angry, I suspect had they been fully open he would look much friendlier. Aside from his angry stare, the Sonic figure has had a lot of care put into it, his paint work is very good, especially on his shoes where it’s easy for mistakes to occur. However, he does have a few issues. Mine has a tiny scratch on his forehead and his chest paint isn’t done very well at all, you can see the blue primer under it. But otherwise, it’s very well done.

There is however one small problem. Sonic’s feet are not quite level, so he has a constant wobble, even the slightest vibration and he’ll topple over, you’ll need to stand him up on a very level surface and may need to use some tape  to hold him in place.

None of the figures have any points of articulation except for their heads, however on my figure, Sonic’s head wouldn’t turn, I was eventually able to get it to do so by applying force, but be careful as you can easily break the figure by doing this.

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Moving onto Tails now. Ever since his creation, there has been a joke which has followed Tails around since creation, why does he always look so cute? And it’s the same with this one, there’s something about the way he looks which somehow makes him appear cute. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, it’s probably something to do with his eyes, unlike Sonic, his are fully open and with those huge wide black eyes, it reminds me of when my cat comes into my room, looks up and me and meows.

As with sonic, Tails has a look of detail on him, even down to where the white meets the orange body, it actually looks like fur.

But… Tails does have a lot of paint errors, now these might be exclusive to mine, but given what they are, I would not be surprised if similar errors appear on other versions of him. First of all, his glove, it almost looks like he has a hole in it, there is a huge patch of paint missing and you can clearly see the orange base under it.

Another issue is his right eye, there is a tiny white mark on it which shouldn’t be there, the eyes are supposed to be completely black. It’s small and you can’t see it at a distance, but it’s there.

The big problem comes with his back; he has a lot of white/silver paint smudges all over his back and the back of his head. Tails has no white patches in these areas, so I assume this is something that’s occurred in the manufacture process, odds are it’s going to be repeated on other versions of it.

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The last figure in the line is Knuckles, aside from his abnormally large forehead, Knuckles is surprisingly the best figure of the set, in terms of quality at least. He has two errors that I’ve noticed, the first is on his eye, it’s another scratch like Tails has, and the second is on the back of his foot, a small paint smudge. Otherwise, he’s absolutely fine.

One thing about Knuckles which deserves more praise are his shoes, when you think about the colouring on Knuckles, his shoes are the most complicated, especially when it comes to colouring done by a machine. Yet with the exception of the small smudge on the back, they’re perfect. They’ve even put on the small studs on his shoes; they’re not painted on, but individually cut parts of the plastic mould.

Another positive is his tail, a large number of figures and statues often make his dreadlocks so long that it obscures it, not this one, partly due to the oversized head, the dreadlocks are long but they don’t obscure his tail in any way.

One common feature about all the figures that surprised me, they’re light, very light in fact. I do not own any Funko products and I was expecting these to weigh quite a bit due to the size of their heads alone. But the plastic is very light weight and feels almost as light as a typical action figure.

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There is one downside to owning these figures and it’s probably something that will be unique to Sonic fans. That being, there’s only 3 of them, if you collect Funko figures then this isn’t an issue. However, for collectors of Sonic merchandise, you can’t escape the thought that when these three are on display they do look a little lonely. I wish there was also an Eggman, Metal Sonic and maybe an Amy figure just to expand the range more. So when the figures are on display, it looks fuller than the 3 which we usually get.

However, despite the fact it’s Sonic, Tails and Knuckles again, due to the design of the figures they’re certainly strong enough to stand out even in a large collection, but that said, it’s crying out for expansion. Give us some characters who are not Sonic Tails and Knuckles since we have a lot of these already.

The figures are priced at around £9.99 each, are they must own? Erm… yes? Well, for me, I love merchandise which is a little different or unique, so for me, absolutely this was a must buy. But I think it depends on how much you collect merchandise and what you do with them. These figures are strictly a display piece only, they’ll look great grouped together and will stand out. However with little articulation, if you don’t like their default pose there isn’t much you can do about it.

That said, they’re not bad, in fact they’re really well made and the presentation in the box is really nice too. They follow the Funko style but are easily identifiable and will certainly stand out amidst even the most diehard of display cases. The main problem seems to be the lack of variety, it’s Sonic, Tails and Knuckles again, though if the range is going to be expanded and I really hope it is, it will only look better with time.

Or look at it this way; imagine if Sonic, Tails and Knuckles were Wisps, I imagine they’d look like these.

 

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Should you buy them?

I’d say they’re worth a buy if you can afford them or just happen to really liked them. At only £9.99 each you’re not going to have to break the bank for the full set. There’s no reason why you should avoid them in terms of quality, just depends how much of a collector you are, if you don’t collect every single piece of merchandise, then it’s probably something you’d want to miss. But if you’re looking for something different or a talking point in your collection, it’s a definite pick up. But what you see with these is literally what you get, they’re display pieces and they don’t have any party tricks other than any setting/scenery you chose to build around them.

Rated: Thumbs Up

Still not sure? Check out my video Unboxing & Review of them.

Thinking of getting them? Or do you have any? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog 2013 Product Catalogue

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About 2 months ago, there was a Sonic product event over at Mercedes Benz world, at this event, a single photograph showed what appeared to be a Sonic product guide. Naturally fans of sonic merchandise were curious as to what it contained. But the guide didn’t ever resurface. Last week, another photograph of the guide was spotted, this time at a second event, the interesting thing about this picture was that you could just make out some products which haddn’t yet been announced. By now, Sonic merchandise fans really wanted to get ahold of it.

Well… We’ve got one. Thanks to our friends over at toybuzz.co.uk we now have a copy of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2013 product catalogue. Would you like to read it?

Keep in mind, it only shows products that will be released in the UK this year. So you won’t find the huge range of Jazwares toys that the United Stages gets, nor will you see any Japanese products. Furthermore, due to items which you can buy/pre-order here in the UK, this guide is not the full range of products. The guide does however contain some new items and awesome looking items.

Here are a few highlights.

Note: Click the images to see them at full size.

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I can hear you saying ‘Oh no! Not the clothes!’ But if you recieve that jumper/sweater on the bottom right, you might be jumping for joy. That looks fantastic, I love the random patches on the back as well as the Sonic logo on the sleve. I just hope it comes in adult sizes. Due to be stocked at Next, no price/release date was given.

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Nothing really new here, everything is known, however I’d like to draw your attention to the 2014 annual that we reported on a few weeks ago. You can see a sample page from it showing “Doctor Eggmans Maze.” Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be full of random stock art which is a shame, for some reason the ‘Sonic Generations’ logo is also randomly placed on that sample page… why? But that said though, I’m really looking forward to that and will be picking it up/reviewing it on TSS later this year.

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This is the one we want! Action figures! Well… it’s slightly disapointing. Whilst it’s good that the UK is finally getting the Chaotix and Blaze pack (Blaze is out now in UK Toys R Us stores by the way) a year after the US has had them, the inclusion of the 10 inch Sonic is disapointing since it’s been out for well over a year already. The plushies have been around for even longer. However the confirmation of the figures with accessories is a big welcome. Though personally I’d be much happier to see the Metal Sonic plush or some of the ASRT Jazwares toys make their way over to the UK shores.

But, the biggest suprise is from Sambro. The pinball game has been seen in a few photos for a while now, but the giant floor jigsaw is a new thing. The image is fantastic, Sonic & Tails look really good in that environment. For you older fans. Consider getting the jigsaw and putting it in a picture fram, you now have one awesome looking picture.

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Everything you see on here has been out for well over a year. But the bigest suprise would be the inclusion of London Cakes. It seems that Sega has partnered with London Cakes who will make you a cake with an official Sonic image on it. Checking their website, there doesn’t appear to be any Sonic cakes up for order just yet, so this might be a service which will be added later in the year.

product catalogue 7If I’m honest… The Sonic the Hedgehog Official Merchandise store has been very disapointing. Just take a look at it right now and you’ll see a small example of what I mean. Nothing new has been added to the store for months, what ‘collectables’ that are there can be bought very easilly at other stores for much less. With the exception of one or two imported items, most of the products can be found elsewhere for much better prices. Remember that Sonic Monopoly? I was able to import that from Canada and it ended up being cheaper than had I bought it from the Sonic Merchandise UK store!

That said, this image would indicate that things might be changing. It seems that they’re going to be selling giant posters of archie comic covers. This is actually… quite a good idea, archie comics covers are usually a lot better than what you find in the pages of the comic and some of the covers are really nice looking. Giant sized on glossy paper? Thats a great idea!

In addition to this, we seem to have unique branded merchandise. It appears to be limited to coffee cups at this point and whilst they have been advertised on the Sonic Merchandise facebook page, there’s not been any sign of the items on the store. With any luck the site will be getting a relaunch or a huge boom in products. It’s a great idea but is crying out for a huge stock update.

product catalogue 2And finally, Mike Pollock if you’re out there. Eggman under pants are just under £4 from Primark.

To see the full catalogue in full, check out our gallery, these images are large scans so don’t open them at once if you have a slow connection.

Special thanks to toybuzz.co.uk for sending us the catalogue.

SEGA at Comic Con, Day 2

Today, Comic Con is truly underway and as a result, so is the SEGA Arcade. The most notable addition to the area is a display case full of Sonic merch, advertising the recently opened website for the US branch of Sonic Merchandise. I made sure to get pictures of the display case and the people manning it, as well as some things I missed yesterday, so check them out below the fold!

Continue reading SEGA at Comic Con, Day 2

Tech4Kids Making New Sonic Toys for North America!

If you’ve ever wanted a Sonic themed sled or water gun, Tech4Kids has answered your prayers! Later this year, the toy company will be debuting four unique Sonic themed toys, including a sled, a “Project-A-Sketch” projector, a flash light that projects Sonic sketch images, and finally a water gun.

Images and descriptions are posted below for all products except the flash light, which is apparently just the Project-A-Sketch without the stand. All of these products will be available for US and Canadian residents at Toys ‘R Us, Costco, Wal-Mart, Dick’s,  Zellers, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, and Mastermind Toys.

So, now that it seems like Sonic is going through another merchandising boom, might we see the return of Sonic Shampoo? Please, SEGA?

Continue reading Tech4Kids Making New Sonic Toys for North America!

Guide to Sonic Merch Part 3: Gear From Across the Globe

Continuing my season of features on Sonic Merchandise, I thought I’d change tactics slightly. We’ve seen a few examples of rare and wonderful goodies…but my emphasis is on a few. There is simply so much stuff out there now, that to catalogue the almost continuous stream of goodies and nick-nacks would be an almost impossible task. There’s an almost continuous stream of retro-style goodies being produced presently, along with the spate of Sonic X gear that still loiters; that’s on top of nearly 18 years of paraphernalia from around the World! But one site dares to do that…

So many early Japanese Plushes!
So many early Japanese Plushes!

AzureBlaze, the curator of SonicGear.org, told us at TSS how the idea for the site started: “When I couldn’t collect the Sonic stuff I wanted, I started collecting the photos; Sonic Gear at first was based only on the photos I’d collected over my years on the internet. I made up the site in the hope that other Sonic fans could see the things they wanted, learn how to get them, and I could provide tips to others on how to get them; I wanted fans to see the Sonic stuff that is released and no one gets told about it.”

Even after a few moments on the site, it’s clear to see just how much in the way of photo graphic references have been collected, including merchandise from around the globe, with particular emphasis on pieces released in Japan, America and the UK. From clothing to plushes, this site pretty much covers it all. There are some smashing photos of the near-impossible-to-find Sonic the Fighters plushes (see last week’s merchandise article!), as well as snaps of the fabled Sonic Store that existed in Japan for a small time during the Sonic Adventure era. Not only that, there is a massive archive to a whole host of Sonic clothing lines, including the new American-released Top Heavy designs; AzureBlaze tells us “I’m tired of seeing Sonic on the sidelines of fringe collecting where fans have to scramble to auctions and put up with jacked up prices on ebay to get the goods.”

So, what Sonical Stuff is the expert of all things merch looking for to add to his own collection? “The things in the Super Sonic Gear section of my site. The soap-shoes plush, the crystal cube, and the silver ring are right up there on my list of things to find. The Sonic Adventure2 Battle Shadow plush as well. I tend to go for the things that unique AND have the best design.” As well as the Super Sonic Gear section of the site showcasing some of the pieces of gold produced through the years, the site also includes a rather hilarious “Mutant Gear” section with some of the worst pieces of merchandise produced; I’m sad to say I own a few pieces showcased!

Sonic Gear is constantly updating its pages with photos of the new and old, and is keen for you to get involved too! So if you’ve got something you can’t see on their pages, drop them a line and donate some snaps! And hey, if you’re feeling extra generous, you can even donate spare merchandise if you really want!

Cheers to AzureBlaze for the interview – More next week kids!