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 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!