Earlier this year, LEGO and SEGA officially revealed that Toastergrl’s Sonic Mania-themed LEGO Ideas set had been approved for production. Now, a number of Twitter accounts are posting leaked images of what is believed to be the final version of the set:
You probably noticed right away that the design has changed a fair bit from what was originally pitched on LEGO Ideas:
It’s quite common for a set to go through significant revisions between the Ideas version and the final released version. Often times, it is to follow the license holder’s suggestions or requirements, to fit within what is reasonable for LEGO to manufacture, or to ensure the design can be made and sold at a reasonable price. The LEGO Ideas Sesame Street set is a good example of this:
In the case of the Sonic Mania set, the most immediate difference is that it has dropped the Sonic Mania connection in favor of more generalized Sonic 1 branding, however it looks like several other tangible designs have been changed:
- The retail version actually uses MORE bricks than the original pitch. Toastergrl’s design touts about 700 pieces, while the box states 1125 pieces.
- Toastergrl’s design has slight dimensionality to it, but the retail design emulates the 2D level design of classic Sonic games. You can even see a Lives icon in the bottom left of the model.
- There are no longer any Hard Boiled Heavy figures, flickys or the giant Eggman Robot.
- There are, however, floating rings, the Eggman hovercraft, a Crabmeat, and a checkpoint post.
- The Phantom Ruby is gone, but you do get a full set of Chaos Emeralds.
- The Green Hill checkerboard pattern has been scaled down. The Ideas design builds each square 2-bricks wide, but the retail set reduces it to 1-brick wide (and possibly made of 1×1 tiles?). It also appears that the tall sides of the loop are either printed or stickered pieces.
- The item boxes are slightly chunkier now, using 2×2 tiles to show the screen instead of printing it on 1×2 bricks.
- The places where the grass transitions into the walls now do so using specially printed 1×4 tiles and quarter-circle tiles.
- Instead of using pin-connected technic pieces, the bridge is now much more flat and solid. The log design is made of 1×1 round plates. The water underneath is now made of transparent bricks.
- The spring has been made flatter. The back of the box seems to imply there’s still a mechanism to make it bounce though.
- The sunflower has been redesigned with a little more detail.
- Sonic’s minifig Looks much more like his LEGO Dimensions version, but without the green eyes. He has full-sized legs instead of the Toastergrl design’s short legs. He also appears to have a more traditional bright blue, instead of the slightly muted blue SEGA uses to differentiate classic and modern Sonic.
- Motobug’s face is rather similar to the original design, but its body is now bigger with more round components and details. It also seems to have a secondary face to make it look angry.
- Eggman’s body looks mostly unchanged, though his face has been altered in kind of a weird way. It uses plates sticking out at diagonals with wedges to make his mustache, and a nose sticking out front. This change makes it look a bit awkward, but it’s always possible LEGO doesn’t have a great process to print his nose on a 2×1 plate with handle bars like in the original design.
What hasn’t changed is that the set still appears to be modular, per the pins sticking out on the right side. While LEGO very rarely expands Ideas sets into full-blown themes, the ability to connect it to other sets does seem to suggest they may have further plans for Sonic. There’s no indication on the box that this set in itself breaks apart into level chunks.
Further stoking the speculation, rumors have surfaced this year that LEGO may be launching special “Gaming” branding for certain themes, such as their Overwatch line or the recently leaked Horizon: Zero Dawn Tallneck. They also continue to update their Minecraft and Super Mario themes, with new sets of each planned for early next year.
Thanks to many submitters, but particularly VisionaryofSUPER on our Discord News Tips channel.