As we near 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, I wanted to kick off a video series looking back at an aspect of the franchise that has always been a favorite of mine – food promotions! From McDonald’s to Topps to Carl’s Jr and beyond, SEGA has teamed their flagship franchise with some of the greatest, and at times weirdest, food companies. In this first installment, I take a look back at the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion which ran worldwide in 1994 and 1995. Everything from the commercials to the in-store displays is covered, and I even clear up some misconceptions about that whole Tails recall situation and figure out just what that yellow Tails ball was. Special thanks to The Gagaman for additional information.
Short of piracy, YouTube channels, or paying some exuberant amount of money for what might be a bootleg, not every soundtrack is easily accessible. SEGA in the past has eased this and offering fans a way to actually support the musicians on iTunes and Amazon Music. Joining those two fronts now is Spotify, which in the past few days has seen quite a handful of soundtracks hit the freemium service.
If there is one thing this lovely splintered faction of fans can agree on, it is that the Sonic Series is nine times out of ten loaded with some great music. And why wouldn’t it? The folks at SEGA Sound Team are pretty great at their jobs and have some fun, like referencing the originalPhantasy Star games in Phantasy Star Online tracks.
Almost every recent (within the last 10 years) set is available right now for your perusal. Sadly, some of these are not complete sets (Shadow’s OST alone is missing a handful of tracks), and regional blocks may forbid some tracks from even playing in your part of the world. That can’t be helped, unfortunately.
Joining the Sonic upload stream is Jet Set Radio Future‘s soundtrack, a game that criminally still resides as an original Xbox exclusive. While not a part of SEGA Sound Team, Hideki Naganuma no doubt has an infectious sound. Float like a butterfly, son. (That’s nice~)
The nice thing about Spotify is it’s available for free and makes a handy playlist generator for work. Though to get the most of the program, a monthly subscription is available and unlocks additional features on mobile devices.
Cook & Becker teamed up with SEGA some time ago to sell new official art prints based on SEGA franchises. So far we’ve gotten fantastic new art of games like Phantasy Star, Shinobi, and Shenmue. And now it’s time for one based on Sonic.
So COSPA have recently unveiled a new bit of Sonic-related merchandise and while a little different to what’s come before, the design is just as sleek and stylish as we’ve come to expect from them.
Long-time merchandise collectors probably already know all about COSPA, but in case you didn’t, they’ve been responsible for some of the coolest and most unique-looking Sonic merchandise around. I was fairly recently switched on to their output thanks to this piece for Forbidden Planet by Adam “T-Bird” Tuff of TSS and Summer of Sonic fame. Check page 5 to see just some of the designs they’ve released in the past – I’m still trying to find several of these shirts to purchase myself and it’s proving pretty damned difficult.
The glasses themselves are slated for general release in September later this year and will be priced at ¥9,180 (roughly £50/$75/€65) – they’ll most likely be a Japan-only product knowing COSPA, so keep your eyes out for them if you plan on making a purchase. Get it? Eyes? Glasses? No? Okay.
First 4 Figures have unveiled their latest statue – and man, is it awesome.
The statue is a fantastic diorama of Sonic and Tails taking flight in the Tornado, with the store page describing it as from Sonic 2‘s climax (and quite a decent description it is). Accurately, they’ve included the rocket booster Tails strapped to the bottom of the plane – and it even lights up! Those who have kept up with these statues over the years have probably come to expect some form of illumination to be included, but this goes beyond what I expected.
SEGA and Sumo Digital have answered the demand for an official release of the soundtrack for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. While it has featured a physical release in Japan on two CDs, you can buy each CD digitally through your choice of Apple’s iTunes store or on AmazonMP3. Each CD is available for $9.99 USD, (Or $9.49 on Amazon at the time of this writing,) and£7.99 GBP, or you can purchase tracks individually.
For someone like me that’s been listening to this soundtrack in the most cumbersome way possible, (Try hooking up your phone to your car stereo and hoping all four G’s of your data connection can play songs off of YouTube and not stop to buffer every so often,) this could not have come at a better time for me.
Thanks to Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett and Retro Staff Member GerbilSoft for providing links to the soundtrack. If you’d like a complete listing of the songs, head over to VGMDB.
Let’s say you’ve had the unfortunate streak of bad luck and have missed every Steam sale in the last three years. The folks of Greenman Gaming have you covered with several PC SEGA titles on sale, including Sonic Generations and Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformedon deep discount. 2011’s tale of two hedgehogs will set you back $7.49, while Transformed (which you should totally have for our next community day… stay tuned!) is simply $4.99, or fast food value meal without the guilt and shame.
But for those a little tired of the blue blur, a few more SEGA titles are included in the week-long deal, such as the eccentric zombie slaying/typing combo The Typing of the Dead: Overkill ($6.79) or The Typing of the Dead: Overkill – Thou Filthy Love Collection ($8.49), which comes with three DLC released for the game, including The Filth of the Dead, which replaces the words and phrases in-game with terrible innuendos and outrageous insults. Those looking for something else can pick up the supposedly defunct SEGA Studios Australia’s 2013 remake of the Mega Drive classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse ($7.49).
As a side note, PS+ users with PS3s can nab Castle of Illusion free of charge and if done before April 28, comes with the Mega Drive original free of charge.
Never one to back down from some odd releases, Sega is teaming up with U.K. book publisher Pan Macmillan to release Sonic’s return to hiding in giant pictures with lots of stuff around so you can seek him out. All those nightmares of Where’s Waldo on the NES are coming back, only in the original book form.
Where’s Sonic? A Search-and-Find Adventure takes environs based on classic Sonic stages, which judging by the cover we can safely assume they mean stages used in Sonic Generations, and tasks the reader to find Sonic wherever he may be hiding in thickets of side characters, villains, badniks, rings, and a whole laundry list of other things. The Generations theme is an appropriate choice considering Sega teamed with Ladybird publishing house back in the ’90s to release a similar book called, you guessed it, Where’s Sonic?
The book is set to hit British bookstores as soon as next Friday, Oct. 19 and can also be purchased from the official Sonic Merchandise site for those of you who can’t be bothered picking this up in public.