Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Video Game Toys: Sonic The Hedgehog Part 2

In a never-ending attempt to recapture whatever made Sonic so popular back in the day, Sega is constantly trying to bring back the old Sonic feel while mixing it with the new one.  This gave birth to Sonic Generations, and thankfully, an excuse for Jazwares to make classic styled figures!  Of course, I wasn't really looking for anyone beyond classic Robotnik, 'cause I think the basic figures get the general idea of Sonic across just fine....but come on, I'm not gona pass these up!

These suckers took me by surprise.  I wasn't paying attention to the Sonic scene, since Jazwares had pretty much the same product out for a good while there.  I wasn't checking up on any news either; not sure why.  So one day I went to Toys R Us and BAM - all this.  AAAAND I sorta bought it.  Not the whole wave, because there's more than just this stuff, but I got what was important to me.  See that classic Robotnik in there?  Perfection. 

He doesn't have an amazing amount of articulation or anything but, as you can see, he certainly has everything he needs to be big pimpin' (take that how you will) massive pimpin' even - I mean look at that paunch!  That's not even a paunch; this man has eaten one of those big 'ol balls you see in those tall wire basket things at Target and the like. 

His current (and original Japanese) name is Eggman, but the whole egg shape is only since Sonic Adventure, while his original pudge has always been of the spherical variety.  I don't get how this guy balances himself, let alone somehow manages to run as fast as Sonic.

Robotnik and his pounds of ground round is one of my crown jewels of the 'ol toy collection now, and I once again have to thank Jazwares for basically ripping this guy right out of the old artwork.  Wouldn't change a thing on him. 

Now this guy came in a three pack with something else I never thought I'd see in toy form.  I mean, more so than anything else.  I love robotic lackeys, and the Eggrobo was always a favorite.

Sprites from The Spriters Resource and ripped by SupaChao

These guys showed up in Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic & Knuckles, and if you haven't played the game and heard the song, here you go:

You don't really need to hear the song for a sorta review of toys, but Sonic music is very near and dear to my heart, so give it a click and feel my nostalgia.  Or, you know, listen to something that may just sound like standard synth music if you've never heard it before and can't get into the whole video game music scene. 

They're not quite as exact as Robotnik, but they get the job done; especially since I never even expected to get these in toy form.  I mean, I didn't even childishly wish for them because I figured they would never be on anyone's radar.  So hopefully you can imagine how friggin' cool these little guys are for me.  Not only am I finally getting representations of game characters that helped to shape many of my old stories, but even some of the little enemies! 

Now, speaking of little:

Tails!  This little guy popped up in Sonic 2, and for the longest time I thought he was a girl, because...I dunno, maybe I didn't read the manual close enough.  That's what happens when the video game characters are blissfully quiet.   

Each character came with little backgrounds of levels from Sonic games, and Tails came with a little background of Chemical Plant Zone.  What's that?  What did that music sound like?  Why, badass of course!  Go turn off Sky Sanctuary now and listen to this (because I know Sky Sanctuary has entranced your mind and taken you to a far off land of clouds, floating buildings, and !@$#ING SPIKES WHAT THE HELL WHO PUT THESE HERE)

Also from that very same zone comes the enemy Tails was packaged with:

Those were spiders that came down from the ceiling and grabbed you.  After the grab, they'd go back up and EXPLODE.  That was it for the life of those poor suckers, and considering that Robotnik turned animals into robots...well...yeah.  He could have very well made an exploding robot without putting an animal in there, but hey, when you're a mad scientist you take every chance you can get to be the best evil bastard that you can be, and if that means putting a small defenseless animal inside an exploding robot, then damnit, you go ahead and do dat sheet.  It's the principal of the thing.


Funnily enough, I wasn't really jonesin' for this guy, though I'm happy to have him.  I really do think that the modern Sonic figure captures the basics in the best way possible.  My ideal Sonic is from Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, where his sprite was a tiny bit more rounded, stylized, and maybe even a little more sarcastic (can you tell that from a sprite?).  This figure is based on his original look from Sonic 1, and though he totally had the radical 'tude from the beginning; this one just looks a little friendlier and less like the asshole that my brain sorta created from vague smirks on tiny game sprites (sensing sarcasm from sprites is one of my superpowers; it's not much, but you work with what you got). 

Sooo...I suppose the modern one looks more like a jerk, and I like that?  Yeah, that sounds right.

OH HO poking the newer games!  Ah, I kid.  I don't hate the new games, I just don't like the style of gameplay as much.  They're based mostly on reflexes (and just straight up cheap deaths) while the old ones were based more on exploration and reflexes (and maybe still some cheap deaths.  You ever fall through the floor?  Me neither, but I do know that it sounds remarkably like someone shouting angrily and swearing).  I love the exploration aspect, and they just can't seem to get that right again. 

Anyway, final guy in the batch here was classic Super Sonic, which for some reason I like better than normal classic Sonic. Something about the headsculpt, I think.  That and looks more pissed.  Maybe it's just me.  I also know what his face sounds like; it sounds like this:

Please excuse the old meme - I was just finding out about that term when I took the pic and I thought it fit.  Ya know what?  No, it still fits.  Super Sonic is THE BOSS.  Other bosses fly up to him in the outer atmosphere and are all like "I'ma take this Super Emerald" and Super Sonic is all like "DA DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DADADAAAA DUN DUN DUN" which is the song you were listening to, in word form.  I'm assuming that's just the noise Super Sonic makes as he tears space in half.

Oh, and Sonic came with another classic enemy/animal sacrifice.

So that was about it for that haul!  Jazwares pretty much perfected these guys by this point, and I had no problems with any of the figures.  Some of them are still hanging around Toys R Us now, so you might be able to pick up that classic Robotnik set with the Eggrobos on clearance.  Even if these are disappearing from TRU; Jazwares does not skip a chance to use the molds they have, so you'll most certainly see these again and again, if you're interested. 

Now finally, I did pick up Shadow and Silver eventually, because I had super versions of them and what-the-hell-why-not.

...course I knew nothing about these guys, so I had to look them up.  Shadow is hilarious.  He seriously sounds like some kid made up the absolute most bestest thing EVER and it was a black and red ANGRY Sonic that fires guns and didn't die.  Oh, and he can use the Chaos Emeralds for more crazy things than just going super...which, I mean, is even more hilarious because I figured being an invincible, flying golden missile of death was good enough.  Not for Shadow. 

Oh, and these two came with enemies as well; Shadow with a Monobeetle from the Sonic Adventure game, and Silver with a Iblis Biter, which was from the 2006 Sonic game (...just called Sonic the Hedgehog) and I guess it's a piece of the game's big bad guy.

And that is it for the 'ol Sonic collection and the pics I've taken so far.  I still plan on focusing on individuals (or small groups) from this line and go over the articulation 'n all that in detail, but for now I'm just gona leave it at these two "archive" posts displaying the old pics and jokes. 

If you need any more info, just ask in the comments! 


  1. Fun stuff! It's a travesty that we still don't have highly articulated Mario toys.

    Also, I hate that the waits articulation cuts across the bellies on some of these guys. Too distracting!

    1. I'll talk about it eventually, but jazwares is always confusing when it comes to articulation. I've said it before: they just do not take a look around them and see what works with other toys. It's like they recreate the wheel every time. However, these Sonic figures are seriously the best toys they've done so far. I'll agree though; the waist twist is kinda useless. It makes for a few interesting running poses on the modern guys, but the classic guys don't get any use out of it without looking crazy.

      Anyway yeah: Mario is a continued conundrum. I mean, SO MUCH MERCHANDISE, and we only just got a regular toyline in the last few years, and it's still only static figures save for some hollow guys with turning heads and cut joint shoulders (and those are larger guys with very few other characters to join them).

      Throughout the many years of action figures I will never understand the absolute refusal to stray from the classic method of saturating the store shelves with JUST the main heros and only a few enemies here and there. Granted, not everyone does it, but it continues to happen. I mean, just TRY to find Bowser easily - the main god damn enemy - in just about anything Mario right now. He took forever to join the little guys, and they made only one big one that I don't see around anymore, and then the little block guys from the K-Nex line had Bowser pretty much shortpacked for awhile amidst TONS of Mario and Luigi. I always liked having my heros fight enemies, I dunno. What's the point of them hopping around by themselves?

      But the main thing: standard, articulation action figures from the Mario series. Seriously...where are those? They would sell like MAD.

    2. I bet if Palisades Toys was still around, we'd eventually get some transcendent Mario toys.

      Now I've depressed myself.

    3. Actually, there was a pretty decent line of articulated Mario toys released by - I think - Toy Biz a number of years ago. It was a Mario Kart line, so each guy came with a Kart. We had Mario, Bowser, and Yoshi. They were really good quality for Toy Biz. Let me see if I can find some pics...

    4. Wow, look at that! They seem sorta familiar, but I guess I totally passed 'em up. 'Course that may have been around the time when I was afraid to buy toys, so who knows?

  2. In my mind, Sonic still sounds kinda like Steve Urkel.