Blog Archives

Halloween Special: Playing with Dolls

Today is Halloween! Those of you that were here last year might recall that I celebrated by discussing a spoopy spooky head canon concerning the game Sonic & Knuckles. Since this series has been a hobby of mine for well over three quarters of my life now, I have no shortage of head canons to talk about, and today we’re going to explore the one you’ve all been waiting for. The one that every Sonic fan mentions at least once every October.

Oh yes, my friends. Today, we’re going to discuss the infamous Tails doll, and what exactly makes it tick.

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Treat it like a weeping angel: Don’t blink.

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Easter Bunnies and Banned Hedgehogs

Ahh, Easter! Today is the day whereupon millions of people celebrate spring fertility, crucifixions, and candy. This year in particular, there are also a lot of celebrations revolving around enough marijuana to choke an egg-delivering rabbit. Yes, Easter has fallen on 4/20 this year, the American “holiday” in which stoners unite to get high as a kite and keep quickie-marts in business. This year they’ll be bringing a whole new meaning to “getting a sugar high.”

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That’s not what we meant when we said we needed grass for our baskets, guys.

Unfortunately, this day is dampened by another major event: The 15th anniversary of the Columbine High School Massacre. I can’t imagine it’s easy for any of the families in Littleton, CO to enjoy their Easter baskets (or pot) with those memories looming over their heads. In addition to the tragic deaths of 12 students, one teacher, and injuries to dozens of others, the incident was also a major catalyst in arguments over the possible negative influences of video games.

At this point in the article, I’m sure a lot of you are predicting that I’ll talk about the games that took the blame for the Columbine shooting, or debate whether or not Jack Thompson can argue his way out of a paper bag, or maybe even the controversy of the game Super Columbine Massacre RPG! Actually, I’ll be doing none of those things. Instead, I’m going to puzzle over how Disney believed that this…

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…was enough to provoke children to shoot up their schools.

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Sally Acorn plushie w/vest listed on eBay this morning

Princess Sally Acorn, one of Sonic’s original love interests, has long been one of the rarest and most highly-sought after characters in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise. Whether you love her or hate her, she can’t be ignored by a collector. Items resembling the royal squirrel… chipmunk…. rodenty-thing always draw a crowd — and extreme prices — whenever they do pop up.

If you did in fact just hear a popping noise, it was probably the sound of deep-walleted collectors flocking to their computers, because a plushie of Sally Acorn was listed on eBay this morning. According to the description details, the doll is one of the medium series (13” tall) and has minimal wear and tear, along with its original vest. The auction is opening at $100 AUD and will run throughout the rest of the week.

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Sally stared into the abyss, and the abyss looked back.

This item, like most Sally-related memorabilia, came from the Sega World amusement park in Sydney, Australia. Sally, along with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik, was one of the park’s mascots and subsequently had an extensive line of merchandise featuring her visage. Some items (usually clothing and accessories) nailed her design dead-on; others, such as most of the toys, diiiiiidn’t quite translate her well into three dimensions. Sally’s plushies are notoriously ugly, but nevertheless they remain hot targets for collectors.

In total, there are four varieties of Sally plush: Large, medium, small, and a plush hand puppet. All four types are extremely rare, but the largest of the group tends to pull the highest prices, if just on the basis that it’s a jumbo-size doll. Additionally, Sally’s plushies originally had her iconic blue vest, many of which have been lost over the years. Any plush that still retains its matching vest is considered even more rare, which incites even higher bids.

Luckily for you guys, I already have all four of these plushies, which is why I’m signal boosting this auction at all. The last time a Sally doll that still had its vest graced eBay, the winning bidder forked over $1,000 to claim their prize. Right now the plush in the listing isn’t that expensive (yes, $100 is cheap for a Sally doll), but who knows what’s going to happen at the end of the week. If this is a collectible you’ve been pining for and happen to have some excess money to kick around, now’s your chance while it’s available at all!

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I do not own Sally Acorn or any other Sonic-related character, as they are all © Sega.

Although I do own several Sally plushies, I do not own the one that’s being auctioned off today; the listing is run by mychildrulz, whom I have bought several items from in the past, and each transaction was always pleasant.

Lost Hedgehog Tales: Leedzie’s Sneak Peek

Never one to quit while he’s ahead, Ken Penders clashed with Sonic’s comic book fans yet again last weekend. After singularly taking credit for the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series (going so far as to call himself its “savior“), he then went on to downplay the roles of his fellow writers, invoking the fiery inferno of many Archie fans’ collective rage.

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Coincidentally, Ian Flynn had also tweeted just a couple hours earlier that night — and in such a way that indirectly referenced Penders’ unrelenting ego.

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The screenshot shows Flynn’s current progress on his Lost Hedgehog Tales project, a behind-the-scenes look at the storylines forcibly abandoned in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics due to Penders’ copyright battle. The document’s release is highly anticipated by Archie Sonic fans, both for curiosity and for closure, as several plot points received hurried and unsatisfying resolutions. Others never saw a resolution at all.

As one of the folks eagerly awaiting Lost Hedgehog Tales‘ release, I’ve decided to give you all a preview. No, I don’t have any direct contact with Ian Flynn, but I do have clues as to what was intended to happen in one specific arc of the story. All it took was some attention to detail and a little investigation.

Well, and $45.

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Sonic Boom for TV and WiiU — but possibly not for girls

The Sonic fanbase is known, for better or for worse, for its zealous reactions to news concerning their fandom. Yesterday was no exception, as Sega unveiled its plans for a new gaiden continuity for the beloved blue hedgehog’s string of 70+ video games.

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Tails and Amy look like they’re fighting across a room.

As it turns out, it’s Sonic Boom — the cartoon that we were teased with back in October. Not only is the show getting two tie-in games (one for the WiiU and one for the 3DS), but the games are a direct precursor to the show’s storyline. Rather than Sonic Team, Sonic Boom is in the hands of Big Red Button, whose members have previous experience with titles such as Jak & Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, and Uncharted.

Trailers of both projects were unveiled yesterday, which then resulted in a fandom-wide meltdown as TSSZ initially reported that this new direction was meant to replace the main canon, rather than run alongside of it. (Of course, correcting this information did little to ebb the flow of pissed off Sonic purists, as we still had blue arms, bulky echidnas, and copious amounts of sports tape to bitch about.) Sega representatives have personally confirmed that this continuity is meant to be a sub-series, not a complete reboot of the Sonic the Hedgehog series’ 22-year history. The endeavor is part of an effort by Sega to launch a Sonic continuity made specifically to appeal to western audiences.

Or at least to half of them, anyway.

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Sonic Marathon 4 Approaches Home Stretch

While many choose to reign in the new year with the ball drop in Times Square, the Respawn Point team and hundreds of viewers worldwide prefer a slightly different celebration. As I write this very article, the fourth annual Sonic Marathon is just a couple days away from completing its yearly week-long charity marathon.

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Sonic Marathon 4 (or as it’s properly named, “Sonic Marathon 4: Episode 1”) is a non-stop barrage of games starring the famous blue hedgehog in an effort to raise money for charity. In addition to the continuous stream of games, the marathon offers various community events, such as donation challenges and daily raffles. At the end of the marathon, one lucky donor will win a grand prize on Saturday, January 4th at 3:oo PM GMT.

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Archie Sonic Comics Writer to Explain Scrapped Plotlines Summer 2014

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Ian Flynn, current writing lead of Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe comic franchises, announced on his forum yesterday that he intends to fill in the gaps left behind by the September 2013 reboot of the comic storylines. Lost Hedgehog Tales, a compendium of all of Flynn’s notes, proposals, and ideas that never made it to print, will be produced by Flynn himself in his spare time and is expected to be ready for distribution by next summer.

It’s not clear yet if it’s going to be a digital or hard copy distribution — or even what Archie may think of the project. When asked what his employers feel about the idea, Flynn noted that he had no idea because he had not yet asked them.

“Since this material isn’t being used by them, and a fair bit of it was never shown to them, they’re not really involved. This is just me doing something for the fans. An informal, unlicensed, non-profit, unofficial thing for fun.”

He also noted that the first page of this piece will include a lengthy disclaimer so as to dissuade certain individuals from getting their copyrighted knickers in a twist.

Flynn currently has an open call for any and all questions pertaining to the former comic continuity, noting that not everything he’d planned is written down and his own memory may fail him if he’s not specifically directed to certain details. To submit questions, join the BumbleKing Forums and leave a message in this thread.

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Sonic the Hedgehog and all related characters, locations, and whatever else are © Sega no matter what Ken Penders says. Lost Hedgehog Tales is © nobody because Ian Flynn explicitly stated that it’s just him shooting the shit and that’s an exercise of his first amendment rights.

Countdown to the 12th Doctor

The moment of truth is nearly here: After months of waiting, Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary Special is finally airing simultaneously around the world. Those of you that read my season 7 finale theories can imagine my anxiousness to find out the truth, and as Whovians worldwide gear up for the big reveal, we also can’t help but revel in our fandom. BBC America, for example, has been airing nothing but Doctor Who episodes, movies, and TV specials nearly non-stop all week, and the internet has exploded with anticipation over the soon-to-arrive 12th Doctor. This blog is no exception, but I’m not talking about Peter Capaldi; I have my sights set on a different shapeshifting doctor.

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Those that read this blog regularly may recall that there’s likely to be a 12th Doctor Eggman on the horizon for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as well. According to the preview image released for the upcoming animated series Sonic Boom, the characters are getting redesigned — some more drastically than others. As of this writing, we still have no preview of Eggman, which leaves a lot of speculation in the air. Will he be close to his current design? Will he harken back to a more classic style? Or will they invent a new look entirely to go with the new story?

As we anticipate the appearance of Doctor Who’s new face, I thought it might be fun to look back at the many faces of another oft-changing doctor while we wait for his new look as well.

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Countdown to the 12th Doctor: #1

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Along with the sketches of Mr. Needlemouse, the original set of Eggman drawings are one of the most important documents in Sega’s history. After all, a hero is only as good as its villain, and the proto-version of Eggman wasn’t even originally conceived as an antagonist. Without those initial drawings, I wouldn’t be writing this article at all. I feel obligated to devote the first segment of this series to this version of the character if just out of respect.

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Countdown to the 12th Doctor: #2

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And right out of the gate, Eggman is already hard at work showing us just how many faces he can have. Even at this early stage, several continuities have already begun to arise, each with their own stylings and personality traits. This taught us from the beginning that no two Eggmen are ever exactly alike.

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