Sega Genesis


I doubt kids today even realize how big Sega used to be or how fierce the console wars of the 90’s were. In the 1990’s, Sega and Nintendo were having an all out war over their 16 bit consoles. While we have console “wars” today, they don’t quite compare to those ones of the 90’s. Kids swore allegiance to either Sega or Nintendo, it was like a gang. One of the big reasons that made that war epic was that each console often got exclusive licenses or exclusive versions of games.


Which brings us to today’s Classic Comic Ad, from 1991. The Ninja Turtles were big sellers for Konami and they had cranked out numerous arcade and console games. Up until now though, they had almost been exclusively Nintendo games. This two page ad shows off just how much power their was in the TMNT game franchise at the time, as well as pokes fun at Nintendo’s usage of the phrase “playing with power”.

It shows Raphael getting “plugged in” to the Sega Genesis and it’s clearly blowing his mind! The next page shows the Genesis and the Turtles fighting. There’s a tiny bit of a Foot Soldier in one scene. It’s really incredible artwork, especially when you consider even the Genesis console is a sketch. I can’t quite place who did the art, but it looks a bit like Michael Dooney.

Oddly enough, I don’t believe I ever played Hyperstone Heist. In fact I’m not sure if I ever played any of the Sega versions of the TMNT games. While I was one of the few kids who had both systems, I didn’t get my Sega Genesis until 93ish, I think. As mentioned above, Sega and Nintendo had different games entirely for their consoles. The basic gameplay was always the same, but the games themselves were quite different in premise. Partially because of the Sega’s color palette and partially because of design choices, the Sega games always appeared much more like the Mirage comics to me.

Sega always seemed more “adult”, perhaps as a result of their marketing and their willingness to allow more violence on their systems. This also made the Ninja Turtles games feel more adult and clearly that’s being marketed here as well. This game rather strangely featured Rocksteady, but no Bebop. It also had an appearance by TMNT movie character, Tatsu. It’s just something you wouldn’t expect on Nintendo, but feels right at home on Sega.

All in all, the artwork and the advertisement are terrific. A great little time capsule showing the power of the TMNT franchise and the height of the console war. Cowabunga!


Good ol’ Game Genie. It’s hard to imagine now that the Game Genie was once considered a “controversial” item by many game console companies. The biggest of course was Nintendo, who actually sued Galoob (who put out the device) saying it infringed on copyright law. Sega on the other hand actually approved of the Game Genie… So much so that they gave it an official seal of approval.

This ad from the early 90’s touts just that. Sega was on board with Game Genie and the two teamed up to put forth the idea that with the Sega Genesis and the Game Genie, anything was possible. They do what Nintendon’t I guess. Of course Nintendo eventually embraced (or gave up resisting) against the Game Genie as well. Although Galoob has been bust for many years, their old patent for the Game Genie actually didn’t lapse until May of last year.

I actually had the Sega Genesis version of the Game Genie but I can’t for the life of me remember why. I think maybe my Uncle gave it to me? I only ever recall using it on Sega to help beat Kingpin on the old Spider-man game. Beyond that I would just occasionally use it for random cheats. I remember when I first saw the Game Genie being used on an NES and I was able to make the Mario Brothers have moon jumps. Blew. My. Mind.


Sonic The Hedgehog
Dr. Robotnik & Metal Sonic
3 Inch Scale
By: Jazwares
$12.99

Sonic The Hedgehog has been a surprise hit for Jazwares. In recent years Jazwares has tried a lot of licenses and have improved their overall toy quality, but Sonic who has waned in popularity as a result of a few bad games has somehow managed to be Jazwares most profitable and diverse toy line in the boys aisle. After a fairly long stint in 6 inch figures, their 3 inch line has really started to grow with villains and variants. Finally after years of waiting, Dr. Robotnik (Or Eggman if you prefer) has an action figure.


Finally, the battle is on! Toys R Us has the new set featuring Dr. Robotnik and Metal Sonic in a diabolical double pack of evil. These seem to have hit most TRUs around the country and I reported first seeing them this past weekend in my latest Tales From The Toy Aisle.

Also known as Dr. Robotnik, the roly-poly Dr. Eggman is Sonic’s arch nemesis. His goal is to use his robots to conquer the world and establish the Eggman empire. However, Sonic and have managed to foil his plans so far, leaving the orange mustachioed genius frustrated.

Metal Sonic, often considered Robotnik’s greatest creation, was a more powerful counterpart to Sonic. Even though he matched Sonic in every way, he continuously failed to defeat Sonic. Eventually he became self aware and turned against his creator, proceeding to upgrade his abilities and knowledge.

Robotnik is one of the few clear cut villains in Sonic the Hedgehog’s mythos. He marks a real change for the line and a step in the right direction. Even if you don’t know a lot about Sonic’s ever growing and changing history, you know he fights Robotnik. Eggman is the Bower to Sonic’s Mario. So let’s see if Jazwares was able to pay fitting tribute to this video game nemesis.

Packaging:


Robotnik and Metal Sonic come sealed in a window box. It’s designed to look like a laboratory and Metal Sonic is actually inside a separate plastic tube. One can envision that this is where Robotnick first created Metal Sonic. You’ll notice that my Metal Sonic is drooping in the package, but he’s really supposed to be standing straight up.


The sides of the box are adorned with some great artwork of Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic, respectively.


The back of the package shows the figures off in a beauty shot and also includes a little bio for both men. There is no cross sell or anything on the back. Still it’s a pretty nice package overall. There’s even a Sonic the Hedgehog logo on the plastic window.


If you’re careful about how you remove the figures you can actually salvage Dr. Robotnik’s laboratory for a diorama. That’s pretty cool and I’m a fan of these cardboard dioramas. Especially when they’re of a good quality like this.

Sculpt:
Both figures look pretty good on the surface. These are two of the nicer sculpts in Jazwares library, with the articulation and design seeming to marry a bit better than some of the other figures in the line. That’s not to say that any of the figures really look bad, because for the most part they have transitioned to 3D very well.


It’s just that Metal Sonic and Dr. Robotnik seem to do it even more fluidly than their good guy counterparts. Robotnik especially looks good, with a lot of girth. His awkward proportions are quite nice. I think he could be a tad bit fatter, but in more recent artwork, he tends to look more like this anyway.


To me, Robotnik is the star of the show and he looks very good. He has all the trademark quirkiness that has made the character a long lasting villain of excellence. The sculpt shows that Jazwares isn’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone and really sculpt something with some great proportions.


Head to toe, every little detail that’s part of Eggman’s tradition outfit is replicated here. The paint job is pretty good throughout, but you should definitely compare them in the store. This was the best painted Robotnik at TRU.


He’s pretty big in comparison to the other figures in the line. While everyone else is right at 3 inches, Robotnik is quite a bit bigger. His girth is larger as well, but it’s the height that really sets him apart. It doesn’t make him look out of scale however. If anything he’s the perfect scale for the line.


Metal Sonic has a great sculpt too. In fact, in terms of complications in the sculpt, he’s much more detailed. He’s about the same size as Sonic, but unlike Sonic he can stand on his own two feet without falling over. His legs are in a slightly off position though, which means he tends to stand lopsided unless you change the positioning of his legs.


He has a lot of neat intricate details. His shoulder pads also have a hinge on them, so they can be up or down. Allowing for some diversity in his articulation.


From the back he looks really neat, with the rocket. He also has a great metallic blue paint that reflects light well and gives him a definite robotic look.


The details on his feet are easily the best of the series. He’s got a lot of little robotic parts going on there and you can tell these feet are atomic powered. He even has a peg hole for a stand. I wish Sonic had that.

Articulation:
One of the things that has really made this line stand out is the articulation. The Sonics and friends tend to be super articulated. This trend continues here, with some minor issues.


Metal Sonic is really loaded down with articulation. Unlike Sonic, who I felt was actually a bit weaker because of how loose some of his articulation points were… Metal Sonic isn’t loose at all. Unfortunately, some of Metal Sonic’s joints are very tight.


The plastic he’s made of is very rubbery, which means that when these joints are stuck you stand a good chance of twisting the figure apart if you try to bend them too hard. I was able to get them unstuck, but you may have to boil them or use the freezer trick to soften them up. Just be careful when posing because the potential is there for articulation being stuck.


Even with some posing limits, I was able to put him in some fun poses.


Dr. Robotnic also has pretty good articulation. He has ball joints at the arm and leg, as well as hinges. I couldn’t get his wrists to turn, so I’m not sure if they’re supposed to or not. He’s definitely a lot more stable than the other figures and I didn’t really find any issues with stuck or warped joints.

Accessories:
This set is light on accessories. But when you consider that most packs in this size don’t come with anything, it’s not terrible.


Metal Sonic comes with a stand that looks like a saw blade. I suppose if you were imaginative, you could also use it as a weapon. As a stand, it works fine but it’s sort of pointless since Metal Sonic isn’t as top heavy as Sonic. He stands just fine.


I was really hoping I could use the stand to help stable my Sonic, who is very top heavy. Unfortunately Sonic doesn’t have a peg hole. D’oh! Robotnic doesn’t have a peg hole either, but he stands very well with his large feet.

Additional Notes:


These are fun toys that I think a lot of kids will like. Sonic isn’t as popular as he probably once was, but this is one of the better video game lines I’ve seen for this type of game. Even Mario, who has had some neat toys, never has quite had as expansive of a toy line as this. Jazwares still has some issues, but I really would like to see this line succeed, so we could get Mega Man and some other lines.

Value:
$13 for two figures really isn’t bad. The packaging was nice and made this set feel bigger than it really is. The bonus cardboard diorama helps out and the fact that Robotnik is a pretty good size for this line. I wouldn’t say he’s a “deluxe” figure, but he’s bigger than a normal figure. The regular toys run $5.99, so this is pretty much the price of two anyway.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Saw Blade Stand
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10

Dr. Robotnik is a top notch figure. He’s the reason you’re getting this set, but it’s good to get a decent little Metal Sonic to go along with him. These two guys really made me want to get even deeper into the Sonic the Hedgehog toy line. They convinced me to buy some others.


SONIC COLLECTION THUS FAR!

Tomorrow I’m going to take a look at another new Sonic The Hedgehog toy pack. Will it score as high? You’ll have to come back in less than 24 hours to find out! Also, please follow me on Twitter if you enjoyed these reviews and want more. Leave a comment, let me know what you like or dislike about the Sonic line!


Here is one of my all time favorite video games. The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin for Sega Genesis. It was often just called “Spider-Man” and was a really excellent game for it’s time. Heck it was an excellent game for ANY time.

Not only did you have a ton of Spider-man’s cool powers, but you also had to take pictures with your camera to help Peter Parker keep his job at the Daily Bugle. The storyline was fun and you encountered pretty much all of Spider-man’s classic foes. Plus the game created lots of mini-boss characters like the infamous “Forklift Driver” who became something of an urban legend in my neck of the woods.

After you fight through all the villains you finally make it to Kingpin… Man was he tough to beat or what?! Apparently there was also a Sega CD version that added some new levels and cut scenes. I never did play that, although I owned a Sega CD.

This was seriously a great game and if you’re looking for a fun older 16-bit game or a throwback Spider-man title, this is one to check out. The ad doesn’t really capture the magic too much, but it’s got some cool artwork and tells a lot about the game.