Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic meets the Turtles
Back in 1994, Sonic the Hedgehog and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were both under a licensing contract with Archie Comics. The TMNT run in Archie is known for being loosely based on the Fred Wolf cartoon and created a deep mythos of it’s own. The comic has become a cult favorite and to many people was the best version of the Turtles. What a lot of people don’t know, is that Sonic’s Archie comic was also quite successful, running for well over 200 issues.

However, it was a brief moment in one of Sonic’s earliest issues that he got a chance to meet the Ninja Turtles. Sonic was busy trying to save a group of people known as the Nerbs and ran through a sewer. Who should he pass in the sewers? None other than Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael. While many comics do little panels with stuff hidden in the background, this was front and center. The Turtles even got a couple of word balloons.

Ninja Turtle Crossovers
Although the meeting was brief, it is technically a crossover. It wasn’t the first Ninja Turtle crossover and it certainly wouldn’t be the last either. But it was the only time that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got to meet Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog!


Sonic The Hedgehog
Vector & Espio
3 Inch Scale
By: Jazwares
$12.99

Our look at some of the new figures in the Sonic The Hedgehog concludes today with a review of Vector the Crocodile and Espio the Chameleon in a brand new comic pack. This is the newest Sonic pack on the market and includes another “deluxe” style figure in Vector. Unlike the last pack which featured Dr. Robotnik, I have no emotional attachment to these figures and purely bought them because they looked cool.

Vector is the leader of the Chaotix detective agency and despite his outward appearance is a nice guy with strong values. Almost as strong as his powerful jaws and fists. Espio is an expert ninja with the ability to turn himself invisible. Instead of avoiding danger, he often thrusts himself into it, to test his skills.

Believe it or not, Vector is older than Tails. He was slated to appear in the very first Sonic game, in a special “Sound Test” mode as part of a band. The mode was taking too long and eventually cut from the final game where only a regular sound test remained. He wouldn’t show up again until the Knuckles Chaotix for the 32X, which is ironically where Espio made his debut as well. I never owned a 32X, as I had already learned my lesson with the Sega CD.

Packaging:


Unlike the last two pack, which was a window box, this is a “comic pack”. I believe Hasbro came up with the comic pack, but it’s a great idea and now every company uses it. DC/MOTU have comic packs, Ben 10 has them and now Sonic as well.


The back of the package shows off the rest of the comic packs, which seem to be loaded most often with Sonic. Yet, I still don’t have a basic Sonic! Anyway, it also gives a little bio for each character. Overall the package is quite nice and very colorful.

Sculpt:
I mostly bought this pack for Vector, because I’ve seen his art before and thought he looked cool. He reminds me of the big gator guys from Donkey Kong Country. The sculpt is quite nice, with a fair amount of detail but definitely rooted in a cartoon atmosphere.


Vector is quite large too, which definitely makes you feel like you’re getting a bit more value. The shape of his body is wide and he really feels like a bulk figure. Always a nice trait when buying a character who is supposed to be big in his world.


Unfortunately right off I noticed something was amiss with Vector. One of his legs, at the hip, is apparently in the wrong side. You really can’t notice it too much when just looking at him, but it’s similar to my Sonic Black Knight figure which has the wrong fist.


Because the leg is on a ball joint and the foot on a swivel, you should be able to counteract this by flipping it all around. Which, indeed, I can do. However it still means the leg acts wonky and Vector has a hard time standing. I’m trying now to just bend the plastic into a shape that helps him stand. It’s frustrating and Jazwares absolutely must improve their quality control if they want me to continue on with this line.


Espio thankfully doesn’t have any QC issues, but the character doesn’t interest me much. I mean, it’s a pink dude with a heart shaped chest. He looks like he should be a female character. The design of the figure is nice and the bigger feet help to make sure he can stand, whereas Sonic has issues.


As you can see, Espio is larger than Sonic, but definitely still in the same scale. He has lots more little details throughout.


All in all, both figures have a lot of good sculpting elements and the paint on them is really solid. I’ve found few if any real flaws in the paint. Aside from some issues with Vector’s leg, this is a very solid set. However, the leg issue is a pretty big issue. Vector is big and heavy, and without both legs just right, he falls over or warps easily.

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.


Both figures are well articulated. Espio has all the same joints as Sonic, as does Vector to my knowledge. A couple tight joints throughout, but nothing as bad as on the previous pack.


The articulation is enough to give you some decent poses, though both figures are somewhat limited by their design. It’s good to get a few different poses, but their hand shapes seem to limit them in my view. It’s like they’re going to a disco-tech or something.

Accessories:
This set comes with a comic.


Sonic seems to have a few different universes and this follows the Archie universe. It’s confusing and honestly the comic reminds me more of one of those Manga teen comics that all the kids read in Borders. As a “comic” I didn’t much enjoy it. There are two stories, one which barely features Vector or Espio and another which is a future story where Sonic is married and apparently an ass to his family. I dunno, I thought I would enjoy these, but I didn’t.

Value:
$13 for two figures really isn’t bad. The included comic definitely helps up the value, but the comic itself is part one of a two part series. Which ultimately means you get no conclusion. It also lacks any real action from the characters included in the set. I wish companies would be a bit more selective in their comic inclusions.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Comic
Value – 8
Overall – 7 out of 10

I’m scoring this a 7 out of 10, but only because I had the QC issue. Had the Vector figure not had the oddball leg, I would have given this the 8 out 10 that it truly deserves. Of course it’s just by luck that my Vector is useable at all. Had the leg been worse off, perhaps the pack would have scored lower.


They’re both decent little figures and I quite like the sculpt on Vector. If you are deeper into the Sonic universe or know a bit more about these guys than I do, you’re bound to enjoy them more. If you only have a passing interest, it might be better to stick with the core characters from the first couple of Sonic games.


While Robotnik and company got me wanting to dig deeper into this line, the QC issues and the boring comic actually pulled me away from this a bit. Perhaps I should stick more into the video game universe elements and less so, into the comic and expanded elements.


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!


It’s time to take a stroll down that virtual toy aisle again. This week I stopped into Toys R’ Us to see what they had to offer. Surprisingly they had a fair amount of new stuff, so let’s take a look…


Right off the bat I noticed the new Robot Chicken figures. The assortment seemed to only be the Chicken and Mad Scientist as well as the “humping” Robot. They’ll have to do a bit more than that to get most people to bite. Still, it’s pretty cool to have toys from a show about toys.


Ironically, they were stacked next to a bunch of Family Guy Chris Griffin figures. Lots of Seth Green love going on.


In the same aisle they had the new Sonic Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman if you must) figure packs. I was close to buying one, but I don’t have a regular Sonic. I only have the Sonic Black Knight (Reviewed Here), which is also all they had in the store. Shame, because I was close to buying a whole kettle (yes I said kettle) of Sonic figures.

Continue reading


First 4 Figures, mostly known for more expensive statues has snagged the Sonic The Hedgehog license and has some statues on the way. However, if you’re looking for smaller, more affordable desktop Hedgehogage… Check out their awesome new 2 inch line.


The line definitely looks great and will be debuting in September with this 6 pack release of the titular blue Hedgehog and his friends Amy, Tails, Knuckles, Super Sonic, and Metal Sonic. They all look quite spiffy, borrowing a bit from the Sonic animation. Unfortunately they aren’t articulated, which is a shame. They definitely have sharper sculpts than the Jazwares (Sonic Black Knight Figure Reviewed Here) stuff.


These might be a nice counterpart to PopCo/Goldie Mario figures that are currently on the market. I’m not sure if that was the intention from First 4, but I suspect it may have been. Whatever the case, right now is a great time to be a Sonic toy collector, with so many great Sonic offerings on the market. I might pick these up.