Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Cleaning Up the Image Bins Updates

 There haven't been any blog posts much lately because...
Everything's been fairly standard and normal. The items are nice, but there also isn't anything requiring extra explanations, opinion zones or anything like that so...no blogs.

What's good is: getting rid of all the stuff that's been leftover for a while. It makes the site easier to do. The stuff that's left, as you'll see, is often the 'less desirable to post' things that I put off. Like that 'see saw figures', like, why is the crop so bad? Why are there 2 of him? What is it even? Or the Wackers because that could be Canada OR France and there's no way to tell, or the Sonic R Burger King thing because how did everybody on the earth miss that except for 1 single photo?

And then, you can notice nothing's credited to the photographer because it's all just 'found stuff', and that's also why there's no explanation on the things like Mini Helmet or the See Saw. But, as always, to put it up is better than to not have it anywhere at all.

Next Week:
There's going to be more actual modern things, and things you can go out and buy, which is always nice to see.

Also next week may see another blog post, specifically because of a historical look at Sonic/fandom video that's good for education and...creepyness. However, if you step back from the video a bit you can see what it really kind of does, is tribute to the fans of Sonic and show the VERY interesting ways that some of them have risen with Sonic to become actual professionals making official content. I do wonder if there is any other character/universe/set that is as inspiring and also somehow success-creating as Sonic? Like the Turtles or something, did some like...TMNT fan artist or something go on to doing cinematic in a game or so? Has someone in the Mario fandom arisen somehow with him? (I kind of don't think so on Mario, but I'm not enough an expert on either example to be able to say for sure) 

It is certain there will be a blog post when that video goes onto the site. (With its warnings)

Monday, August 31, 2020

Article Item is Incoming- SatAm Beware

 Now that the amount of stuff is relatively back to normal...
The site can be perhaps spruced up a bit. In this case, it's adding something that has been pending for a long time which is a whole ton of prototype SatAm Sonic animated show information and art. A 'rabbit hole' basically opened up one week doing research for...I think it was some advert card or something and I gathered it all but never had time to post it. It's REAL interesting stuff and you can really solve some mysteries with it about why the show was the way it was. As a fun preview of it, these are some of the solved things

Why is Sally better than Sonic in the show?
Where did 'cowboy Tails' come from?
Did Sega give the show makers any material to work with? (you already know this answer: NO)
Who appeared at the end of the cliffhanger of the 2nd season?

Some things that won't solve:
WHY didn't Sega give them anything?
What was the point of sabotaging their own show like that/nobody knows.
Who was the cowboy campaigner why were they obsessed with cowboys? 

Anyway it was a ton of work and a ton of fun to research so it took quite a while. The update containing it will appear in the MIDDLE of the week as a special surprise update because it doesn't fit with anything else. So, only anyone who reads this blog will know it is coming before it arrives.

Item of the week:
Probably the Tails wiimote holder/hopefully it looks better in person and comes to the USA also.

The update was actually fairly accidentally 'uk oriented' , because it didn't plan that way, just the submitted stuff ended up all being it & then I tossed on the egg mug to wind it up even though sorta nobody knows where that thing is from. 

Anti Item of the week:
It's not this week either! So it's really anti! It's got to be that sad stretchy Sonic. Gee whiz it was something like 13 pound to buy it what is that like 20 dollars or something? And then the paint just wrecks off and it oozes goo? Bonkers. They should be forced to take those back and let it out again this time with better paint. It's not like it's new technology either, stretch armstrong and his whatever-pals have exist for forever and you never see them without paint. 

Design oddity--That 'thick limbs' Sonic that is stretchy oddly you'd think it would look horrible because "Big Body" is always awful on any of the characters but it somehow kind of doesn't? It's like him having blue arms is somehow also very reasonable, while him having 2 eyes is very bad. It's very strange what one can alter about him and it still be "well hmm...yea that's fine", and what you can't. I would've suspected that was a 'can't'...but then? Sorta normal. Very interesting. 

Next week:
Probably some new stuff (as several were vintage this time) a very rare item, and not sure what else but it ought to only be a slightly larger than normal update. 

Sunday, August 02, 2020

So Many Sonic Things Season

So recently...
There seems like somehow everything Sonic is showing up at once. Whether it's email submits or stuff on shelves or some company releasing photos, it's all pouring in. I have been trying to keep up with it by doing double size updates and more than 2x the amount of stuff but...it's not working 100% anyway. Email is falling behind again and I know I slipped up on some item credit lines probably. I'll try to continue these larger updates until it basically catches up with the current things.
It's by no means bad that all this stuff is turning up, but all coming at once makes it harder to buy (gotta spend fast) and also makes the updates more difficult for me to do because they basically take forever to manage all the aspects.

What's after that?
I want to do changes like breaking off a Sonic Socks page for the USA because there are too many pairs of it cluttering up accessories so it should have it's own thing. Breaking off a page is always time consuming though, so it won't be for a while.
Adding another article-entry
That one's going to be for SatAm cells and proto art. It's another time consumer with loads of rare images and information that can't appear until the flood of stuff winds down.

Jakks Pacific: NEW line!
Announced here before it hits the site--they're adding a 2.5 inch mini line, it's in target NOW so if you see this post just go look because they're like 5 bucks. Also more factory photos of their articulated normal size came out so more characters will be seen next week despite them not releasing anything on the line yet (ugh)

JP is shaking it up-
Notice WHO is on each figure line and that it's not the standard s/t/k that everyone before is doing. They're tossing in Metal Sonic & Shadow sometimes before Knuckles, or throwing a Chao in for good measure. The notable absence so far is Amy Rose who really should be in there before making a Sonic 2nd figure/basically a clone. But, it's nice to see them doing stuff like early Eggman instead of having to wait like 3 lines before he turns up.

Hopefully they use the mini figures to start putting out tons of characters that fans love like Blaze, Cream, Espio, Vector, Charmy, Silver and anybody else they can get. Maybe do Chaos 0 or something, or start putting badnicks. Tikal figure anyone? Hopefully it's possible with the mini line if it sells well. 

Current Stuff:
The AOSTH 'wrong character on box' dvds are in Dollar General.
Target still has the blue Sonic modern tee
Old Navy still has at least 2 tees & the adult socks
Books A Million still has the spheres

Why so much stuff now?
Back to school 'season' probably has something to do with it, despite whatever happens about going back into actual school. All the stuff like the backpacks and shirts were prepared before the virus started so they're gonna come out regardless of anything. It is generally busy around the fall time, then having a lull once school actually gets started around Sept. before it gears back up for the holidays.
*It was nifty to see a Sonic schoolbag set hit Amazon best seller in category

It went around the world:
"Around the world" updates are popular, so if I get lots of things from a variety of countries I always try to have such an update. It is funny that the Finland word for pinball machine seems to be "Flipperiin". Also that language isn't afraid to put 2 of the letter i together fairly frequently. 
"DJ PopCultcha"--not sure what they're after with this new slogan but strange slogans aren't a first for the SonicChannel. They 'sorta rebrand' fairly often and along with fads so this isn't a super surprise but it just seems a little odd.  

Next Week:
Also going to be a big update, there's lots to get done. It will help with the mail que this time so if you sent something, chances are that'll be the week it goes up. It will for sure have the new JP stuff, Boom stuff and school stuff.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Who Cares About Ray?

The title seems a bit of an attack...
But it isn't, it's an actual question of Who ACTUALLY cares about Ray the Flying Squirrel? What is his deal? Does he have any fans? Why do they like him? Or, is he unpopular for some reason? IS there a reason to not like him? (Other than 'new friend!' the trope) So, with the first of his actual merchandise coming to shelves, it's time to blog a bit about Ray. So first let's get the opinion zone out of the way. You can skip to the bottom for site items.

Opinion Zone:

As everyone knows, he was a "Sonic Clone" lazily introduced in the Sonic Isometric Arcade Cabinet that also introduced Mighty the Armadillo (who is Sonic colored black with a red 'shell' applied instead of spikes & removed buckles from shoes) While Mighty was more of a clone, Ray hit the sidelines because he wasn't included in Chaotix. Chaotix was rumored to have had Sonic IN it, but he got removed for reasons, and they didn't want to pull the sprite or lose a character out of the game so they just made him into Mighty because he was so close in design anyway.

Nobody played isometric.
The cabinet was rare, and the game used a trackball which made it super hard to port. Even though the 32X (the only system with Chaotix) was unpopular, more people played it by orders of magnitude than the Isometric. Plus, it had well-published manual that gave Mighty a profile. Then, it got released on compilations on stronger systems later so even more people could play it--because Chaotix was actually pretty fun & looked beautiful/still holds up today. Archie Sonic Comic also latched onto the Chaotix as characters, as did later games so Mighty has been able to get decent enough characterization over the years. But Ray never did (and if he did, he'd likely end up a Tails clone because of 'flying', and 'kid=cute' lean to the design)

A barely-a-character:
Ray, when he showed up in the comics at all wasn't the coolest dude around, and then he was used as a "missing persons" gaggy poster / inside reference in other Sonic games referring to his own neglect. Only Mania brought him back but.....there's not much about his personality or why you should be a fan of him in there. He's described as 'he can be funny but he is timid'. That's like.......it. His design is....kind of meh? They need to produce a reason to like him or think that he is cool. He is just kind of neutral. He's not "wow uhh" like Big, or "that's cool!" like Blaze the cat designs.

Is he ready for merch?
Sure. Why not? It's neat to own something of an obscure character. Probably nobody hates him like they do Big the Cat because he's not associated with "no-fun" areas of games (slow fishing), or with being a dumb drag (Big's personality was heavily disliked in SA1) He's not as unfitting as Big's design either. So, probably no complaining about him having stuff will happen. However, it's probably unlikely that he's going to get on lots of stuff or have tons of figures or high end feature type items.

Revisionist History:
Never create Big the cat for SA 1, use Mighty instead & don't have him go fishing. Put Ray with him instead of Froggy, where Ray gets curious and touches an emerald, so Chaos/whatever keeps going after him/trying to get him into the watery body of itself to transform while Mighty has to keep saving him.

The update:
More normal for the week, which is nice. The items aren't flooding in as much which means mail responses can be more timely.

Item of the Week:
The Ray in a sphere figure because it's a first.

Why is Finesse picking the Werehog? The werehog was never popular, sweeping it under the rug was a goal rather than sweeping it under a skateboard where people will actually see it.

Next week:
More tees, a super duper rare and unseen item, and more 60th Anniversary Sega items.

Monday, June 15, 2020

A New Thing: Article Type Entry for Gear

Well, last week's update didn't go particularly as planned....
Research went down the proverbial rabbit hole (or should it be knothole) and turned up an absolute bucket of interesting art and information. The whole thing started when being unable to read a caption on one of those 'satam fake screen shots' things that went onto prototypes. It turns out there's a whole huuuuuge pile of prototypical things out there for the show that has to get onto Gear. But, it also spawned 'the new thing' which is 'article type entry'.

Article Type Entry:
This is where an item or a screen cap or just whatever 1 or 2 pictures of something spawns basically a whole big article sort of text block because there's just so much to pack in. Obviously, most things are ordinary to a degree and don't come with a huge amount of backstory or whatever but...it looks like there's sure going to be some upcoming, at least for the show. For people who love peeking behind the scenes or peering into history it should be quite an interesting read...and, all the better with which to improve SonicGear.*

I like research.
I LOVE finding out new stuff, rare art, rare items, rare photos...it's also been quite a long time since I was able to just kind of tumble all around like a rolly weed about the internet reading up things I didn't know and gathering up unseen art. It's been so long since I've been able to do that, I did not realize how much I liked it. (I didn't miss it because I just kind of forgot such things existed to do)

Item of the week:
Obviously the SatAM concept things
But in 2nd place would be the Acrylic Keychains from Joypolis simply because they have new modern stock art for Shadow to use. That or the Neo Metal Sonic mini board thing just because it's the first merch of him to exist so it's neat to see.

Mini Crisis-
SonicGear fell under attack from an unknown outside source that ruined the translation PHP on the site so all of it had to get torn down and now only googletrans can be used on there. Of course, we'll never know how, why, or from whom the attack was generated but...there it went. Hopefully throwing out everything into the dumpster right away and then never ever putting it back will teach it a lesson in futility.

Next Week:
And speaking of firsts......will see the first RAY merchandise!
Yep, Jakks Pacific has put a figure of him in a plastic ball, so that's going to be the first actual Ray item, I think. They need to put Mighty in some other ball too, if they're really focusing on Mania.
Next week's update will be a doozy--
There's going to be a LOAD of stuff on the next update. Sega collaborated again in Japan, so there's stuff from that, Target got a new shirt (if you read this now, you can probably go buy it--I did, as a tee collector who's been in the tee-desert due to virus rubbish I couldn't resist it) So anyway, get ready for it to be a double size update or more, just to keep the image bins in ok shape.

*Yes the stuff I found is going to end up on gear, with the whole interesting tale to tell which is to spoil it now, SatAm wasn't supposed to be a Show at all. Now THERE's a loop! Also more 'sign of the times' article-type banter will appear. When it goes on, depends when merchandise calms down a little bit.

**Sign of the times
SatAM is old by now (yes), but having a look at the proto stuff for it you kind of take a look into a whole era of shows and how people expected them to be with like stale tropes on display like
"Girls are smart and boys are dumb and strong"
"Girls are token characters/teams must be all male 1 female maximum"
"girls are only interesting if they are a princess but they are ALWAYS have to be HOT*"
"male and female characters in a group are always trying to get with each other"
"Boy likes girl but she only kinda likes him back so is always thwarting his 'funny' advances".
Stuff like that isn't common now, but back in the day even whole shows were built around some of them (Family Matters sitcom had Steve Urkle, Johnny Bravo was basically Wile E Coyote vs women road runners who wreck him, etc--there's loads more from the era & beyond for every trope on the list, it was a product of it's time but now that the time is past it's easy to see HOW it was and also WHY it was that way--which is interesting of itself.)

The hotness* thing is going to take big big revenge when the rest of the stuff goes up because there's (depending on the view you take) some somewhat........disturbing angles & items that are going to be present in the art. And any defenses that might spring out "Oh before people say a 14 year old child rabbit character is 'hot' they never meant her to be sexy you're just attracting to it as is everyone else with that belief" well wait till you read what's written on the official art............)
Opinion zone: Not hot & never was.