Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gear Store: Huge Chore

Well...
The Sonic Gear Store didn't get completely updated for Cyber Monday.
The job is just too big! Despite throwing tons of hours at it...not all the sections are updated or fixed. The regular 'gallery stuff' update didn't get to happen either. I had been hoping to finish the store, then move on and add a couple of items at least but it's just too much.

What happens?
As stuff sells out, the buttons in the store turn orange/flashing and just take people to the Amazon home page instead of an item.

Fix it?
Maybe. The broken item has to be searched for, found, and a new button set in place. But, you can't always find the same item, or it's buried under tons of irrelevant stuff and takes forever to find. If something's sold out for good it just never turns up. But there's no way of knowing that ahead of time, you just have to keep searching till finally 'giving up' and destructing that description/button for good.

How did the store get so bad?
Lack of maintenance by me, lots of stuff at small-time sellers who run out of things quickly, accumulation of older items that were bound to sell out anyway and companies getting their modern license taken away to favor Boom. (If they lose a license, they can't replenish anything to anyone) So basically a storm of stuff caused such destruction in the store.

Slowing it down...
Part of the difficulty is caused by the search not working too well. It loads up lists of links with irrelevant junk. Want to find a hat? How about 3 slow-cookers in between your hat results? Also SO MANY BOOTLEGS. Amazon is now just as packed with fake junk as ebay. They seriously don't police it at all. Stupid iron on graphics, phony towels, cheap garbage trick-wallets, nasty fake figures and so much more. Having to sift thru it all vs every single item slows everything down.

What's gone?
Lost a LOT of wallets, and quite a few hats. Modern stuff is faltering in the store to a certain degree. (Clearly, the whole Boom thing) Many wall scrolls too. Only a single DVD was lost to the list.

What's new?
Always, something new that's not yet in the gallery part of the site turns up during such store refreshing searches. So far, a couple new bags, new socks and likely a hat or two. They'll all appear in the upcoming weeks' update.

What's next?
More store. Going to try to finish it off during the week so things can go back to normal. It's more important now with the holidays on the way to make a bootleg-free area for Sonic shopping.

Monday, November 21, 2016

SonicGear Store - Sprucing up for CyberMonday

Another week...another larger update...
Stuff is really flowing in to SonicGear lately, making up some of the Japan Items deficit that it's always had. Japan items would still have a long way to go before it gets up to USA stuff levels, but at this rate it will certainly creep up on it if it keeps going. It's all interesting stuff too, for the most part! Real obscure things, fun designs and a good chance to see stuff that otherwise people would never know about. It's surprising how long some (seemingly popular) stuff escaped detection or even knowledge-of by fans.

What about variety?
Of course, variety will still be a focus as it always was. This past update will be the last "All JP" update for a while. With Mania & whatever in 2017, hopefully there will be more stuff around in the USA/Canada/EU because Boom can't suffocate everything forever. If the updates have to have even more stuff added to have variety...then that's how it'll be once...

The Gear Store gets fixed.
The store has gone into a great degree of disrepair. It happens because each button can only be host to 1 single supply (or seller, or whatever) of that particular item at a time. If THAT seller runs out of the item, the button turns orange and flashes/you can't use it. So, each thing must be policed against turning orange...and if it does, it has to either re-find the item & generate a new button, or if the item is well and long gone (Like Missile Wrist action figures, for example) the description & button space permanently removed.

Store (don't) worry:
If something disappears from the store, don't worry, it's not gone from the site. All the stuff in the store is always somewhere else in the image galleries of Gear, it's just not buy-able there.

The store is a HUGE job:
It takes a LONG time and is rather difficult to fix each broken item in the store. And the store is huge! But it's also useful and loads of people love having it, especially around the holidays so fixing it up before Black Friday & CyberMonday and all that shopping madness/sales weekend is priority #1. It is a difficult job because when you are editing the store you can't actually see any of the products.

Question of the week:
Since the Lego Sonic thing is doing well and seems to be both witty & has been said to be fun to play will we get merchandise of it? (As in tees, toys that aren't Lego, accessories etc) Is "Lego Sonic" a FOURTH SONIC to have to contend with? Classic, Modern, Boom AND LEGO? Just don't let him stamp out all other Sonic styles...

Item of the week:
Sonic X coloring book. GOOD Sonic art to trace & color and encourage art? Yes please! Too bad it's so rare and unheard of.

Next week:
More like DURING the week! The store will be getting fixed all this week & new items will certainly be going into it. Keychains already gained a few new items.
The next actual update will have more Japan stuff for sure, but also a few USA things that have been starting to pop up due to Mania.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sonic 2017 on Switch & More Japan Items

Back when Sonicgear was first starting to be built...
It was assumed that the "Japan" side would have as much as the USA side. However, as you can see how the site went on and on...that's not the case. WAY more USA stuff, and even European/other country stuff just kept showing up. However, as you'll see recently, the Japan pages have been increasing. New pages for 3 categories went up just this week. This has caused the question to arise again:

Who has the most stuff?

Did the USA end up with the most Sonic merch?
Is it Japan?

Australia was certainly in the running back in the early days because it had Segaworld making loads of items all the time for sales in the shops. And they wouldn't do just like ONE umbrella...they'd do like 4 or 5 each with a different character thereby increasing their items at every turn of a mug or tee. However, when their Segaworld ended, it was still before digital cameras were everywhere, so photos remain unfound, and it's well known that items were missed.

Why not as much Japan?
Because it's too hard to get photos from there, or at least it was. Back in the day, and now still, the search engines don't search too well out of their own starting language. There's no JP equivalent of Gear, and they don't have an exact ebay clone that caters worldwide like...well...ebay to mine for photos.
But, that may be slowly changing as people sell parts of their collections online, and searches get better and more people keep an eye out. If it continues, we may find out who ended up with the most Sonic stuff...and it's sure to continue because...

Sonic 2017!
GameNGuide is already rumor-milling that the 'new character' is a hedgehog but they neglect where they found the proof. A thing that IS confirmed however, is that it'll come out for the Nintendo Switch and also Windows so you don't have to buy a console if you don't want to. A new game will mean new merchandise if they can calm down off the Boom storm and stay that way long enough to allow things to be produced again.

Item of the Week:
The Sonic Spoon! Why? Because it's a spoon & that's fairly wacky. Brand saturation of a high enough degree to get onto everyday items like utensils is great to see. Hopefully there's a whole set of silverware out there with him on it. The package for it is very fun too.
Co-item of the week:
The file case. This is some good design here, colorful, loads of characters that could be someone's favorite. It goes against a lot of the "usual" stuff that generally seems to just spam Sonic and a logo or try to be understated somehow. This stands out and just looks really fresh.

Arby's:
This is fun stuff! It had to be clarified WHY it got on (as paperchildren don't...which is what this was close to) and that it did because it's official. Seeing a company that just PLAYS with stuff & throws a bone to the fans is what's super cool. It's the kind of relationship type ad that double promotes while still being fun and classy. Whoever they have in charge knows what's up.

Next week:
More Japan items are certainly in store. So too hopefully...is the literal store, as in the Gear Store. Possibly even during the week. Fixing the store & adding new things takes a huge amount of time and is a gigantic task. But it is very necessary as the holidays approach.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Update- More Stuff & More News

This week's update falls on a holiday: Halloween.
And, because there was no Halloween-specific stuff sent in this year, the update is just bigger than usual/more stuff than normal instead of the usual celebration. Generally at least 1 fan will carve a Sonic themed pumpkin, or some company will let out a new costume accessory or something...but, it just didn't happen this year. Although, some of last year's costume stuff should still be available for ordering online. So, the update's still got treats this year with loads more things than normal so nobody feels left out on Halloween.

But first...Game News!

Sega has published that it has secured the rights for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics so that means we're guaranteed to get a Sonic Mario Olympic Games Tokyo for whatever systems are out at that time. (Ex. Nintendo is making 'the Switch' or some new handheld or something could come because that year is still far away--especially in 'console time')

Project Sonic 2017
This is what 'that new game' is being called. So now, it has a release time zone which looks like holiday season 2017 so that means around nov/dec of next year. About 1 year away is a sort of typical time to find out vague news like this.

What's the vague news?
A new character will appear
It will act somewhat like Sonic Generations with 2D & 3D levels available
Some new play-style will be available

Speculation Zone:
It's really too early to speculate much, but of course this is a Sonic blog so it will do so anyway.
1. New character may have something to do with the new play style.
That's usually how these things go like Knuckles introduced wall climbing, Tails introduced flying and all that type of thing Silver/psychic throwing. As long as they make it FITTING (I'm looking at you BIG and your fishing no one wanted) it should work.
2. Will Involve Time Shenanigans - As has already been shown it's got Classic/Modern Sonics in it again & an apocalyptic theme. No doubt Eggman has messed with time such that there's an era created where he "won" so now Sonics have gone through time to stop him.
3. New character likely has to do with the apocalyptic nature / will come from that "Eggman created era" (PURE speculation there, but that's likely the most interesting point to draw a new character from)
4. Concerns: Will REGULAR characters also appear? Throwing out every other character in favor of shoe-horning in yet another...hopefully it won't go there & fan favorites can make an appearance.

*Very Unlikely Yet Good Idea*
The TIME STONES from the Little Planet on Sonic CD. Bring these things back! They're already in the continuity, Sonic CD did really well with the whole time = good future / bad future thing & everybody seemed to like it real well. (Ex. CD is on a lot of people's favorites list)
Do something with that--keep the shape, maybe throw in Little Planet too because it was vaguely mystical enough (Appears over remote lake once in every whatever time of years blah) that it could be thrown in without messing up anything and erases the need to just make up the equivalent 'new gimmick' item.

Now back to the regularly scheduled update comments:
The site has undergone an improvement the past 2 weeks. Last week, the new category "Japan Toys" was added, and it pulled many items away from Japan Misc. Goods thanks to organization. (Too many items built up in the 'misc.' section)
Portugal!
Portugal got over 3 items, so it got its own page this week. It needs 1 more known item.
Greece:
Greece got its first item (went on International Sonic) a nice Eggman keychain.

Anti-Item of the Week: More annoying non-existent prototypes:
This time it's that 'mens gifts' cluster of items none of which are specifically for men. What is up with Sega (it's their doing) releasing all these fake photos of stuff that's just photoshop magic? These batches of items keep turning up as proto-images, and then nobody ever finds the actual things for sale anywhere.

Next Week:
Expect it to be mostly about Japan again, and also another larger than normal update because for some reason photos are plentiful again.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sonic With Fine Art & Arby's Fast Food?

Quite some topics for the Gear Site Blog this time!
First off, UK area Sonic fans will be in for a treat as there are...Fine Art goings on for Sonic in store for the future there? Apparently so. Some sort of limited time exhibits will open up. These will of course, be considered "Sonic Places" so...

SONIC GEAR PHOTO CALL:
Anyone who's going to such an art exhibit...Sonic Gear needs photos of these events/the items/the rooms/ whatever it is they have going on.

When? December 2016, starting Dec. 1
Where? Art galleries associated with Washington Green
What's there? Paintings, Mixed Media & Sculptures
Can you buy something? Supposedly 'limited quantities of some items'

Who has an article about it?
https://www.sonicstadium.org/2016/10/sonic-fine-art-exhibition-announced/

Everyone will be super curious about this, nothing like it has ever happened before. Hopefully some England/Near a "Washington Green" gallery fan can go there and send in photos because fans are world-wide & can't all go.

What about Arby's?
Arby's the fast food restaurant has a fun & funny Twitter account and they appear to really respect video games! They use creative and artistic cardboard to make little scenes with their food...and created quite a stir when they used their Pumpkin Smoothie to make Pumpkin Hill...complete with a Knuckles cut-out! (And check out the bent up fence like the game, also)

It doesn't mean they're doing a toy promo or anything...
It's just all in good fun for the fans. Of course, there are cool & creative responses, using more fast food photos, so it's great to see Sonic characters in the spotlight/being loved by advertisers and fans alike. What good press!

You can see it at

https://twitter.com/arbys/status/785495134246809600

I guess this is a fan item, but it's also by a company at the same time? Maybe it's a first. News supplied by Taaron.

The update itself:
Info seems in short supply this time. What's the prize card? Where's the Eggman hat? Has anyone even seen any of the more recent Boom stuff, these school supplies included? Is any of it actually going to come out? The mystery of the 1947 continues with another jean jacket featuring this as yet unsolved 'slogan' or whatever it is. Also why did they use such bad art = a literal porcupine for the embroidery...Hedgehogs are rounded and have short dense quills not the long string hairs or whatever that has. It's just a really strange thing to make a merchandise around.

Item of the week...probably:
Tomy's classic figures. VERY good to see them learning their lesson after that just awful Boom packaging. The whole thing's enclosed so no more broken/stolen/dirty/ruined figures no one will buy. The price seems steep, but articulation is unknown & so is quality at this time so can't really tell if it's justified or not with the price. SonicGear will, however, have a full review of the figures whenever possible/turn arounds/someone gets them.

*Unlike a lot of the Boom figures I rather imagine someone will end up getting these/sending photos or Gear itself can. They're actually fairly appealing if they can live up to their prices.

Next Week:
Japan items. Hopefully less mysteries. Possibly Tomy,