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:
Ambivalent.

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.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Recently, Lots of Stuff Despite Current Events

You'd think the virus would have put the brakes on finding things...
But, somehow it's starting to be the opposite. This week sees the 2nd in a row 'double size' update that has double the stuff (so, 12 things instead of 6) to try and clear out the image bins and keep the mail current.

Thunderbox Collaboration
This slipped by, I guess. Was it 2019? Early 2020? Don't know. Their photo 'room' near an industrial pipe with some rings as props is a new idea. What's up with the abstract plastic mask? It must be some 'signature item' or style thing or something for the brand/it's followers and fans maybe.
Opinion Zone:
Not super impressed. Nothing was really 'my style', maybe it's someone elses' but repeating generic patterns that are busy or just putting Sonic and a logo is kind of bland? But maybe they were looking to BE bland on purpose because that was the appeal. Their best item is the Eggman collage tee, it's lively, fun and something different. The pins are cute too, a very solid effort with those.
2:
Nobody looks good in a bucket hat. I just don't like this hat style.

Where is the Checker Pocket Tee?
I want thisssssss

Item of the Week: Boom8 Modern Figures
Wellllll....finally a display figure I actually want. With the Boomban now hopefully permanently behind everyone, modern characters are popping back up as display figures by boom8. They're a less costly all-plastic option for any collector and they've done a real great job if this early photo is any indication. If they're reasonably priced enough, I will collect all 4 of these. The clear stuff for Super Sonic's base is a great touch as well, hopefully this set does great for them.

Next Week:
It will probably have more stuff than usual also, but maybe not a double update/it depends what else turns up. There's going to be some image-bin cleaning up too, so older things that were 'a mystery' are probably going to appear as they get solved and some ex-secret stuff will be coming too. The first 'actually offensive' Sonic item will also appear (along with an explanation)

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Quarantine Continues- But So Does the Stuff

...Sonic stuff, that is.
This whole virus thing turned out to be way bigger and way worse than anyone thought. So, if quarantine is still ongoing, so is the extra items to see each week at SonicGear. Because of the longer cycle of toys/games/etc, no one is seeing much effect on merchandise yet. If something takes 8 months from idea to shelf, well, it'll be a while before things actually do run out. So, if you are expecting a "the shelves are empty of toys/tees/accessories/etc" that bad type of situation would likely show up in fall/winter rather than now (spring) or summer. So, that is important to keep in mind.

In the meantime though...
I sort of predict that we're not going to get any big or cool announcements of stuff. No toy-fairs or anything to make announcements at, and pretty much everything Sonic-collectible is non-essential. People have loads of questions but I don't have loads of answers. So, I'm going to post the questions and then we can look back later and see what happened

What about the Olympics game?
The Olympics are postponed till 2021, which is a wise move. But the game came out anyway since it was made well ahead of time. What's not known is if there were going to be other tie-in merch or clothing or stuff that has now also been postponed until 2021.
How about the Jakks Pacific figures?
The 'sports ball' figures were their probable-tie in and they'll release anyway. The problem would be buying them at reasonable rates if Target is barely open due to the lockdowns.
Where did the clothing stuff at Walmart go?
I don't know, and it seems nobody else knows a lot either except it's not on shelves.
How about the JP plushes?
They're probably also still coming, this past update just had 3 classic little bigheads that hadn't had photos before so that's a good sign.
Where will Just Funky stuff be sold?
Still unknown, no reports of anyone find it anywhere yet---but, of course that's the case because you can't shop and JF only makes non-essential items that are Sonic themed home-goods.
Sega-Shop appears to continue with merch...
Opinion: Too bad it's all movie-rubbish

Item of the Week:
That flap-over style case/schoolbag whatever that is. So stylish in a way that fits perfectly into the decade aesthetic. Hopefully whoever put this together made more stuff because it is very nice.

Oddity: Mighty's neck on the JP plush. What's up with it?

In all, this is a pretty boring blog post.
Next week:
The show will go on...there's plenty of stuff to keep up probably even for the whole year /rest of even if all new things were to vanish so at least Gear won't get boring even if it is contained indoors for longer still. So Gear's not going anywhere and the bigger updates will continue until this quarantine stops.