Monday, September 17, 2018

Sonic Shirt Alert! Burlington Coat Factory Deals!

It's a Shirt Alert!
Got a Burlington Coat Factory near you?

Get over there right away for a super deal on LOADS of Sonic tees! And cool ones, at that! With at LEAST 5 ALL NEW designs, what could be better? How about if they were in adult sizes so they'll fit anyone AND...better still at ONLY 7 dollars each? It seems too incredible to be true, but it is & the photos are coming to Gear next week. (Because I bought them all, of course)

How to get them:
Go into your Burlington store & go to the adults regular sizes mens rack.
Start paging through the shirts until you get to 'spatter print' (you can see this from the exterior without having to page though) fabric. Then start paging (other brands use this too, not just the Sonic ones) when you see Sonic, start grabbing!

The designs are all modern, and all pretty different from previous stuff. Yes, there ARE multi-character prints, and it looks like somebody actually got a designer back on staff because there's some 'graffiti fun' style tees too.

But you're going to have to apply the elbow-grease of finding them yourself. Burlington is a gigantic store packed with racks & no real good online presence. You can't call ahead either because of it's "everything's all around" nature. But it's x-tremely worth while to go because of the good deal and loads of designs. There's multiples of each shirt too, so probably someone's not just going to get in there and clean them out.
What's odd?
There's no paper tag, and there's no 'who made this' on any of its labels. There's CLEARLY a new company in town--and they're doing a good job, but who is it?

Movie Fears:
There's reason to fear the Sonic movie (Live action = stupid in the case of most cartoons with the exception being Roger Rabbit & to a degree Space Jam if you are not viewing it through rose colored history nostalgia glasses and are not currently under 12 years old) also LA+CG is very dicey because it can easily look super fake and age poorly. but recently MORE fears are developing & as a 'Sonic items' area should be discussed.

Will the movie KILL SONIC?
No, not 'will he die in the movie like Prime in the TFs original', but will the movie "Stink so bad it kills the brand". This is being debated & brought up in the fandom so....well I don't know. It's not even an opinion zone because honestly IDK. The main argument against it is "Sonic 06 was terrible cringe* & didn't kill it so no, it can't", but then...that thing was isolated to consoles & everybody thought it would be great up until they tried to play it. Then, the gameplay was rotten/impossible/load time terrors so it stopped people getting far enough to see the "yucky" romance with the realistic CG princess human girl. 

The straw of suckyness that breaks the hedgehog's back:
Just how much dumb poo* can be lumped onto Sonic before he implodes and Sega disavows him? No one knows the answer but anti-movie people think this could be it. That is the issue at hand.

What if the movie is good?
Lots are (of course, wisely) reserving judgement until the movie appears. Of course, there is a slim chance that it is legitimately good. Because anything is possible.

Why is the chance slim?
Live action+toon has a bad history+Sonic's design doesn't work well IRL, especially+Because some image of a 'green screen suit' guy (where they overlay a CG onto the actor later to erase him like Gollum in LOTR) driving an SUV has appeared online where the CG is going to be Sonic. So uh...how's he going to drive a car...........physically? Like um...how does he FIT IN THERE? If you make him big enough to reach the pedals his enormous head is going to have serious issues fitting in the seat with his spikes. If you make him tiny his legs won't be long enough and either way is going to be incredibly obvious it won't work. Ok so maybe green guy isn't to be Sonic but something else like an Eggman robot--but why would it get in a car...etc.... Ok, but early protest/weirdness like this doesn't smell good.

**These are widely-held opinions. I don't control people saying "Boom games were dumb/bad and boom Sonic is ugly/stupid" also "06 is cringe & unplayable" they are WIDELY HELD opinions and they matter because for something to succeed, lots of people have to not think it stinks.

Item of the Week:
The really large Sonic statue. (Naturally) Personal aside: I always think of Sonic, were he to appear among humans or in this physical realm, would be 'person size', as in 5+ feet high. I never imagined him as this little 3 foot high goblin gnome size thing. He already doesn't resemble anything to a hedgehog, so make him people sized. Thus, the big statue is cooler to me. Also, it's really well made, looks genuinely just like modern Sonic, and seems sturdy. It's a shining example of how far statues have come. It looks like something from the games, not just 'some artists' interpretation'. I do wonder if it was created off of a polygon model of him like lots of the toys are.

Next week: Burlington Tee Party!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sega Shop Symptom: Boring Bottle & More

Because the SegaShop is so prolific, you'll have likely noticed the updates being made out of a lot of their stuff lately. This is because #1...they're prolific & #2...nobody else really is at the time? I mean sure, there's some things but without Sears & JC Penny doing much in the way of tees, TRU closing USA stores...there's not been much outlet for new things. Plus, the end of summer can be a little slow on merch for some reason anyway.

However...
The why isn't the reason for the post, it's the 'what'. So it's time for an opinion.

Opinion Zone 1
A lot of the Sega Shop merchandise is boring. It ISNT designed at all. Someone pasting stock art onto an item is not 'designing an item'--and that's just what they're doing. It's basically the same as your run of the mill bootleggers. They're USING "fake junk" tactics but it can't be called "fake junk" because they are the copyright holder. OOoohhh a plain white bottle with an outline of Knuckles' face on it wow we work so hard to make cool things. NOT.
After sifting through bootleg garbage and phony tees all these years for Gear lots of this stuff looks like it belongs on the same bin. Yes this does include the toaster because you know just how they did it too...sent an order to China with the solid Sonic face graphic & had them whip it up. It's just like the fake party supplies, room signs & dumb iron ons that fill up ebay every day. There is no design going on at all, nobody is thinking about it beyond grabbing a dollar.

Probably not an opinion:
Sega Shop stuff CAN be too expensive for what it is. There's no reason a cardboard, thin wire & lined paper notebook should cost 16.00. There is 0 reason for that. I also feel a lot of the clothing is over priced too and have to wonder why. Everything's not over priced, the toaster is actually pretty reasonable. A 50 dollar sweatshirt hoodie can be understandable in large men's size.

"Careful With The Dog"
That's the name of the Mexican online shop selling the Sonic tees. What's interesting is that it's supposed to mean "Beware of the Dog", but the language doesn't have the word "Beware" so it uses "Careful" which is like "Careful with the plate it is porcelain" and not "Beware of the porcelain plate". Why didn't they invent the word Beware? Or some similar word with a connotation of 'danger to you', not 'you're a danger to it if you're not cautious'.

Opinion Zone 2
Funko Pop Sonic is ugly. The shirt is ugly too. I think all the Sonic characters look stupid and bad... even scary as POPs. I don't hate POPs in general, like ones where they poppyfy 'normal' characters like Marvel ones, comic book people, movie stuff. Fine. I don't think they're cute, but I can see why people would like them. I wouldn't collect any, but that is an opinion & I can clearly see how others can have a different one about that.
However, I actively dislike the Sonic ones & don't see how they could appeal. Sonic is ALREADY of odd proportions, is stylized, has 1 eye...etc....so making him even more extremely deformed and adding another layer of weird different style to him just makes him bad, not cute or fun. The blank dead dot eyes don't read well at all in his single eyeball setup. The other characters don't benefit either. POP should be reserved to characters of normal-er proportioning.

Knuckles Update:
It's no secret that I am a big Knuckles fan. I think he is fun & cool, and having a Knuckles feature update was entertaining to do.

Next week:
Did you guess more sweat shirts? Then you're right.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Terrible Tariffs: Politics in MY Gear?

Have you been watching the news in America or about America?
Would you think that political things could ever show up in a Sonic Area?

The answer to both of these questions is probably "Disappointment".
A lot of the current news you don't want, and it's disappointing to find politics near Sonic--but here we are because of the recent 'tariffs news'. Skip to the "##" for Gear's news this week.

What is it?
"They" are talking and acting upon putting a higher tax upon lots of stuff that is made in China and then sold here. Clothing is not on the list, but things like steel & aluminum (raw) are. That means food in cans, drinks in cans and stuff that uses lots of metal like appliances and cars could be really expensive soon*. The other things on the list include shoes & toys. (Of course, there are many other items on the list too but for this blog purposes it's toys)

This is one of those things that has to continue for a while before it gets bad where you can actually see it and get affected by it personally. Unless you work in one of those areas like a person who makes steel widgets in America, then, it happens faster. So keep that in mind when people are saying "well its ok because nothing changed this week". It's not like some light switch gets flipped in the white house and suddenly a 6 dollar Sonic figure is 20 dollars in Target. The stuff that's already here (and there's loooads of it--probably more than you think) has to clear out first. Then, decisions have to get made of 'do we even bother making something' so it might not be 'expensive toy is too costly' but rather 'no toy at all because $$$'. If there's a chance the tariff could go away, companies might just wait, too.

*Aside: What about recycling? Shouldn't costs for steel/aluminum for food be ok because that's the thing everyone is told is so easy to recycle that basically everybody does it? I mean, it'd take a zillion pop-cans to make a car so you can see how that wouldn't work but if it's just the same cans being used over and over for the same thing shouldn't that make it more ok and let the price not raise? I have no actual answer to this.

Toys made in America?
No. Because the machines cost too much & the ones in China are already paid off. Nobody is going to buy a 40 dollar basic Barbie, they're just going to do without. No one's going to bother to set up big toy manufacturing here, and especially not on short notice for something that would take months to build then years to pay off.

So what's the outcome?
Is it no more toys for anyone?
Something like this never happened before and I am not an economist so I don't actually know enough to do a prediction. But the one thing to recommend is keeping a sharp eye, and being prepared & cautious about getting hyped for new toys...or really much from China. There's not a whole lot you can do about tariffs on other countries. The ONLY thing you can do though is vote for someone, or call your senator to ask to put the tariffs back to how they were before or work something else out.

Read more:
https://www.fatherly.com/news/american-toy-industry-freaking-trump-china-tariffs/

What's worse:
There's a TON of people in the USA that are basically alive because Chinese stuff is inexpensive. Think of everything in your own home that's made there RIGHT NOW. Go mentally looking through all your stuff. Then imagine if it didn't exist at all, or it cost 4 times as much. Would you still have it? Could you replace it if it broke? Everything from a laundry basket/hamper to a school bag, pencil box, your sneakers to a plastic plate or cup used every day at dinner. And I don't mean novelty character stuff like Sonic plates or that...I mean every-day utilities cups and things. If you think about people who don't have a lot of money because their job never gives them a raise, there will be trouble.


###
Gear News:
The SegaShop is having some kind of sweat shirt bonanza. But...I don't really approve.
Opinion Zone:
Their sweatshirts are so basic and boring. They're doing what bootleggers love to do which is take the most generic stock art they can find & just slap it on the most generic cheap clothing they can get their hands on and then mark it up for you. They are NOT DESIGNING anything. Look at the 6 they put up this week. Wow. Logos. Then remember what Bio World, ESPECIALLY Top Heavy, and even that blank brand where it just said "Sonic Sega" from the 2010s were doing with clothing. A real designer was making NEW COOL things out of stock art and more. There was actual effort going into making unique looking tees, sweats, and whatever else. This stuff can't even be bothered to have a slogan.

Item of the week:
Shadow Shoes.
This should also be 'mystery of the month'. These shoes already look better & more fitting than those dirty lint covered Puma things. But IS it the work of a secret Sonic fan under cover at Dolce & Gabbana? Or is something a zany coincidence of the century? But gee whiz a grand for a pair of shoes that's just outlandish. What if it rains? What if the tread wears down? Anybody would be too afraid to actually put the things on their feet.

Calendar of Crud:
Christmas spins off! Onto another page because the calendar page got too long. There are certain to be more of these ugly dolls out there. And as long as there are, SonicGear will be here to make fun of them.

Next week: More sweatshirts. Even if you didn't want them.


Sunday, July 08, 2018

Hiring People That Don't Care: A Sonic Example

Sometimes companies hire people who don't care.
How can you tell? Well, because this is a merchandise site: merchandise mistakes! But the culprit this time is something you wouldn't expect...The Sega Shop!

Surprised?
Well me too. That expensive website for Sonic (and other) Sega merchandise has someone working in it that doesn't care about Sonic. Much like some of the early Archie artists that had no idea or care what the characters should look/act like, whoever's putting the site together doesn't know their basics and proves it every now and then.

Current case:
The Ultimate Life Form Shadow Mug.
You can see it as an entry on the site this week (At USA Homegoods page) but the description for the thing on the SegaShop itself is abysmal. First, they say that's Sonic there on the mug, and then that he is referred to as 'the ultimate life form' because Sonic is the best.  Would your grandma know these things? Probably not. But the real question is would anyone EXPECT her to? No, also. Some casual person could tell Mickey Mouse apart from Sonic, but couldn't pin Shadow's 'title'/designation' to him.

The problem is when you've got somebody doing descriptions for very obviously marked up goods on your website that you can't respect the potential buyer enough to describe it correctly. If you're getting some non-fan web designer to do the work at least give them a picture chart of characters with their names under it or something so they don't go writing ANT MAN on Spiderman merchandise because 'well they are both bugs'. So they didn't care to hire a fan, AND they didn't care enough to give a chart of characters so whoever this is can tell Blaze apart from Cream (well they are both girls so its easy to confuse..........mammals....) so that's like 2 layers of not caring. I mean, if it was cheap stuff like 5 dollar pins or bargain socks or something....well...stinks but 'cheap is as cheap does', but this is like 3 tiny pins for 30 dollars, fake fleece blankets for 56 bucks when the same thing sells for 18 at Target / Walmart....it's an insult.

*No I'm not nitpicking over just one instance of 'they dont know who these characters are' if you actually go there you'll find a few of them in 2018/summer.

Next Week:
More looks at the Dance Power CDs, probably more housewares.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Toy Store Fill-Ins & Unsure Sonic Birthday

As you know...
It was Sonic's birthday on the 23rd of June...and usually SonicGear is doing something big to celebrate. Extra updates, a big update...something really unusual, etc. But this year, that didn't happen. It was a normal update (which is fine) but due to Net Neutrality getting lost everything's on unsure footing--even gear.

Why no problems yet?
Because now that the rule is gone, everyone is paranoid & unsure. What will happen? Will Comcast come knocking for more money out of Blogger (where this is hosted) and force it to shut down if they don't get it? Questions like that are on the ISPs minds as well, and they know not to act while everyone is vigilant & still really salty at the public's loss.

Example:
They just spent millions & millions to get a law that says "Stabbing people is ok"
Everyone is now worried about being stabbed.
If they start stabbing now, there will be a big outcry & maybe their rule could be undone.
It's better to start picking on small fry & stabbing them slowly later, when the focus is off. Start with tiny sites no one cares about by the millions. Stuff with no lawyer. Erosion is the name of the game. "See, no one I know is being stabbed...nothings REALLY happening" so that by the time they get to extorting places enough people use (Pay for Facebook! Pay to see Ebay! Pay a fee to load Paypal! Pay to use Skype/Discord! Pay extra to play your Xbox! Fee for Nintendo Switch! Playstation fees) there won't be anywhere to go to try to organize against that kind of thing.

Who is a small fry?
SonicGear. Blogger. Probably stuff like etsy & ecrater. Ebay isn't, they have at least 1 lawyer so they're not a good first target. But, if they start picking (and they WILL, you don't just spend millions to get a "stabbing is fine now" law to NOT stab) they'll pick at those first, and then the places where anyone could go to protest about something like "all our forums are being extinguished by huge fees", so that no one can complain any more.

So understandable for this year, if Gear is basically waiting for at least 4 companies to come knocking around looking for an additional 100 dollars each per month to even PERMIT the site to be shown to their customers...it is basically waiting to get shut down. Unhappy Birthday, I guess.*

Toy Store Fill Ins:
You may have seen some Walmart ads recently bragging about their 'better toy aisles' in the wake of the loss of Toys R Us. But what you may not know is that Party City (the party supply store & known Sonic items carrier) is planning Pop-Up Toy Shops starting in September till 'Xmas this year. It's a trial run to see if they want to get into toys too. Big brands are confirmed (Hasbro, etc) but will anything Sonic be there? Time to wait and see--but it is good news for toy fans that they will make the attempt.

*SonicGear isn't giving up. It will update until the very day that someone comes and shuts it down. And it will have to be forced down, and there should be plenty of warning and explanation first...if it ever comes to that.

Next week: Some odd blankets, a look at the new Tomy plush 'in the wild' and hopefully a return to being rather on schedule again.