Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SweeToon Sonic: What is it & what's new?

There's a new company around!
This week's update saw the addition of SweeToon to SonicGear, with a load of new food! Why haven't you heard of it? Because it appears to be an Arabic-speaking/writing/Arabia general area marketing sort of company. They don't actually make the foods themselves, they appear to be a license getter company that pairs up food makers and licensed characters to produce products. It's like how a notebook maker may get a Sonic license, and then do notebooks with all sorts of Sonic themes.

Is it good?
Yes! Probably. More modern Sonic products to please the fans are always long as the quality is nice and it makes sense. They've got a LOT of stuff out too, they don't just go little by little, their Sonic launch has the following items (All seen on SonicGear)

Mini marshmallows
Character heads marshmallow lollypops
Big chocolate bar with filling
Thin chocolate bar
Chocolate drops
Nutella (type) hazelnut spread
Hazelnut spread dippers packs
Chocolate flavor cereal
Corn flake cereal
Crispy Rice Marshmallow Treat Blocks
Chocolate Prize Eggs

That's no small start.
Plus, they're running ads with CG Sonic in them and generally seeming to be responsible about letting people know about these.

Any problems?
It's not available everywhere. With how 'collectible' the Sonic pasta shapes was over here in the USA, you'd have to think these would drive 'em wild. The eggs were 'made in Italy', but are they sold there too? Italy has plenty of fans so you'd hope so. (It also never writes SonicGear)

Any complaints?
Yes, but only a little so far and it's "The items ARENT Sonic themed".
It holds up...but not all the way. The majority of the items ARE in fact generic! Only the marshmallow lollys, chocolate drops and prize eggs are actually Sonic themed with shapes/stamps/prizes that are Sonic related. Every other item is just a general item with Sonic characters printed onto it. Some people will never care and say it's fine, while others will say that the packaging isn't enough and it's a cheap cash grab aimed at fooling kids.
Opinion zone:
If the food is actually good and kids like it because it has Sonic & co on there why is it bad? Sure the cereal would be more fun with Sonic shapes marshmallows or something, and the hazelnut spread is a little fishy because it looks just like a Nutella jar for no reason but it's over all a positive thing, especially if they let it out of the area.

Anti Item of the Week:
Sonic "Glastache", its totally unrelated to a mustache, you likely couldn't wear it around, it's a Spencers item so its likely too expensive for little kids to use it as a mask and...what exactly is this thing FOR? Halloween maybe? It's as baffling as their 'anti pocket watch'. (The pocket watch that has spikes so it won't fit into pockets)

New Neoclassic art:
Now on a messenger bag from Japan. It's classic 'really leaning' Sonic, and it's pretty good. Nice to see more new art so stuff doesn't get looking stale/repetitive whether its new or old.

Next week:
Probably a few more things related to Sonic Mania directly or indirectly. Like, the 'around the world' pixel tee is an item made for Mania even though it doesn't say it is.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tomy Sonic & The Not Very Action Figures

This week's update brings...
Boring news!

More 25th Anniversary stuff you're unlikely to be able to get that's actually cool (Pre Order Boom Fire Ice only in Japan for an exorbitant rate and get the items...yay) more classic style stuff plus genuinely old things too.

Why don't they SELL actual COOL stuff? (more often)
It's great to have cool items that people really want/haven't seen before as pre-order bonuses, prizes, or things like that. Of course, bonuses should be desirable. But...what controls for never selling stuff like that at retail? Instead we get:

"Oh here's the 3 billionth tee with 'forward facing Sonic face' AGAIN."

It's not like the flat acrylics wouldn't sell, or people wouldn't want a crystal cube. Certain things of course, must be limited, like the commemorative coin, but that ought not to apply to everything that's not just another tee. I don't get it.

Terrible Tomy?
Anti-Item of the Week:
Get a look at Tomy's prototype 'modern Sonic' action figure.
They need to get back into the 1990s with that sad excuse. It's so static (straight arms, straight legs, hardly any articulation, static boring hands in 'claw' poses that are merely a reflection of each other) that it looks like it ought to be a free meal toy.

Then, we're somehow back to off-model Sonic figures?
How does this even HAPPEN in 2016?
Jazwares was making the heads from the data in the games so you don't get wonky sculpts and people just guessing what the characters should look like (EX. ReSaurus). But that's them, they're not Tomy. However, with the license should come being forced to make accurate figures...and should come with the CG models to make that happen.
It's Tomy: The Boom figures were likely coming from their models in the those were decently accurate looking as well. And that IS Tomy. So we know they can do show-accurate figures. But somehow their "modern Sonic" has a body shape no version of Sonic ever had (And Tomy KNOWS THIS! They've made classic Sonic before!)

Ok so they're not really good at articulation like Jazwares was (so why give them the license?) but they don't try to make up for it in any way and just create this stiff boring figure. Which to top it off isn't accurate to the games or anything else.

What's best:
When it doesn't do very well because it isn't fun & doesn't look fun & has a sky high price Tomy & Sega will blame the fans saying "Well nobody wants Sonic action figures any more...might as well give up...clearly Sonic has no fans left booooo hooooo".

Ray of hope 1: This thing's still a prototype. Maybe they could fix it before it's released?
Damper: Doubtful. Tomy is unskilled at figure making articulation. The best anyone could hope is they fix his body away from looking like a stupid grape.

Ray of hope 2: Modern Sonic is allowed to exist again.
Damper: None. After the whole "Boomstyle is third-style it affects no other Sonic" was proven to be total lies by Sega/whoever else Boom thoroughly stamped out all instances of Modern Sonic merch. This new figure & GE's new plush prove modern Sonic is being allowed into merchandising again. Hopefully this continues because a lot of unnecessary ire was raised among modern fans over it. (As in, they wouldn't normally have a problem with Boom, if it WAS a third style, but everyone got angry when they took away modern style instead of allowing all 3 to exist to satisfy fans)

Next Week:
Spencers selections! Spencers gifts is apparently taking a break from all the pot they've been shilling to focus on a few new Sonic items. (It had been previously thought that they were winding down Sonic brand carrying/no more stuff from them, but apparently that's false)

Monday, August 08, 2016

Archie Sonic Comics: Trouble With Characters

Buying Alert:
Sonic Gear, being a merchandise showcase site sometimes has 'buying alerts'...and this is one of them. If you want some of the older "compilations" or "collected issues/stories" from Archie Sonic Comics, now's the time to buy. Why?

*Skip to the other star to see the update's content comment

It looks like Archie Sonic Comics will be sued by a couple of it's old artists.
They say Archie "Stole their characters". Did they? It depends on what kind of a contract the artists had when they signed on to do work. When you sign a contract, you read it to know what type it is. There are a couple of types, and only lawyers can sort it out which one they had. However, to simplify a bit:

Type 1: You're just hired to draw comics with pre-existing characters and follow the plots laid out by the writers. (So, like an illustrator.)
Type 2: You're hired to develop NEW characters, who are then possessed by the company. Much like designing someone a mascot, that character is FOR the company & they're hiring you to manufacture it and then buying it off you when you're done, to use however they want. (So, like a chair-you make the chair, you sell the chair, they buy the chair and it's now their chair forever.)
Type 3: You're hired to draw for the comic, and they ask you to bring in some of your own characters, but the company doesn't get to keep them. You can then re-use them at your leisure anywhere else and not owe them anything. If you leave/the contract ends, the characters are then NOT able to be used/continued by the company.

Is what's happening that Archie says it had Type 2, but the artists think it had Type 3? Did someone lie about the type?
When the lawyers say what happened, there will likely be some kind of news release or something.

What's affected:
The older compilation books & issues. Also any future reprints. It's mostly the "BS" characters that fans hated too, like Sean Connery Ripoff-Wannabe, some stuff to do with the whole 'sword of acorns' thing, a few single-appearance guys and most notably Mammoth Mogul. So anywhere you find him, you'll want to buy that item if you don't have it already. The lawsuit will likely mean they can't ever reprint that stuff again just to avoid hassles. It may not even matter if they win, they may just shelve the whole batch of content.

*This week's update...
Yep, more Anniversary stuff is still appearing. And that's great! The anniversary is a big deal, and it's cool to see SDCC features give-away loot of it too. The most surprising thing was the Sephora Face Cream Mud thing. Yeah, it's just a Sonic sticker on their usual item, but it means they're paying attention to Sonic, which is interesting.

Little Bigheads Eggman: No surprise he appeared in the bag. He's the least-bought plush out of all of their over-priced small dolls. It was a convenient & friendly way to unload him.

Boom Proto Clothes: These are all genuinely well designed & good ideas. What's up with all the prototypes though? It seems like protos are ALL that comes in actual goods.

Domino Show: He did all that and he's not actually a fan? Someone's dedicated to dominoes. It's cool to see Sonic inspiring people though.

Next Week:
Update will likely have a small delay. Probably a better look at the Sonic X shoes, and more Japan Posters for sure.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2 New Sonic Games - Good News For All?

New game announcements!
It's always exciting news when Sonic's the star! So far, there's Sonic Mania an entirely classic game that's creating all sorts of interesting talk*. Then there's the more controversial one that doesn't have a name yet and doesn't show any game play. (It's more controversial because there's no gameplay in its single trailer so far) SonicGear isn't a games blog, so why bring these up?
(Speculation is at the bottom)

Merchandise. (Of course!)
You can INSTANTLY understand the prolific amount of classic style stuff that's all around us right now when you observe Sonic Mania. All that stuff, and the new license company Vandor on the scene in USA making buckets of items all of that goes to support Mania. (How about that DropDead Clothing in the UK too) It also handily explains classic Super Sonic-Dress-up Hello Kitty toy SDCC exclusive. With actual NEOCLASSIC art seeing more of a spotlight...the new items can feel fresh too, which is great. (If you like Sonic enough to own 1 thing, you might like to own more than 1. It's important that items look different enough to feel collectible) The other reason for the abundance of classic stuff isn't great though...

Boom strips away modern Sonic
Yes it IS time to re-run-speak once more on the topic. When Boom was announced & Boomstyle became 'a thing', Sega Marketing was quick to re-assure the fans that "no version of Sonic will disappear" and then instantly made modern Sonic disappear. They stripped the modern license from every company selling Sonic in the USA to ensure only Boomstyle would get the spotlight. You can hunt on Gear for proof, look at when the last date of genuinely new merch with modern Sonic stops appearing. After a certain point no new modern thing appears, it's only classic & Boom.

This is being falsely called "Generations 2", but it's already been stated (by game people, not the liars in marketing) that 'its not a sequel'....there for it will have to be called something other than "2" and can't use the word "generations".
The important thing is, that it has Modern Sonic in it and isn't made out of Boomstyle (so perhaps Knuckles fans can be happy again? Not a Knuckles fan? You can recognize that they are upset though) Since this game isn't just a portable, it's a big-console-deal, no doubt modern Sonic will be allowed to return to merchandise.

Bottom Line: No matter which Sonic style you like best you ought to be able to be happy with available merchandise!

*What talk?
A true console return to 2D gaming? If they get "The feel" of S&K or S3 or Sonic CD right this will be a smash. Every developer seems terrified of anything not 3D because "2D is old and inherently bad/inferior/nostalgia grabbing/low-tech/lame" so Sonic doing this is a big step. Mario fans are talking about a real console (not just portable) 2D Mario game again, and so are others (Donkey Kong, etc) to see what fun could be had there also. Will Sonic lead the way into more fun gaming as he once did? We can hope! (In gaming if it's fun to play ALL dimensions should be welcomed)

3rd Game:
Clearly....Fire & Ice Boom on DS so Boom merch will naturally continue to appear.

Why is the Gear update late?
Because the new uploading program (a 'new feature'....yes more like anti-feature) isn't as reliable as one might hope and decides when and when-not it will work. It is arbitrary & there's nothing to be done for it as it does not produce errors it merely refuses to do things. Waiting seems to placate it and that's what happened this week. It decided to work and so the site was updated.

Next week:
More prototype Boom stuff. They're hot for renders of things that don't exist yet. It's making people curious whether any of it will actually get made. (Considering one of the items is...a BIKE?)

The un-named game is post-apocalyptic. Eggman with his giant egg robos or whatever those are in the trailer has clearly "won" that town/city/area & Sonic is mad and goes to fight him. The word "Resistance" also plays into the fact that Eggman won.
How'd he win? Time travel.
Why is it not a sequel to Gens? In Gens he just messed with time and wrecked stuff, here he went thru it and did 1 specific thing.
Classic Sonic too: Confirms the time angle
Appropriate? Yes, Sonic CD did the time thing first & did it well. It's not outlandish like the Werehog & if they play their cards right they can leverage CD's greatness and past/future/good future/bad future level design to access complexity and depth.
Potential to be great? Absolutely.

Monday, July 18, 2016

SonicGear - Back in Action for Updates

This week's update brings good news!
The site is back in action after the attack of 502. Use the previous blog post to see what this error had to say, and what it did. This post explains (briefly...oy) what it really was and actually manages to have some Sonic content as well. So you know things are on the mend.

The real cause of 502 PORT command
The host company for SonicGear decided to suddenly change from FTP to SFTP without telling anyone or sending letters or posting notices. When that happens, all web site building programs that don't have the ability to know what SFTP is, will start letting off errors. (ill-explained or not) Of course, GoLive didn't recognize it.

What to do about SFTP?
Well it's some kind of advanced security thing so older software doesn't have any ability (nor can be changed) to use it. So the Golive Gear uses is likely version 7 from...................2003. And stuff from 2015 doesn't even know of SFTP so yes there is no chance. And of course, one cannot tell companies what to do so SFTP it is, and SFTP it stays.

The solution:
Filezilla. It's a free FTP program that lets you do SFTP because whoever is making it actually keeps up from the times. It's easy enough to use but adds a layer of work back into gear that wasn't there before. But, it is the best that can be asked for in this situation of legacyware.

Drop Dead: Sonic Line
The original update that got skipped (so, the first week) was spent gathering all the clothing from the line at the DropDead website and prepping it for use on the Gear. It was meant to only skip 1 week. There was such a huuuuge haul of stuff. The 2nd week was trying to solve the error issue, and here is the 3rd week when it finally appears.

DD A First
This is a first for non-Japan Sonic fans. A company making a whole LINE of clothes dedicated to Sonic. There's plenty of stuff! It's all classic style, but does use neoclassic art in several instances to keep it fresh. It's more than just tees, with jackets, underwear, sweatpants, sweatshirts and more all available to choose from. This is exciting stuff simply because there is so much of it, and a company dedicating a line for the first time.

Opinion Zone:
It's a nice enough line. It's pricey though. There's only so much that can be done with classic Sonic that hasn't been seen before but they do manage. The colors are a tad drab, but it is all supposed to appear very 'adult oriented'.
Why are their models all such gloomy-gusses? A pile of sour faces they are!
Some of the stuff is too subtle to be paying that kind of money for. If you want to spend a bundle to rock a brand and flaunt Sonic you don't want (probably) nearly invisible items.
Good fun: Very hairy Tails shirt
Red sock: Get the red sock out of the laundry on that poor girls 'rows of Sonic faces' terrible shirt. It just looks stained and ill designed
Jacket confusion: Why make the girls jacket better than the boys? It will just annoy folks
Socks: If it's that expensive, make it look more like his shoe

Bottom line: Very good this line got made, it's an assortment that brings new stuff to the table & proves Sonic's enduring popularity

Update 2:
Yes 2 updates in '1 week'. The 2nd isn't as large as usual, but was used to test the new system & make up for what got missed. If you sent something in and DONT see it yet, never fear, it'll probably appear next week. The 2nd update was to keep things from getting behind/getting out of hand at the inbox.

Next week:
Probably prototypes, the new Lego Sonic Dimension figure, an exclusive, and hopefully no trouble getting things done.