Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sonic Birthday Week 2009 - Catch Up

Well the b-day week updates are certainly coming along.
It has made the week super hectic, to have to do a full or nearly-full update on every single day, despite all that's going on along with them. The updates (as you will probably notice) fell behind by 1 day, which was corrected today. It was also nearly impossible to correct because it meant having to do 2 in one day...so really Sat. was the only day that could accomplish that.

Most of the updates are just scattershot things.
Aside from being really entertaining for everyone who looks at the stuff, they're also being used to clear as much of the mail pile up as possible. I've now gotten down into the pretty old stuff so if you sent in something long ago and are confused about what happened to it...look out! Because you might have just gotten a mail and the stuff added. The mail is now to 65 messages, which is not the all-time low of 49, but it is headed in the right direction.

It's this same reason that the site didn't get a batch of new pages like it did last year. The bday week has brought 2 new ones so far, and a 3rd all-new surprise page is in the works. Yes, it does bring in a new catagory and will mean some of the currently placed things will move. Can't have a birthday week without SOMEthing all new, at least!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Metal Sonic - Daaaam!

I was NOT expecting that.
The last update saw Jazwares' prototype 10inch Metal Sonic. And I am SHOCKED. A lot of the time, Sonic merchandise that's 3D can't really live up to any hype. There's just been so much...meh...stuff out there that you come to expect mediocrity and are 99% right. So-so plushes, over priced items, stuff that's rare for no reason...it goes on and on. And then...this.

Nobody's seen anything like it before.
It BEATS stuff you saw in the games. That NEVER HAPPENS. It's crazy. The games are always the 'top dog' for looks on things. Getting as close to them as possible (unless you're doing some obvious branch like classic, chibi, etc) is the grail. But beating them? Unheard of. The detail is appropriate too. This isn't hinging Sonic's spikes for no good reason like the super posers. It's little mechanical things down in the ankles and the fingers.

I know a lot of people were mad at Jazwares for their 'yellow Sonic' nonsense.
Were they going in for a money-grab? Were they trying to make up a license to be lazy and just feed the fans rehashed swill they dug up from ages ago? Resting on their flowerbeds because they made a decent werehog and all? Yellow Sonic shook the confidence. Shadow was sort of excusable but if you really looked into it he looked like repainting for money. People were worried where they were headed after those two.

Metal Sonic are the only 2 words anyone needs to hear now.
They are SERIOUS about making good things, it says. They've got someone on the team that knows what stuff's about and they're not afraid to work that person and give the ok to detail it up. That's what makes a great line/s. Further catering with the MS JUVI at the 'con is another good touch but the BETTER one is letting that thing on tru.com so people have an honest chance at him if they go online.

Super Faker Sonic shouldn't be swept under the rug.
He's still bad news if he prevents everyone from getting a real Super Sonic. Maybe the issue will resolve itself. With the werehog plush showing up and the 3inch upgrades it does look like they're really committed to doing the right thing so the point vs. him may just go away.

I have never really liked 'limited editions'.
They never seemed to serve that big a purpose except to make people mad. Stuff that's super popular and Crazy Good becomes limited edition anyway, without having silly stickers or restrictions put upon them. Look at ReSaurus E102Gamma. Heck, even look at Toy Island Eggman with Kiki! NEITHER was in any way limited when it came out but they were both reasonably priced and well done. Now look at them. You can't get the Egg/Kiki set for under $75.00.

People also love to abuse limited edition. Buy up 5, scalp everyone later! Make sure billie's birthday is horrible because his parents can't afford to pay triple! Buy up 7, make sure that NO ONE can pay the real price for them. It's just aggrivation.

The great thing is, 10 inch MS won't be limited.
Or at least nothing like that has been mentioned. And that's likely a great move because everyone's gonna want him. Even if they're not that big a fan, I don't think people can resist such an impressive figure. Plus if it's not limited, who cares? Buy 5, they'll get more in. Save him up and sell him to another generation of fans later. That's more acceptable because no one's getting deprived, no one's getting forced to pay doubles/triples/etc for no reason. If you don't buy him at retail when you have the chance and he's right infront of everyone at reg. cost...then yes you should expect to pay more later.

But will he action?
The unknown thing of the figure. No one ever mentioned if it was a giant action figure, or if it was some kind of statue. It's not obvious from the photo either. To me though, it doesn't matter either way.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sonic...Not So Universe (rant warning ahead! Zoooom)

Update 2 for the birthday week is up.
The update had a scattering of things, as usual and did help to clear up some of the mail. One of the things that had been pending for a long time though, was an update to the Archie section. Since that stuff doesn't eliminate mailed in items it kept getting put off. This update had issue 200 of the main series and #4 of Sonic Universe. Another update to the section won't be required until something else happens, so that's fine too.
Sonic a Universe of Dissapointment-?
As you well know the PREMISE for SU was good. Wrap up the Sonic X plot and then take off into uncharted and all new territory based on the games and starring multiple characters. This was a great idea for several reasons:
Sonic X itself was doomed to end/be finite.
The comic COULD NOT cover what all happened in the show past a certain point because "Its not appropriate for 5 year olds". Also, the show itself was finite too, with a beginning, middle and end. There's only so long that anyone could mess around doing side stories and things like that before the material would run out and you'd start bumping into the "Walls" set by the chosen continuity. It's *perfectly OK for the comic to end*

Different Characters are cool:
Knuckles the comic couldn't sustain itself, though it was the most successfull of the Sonic Spinoffs. Tails' series failed due to miserable art and a worse story. Sally's series didn't go full-time, likely due to lack of Sega fueled fan support but no one will really ever know the answer to that one, as it WAS well plotted and pretty well drawn too.

However, people DO like Shadow, Knuckles, Blaze, Marine, Amy, Tails, and probably everyone except maybe Big. Do they like them enough to sustain a billion sepearate series every month? Not likely. But THATS the beauty of something like that! You get BREIF periods focusing on the characters. It's enough to satisfy the fans of each one without having to go overboard. Brilliant move. It could go 'round robin' for basically ever, to satisfy everyone. And you know people would still collect the books for the other chars plus their fave too.
Archie out of the equasion:
It's no secret that the main Sonic book has a rep for being "newbie unfriendly" due to its really convoluted nature, abandoned plot points galore and tons of filler characters being unloaded left and right. The cast is way up in the 100s and there's nothing they're going to do about that. That's FINE. Archie Sonic has it's niche among collectors and old-line fans who are all into (or at least dont mind) all the klutter and complexity it provides.


With Universe, it was said to be able to not have that Archie-centric focus where it baffles newcomers. Use the games, use the Sega cast which is now pleeeenty big enough to do pretty much anything. Invent a new villain for the Chaotix? Cool. What would Knuckles do in the event of a natural disaster somewhere? I don't know. What's Shadow up to lately? People might like to know. Bring Sonic in on some of them, leave him out of others. There's plenty to be messed around with...without dipping into archie confusion zone. Again, good idea.

Too bad they used HARDLY ANY of the stuff above.

Sure they said they would, but after Book 4, the whole mess is in the dumpster! The 4th issue even dredged up the absurd Feist and plunked him in. (Yeah I'm sure the Chaos emeralds if they weren't produced by purely natural sources would have been made by something other than a giant stupid panda bear. You couldn't come up with something cooler? That was genuinely god-like and not petty AND naive? Really?)

So, I was like 'ok yeah you can recycle a villain/whatever or 2 out of Archie.' The book will still be fine. They explain him well enough without having to sit in expo-mode for half an hour and you're not baffled by anything other than his dumbness.

The next 4 issues, look out!
It's a return of the dreaded "Future Comic". They say 'popular demand' but WHO THE HELL IS DEMANDING THIS? (I want to throw something at you, if its true. Maybe a stapler.) I can't IMAGINE who is wanting more of this trash! Sonic fans? WHY?

(more on that later)
FutureFAIL is an immideate dip into the Archieverse bucket that will totally alienate anyone who liked the concept of Universe! Infact, it's the WORST move they could make on the book because that futuretown BS brings in the worst of archieverse in the fastest way possible. Billion mile long family trees for Knuckles! Echidna society that's totally archiverse created and goes with no show or game ever! Do you know who the dingoes are? Do you want to? Stupid characters by the handfull that no one's ever seen before! Mary Sues galore! It has nothing to do with anything and they're moooovin on in on the SECOND arc? Really now? If you're going to churn out a stinker like that at least shovel that swill in up after issue 10 unless you're TRYING to kill the book early! Way to take everything you promised and throw it in the bin, people!

If you don't know: Why is it a bad idea?

It's set 20 years in the future. Sonic & co. are all adults, married with children. Yes that's exactly what teens and tweens and kids like to read about. Married old couples raising their kids! Wait...no.




They'll have to spend half the books in exposition mode to fill in all the people they hopefully attracted over from Sonic X. This will bore anyone else. If you liked X, you're not going to want to re-learn everything from archie because there was....A REASON you didn't collect Archie!




To 'get' futuretown you have to 'get' all the stuff from archieverse past and all their billions of dudes. There's no way they're going to even be able to explain it well enough in expo mode even if they waste half the comics doing so. Their expo mode wont even work.




It's going to look 'shoveled in'.


You just came off a decent Team Dark/Shadow story and now instead of more 'current events' you get some irrelevant to everything X and Universe-so-far plot. Woo. Suddenly jumping into a hypothetical 100% Archie only mess is really WTH.


In conclusion:
If Universe is able to weather this storm of crazy, AND they actually return to their original game plan, it should likely turn out ok. Here's to hoping they remember it, or they get hit by enough 'fan mail' that the whackin' helps remind them of what they promised.


Ok opinion time...beware below:

Futuretown is horrible and I hate it because:

It's billed as a 'possible future'-
That means its an excersize in futility to even focus on it. Someone can write in 'o wait no that never happened'...and so it didn't. Plot abandonment ahoy. Free reign to just dither and act bogus and do whatever the hell...it doesn't matter! Throw in any filler garbage you can find. There's no real 'investment' anyone wants to make in the futuretown arcs either on the reading end or the writing end because they are FAKE.

Their 'kids' are stupid-

Yeah I'm sure if you got a cat and a dog to mate that it would have 2 puppies and 2 kittens and you wouldn't get some cat-dog hybrid things. DUR everybody knows that since kindergarden. EVERYTHING mixes or it's just the most retarded thing in the world! ARGH. You can be 4 years old and know that things mix when you mix 'em! But no. They got a boy hedgehog and girl...whatever the hell Sally is this week. At least make the Sally creature blue! This is sheerly doofy and poor character design. Which brings it to...


STOP trying to replace Sonic!
They did it because the "kids" can be little clones of the parents that still aren't...and they can make those do whatever they want without the restrictions and expectations of Sonic characters. It's basically a totally un-creative way to make Sonic-clone fanchars that you can give whatever powers to that you want. It's like people who color Tails green and say he's Smails the schlox and he's JUST LIKE TAILS BUT..... (See what they are doing is cribbing off of characters that are actually cool because they can't make up a character that is actually cool on it's own merit. That would be difficult) It's not amusing in the damm fics and it's not any more amusing here. Shovel in the Mary Sues galore with the tykes! Don't focus on Sonic! Change Sonic in stupid rediculous ways...you can get away with it because it's "Hypothetical". Yeah Knuckles is so lame that I'm sure he'd falter in battle bad enough to have his eyeball torn out of his head. (it's missing in the futuretown) See?

I despise things that replace Sonic.

I am a Sonic fan who enjoys Sonic things. This is why I diss so much fic. The first thing so many authors do is have their sue come in and replace Sonic. That or be somehow just like Sonic but better. Why the hell did I come here? I came to read a story about chars I know, not about 50,000 made up dimwits with 900 powers each. So what their aim is in these futurestories is to replace Sonic & Knuckles with their kids. That look just like them but are better somehow (OMG that is so clever and not at all like Smails the schlox) Plus the Knuckles spawn is female so you can get in there some o' that good old "Well what if he was a girl...".

Sonic is cool BECAUSE he is a kid.

Yes yes opinion and all. But look at all the super heroes and stuff out there. Master Chief? I'll be it's a grownup in that suit. DC? Marvel? Grownups for the mostpart. Yeah there's the teen titans but they're not like...the be-all end-all of everything. It's unusual enough that he's a kid. Makes what he does more extraordinary. People turn to anime and manga because they're tired of the same ol' same ol'. Anime and manga can be wierd as hellz. And that's a good thing. He's a kid but he's not this cliche` RPG char type or a tries too hard to be cool sort. He's not an emo in highschool like a lot of the manga now either. He's not 'dark' and weighed down with 'emotional baggage' from the past. A real free spirit, like the wind you wish you could be.

And then he gets married and let them king him and has kids to watch and has to do what Sally says all the time and has baggage and the 'dark' and is weighed down by past events and...see? Not so pleasent. Stealing away the uniqueness. Would everyone be just as entertained by a story of Lara Croft where she's about 45 years old or so, married to some archaeologist dude and has to do what he says all day? As they have to watch their 3 kids in the back yard? Or how about some wacky adventure where her kids get into trouble and act smart-azz? No, she's not as entertaining in that scenario so everyone doesn't obsess over writing Lara: 20 Years later and married with kids and baggage!

The end.

Incidentally: Sonic can't lose an eye. All he has is one. Technically then he is a cyclops. How do the colored bits move independently of eachother. No one knows. This is still all right. If you made it down this far, you get a .gif.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sonic's 2009 Birthday Week

This update marks the start of Sonic Birthday 2009 celebration.
The update will last all week long, with many new items posted on every day of the whole week to celebrate his birthday. This format was really popular with the site last year and everyone really loved it, so it's more of the same this year.

I'm also really happy to do it this way because it should help out a whole lot with the mail too. New record this week with 123 of them...got it down to 99 on the first night. However, it won't be all storming through it because some non-mail related things should be going up as well, including Archie Update and that people who did the Joypolis honeymoon as well as any other bits that just couldn't fit in under the mail flood.

Item of the week:
Werehog plush. If it's not a hoax then it's proof Jazwares wants to dabble in plushes as well. All considered, this is likely a good thing because it looks 'ok' so far in the photo. WHY did they pick the werehog after one of their reps said specifically that the werehog plush had been 'denied' by Sega? No idea unless whoever that was had misinformation or Sega changed their tune. Face it: anyone is better than stupid ToyNetwork who needs to be fired immideatly. Preferably with actual fire upon their nasty ugly toys.

Will need more photos of this guy to make a final call though.
And speaking of JW photos, the call to the fans is going out because ToyFare Magazine 144 has some real good ones in it (reportedly) of some new stuff they're doing including a huge Metal Sonic that is not the JUVI everyone's already seen. Unfortunately on newstands that magazine can be dodgy to get a hold of so photos are important to get the info out to the fans who need to see this stuff. The 3incher should be in there too because those are their next-closest-to release.

The rest is just a basic scattering of items and some updates to info. 2nd edition toothbrushes (with raised designs) are a good addition to their entry though.

Tonight:
Archie will be updated. A rant may be added here in another post.
The rest is up for grabs as to what shakes out of the mail to add to the Archie update. The blog MAY update more as the week goes on, depending on how much commentary there may be for the stuff.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Plain Sonic" Aquired & New Figure News

Thanks to the fans' help, SonicGear now has 'plain Sonic'.
The devious nameless figure that was so hard to get (because you can't just ask for Sonic on the phone to the stores) has now been aquired because SonicGear readers sent in the UPC from the figure they had. It's way appriciated and now the code is shared for all to use for easy-buying of this really well done Jazwares piece.

So what is his problem?
He comes in a carton with the Werehog. So for every X werehogs (I think 4) they get 4 of him too. If you have to make your TRU person go get a carton, the plain Sonics are UNDER the werehogs in that big box so you really have to make them dig him out. The werehogs that are in there will be yellowcard ones.

On a side-note this will be one of the 2 Sonics that is in SonicGear Commercial 2, so that is further good news.

The other help was the booth # for JUVI Metal Sonic got sent in as well. That will help anyone going to the actual con to get him, so it's useful.

The new news is places like ToyGlobe.com are starting to have place-holders for the Jazwares 3 inch posable line. This is good news, because if the initial bullitain is to be believed, the little 3 inchers will have loads of characters on them. People who never even had a figure before, supposedly. Does this mean we'll see Silver, Espio, Blaze, and Vector? It certainly seemed like a possibility in the original info.
*WHICH btw, has proved itself to be pretty much correct so far. However, the 3 inch line news was the last of it, so there cannot be any further predictions made.

The bad news is that Super Sonic does indeed have normal spikes. In a conversation the other day, they came up with a brilliant idea. Call him "Yellow Sonic". And that is SO RIGHT because really that is not Super Sonic at all. Yes everyone's bummed but they're buying anyway. I will not own this figure because I vote with dollars and they do not get my vote for this rip off.

Why is that bad?
1. Because if they find out that painting Sonic yellow sells, why not just do it again?

2. Will we EVER get something that's really Super Sonic? The 'compelling reason' was that there had been NO SS stuff in the USA/EU really...ever. Now that "Technically there is one" (because someone wrote it on a box) there's no more compelling reason. Yes he's a repaint/knockoff thing but they'll say he counts.

3. Is it a license to rip everyone off? "They'll buy ANYthing!"

#4 would have been "Is Jazwares simply not paying any attention at all?" Much like the horrible ToyNetwork plushes, clearly TN does not pay attention to anything anyone wants. But really, that's impossible given they did Metal Sonic AND their really great sculpt for both plain Sonic and the Werehog. They did TOO GOOD a job to make anyone think that this Yellow Sonic is for real. Hopefully...they don't slip up again!

The Update:
It's pretty much gearing up for Sonic's Bday. Released some JP 2009 things but really those feel like buying/winning an advertisement for their mobile site. The art is cute though and it's very fitting for a pre-bday update. There was a tooooon of mail this week so Archie got on the back burner again. Whenever it happens, either amid weeker this week or what, it'll have issue 200 and further blurb on Universe.

I'm also hoping to have seen the last of the bootlegs for a while as they seem to be dwindling now.

Next Week:
Still want to get Archie stuff on there. Going to add another to calander o crud (havnt seen anything for that in a while!) to get it out before the bday. Maybe a new page "Parody Items" could be an all-right catagory but it'll have to see how the mail shapes up.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Buried by Bootlegs!

Oh no its a flood of funky garbage!
For some reason the bootleg barf flood just keeps on coming. Tacky tickets and stupid iron ons mess up the day. While some can be somewhat amusing (Yeah, how about that Luigi x Sonic cross toy??) most are just dumb junky things that get stale waiting for bids on ebay. However, with the mega amounts of these things pouring in (esp. this time) they're squeezing out other things that people really WANT to see.

Do you want to see a fake button that you've already seen a billion of
or
A really cool Sonic ____ you can buy?

Everyone comes to SonicGear to see the neatest, strangest, rarest, and most interesting things. But this update they can see the most fakest things. Hopefully that'll be almost all of the current gimmicky fakes because this update was a MEGA load of stuff because not all of it was good.

Pretty much a mixed bag this time, without anything too out of the ordinary. Got a few facts cleared up, sprinkled in some Japan things. "International Unknown" had an item with the SHORTEST run EVER. The run of existance there was about 20 minutes, so if you blinked you'll of missed it. The item in question was the TGS Sonic prize doll. Someone sent a photo, but not where it was from. Someone else sent the same doll but knew precicely what it was. As the update was being completed! It's good that it's cleared up though.

The call for help went out this week vs. 'regular Sonic's' UPC code.
They SHOULD have called him "Sonic Unleashed Sonic the Hedgehog" as opposed to "Sonic Unleashed Sonic the Werehog". But they didn't, so you can't call toys R us and easily ask for him. If you do, they'll say yes, but when you get there all they have is the Super poser. (Well you DID ask for SONIC and they TECHNICALLY have him...) So that's why we need the UPC.

Why is this figure so important?
He's going to go into the next SonicGear commercial--it's perfect for it! Also, no one deserves to pay 3x the price for a figure. Hopefully someone can help out and send in the code.

What's next?
Probably more variety/mail bag. Should also have Sonic Universe on there as well, it was going to be this week but bootleg bonanza ruined it.