JAKKS Pacific announces extension of Sonic the Hedgehog license
Obscure characters continue with Mecha Sonic.
Since 2019, toy maker JAKKS Pacific has held the license for the Sonic the Hedgehog brand, and done some pretty fantastic things we’ve never seen before.
There are action figures, as one would expect, as well as plush toys. But they’ve also created for us playsets and collectible figures, the kind which you would normally only expect to see at an import retailer or comic shop.
To top it all off, they’ve even gone deep into the well of what the Sonic license has to offer, perhaps deeper than anyone before them, giving us our first Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel figures, plushes, and so on. (Note: Maybe these two got some old, obscure release in Japan, but I’m pretty sure these are their first western-released toys.)
The success of these products has been described by the company as “unprecedented,” meaning they must be doing something right.
If you’re a fan of what JAKKS has been doing with the Blue Blur and his friends, then there’s some great news for you here: As announced in a press release, JAKKS Pacific and SEGA of America have agreed to extend their licensing partnership, which will continue from 2022 (presumably their original expiration) on until an as-yet unspecified time.
“Our line of Sonic the Hedgehog products consistently hit the mark with retailers and fans, and we are excited to continue to develop innovative toys with SEGA that resonate on a global scale,” said Craig Drobis, Senior Vice President of Marketing at JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “Our Sonic figures, playsets and plush have seen consistent sales growth since our partnership with SEGA began. There is more great product to be introduced for this Fall and for several years to come.”
“JAKKS Pacific has been an integral partner in bringing our vision for unique, high-quality Sonic collectibles to market over the past two years, and we’re ecstatic to expand our partnership them as we enter the next decade of the franchise,” said Alex Gomez, Licensing Director at SEGA of America. “The new collection is sure to bring Sonic fun to new heights with merchandise tied to upcoming projects and will feature the Blue Blur in his Classic and Modern form, with something special for Sonic fans of every generation.”
Coinciding with the announcement, JAKKS has released pictures of several new figures and plush toys they have plans to release, as you can see here (courtesy of Nintendo Wire and Gaming Age):
In addition to plush toys of Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, and Super Sonic in their modern incarnations, there are several Classic Sonic figures shown as well, including Sonic with a laughing expression, Dr. Eggman, and mah man, Mighty the Armadillo. But there’s one figure in particular that’s really been garnering attention:
If you want to talk about deep cuts, at least when it comes to merchandising, then let me introduce you to Mecha Sonic (aka “Silver Sonic” in the now-defunct Archie comic series). The penultimate boss of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, one of the most beloved Sonic games of all time, may not seem like a deep cut, but really, when was the last time you saw this guy in anything else*? These days, it’s usually Metal Sonic (who debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog CD) or bust.
So as long as they keep cuts like this coming, and maybe offer a reasonable substitute for the absurdly rare and obscenely expensive Blaze the Cat figure from Jazwares, then maybe we can safely consider the Sonic toy brand in good hands for the foreseeable future.
…at least, if you live in the USA. It’s been like a decade or more since I last saw Sonic figures on shelves in Canada with any regularity.
* Okay, fine, he was technically in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Sonic Pocket Adventure, but I still maintain this is a pretty deep cut, at least where merchandise is concerned.