Blue Hedgehogs in my Childhood

I’m not gonna lie. Back in the day when Nintendo and Sega were at each other’s throats, I sided with Nintendo… mostly since my only form of videogaming entertainment came from my cousin’s SNES at the time. But c’mon—when given the option to choose between two gaming companies after only seeing the awesomeness that was Super Mario World at age six, you’re gonna side with whoever’s got the Super Mario World.


… that is until I saw the awesomeness that was Sonic the Hedgehog.

I want to say that the first time I saw Sonic was in the pages of a Disney Adventures magazine back in the day, but considering just how much Sega pimped him out, I wouldn’t be surprised if I first saw him on something else entirely. But that still didn’t change the fact that I was a kid low on cash for a gaming system of his own, limited to a group of people who took Nintendo’s side over Sega’s. And really, being a six-year-old and actually seeing who the adventuring plumber was competing against, I’ve gotta say I’m not surprised I was at the least intrigued by who Sega had at their side. I mean, he’s blue for cripes sakes; what self-respecting boy doesn’t like blue?

So, even though I lacked in the funds for anything gaming related, this Sonic character still appealed to me and I wanted to be a part of his fandom in some way or another. Thankfully, Sega had my demographic covered. In the peak of my Sonic phase, I remember buying three and only three things related to the franchise in one way or another:


First up would be my Sonic piggy bank. I remember the day I got it from Toys-R-Us and getting frustrated about having to undo the wires from the packaging. I must have spent an entire afternoon just looking around the house for change to cram into Sonic’s head. Amazingly enough, I’ve still got the piggy-bank on me, though last I checked, there wasn’t any more than $5 in change in ‘im. Eh, I guess that’s what bank accounts are for.


Next up would have to be the trilogy of Sonic picture books from Golden Book Entertainment. I don’t remember ever watching much of the Sonic TV show back in the day (TV watching back then would be more directed to the Ninja Turtles more than any other show), but I remember seeing these books in my school’s scholastic book order catalog and thinking how I’d love to improve my already impeccable taste for books by adding ‘em to my already growing collection. I have no recollection at all of having the third book, but I remember the first two well enough. While the second book was more of a cheesy valentines-ish book, the first one was more about (as you could probably tell from the pictures) Sonic losing his shoes. And when you’re a blue hedgehog that’s known more for his speed than the fact that he looks distinctly different from the rest of his species, I guess shoes would be a pretty big deal. I remember one two-page spread of him just running around beating up a robot while still in his socks. Robot-oriented violence has always confused me like that.

Finally, and probably the most related to a videogame, would have to be Sonic 2…


… from Tiger’s handheld electronics line. The graphics were more like stamped images that would change according to what was going on in the game, the music would loop after five or so seconds, and I remember lots and lots of button mashing, having no interest in reading the instructions at all… but this was the Sonic that made my childhood. And while most people remember Sonic from the Genesis games, it was all about Tiger’s line of electronic handhelds for me. I remember actually having a decent number of other Tiger handhelds, ranging from Casper to Power Rangers. Guess the twenty dollar price tag per game seemed more appealing than the hundred-ish price tag for a console alone for my parents.


With most mainstream videogames hard for me to come by, and with Sonic getting shafted by the time I had better access to videogames, Sonic slowly fell to the wayside to other things just as obscure and ridiculous in their name description. Now, fourteen or so years later and pretty much having established myself as a 2D platformer in terms of videogame preference, a Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Episode 1 gets announced… and you can say I’m pretty happy to be able to explore a part of my childhood I’ve yet to even touch upon. Though, with that said, I’m a bit more anxious for the release of the old-school Sonic games together in a single DS release. I mean, checking the trailer for the new game, you could say that I’m a bit disappointed in Sonic’s slowness in comparison to his older game counterparts. Seriously, his legs don’t even spin in a circle in classic cartoon style to demonstrate his speed… what up with that?

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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