Sonic the Hedgehog (the movie) is here and with that, comes a few toys! But as we know from the sordid history of this movie and Sonic’s original design aesthetic, it wasn’t an easy road on the map to merchandise.
Sonic isn’t the only movie in history to have characters (designs or personality) to change drastically. However, depending on the timing of these changes, you can sometimes catch the original toys in storybooks, posters, or toys. Let’s look at Moana for example. I bought the below playset for my kids and you can clearly see a completely different looking Te’Ka and Hei Hei.
Whereas I’ve never seen Te’Ka portrayed like this thick blobby lava mess anywhere else, there is tons of evidence that “Smug Hei Hei/Angry_Mean Hei Hei” was a real thing pretty far into production.
So, going back to Sonic the Hedgehog, in spite of original design erasure, there are now a few readily available toys that bear the mark of shame that before there was this:
There was this:
Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Baby Sonic 8 1/2-Inch Plush – $10.99 – March 2020
From the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie, comes the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Baby Sonic 8 1/2-Inch Plush. Bring home the adorable baby Sonic in plush form! The baby Sonic plush features super soft materials. With detailed styling in the eyes, this tiny version of Sonic is just as lovable as he is in the movie! Measures about 8 1/2-inches tall.
Hold up, wait a minute, slow down there girlfriend. We all know this wasn’t supposed to be any “Baby Sonic”. This was just…Nightmare Sonic in plush form! I guarantee that once this monster was redesigned into the current movie version who closer reflects the Sonic we love, they were like “Well, this sucker has already been submitted as an asset to toy manufacturers, soooo no gloves, gross human eyes, and we will call it Baby Sonic.”
Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Spin Dash Sonic Playset – $31.99 – March 2020
From the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie, bring home Sonic’s super speed with the Spin Dash Sonic toy! Including a total of 7 pieces, this Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Spin Dash Sonic Playset lets you rev and launch Sonic with incredible speed. Set up the ramp and eggpod, then rev the rip cord and launch Sonic! See if you can launch him into the eggpod target and defeat Dr. Robotnik with super Sonic speed!
Let’s eewwww at this a little more together, shall we? Man, I’m telling you, I feel so bad for the good people over at JAKKS Pacific. They’re troopers for powering through the design and redesign work for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie toys, especially since they have so many nice looking Sonic toys already in their catalog. I’m sure somewhere in the JAKKS offices there is a version of the box art with original Movie Sonic plaguing the panels. And my god, I wish I could see it.
Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Sonic Talking 13-Inch Plush – $21.99 – March 2020
From the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie, bring Sonic to life with this 13-inch tall talking plush! Featuring 7 phrases from the movie and 3 sound effects, Sonic includes a total of 10 different sounds. Squeeze Sonic’s left hand to cycle through each of his 7 phrases. Shake Sonic to trigger the 3 unique sound effects. With detailed movie styling and a variety of sounds, this talking plush brings Sonic’s awesome personality to life! The Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Sonic Talking 13-Inch Plush is sure to delight fans of the video game too! Requires 3x “AG13” batteries, included.
I feel like this Sonic plush was saved just in time. Like JAKKS was notified of the design change and managed to salvage this piece (mostly) before it went into final production, but it still ended up looking like a new/old movie Sonic hybrid experience.
HONORABLE MENTIONS NOT FOR SALE:
YouTube videos and other articles online showed off a few Gross Movie Sonic prototype toys that will likely never see the light of day. Those toys include:
Follow Toy Wizards on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for all the latest toy news, reviews and updates!
Another WTF “based on an early design” toy was the electronic Rocket from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Rocket had cybernetics and a metal plate on his head–I think early designs leaned into the “experimented on” character background.
Oh I love knowing that!
Actually the “unproduced” toys are movie theater promos from Russia. They did made two of the three, I guess they were hoping people wouldn’t notice they look different (they didn’t make the standing one).
Great job Loryn. Keep doing what you do!