Here's the invite they sent me when I won. Yes, I still own it. How sad is that? I also have a letter they sent along with it..
Photos of the event after the jump! Whoopie!
Hamleys as you may already know is a huge toy shop in London on Regent Street with floors upon floors of the stuff. On the below ground bottom floor was a gaming section called Metropolis, which was Sega branded and had a bunch of arcade cabinets and a snack bar of some sort. My memory of the place is pretty fuzzy and I don't believe it's still there, and if it is I doubt Sega still has their name plastered everywhere (much like how Segaworld became 'Funland'), but it was further evidence that Sega were huge in the UK. You never saw anything like this run by Nintendo, that's for sure!
Game wise, they had a few Saturn cabinets set up with Sonic R running on them, about a month before the game was due out. There was a raffle to win a couple copies of the game early, along with some other Sonic stuff I can't remember exactly. I also remember there being a contest involving getting best scores on the arcade cabinets they had there, of which I only remember the Scud race machines which i gave a whirl and got no where in. There was goodie bags that came with a bunch of badges of Sonic running about on a Hamley's logo which I still have somewhere) as well as Sonic Jam and Sonic R posters. Neat.
The highlight of the event was a guy wandering about in a rather impressive Sonic costume (far better than the one that stumbled around SegaWorld), who was being helped around by some woman presumably due to not being able to see very well. I remember one moment when she disappeared for a bit and he manged to walk into a wall, causing Sonic 3D posters to fall all over him. How embarrassing. but I kind of wished we got that caught on camera, could of sent that to Who's Been Framed. He practically had to shove his face into the cake to even see it.
Aww, why so sad, Sonic? Maybe he just had a vision from the future of how far his games were to plummet. That or he just played Sonic Labyrinth on his Game Gear.
I didn't really want to post this photo as the public domain like nature of the Internet would possibly jump on this like a pack of hyenas, so I hid my face to save the embarrassment of a generally unflattering photo. What I really wanted to show off however was the bad-arse jacket covered in Sonic patches. When I grew out of the original jacket they were on, my nan knitted them onto a new bigger jacket. Oh hey, I just noticed my Tamagotchi watch I'm wearing too. If that doesn't throw you back to 1997 I don't know what will.
Photos not enough for you? Then how about some home video footage? Yeah, that's what I thought. If the kid above wasn't enough to scare the feck out of you just wait till you hear some of them. Watch as a kid goes ape shit mental while Sonic is helped to cut his cake. Feel the urge to punch the annoying twat of a parent giving Sonic instructions on how he wants a photo taken with his kid. Cringe as I honk Sonic's nose, which I'm pretty sure he probably didn't like and worst of all; feel your ears bleed as everyone sings happy birthday. You'll also see Sonic do a little dance then go into a strop for some reason. Maybe he doesn't like the Sonic 3D art on his cake. I blocked out most of the noise at the start with some Sonic R music to save your ears a little.
When the event was over, we popped over to SegaWorld, which you'll also see alittle bit of at the end of the video. This was the second time, and this time instead of paying about £12 each to get in with the rides included, it was only about £5, but you had to pay about £3 for the rides individually. (those photos I showed in an older Segaworld article must of been from a 3rd visit, as they're clearly laterThere was another guy in a Sonic costume walking around there, although that one wasn't quite as convincing: he had the hugest gob that looked like a tumor on his face. The highlight of the whole video, though? Mum filming some huge screen footage of the Spice Girls to show my sister, only for me to shout "Spice Girls, but not for long!" Take note this was a couple months before they split up. Ha ha ha!