You've seen most of these little Sonic toys scattered about in many of my photos here before, but I almost forgot that I have a bunch more of them boxed up in the loft, so I decided to dig them out and snap some photos of them. They are easily one of my favorite sets of Sonic toys from my childhood: I recall having two of all of them at one stage: these ones boxed to store away and another set to play with, and they were awesome. I don't even think Japan ever got a set with as many different characters in it as this, yet they were released near the tail end of the Sonic boom of '92-'94.
They were produced by Tomy, who had previously released quite a lot of Sonic toys in England like the Pinball machine, the Marble Quest tower thing, a remote control car, some spinning discs thing called the Cyclone and lot's more. sadly I don't own a lot of those anymore before they were bulky and got played to death, the Cyclone in particular of mine got wreaked. While those toys were mostly found in catalogs and department stores this figure set was quite hard to hunt down from my memory, eventually finding them in a small toy shop. I don't believe you see these very often anymore except four of the figures were re-released in a little Sega branded box-set that pops up on Ebay every so often (Smindas has them in his collection I believe).
Here's one of the boxes, of which I have 3 out of a total of 5, each containing 4 figures, which were always two characters and two badniks. The box is quite snazzy, matching that iconic logo that adorned the box of the game. Makes a chnage from the usual checkered designs, anyway.
More after the jump..
..and here's the back of the box, with a nice checklist of all the figures in the set. I only have 4 missing from my collection (including the Crabmeat which would be a favorite if I had it). Despite being a collection released to promote the game Sonic & Knuckles, most of the toys are badniks from the very first Sonic game. Not that I'm complaining because these are the only badnik toys I know to exist and they're very nicely made, too. There is even a toy for 'Splats', the rabbit on a spring which was meant to appear in Sonic 1 but didn't.
Here's a photo of my whole (almost complete) set. Uploaded it nice and big so it can be used as a wallpaper if you wanted, and yes, I hung those two flying badniks up with blue-tack. The badnik toys are shockingly good, and perfectly on model with the ones found in the game. with all the right colours. The weakest figure in the set is easily the Sonic on the right, which has poorly painted wonky eyes, but the rest more than make up for it. The Robotnik is AOSTH styled and a lot heavier than the rest, which makes sense really. Both the Tails, the Robotnik I don't own and and the Sonic on the left are smaller versions of a set of big figures that Tomy released some time eariler, of which i have two of them somewhere in the loft too.
Two of the most interesting figures in the set have to be the Knuckles and Metal Sonic ones, possibly because you rarely saw merchandise of these two back then, especially Metal who you hardly ever see anything of. The Metal Sonic is pretty darn accurate to the Sonic CD artwork and one of the most impressive figures in the set, although my one lacks the gold ring planted on it's belly as seen on the box, not sure if they were all like that or not. I actually had about 3 of the Knuckles one over time as a kid because it's head would easily fall off due to it having a crudely glued neck, so it never really play friendly like the others. The art on the box shows Knuckles' chest thingy to be gold, but none of the ones I ever had were like that.
The quality of the paint work of the character toys varied a lot with each box, but I think I got quite lucky with this Tails one, as I remember quite a few of them having bad eyes like one of my Sonic ones. I cannot emphasize enough just how great the badnik toys are though: I fondly remember playing with them a lot more than the character toys as even their poses are perfect for re-enacting their movement patterns from the game. That or just imagine them maiming Tails..
I still love this set, it's possibly the only time I've ever seen the badniks actually get some attention, considering they were just as much a part of the games as Sonic himself. The producers of the new Classic Sonic range should take a page from Tomy's book and make some collectible toys like these with more than just Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. They make toys of the classic enemies from mario games, so why not the badniks? At least give us our classic Robotnik soft toy you promised us!