Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Sonic & Knuckles Mini Figures

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!

23 comments:

JaQ Stevenson said...

hey... sorry for posting here. its the only way i could contact you. i found a kool looking pair of sonic phat pants "wide leg trousers" on the internet... i think its fan made, in any case they look amazing... very snazzy... heres the link,

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk262/skooldayzsite/sonicphatties.jpg

awwwh mann if only they were the classic sonic design though. oh yeah and another thing... ive got 3 sonic burgerking toys. ive looked all ova the internet for them but cant find them anywhere.... i think they might be rare!? should i take a photo? please get back to me, my email is

jackcs@hotmail.co.uk

Gastrodon said...

Is it just me, or on the box, is Metal Sonic labeled just "Sonic"?

The GagaMan(n) said...

JaQ: The link is working for me (you have to copy and paste it to the address bar). I'd imagine they are fan made. Still, interesting find. As for the Burger King toys, there was two sets from there in the UK: a Sonic 2 set (with Sonic on a animal capsule) and a Sonic R set (which had quite a few toys, about 6 in total, many of which were magnet toys or water games).

Gastrodon: You're right, it does! Lol.

Murray said...

Oho, my word - what memories! I too had all of these bar one set, but I was missing Splats, "Classic" Sonic, Tails and Batbrain. I add with no degree of smarminess that my Crabmeat figurine is quite awesome. ;P

I agree with you that Knuckles and Metal Sonic were probably the best. It's amusing to see you write about his head coming off, as mine was exactly the same. To this day he's handled with some care. My Metal did come with the gold belly though, so yours could be in the minority.

I haven't any photos of my own set such as yours, but I tried for an arty shoot of my Buzzbomber once, if that counts. I'm frankly shocked that I managed to keep the paintwork on these figurines, given how many times Sonic beat Buzzbomber to a pulp in my childhood.

Thanks for this particular memory!

Cerium said...

I have a Crabmeat sitting on my shelf! If you REALLY want it that bad, I'd be willing to sell. Also did you get my Keychain photos through email?

The GagaMan(n) said...

Murray: Awesome, I'm glad to hear others remember this set. The buzzbomber photo is fantastic. Looks like I'll have to find another metal Sonic someday, I keep hoping I'll find some at a boot sale but no luck as of yet.

Cerium: Haven't had that e-mail, no. maybe try it again? make sure it's the g-mail one. I'd probably be up for buying the Crabmeat, that or trading it for my Splats as I have two of those. =)

JaQ Stevenson said...

hmmm i dunno... i have 1 with sonic running on a white cloud. a tails on a white cloud n a knuckles on a white cloud... the sonic looks like a real quality statue thing... so yeh n thies mini figures are so kool... must be rare coz i cand find any for sale on the internet

Cerium said...

TheGagaMan: I sent the email to tehgagamann@gmail.com which is the email on your profile.

The GagaMan(n) said...

JaQ: ah, that sounds like the Sonic R set which came out in 1998. They're not really rare as they pop up a lot on ebay amongst other Sonic toys from time to time, but they are indeed very nice. I have a complete sealed set in the loft, as well as a huge Sonic R poster a local Burger King let me have when the promotion was over.

Cerium: The new e-mail worked. =)

Smindas said...

Just for the record Gaga, if you ever need to get rid of any of your spares for whatever reason, I can give them a lovely home ;P Especially Knuckles. I've always liked that Metal Sonic figure, glad he came in that promotional 4 figure set, there seems to be very little merch of the blighter.

The GagaMan(n) said...

I only have spares of Splats, the Sonic wagging his finger, and I think that's it.

Smindas said...

...does Splats want a change of scenery?

Murray said...

Well, y'know, if Splats and Classic Sonic would like to see their way to near-completing a set around my place, I wouldn't be objecting..! ;)

Shame, though - I've no spares to offer of my own. I think I may have a spare Sonic spinning-top battle arena thingy in an attic somewhere, though...

Stacey Wheeler said...

Good lawd the Sonic ones look like Clay Sonic. :}

BTW I was in Aldi last week and saw this. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v412/seismic-saffya/Random%20crap/SonicPad.jpg

Of all places to sell one of those plug in pad things.

Cerium said...

Hey Stacey Wheeler, just noticed you live quite near me in Romford! I'm from Rainham and I go shopping in Romford alot =P
Also Count Duckula was one my favourite childhood cartoons too haha. Good memories...

@TheGagaMan: I would be prepared to swap my Crabmeat for Splats if it helps you out!

Ryan said...

Bah, I only have Roller and Tails. Woe is me, etc.

The GagaMan(n) said...

Cerium: I'd be up for that trade, yeah =D

Ben said...

Wow... thanx for showin' us your collection of badniks... you all must live in the UK, or most of you anyway, (I live in California) b/c I've always heard that this set of figures was only available in the UK... but I do own Sonic, Tails, Robotnik, Ballhog, Crabmeat, Buzzbomber, Spike, Burrobot, and Roller (my fav.) I have to get them off of the UK ebay website, whenever I see them. (I REALLY want Motobug and Caterkiller)

JaQ said...

OH MY GOD!!! this is drivin me nuts!!! i neeed thies figures!!! they hardly pop up on ebay do they???

The GagaMan(n) said...

I actually saw a complete set of these sell on ebay for £83! Mind you, they also had some rare Japanese sonic toys amongst them, but still!

John said...

im looking for another mint condition tomy sonic the hedgehog bendy toy "flexi freind mint condition or in box 100 dollars mint condition out of box or 150 with box and in mint condition.

Newtron said...

I have them all... still want to get them all over again.(some are easily damaged) There's no TOMY figures on ebay at the time. I also checked TOMY's site.
Is there any suggestion where can I find them?

James said...

Hey everyone, a little late to the party...but thought I'd mention that I currently have several of this set up on ebay right now, here's a link to one of them;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131187186951

The rest can be found from there.
Any interest just send me a message on ebay : )
Thanks guys
James