This rather nice ebay purchase from Japan showed up this weekend. It was one of those "heck, why not" moments as I've wanted to get some stuff to hang up on my wall, and the puzzle was already built and framed, though the frame doesn't have glass in it but it is sealed up like so much stuff bought from Japan tends to be so that was a bonus. A couple more photos after the jump.
It had no box so I don't know when exactly this was released but judging by the artwork I would say it was an early 1991 or 92 piece. The animals and Robotnik are just like those on the PAL box art for the first game except in colour, and the art of Sonic is not one I have seen that often. I'm not exactly sure what he is doing other than a rather awkward looking pose and they forgot to colour in his shoe buckle but it's about as retro as Sonic merchandise can get, really.
It wasn't particularly cheap but it didn't break the (Paypal) bank and it's defiantly a nice piece to have in my collection. The seller also had some other Japanese Sonic bits including a Yoyo and a Mug but those were far too expensive for my taste and not as neat as this. I have not seen pictures of this puzzle before anywhere like Sonic Gear so there you go. Exciting stuff!