Thursday May 05, 2011
“Has it really been three years?”
Watching the crowds slowly pass amidst the sunlit bustle of the Cherry Blossom Festival last month, it was hard not to think back to just how much has changed since I first started here at SEGA, then a young man of only 19, who had just dropped everything to pursue his lifelong dream.
I still remember sitting down at my new desk, bright-eyed and full of excitement, and writing one of my very first blogs. I called it “So you want to work at SEGA?“, and inside detailed, from my own perspective, what it was like getting to work at the place I’d always wanted to be.
It seems fitting, then, that what began as a message from one fan to others should, ultimately, end in the same way.
This will be my final blog as a member of the Community Team here at SEGA. I’d like to thank each and every one of you out there, as fans, for always being there to support us, and for making these last three years some of the best and most rewarding of my life.
But this bittersweet news is good, not bad. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be assuming a new role here at SEGA, as an Associate Brand Manager assigned to Sonic Generations. This means that while you won’t see as much of me here on the blogs or in the forums, I’ll be working with our teams behind-the-scenes to help the greater efforts as we work to make all of our Sonic games even greater successes. Personally, I’m honored to have this opportunity, and excited to see what new challenges lie on the horizon in the world of the blue blur I once idolized as a child.
The original team during our first big community event, PAX 2010.
I feel that it’s always important, especially when moving forward, to stop sometimes and appreciate the past, and everything that brought you to where you are now.
On that front, I find myself immensely thankful to have two of the best teammates and mentors I could have ever asked for: Clumsy, who has helped guide and support me since the first day I set foot here, and Kellie, who was always there to help, regardless of when or where. The lessons learned thanks to these two have helped me grow and improve more than I’ll probably ever realize. Thank you, both, for all of that – but moreso, and most especially, for being true friends.
To those reading the blogs, the fans supporting us, and the many, many people I had the pleasure of meeting these last few years, both internally and also as fans – thank you, sincerely, for always being there to give us feedback, to yell at us about Sonic’s eye color, or even just to cheer us on and support us.
To those who one day dream of working at SEGA, regardless of your age – I challenge you to never stop pursuing that goal. With enough work and a little luck, you might just be surprised at how quickly you find yourself, resume in hand, at the company’s front door.
Writing this entry ended up being a lot harder than I thought it would. But this is far from a farewell; only a change in paths, all ultimately heading in similar directions. This is not the end of an era, but rather of a chapter in a book which holds countless chapters. I’ll also be around still, here and there. (…even if it requires sneaking into the background during Free stuff Friday filming!)
Thank you, all of you, for making these last three, blast-processing fueled years something that was, truly, at the next level.
Until next time!
Friday Apr 22, 2011
Of all the Sonic remixes we’ve had the pleasure of hearing, there are a handful that stand out as truly impressive works of art. One of those artists can be found on YouTube by the name of Ubergrau.
As we all head home for the holiday weekend, we’d like to share with you some of our favorite remixes from his collection. Take a listen below, and if you like what you hear, you can find his full set here!
Have an excellent, chocolate-egg-filled Easter weekend, everyone!
Thursday Mar 24, 2011
Earlier this week, we listed several items on eBay for auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan. The response was overwhelming — we received several thousand dollars in bids, with many items going for $300 or more. Thank you to all who bid, and will continue to bid, on these items.
We sent an email to all employees at SEGA of America to let them know what we were doing, and many people wanted to help out. Yesterday was a parade of people coming by our desks with items to donate for auction. Many of these items are from their own personal collections, and are things that they’ve held on to for years. We also got some people internally to sign items in the hopes that it would increase the auction value. Everyone at SEGA has pitched in to help with this, and we just can’t thank them enough. We’re honored to work with amazing people here at SEGA.
One of the things we heard from a few folks after our first set of items went up was that they would like to bid and contribute, but they didn’t have enough money to bid on items that were listed. Because of that, we’ve listed some smaller/less rare items in the hopes that everyone will be able to find something that fits their interest and budget. Even if you can’t or choose not to bid, we need your support! Please help us in spreading the word to friends, family, and fellow gamers about our auction.
Not all of our items are on the smaller scale, though. We’ve got several really valuable items, including a prize so awesome that I still have a hard time believing that we’re giving it up. You can see all of our new prizes in the photos and item descriptions, along with links to bid, below.
We will be listing even more items in the coming days, so keep watching for new stuff! And thanks again for all your support. SEGA fans ROCK!!
Official Bayonetta Costume
We are incredibly excited to offer this for auction. If you were at E3, Comic Con, or saw coverage of events where we had our live Bayonetta model, then you’ve seen this item in action. This is the completely original, totally custom-made, incredibly accurate and detailed Bayonetta costume. It’s truly the only one like it in the world.
The costume does include the wig (and foam head) with ribbons and chains, the bodysuit, the gloves and the boots. This costume does NOT include the glasses or the guns. The bodysuit has all of the details you’d expect from an accurate representation of the character, including the round chest piece, chains on the front and back of the costume, and more.
Because it was custom-made to fit our Bayonetta model, we don’t have a numbered size for it. However, you can examine the photos above and below to see the size of the bodysuit. The boots are a size 10. The wig should fit most heads. The gloves should fit most hands/arms.
Sonic the Hedgehog 15th Anniversary Figurine
What you’re looking at was part of a figurine series created to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 15th Anniversary back in 2006. This figurine is about 4 inches tall, and is of excellent quality and detail. It was owned by a SEGA of America employee, who took care of it at his desk, and is now donating it to help with Japan relief efforts.
The figurine features modern-style Sonic and comes with a black base that reads “SONIC” on the front. On the top of the base, just in front of where Sonic stands, is the official Sonic 15th Anniversary Logo, marking the piece as part of the 15th Anniversary Collector’s series. Sonic’s arms are slightly bendable, but this figurine is meant for collectors, and is not recommended for playing with, chewing on, or using to save the world. (That said, sometimes Eggman just needs a good beating!)
As part of the 15th Anniversary set, this figurine is also unique from the Sonic Statue, which is larger and limited to a run of 2500. (We also have one of these up for charity auction – check our full listing page for info!)
Signed Vanquish Art & Statue
What you’re looking at is a signed glossy art piece from the PlatinumGames team featuring Inaba-san and Mikami-san signatures and a very special and highly detailed statue from the Vanquish Videogame. The signed art images were hand signed by the development team in preparation for the game release. The Vanquish statue was part of the original pre-order offering in Europe. This particular statue was donated by our marketing director and has been unopened, still in its original packaging!
Super Monkey Ball AiAi T-Shirt
This is one of a few hundred AiAi shirts made for Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll. It is a replica of the shirt that AiAi wears in the game. These were given out to Nintendo World Store employees that worked our launch event at the store, as well as internally to SEGA employees. It is a size Medium.
Project Needlemouse “Team Needlemouse” T-Shirt
This is one of our last remaining new Project Needlemouse t-shirts here at SEGA, and we think that there are few better reasons to donate it than to help Japan in this time of need.
The shirt features the Sonic Silhouette and reads ‘PROJECT NEEDLEMOUSE’ above it on the front. The left sleeve features the SEGA logo, and the right sleeve reads “TEAM NEEDLEMOUSE – 9.09.09″. This date is a reference to two things: the first reveal of Project Needlemouse, and also the original launch of the Dreamcast, which launched on a similar 9.9.99 date.
The shirt is size XL.
Ryo Hazuki Figurine – in Forklift!
Attention Shenmue fans! This figurine of Ryo Hazuki in his forklift is one of only 1,000 in the world! They were made to promote Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, which features Ryo and his forklift as his All-Star move. Now is your chance to own one! The figure is 5 inches tall.
What you’re seeing here is one of the first edition T-shirts in SEGA’s popular MADWORLD series. While later versions of this popular shirt would show up at NYCC, this is a new, unworn, original T-shirt, given only to select press and SEGA employees back when SEGA and Platinum Games first announced their major partnership in San Francisco. It is a size Medium
The shirt is a play on the quirky nature of MADWORLD – and the fact that you can stab people in the head with CAUTION signs. Beyond being part of the super-limited first run, you can also tell this shirt apart from the later variants by the sheer size of the “CAUTION” sign on the front, which is huge and bright on the first edition set.
If you’re a fan of MADWORLD or Platinum Games, this is your one – and perhaps only – chance to score one of the first edition promo items from one of the most graphic games on the Wii!
Japanese Bayonetta for X360 and PS3
You are bidding on two Japanese copies of Bayonetta on PlayStation3 and Xbox 360, as donated by our PR Team to help Japan with relief efforts. The games are both sealed and never been used. The Xbox 360 version requires a Japanese Xbox 360 to play, however if so desired, the PlayStation3 version is region free and should work in any console. A collector’s item for anyone looking to expand their Bayonetta collection!
Sonic Colors Soundtrack from Japan – Signed!
This is the original soundtrack to Sonic Colors/Colours from Japan! These are not available for purchase outside of Japan, so this is your chance to get one! It is a 3 disc set, with 83 songs in total. To make it even better, the Sonic Colors marketing team from SEGA of America (Judy, Thu & Kellie) has signed the insert!
MegaDrive Collection Vinyl
What you’re looking at is a very special and extremely limited Megadrive Ultimate Collection Vinyl Record. Originally offered as a pre-order incentive for Australia for the Megadrive collection, this record has never been listened to and comes in near mint condition. This is a massive collectors item for anyone that loves Megadrive / Genesis and wants to celebrate some of the classic tracks from years gone by. This particular record was donated from Derrek P, Brand Manager here at Sega of America who worked on the title release.
Details about the album:
* Extremely RARE Megadrive / Genesis Limited Edition Vinyl Soundtrack
Samuel L. Jackson Signed Iron Man 2 Promo Card
This is a thin cardboard (posterboard) promo card for the Iron Man 2 game, signed by Samuel L. Jackson.
Details about the card:
* Authentic, original signature
Sonic the Hedgehog Notebook from 1993
Take note, Sonic fans – or take lots of notes, because this rare Sonic notebook from 1993 is completely unused and in awesome condition. And, unless you happened to live in Brazil in 1993, chances are this is one piece of Sonic merchandise you don’t already own!
Inside the book is some Sonic art from the early 90’s era, including everyone’s favorite sidekick – Tails!
Details about the Sonic Notebook:
* Made in 1993, and still in great, unused quality
(Thanks to all of our fans who pointed out this was from Brazil, not Mexico. )
Don Cheadle Signed Iron Man 2 Promo Card
This is a thin cardboard (posterboard) promo card for the Iron Man 2 game, signed by Don Cheadle.
Details about the card:
* Authentic, original signature
SEGA Branded Ladies Watch
Hey Ladies, what time is it? It’s time to bid on an extremely RARE SEGA watch! This watch was created for SEGA of America employees as a holiday gift, only a handful were created and distributed, however the exact number is unknown. The watch was donated by Judy G, Brand Manager here at Sega of America and who might also be late to tomorrow’s meeting!
Details about the Watch:
* Extremely RARE Ladies style SEGA Watch
Sonic Free Riders Soundtrack from Japan
This is the original soundtrack to Sonic Free Riders from Japan! These are not available for purchase outside of Japan, so this is your chance to get one! The CD has 12 tracks on it.
Details about the soundtrack:
* 12 songs
Sonic the Hedgehog Boombox
Sonic Colours UK Limited Edition Pack – DS
This is a limited edition Sonic Colours pack that was only available in the UK. It contains the Sonic Colours game for the Nintendo DS as well as a Sonic figurine and several Wisps from the game. The game’s cover and manual have been signed by the Sonic Colours marketing team at SEGA of America — Judy, Thu, and Kellie.
Super Monkey Ball & Valkyria Chronicles Pins
Looking for a hip way to show off your SEGA pride, donate to a good cause, and not break the bank in doing so? Perhaps these limited edition Super Monkey Ball & Valkyria Chronicle pins will help you get there! The pins were created for promotional use at the Penny Arcade Expo and given out to fans who visited the SEGA booth.
Sonic Colours UK Limited Edition Signed – Wii
This is a limited edition Sonic Colours pack that was only available in the UK. It contains the Sonic Colours game for the Nintendo Wii as well as a Sonic figurine and several Wisps from the game. The game’s cover and manual have been signed by the Sonic Colours marketing team at SEGA of America — Judy, Thu, and Kellie.
SEGA Director’s Notebook
Yes, you read that correctly. This is a special, SEGA Branded, high-class professional-style notebook. Until today, it was owned and used by SEGA of America’s own Marketing Director. Now, you too can feel the awe-inspiring power of a SEGA director by possessing their book! (… or something like that.)
The notebook itself is a black and a light, iridescent blue, and features a zipper protecting the paper and pockets inside – and this thing has a lot of pockets. It’s perfect for jotting down notes about the next upcoming SEGA game, how awesome the SEGA of America Community Team is, or how you’re totally planning to give them a raise in the next fiscal year. (Because, you know, that’s what Directors do!)
Rumor has it this Notebook was even down through generations from each SEGA Director to the next over the last two-hundred and fifty years. Other rumors state that it holds the power to create world peace, and that using this notebook while wearing a “three wolves howling at the moon” shirt will amplify your natural Director powers, instantly transforming you into a qualified, bona fide leader. Please note that we have not tested either of these rumors to confirm their validity.
In short, it’s a sweet, classy, SEGA branded Notebook, once owned by our Marketing Director.
Details about the Notebook:
* Owned and used by a SEGA America Marketing Director
*: Effectiveness at transforming regular people into SEGA Directors has not yet been fully tested. There’s a slight chance you might feel just like a normal person holding a very, very special Notebook.
SEGA Saturn Game Gloves
Planning on a long gaming session of your favorite old school SEGA classics, but lack the proper attire? Look no further, we have a very special and extremely rare auction for a pair of Saturn Game Gloves. These were donated by one of our SEGA producers, Omar W., who held on to these gems for several years, waiting and training to be the best gamer there ever was. Now, this pair of gloves can be yours, complete with padded thumbs!
Details about the Game Gloves:
* Branded SEGA Saturn
Sonic the Hedgehog Backpack
What would it be like to give Sonic a piggyback ride everywhere you went? You can find out with this Sonic the Hedgehog backpack! Thanks to adjustable straps connecting Sonic’s hands and feet, Sonic can be with you all day to help you carry your stuff. Not a lot of stuff though… the backpack portion is accessible through a zip pocket in Sonic’s stomach and doesn’t really hold more than a few items. But still — an adorable item for any kid, or just a kid at heart.
Sonic & Knuckles Race Set
Fan of Sonic & Sega’s Allstars racing and looking for even more Sonic racing action? Look no further! Now you too can join in the fun with Sonic or Knuckles in this racing set, featuring 8 feet of track! What fun!
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing – Tails & Plane Figurine
Tails flew his plane in Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, and that’s commemorated in this figurine set.
Details about the figurine:
* High-quality, detailed Tails figurine
Valkyria Chronicles JPN
For Gallia – and Japan! This super-rare Limited Edition box set for the epic PS3 game Valkyria Chronicles is being auctioned off straight from SEGA to help raise funds for Japan relief efforts.
The box itself is in almost-new condition, and includes a special Alicia figurine, an extremely detailed Edelweiss Tank figurine, the Japanese edition of the pre-order Artbook, and the game itself. Only available in Japan, the copy of the game will also work in US and European PS3 systems.
The Alicia figurine is also a unique version not available in other Valkyria Chronicles figurine sets. The only way to pick it up is through this Box Set!
Details about the Limited Edition Box Set:
* Rare, Limited Edition Box Set from Japan.
SEGA Cards, Dreamcast Postcards, and SEGA Pen
This set includes two SEGA holiday cards that were sent to friends, partners, and business associates at the end of the year. One features Sonic the Hedgehog on a snowboard, and the other features Bayonetta, AiAi, Sonic, and the Alien from AVP – all kickin’ it by the fire in holiday sweaters (of frankly questionable taste).
This set also includes 6 Dreamcast-era postcard – 3 of each style. The first features Seaman and the quote “Get a life, fruitcake.” That lovely holiday sentiment is followed up by a lady in her recliner, speaking to Seaman on her Dreamcast microphone.
You’ll need something to write on all this paper with, so we’ve included a SEGA pen.
Sonic the Hedgehog MP3 Player
This Sonic the Hedgehog MP3 player holds 500 songs (it’s 2GB) and comes with earbuds. What else could you want in an MP3 player? Well, I’ll tell you. It opens and closes.(!!) I know, It’s crazy. But I know it’s true, because it’s right there on the package. What is the world coming to.
Planet 51 Movie Art Book – Signed!
This is a hardcover, full-color book featuring art from the Planet 51 movie. If you’re into animation, this is a great item to have. The front of the book is signed by Marcella Churchill, who was the Brand Manager at SEGA of America for the Planet 51 game.
Crazy Taxi Art – Signed
This rare piece of art was signed in late 2010 to celebrate the release of Crazy Taxi on PSN and XBLA. If you’ve got crazy money (or just the highest bid), it’s yours!
Details about the art:
* 8.5 inches x 11 inches
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood Cover – Signed!
This is a cover for the Nintendo DS game Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. It is signed by the entire BioWare dev team that worked on the game. And it is awesome.
Details about the cover:
* Cover of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
The Epic Soniclock!
***Own the most epic, rare Sonic Clock in the history of the world!***
You probably thought we were joking about that whole “Most epic Sonic Clock in the whole world” part, right? To understand the value of this masterpiece, one first needs to know its history…
This clock was originally given out for free to a SEGA event attendee last year. Apparently that person wasn’t a huge fan of Sonic, and in a gesture that was probably meant to insult us, he destroyed part of the clock and then put it up on Ebay. The rest of the Sonic community was appalled, until…
One of the other attendees from that same event bid on the clock – and won it. And then the story got 10x better: The winner wrote around the edges of the clock, in a personalized message to SEGA and our Sonic 4 Brand Manager Ken: “The Sonic(lock) Cycle as you truly imagined it!”
For Christmas that year, we here at SEGA received a package – and within it, we got our clock back. You can check out the full blog detailing the awesome return here: http://bit.ly/h9rXDN
Now, we have decided to end (or continue?) this story where it began: Ebay. We’ve upgraded the clock, adding a new “Biker-Balough” picture to the 12:00 spot, and have repaired the rest of it through large amounts of super glue and excessive strips of tape. The Soniclock has been upgraded to a new level, and by bidding on this piece of SEGA Community history, you can also help those in need in Japan!
Details about the Soniclock:
* Features Ken “Biker” Balough at 12:00!
Virtua Fighter 5 – Signed
Signed by the Japanese development team, this rare copy of Virtua Fighter 5 for PS3 is among some of the rarest items we’re auctioning off to support Japan. As you can see in the picture, a number of big names from the VF team signed in silver, and this copy is truly one-of-a-kind if you’re a collector of rare SEGA or Virtua Fighter merchandise.
Both the signed case and the actual game for PS3 are included in this auction. To all our Virtua Fighter addicts out there – good luck!
That’s all the items in our second batch, but we’re already collecting more for a third! We’ve got some good stuff coming up too… stay tuned!
Posted by Kellie in Bayonetta, Dreamcast, E3 2009, Iron Man 2, MadWorld, Planet 51, Project Needlemouse, SEGA, Sonic, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Sonic Colors, Sonic Free Riders, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll, Valkyria Chronicles, Vanquish on 1:44:57PM Mar 24, 2011 | Comments (24)
Tuesday Mar 22, 2011
Today, it’s time to give back!
People across the world have felt the effects of the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As someone who was there when it all happened, we saw firsthand many of the challenges that the Japanese people are now going through. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we all do our part to help those who truly need it.
Here at SEGA, we’ve decided to gather some of the rarest, most unique items we could find, and we’re auctioning them all off right now, donating 100% of the funds to the Red Cross to assist in Japan relief efforts.
If you’re a SEGA fan, this is your chance – bid on super rare SEGA merchandise, and do your part to help Japan in this crucial time of need.
To all those in the SEGA Community – let’s get this started!
Yakuza Track Jacket
We created these for the recently-release Dreamcast Collection, and they’ve been super popular ever since. We’ve given away many of them through Free Stuff Friday and partnerships with other sites, but we still get asked all the time how people can buy one of them. Until today, the answer was that you can’t. This is your chance to pay for a hoodie — just be the highest bidder, and its yours. We have sizes XS, M, L, and XL (sorry, we’re out of smalls!).
This is from the Dreamcast days… a big bag to hold all your stuff. We found this in our old office, rescued it, and have been hanging on to it for several years now, just waiting for the right occasion to part with it. This is it! It is a big bag (about 17 inches wide and 15 inches tall) and was originally intended to hold your Dreamcast console, controllers, etc. It could be used for that, or as a cool computer or book bag. There is one zippered pocket on the front (just above the logo), and it zips open to reveal one interior front pocket and 4 smaller mesh pockets on the back to organize your stuff. It has two handles at the top for hand carrying, a shoulder strap, and also some backpack straps, if that’s how you choose to roll.
Yakuza 4 Officially Licensed T-Shirt from Japan
This is an amazing shirt. It’s officially licensed, and has the Ryu Ga Gotoku tag still on it. It’s a black long-sleeve shirt in a size XL, but it’s a Japanese XL so it’s smaller than a US size XL. But you may not even want to wear it, because it’s so pretty! The front, sleeves, and back have a tattoo design in gold — as you can see, it’s very intricate and shiny. This shirt sells in Japan for approximately $110 US, so it’s definitely rare and valuable!
Valkyria Chroncles – Signed copy for PS3
One of SEGA’s best games for the PS3 – and perhaps one of the best games on the console itself – this is a rare chance to pick up a shiny copy of Valkyria Chronicles, signed by two key members of the Japanese development team. This includes Ryutaro Nonaka, the game’s producer from SEGA of Japan! The winning bid scores both the open case and a brand-new, unopened copy of the game, still in its original shrink-wrap. How’s that for awesome?
Yakuza 4 US Promo T-Shirt
While less rare than the Yakuza shirt above it, this is still a pretty rare item. We made 500 of these shirts to promote Yakuza 4, and just because they are more subtle than your average game t-shirt doesn’t mean it’s any less awesome. We have these in size M, L, or XL (winner picks their size). It’s a black short-sleeve shirt with a tattoo design over the shoulder, and the Yakuza 4 logo on the opposite sleeve. The screenprint design continues over the shoulder and on to the back of the shirt.
Sonic Colors Kiosk Art
This is art that was originally placed in demo kiosks for Sonic Colors. Now it could be yours! There are 6 pieces in total, each with a different design of Sonic and his Wisp friends from the game. Each piece is about 28 inches tall and 9 inches wide, and they’d look great hanging on your wall!
Virtua Tennis Sweatbands
These are some brand-new promo items for the upcoming Virtua Tennis 4 game. Keep your forehead dry during long jogs or some marathon gaming sessions. You get 5 sweatbands in total — one in each color we made — to keep yourself cool.
Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll Promo Poster Art
This is a piece of promo art that we used at several locations during the promotion of Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll. It’s a really big poster — 28 inches wide and 35 inches tall — and it’s mounted on heavy 1/4 inch foam core. This is a piece of art that will stand the test of time!
OutRun Art – Signed by Yu Suzuki
If this looks familiar to you, you’re probably a frequent Free Stuff Friday viewer/participant. This was one of our prizes for last week’s giveaway. The winner contacted us and asked to donate it to an auction to benefit relief in Japan, and we were happy to oblige. Thanks to @bdavid81, who gave up his prize for auction.
Yakuza 4 – Model Car Kit
Nothing says “I was once top boss of the Tojo clan” like a painmobile. (Well, that’s the literal translation, at least.) This rare Yakuza Model Car Kit comes to us from Japan, and includes a ton of awesome car stickers for use as decals! Instructions might be in Japanese, but thankfully, the box itself has enough English to tell you what you need to get this model put together and painted up.
The House of the Dead: OVERKILL – Promo “Meat” Package
This is a medium-sized (12 inches by 7 inches) package wrapped in brown butcher’s paper and packing tape with a House of the Dead OVERKILL logo sticker on the front. Inside is a styrofoam tray similar to what you’d find in a butcher shop. On that will be a fake body part of some kind — a hand, a foot, an internal organ — we don’t know what it is, because the package is unopened! So, have a heart, and you may get a heart in return!
P.S. – Not for kids!
Sonic the Hedgehog Limited Edition Lanyard
This is a black ribbon-style lanyard with the running sprite animation from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. We made these for PAX Prime 2010, and they were a monster hit. If you didn’t get a chance to pick one up, you can do so now — and for a good cause, too!
MADWORLD Gamestop Manager’s Pre-order Kit
Better watch your step! This is a kit that was handed out to GameStop managers and employees before the launch of MADWORLD. It is a MADWORLD-branded box, that has the SEGA and GameStop logo on it as well as “MADWORLD Employee Kit” on it. Inside, there is a big red plastic button (like the Staples “easy” button) that takes 3 AAA batteries and makes a chainsaw noise when pressed. The kit also contains a bag of “Pre-Order Today” buttons with the MADWORLD logo on them, and a package of MADWORLD stickers. These stickers have the “Caution” sign design that was used throughout the marketing campaign. The box also includes a flyer for GameStop store managers.
Sonic Classic Collection – Signed by Ken Balough
Valkyria Chronicles – Rare Promo Poster Art
What you’re looking at is one of the rarest pieces of original Valkyria Chronicles promotional merch in the west. Featuring Welkin Gunther, Alicia Melchiott, and their tank the Edelweiss, this beautiful piece of art was printed on a huge piece of glossy, thick posterboard, and was one of three pieces of promo Art used at the Valkyria Chronicles Launch Event in San Francisco. Now you can bid on this exclusive piece of promo art and help Japan at the same time!
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams Pillowcase
Yakuza 4 Japanese Promo Fan
Check them out on video!
Want to see some of the items above on film? Check out the video we’ve put together to show them off on YouTube! Almost all of the items listed are shown, though we’ve had even more items join the auction pool after filming.
Good luck, and happy bidding!
On behalf of all of us here at SEGA, thank you to everyone to who bids and donates to help Japan in this time of need. Good luck on all those rare pieces of SEGA merchandise – we hope you’ll give each and every item an awesome new place to call home!
Wednesday Feb 02, 2011
“This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it!”
Ah, Groundhog Day.
Besides being one of those movies that you really should see right now if you haven’t already, Groundhog Day itself is an interesting subject. In short: groundhog comes out of the ground, sees or doesn’t see his shadow, and we make broad-sweeping generalizations about the weather patterns for months based on that. Logically, it’s completely sound!
Except that, actually, the history of Groundhog Day, and this whole “small mammal predicting the future” thing does have some truth to it. (Possibly even more than Paul, that one Octopus who was predicting world cup games last year.) Oh, and one other, minor thing: back then, they didn’t use Groundhogs.
They used Hedgehogs.
In this picture, Sonic has closed up the southern entrance to his house based on coming wind patterns. Only the north entrance, seen on the right, is visible.
You see, Hedgehogs actually have a rather amazing ability – far beyond anything we humans naturally have – to sense and predict changes in the wind direction. Hedgehogs were known for building two entrances to their little homes, one facing north and one facing south. If the wind was going to blow in harshly from the north, the hedgehog would sense this, and would close the northern entrance. If the wind was going to blow from the south instead, it would open up the northern entrance and then close the south in preparation for the change.
It may be no small coincidence that in the early 90’s, SEGA renamed February 2nd ‘Hedgehog Day‘, a tradition we continued with our announcement of Sonic 4: Episode 1 on this very day one year ago. The year since has been one of the most exciting and active for the blue blur since, perhaps, just after those original glory days – and with both Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors arriving in that time, the speedy blue hedgehog has proven that there’s both refreshed life and quality lying ahead of him.
Aristotle, above, is one among many Greeks who wrote on the unique abilities of Hedgehogs.
Just as the Greeks did those early days in winter when they brought out their own little hedgehogs to sense changes in the wind and weather, perhaps we can do the same for the future of Sonic. So then, what does the coming year hold for our beloved blue hedgehog?
As you should already know, this year is the 20th Anniversary for Sonic, with his birthday coming up on June 23rd, 2011. It’s almost hard to believe that his 20th year has already arrived – time, just like hedgehogs with way-past-cool sneakers, flies by before you know it.
Having seen and sensed the direction and future that our own hedgehog has in front of him, this author’s personal thoughts are fairly simple: this year may very well be the best year that Sonic has had since the Genesis days. The winds just ahead of us bring very good things.
So, to all of you who have been with us since last year’s Hedgehog Day – and even to those who remember the very first Hedgehog Day almost two decades ago: thanks for standing strong, sticking with us, and supporting the blue blur. We hope you’re just as stoked as we are for what lies ahead.
Aristotle, often cited among the Greeks who wrote about Hedgehogs and their powerful wind-sensing abilities, was himself later categorized among writers and thinkers in a comparison that any Sonic fan might find quite interesting. Rumor has it, in fact, that there are two styles of science: compared as either objective or abstract. Find the false line within this paragraph itself, and you may find hidden answers of your own.
On behalf of our teams at SEGA – Happy Hedgehog Day, everyone!
Friday Jan 21, 2011
From the music to the animation, we thought this was pretty impressive, especially for something created on an iPad with 2$ editing software!
The video was created by Mrstupes, and you can find his video page here on Youtube. He’s asking for votes on his next film, and Sonic and Tails are one option – we hope you’ll all join us in letting him know you’d like to see more.
Have a great weekend all!
Friday Jan 14, 2011
SEGA and Sony are proud to announce a new Sonic 4: Episode I PSN Premium Theme coming next week for the PS3!
I got a chance to check out the theme in action last night, and will vouch that anyone looking for a cool Sonic theme for their PS3 is in luck. The background features Splash Hill Zone, and you’ll see Sonic running around and spin-dashing in classical form. From time to time, the evil genius Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik will also fly past.
Beyond the visuals, there’s also one other addition I really enjoyed – hearing the traditional ring noise when flicking through the categories. A little sound effect that can often go a long ways.
The theme will release next Tuesday, January 18th, here in the US, and also shortly after for all those in Europe! For a limited time, all Playstation Plus members will also be able to get this premium theme completely free. If you’re not a PS Plus member, you can pick it up anytime for $2.99.
After many requests for a Sonic theme to arrive on PSN, we hope today’s announcement will kick your holiday weekend off to a great start.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Thursday Jan 13, 2011
The approvals road is sometimes a long one, but finally, the Sonic 4 True Blue Initiative Thank You video is live on the internet!
Ken Balough (Digital Brand Manager, Sonic 4) and Aaron Webber (Community Manager, Sonic 4) return to say thank you to everyone who showed their support of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
We also had a running joke internally here at SEGA when we first announced the TBI – with a colleague of ours betting Ken that if Sonic 4 did well enough, Ken would have to tattoo said colleague’s mother’s name on his arm. Ken manned up and did what most self-respecting brand managers would do – you’ll see near the end of the video.
We’d like to say special thanks once again to everyone who took part in the initiative, and who helped make Sonic 4: Episode I such a success! This one goes out to all of you.
Friday Jan 07, 2011
Pretty impressive. Nice job to Paraxade0 for the run!
Have you guys seen any other awesome Sonic 4 speed runs? Link them to us in the comments!
Wednesday Jan 05, 2011
January 4th, 2011.
After over twelve hours of delayed flights and cancellations in the midwest, I finally arrived back in San Francisco in the early afternoon. Two hours later, it was back to work in the office here at SEGA and time to catch up on a few hundred unread e-mails.
“Oh, Aaron, Julian, you guys have a package,” came a voice to the left – it was one of our packaging and shipping team members. They’re the people we try not to make mad, because they control the flow of free stuff friday packages. And the packages must flow.
“Is it ticking?” asked Julian.
Assured that it was, in fact, not ticking, Julian and I ventured down into the shipping room on the third floor to discover what goodness the shipping gods had in store for us today.
In the past, we’ve received some pretty awesome things. Like candy. And chocolates. And more candy. So you can imagine the glimmer of hope in our eyes as we wondered if this package, too, might follow the trend set by one of our most beloved Canadian moderators.
The box was filled with plastic bags, and inside, apart from one rather large, round item, we found a red envelope:
To ALL of SEGA? Our curiosity was piqued. Surely such a card was housing either a request for Timeshare investments or Shenmue VIII: Lan Di’s Day Off, both of which we generally try not to get too involved with.
Next we examined the big round object – and very soon found ourselves smiling as we realized where it came from.
Back in November, we held an event here at SEGA of America where everyday people like you guys got to come right into our offices, play video games, enjoy some free food (and cookies, om nom nom), and then get all sorts of sweet prizes at the end.
One such prize was this clock, which was given to a certain someone who, we found out later, didn’t really appreciate it much. We actually kind of wished he would have just given it back to us instead of posting on internet message boards about how much he hated it. But not to worry – because once he put it on Ebay, it was the Sonic fan community, and in fact the very person who sent us this package, we realized, who bought it from him just so they could send it back to us.
It even came with some fun messages engraved – check this out:
And then, packaged right inside, the perfect little addition for a nice photo-op.
The clock returns home.
As we were about to put it away, the box rattled a bit. Wait… was that…? It was! The unmistakable sound of a plastic bag.
A bag filled with candy.
We suddenly lost all interest in the clock and proceeded to examine what kind of glorious candy had been gifted to us to start this new year. It was mostly butterfingers, and we can’t help but wonder if there’s some hidden message in there for Ken. (All we know is that they’re pretty delicious.)
When Ken arrived later, we opened the card. Inside we found a nice little flashback to last year, with the front of the card reading: “Green is good. Especially when you can spend complain about it!”
To Mr. Ben Kalough – er, Skyler, a very big thank you from all of us here at SEGA of America. Thanks for the card, the clock, the music CD, and the candy. We’re putting the card on our Wall of Awesome.
To Skyler, and to all the Sonic fans out there – thanks for making 2010 awesome, and Happy New Year! We have some amazing things in store for you guys.
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