SEGA unveils animated series Sonic Colours: Rise of the Wisps trailer and 30th anniversary merchandise

SEGA has lifted the lid on a plethora of upcoming entertainment experiences surrounding its iconic Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, as the 30th anniversary celebrations of the flagship character continue, spanning animated series, live orchestra events, a host of new gaming announcements, and plenty of licensing activity.

The grand unveiling of this upcoming hive of activity took place on the first Sonic Central livestream event, a celebration of 30 years of Sonic the Hedgehog hosted on SEGA’s official YouTube and Twitch channels this week.

The stream kicked off with the creators of the upcoming Netflix animated series Sonic Prime, and was swiftly followed with the announcement of a live orchestra event on June 23rd, featuring music from Sonic games over the last 30 years, with a special preview coming during Geoff Keighly’s Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live on June 10th.

Following the opening segment, SEGA jumped into the medium where it all began, unveiling a slew of gaming-related announcements, including Sonic Colours: Ultimate and Sonic Colours: Rise of the Wisps. Sonic Colors: Ultimate is an adrenaline-pumping remaster of the beloved 2010 platformer, Sonic Colors.

Sonic Colors: Ultimate is set to release both digitally and physically on PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, with a digital-only release on PC via the Epic Game Store on September 7, 2021.

In addition, SEGA unveiled a teaser to the two-part animation series, Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, the first short-form animation featuring full dialogue and a voice cast including the return of legendary Sonic voice actor, Roger Craig Smith.


Following, SEGA revealed that it is working on a new compiled series that will include Sonic the HEdgehog one, two, Sonic Three and Knuckles, as well as Sonic CD under the Sonic Origins moniker. The collection will offer fans a nostalgic hit of classic gameplay, as well as fresh content with more details coming soon.

Other developments in the gaming space include the launch of a new Sonic Team Game, a Sonic avatar in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game, and a host of mobile game special events, spanning Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, Sonic Dash, Sonic Racing, and more.

On top of this, to celebrate the 30th anniversary, Sonic will be making a special cameo in SEGA’s Two Point Hospital.

SEGA also revealed a lineup of commemorative merchandise to celebrate the 30th anniversary, as the studio collaborates with a robust list of partners throughout the year to create new Sonic products, including items like a Giant Eggman Robot play-set from Jakks Pacific, a full-colour hardcover Sonic encyclopedia from Dark Horse, and more.

As part of Sonic’s 30th celebration, IDW will release a special super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains. Commemorative 30th Anniversary gold and silver coins will also be available this year from APMEX.

JAKKS Pacific extends global toy deal with SEGA for Sonic the Hedgehog

JAKKS Pacific has renewed and expanded its global toy partnership with SEGA of America for the classic and modern versions of the hit entertainment franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog.

Under the extended partnership, JAKKS will design, manufacture, market, and sell Sonic the Hedgehog branded toy product lines worldwide, commencing in 2022. The agreement includes the rights to produce action figures, play-sets, vehicles, plush, and collectables.

JAKKS has seen wide success with the Sonic the Hedgehog IP since its introduction to the market in 2019, with product launches spanning big box retailers in-store and online. Its four-inch figures replicating modern and classic versions of Sonic were a hit with fans of all ages.

The introduction of the 2.5-inch figures and Green Hills Zone play-set last fall brought all new ways to play and recreate the action of this iconic zone from the video games.

“Our line of Sonic the Hedgehog products consistently hit the mark with retailers and fans, and we are excited to continue to develop innovative toys with SEGA that resonate on a global scale,” said Craig Drobis, senior vice president of marketing at JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

“Our Sonic figures, play-sets and plush have seen consistent sales growth since our partnership with SEGA began. There is more great product to be introduced for this Fall and for several years to come.”

Alex Gomez, licensing director at SEGA of America, added: “JAKKS Pacific has been an integral partner in bringing our vision for unique, high-quality Sonic collectibles to market over the past two years, and we’re ecstatic to expand our partnership them as we enter the next decade of the franchise.

“The new collection is sure to bring Sonic fun to new heights with merchandise tied to upcoming projects and will feature the Blue Blur in his Classic and Modern form, with something special for Sonic fans of every generation.”

Gaming and YouTube properties fuel growth in demand for licensing in the toy space, says Kids Insights’ Global Toys and Games Report

The rise of YouTube and gaming properties, spanning the likes of Minecraft, Fortnite, Sonic, and Ryan’s World have fuelled a growth in demand for licensed properties across the children’s toys and games space over the course of the last 12 months, according to findings of Kids Insights’ first Global Toys and Games Report 2020.

The same report has underlined a number of key highlights from the children’s space, including a universal rise in awareness around sustainability, as well as the role that analogue gaming has to play in children’s and family wellbeing. The findings are all part of the first in a series of industry-spanning reports from Kids Insights.

The Global Toys and Games Report 2020 is the first in a series of studies focusing on the macroeconomics shaping toys, industry trends, and developments in advertising and marketing today.

Among the key findings of the report – the first in a series of reports from Kids Insights (a research organisation that surveys some 105,000 children a year across across Europe and India) – is up to the minute insight on topics spanning wellbeing, sustainability, demand for licensing, and consumer spend.

The initial report has found that today’s children are finding greater financial empowerment and in the US, kids are receiving $3.76bn a year to spend as they wish, with a growing number utilising Debit cards. With that greater means of spend, children are being faced with greater choice when it comes to how they spend their money.

Kids Insights has found that children now spend £581 million on in-experience purchasing, such as Apps and In Game Purchasing, compared to spending £969 million on toys and games.

In the UK, over one third of kids aged six to nine play with classic board games such as Monopoly, Guess Who, and Jenga monthly, while the team’s data shows a positive link between playing board games and positive wellbeing. According to Kids Insights, tweens who play board games as a hobby reported feeling frequently happy 51 per cent more than average. Similarly, they feel anxious at a lower rate.

Meanwhile, the report has also highlighted the growing importance of sustainability, underlining that as families become more eco-centric, brands need to have more focus on their sustainability strategy as this becomes a more important purchasing decision factor.

Other findings include the impact of Generation Speak, as well as the growth in demand for licensed properties, driven by a significant increase in gaming and YouTube properties, with the likes of Minecraft, Fortnite, Sonic, Ryan’s World, and Jojo Siwa performing the strongest over the last 12 months.

Utku Tansel LLB, MBA head of global industry reports, Kids Insights, said: “I have been working in this industry for 12 years and in my career, I have not witnessed such speed of change.

“The industry is increasingly embracing sustainability and inclusivity while AR and AI push limits on innovation-driven largely by ever-rising smart phone/tablet penetration among children.

“Our study takes readers to an exciting journey shaped by key developments and opportunities showcased in new world order.”

To enquire for a full copy of Kids Insights’ Global Toy & Games Report 2020, click on this link.


To purchase a full copy of Kids Insights’ Global Toy & Games Report 2020, click on this link.