Welcome to the third and final part of our visit to SEGA of America! Check out the first part here and the second part here. In part three, we’re going to take a look at several rare, cool, and sometimes strange pieces of SEGA history pulled from SEGA’s archives from SEGA community managers Kellie Parker and Julian Mehlfeld. Consoles in their original boxes, cool accessories, rare statues, and a few items from the Kellie Parker Collection™ can all be seen after the break!
The SEGA community team hauled out a BUNCH of stuff from their archives for us to look at and photograph. While I’m not going to write about every piece, I did want to show off a few of the ones that really caught my eye. Above is a Japanese SEGA Saturn Twin-Stick controller in its original box, seemingly unopened. If you want to play Cyber Troopers Virtual-On the proper way, this is what you need. Earlier on my trip, I visited Japan Arcade and had to opportunity to play the arcade version with Twin-Sticks. It really does feel like you’re controlling a robot!
Another boxed accessory was the SEGA Activator. George wrote a great piece on this controller in a Monday Memories article. While the Activator didn’t take off as SEGA hoped it would, it is definitely a unique piece of SEGA history and proof that SEGA was always ahead when it came to game innovations. Motion controls in 1993, seventeen years before Kinect! The Activator is probably best known not for the accessory itself, but for the bizarre training video that shipped with it.
As seen in this article’s header image, it’s a Christmas Seaman limited edition Christmas model SEGA Dreamcast. Limited to 850, this one is incredibly special, as it is numbered 000/850. It is unknown if any other zero numbered models exist, but its likely that this one was given internally as a gift from SEGA of Japan to SEGA of America in the Dreamcast’s heyday. There are a few things I especially love about this console. For starters, it is unapologetically a Christmas Dreamcast. Not “holiday” or “winter”, but straight up Christmas complete with a silhouette of Santa Seaman. I also love the color scheme. While it does have the expected red and green, the addition of blue and yellow make it a great item for Neo Geo fans as it very much matches a Neo Get MVS cabinet. See more images of the console in the gallery below.
Pulled from the archives especially for SEGAbits writer Kori’s eyes is this awesome Sakura Taisen 3 special edition which comes with an attractive VMU with wood grain and gold patterns. Truly one of the best looking VMU’s I have ever seen, even trumping the cheetah print VMU. This is one of the few Dreamcast games where the bonus just might outdo the game itself. No offense, Sakura fans!
While we’ve shown off the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Ryo Hazuki forklift statue in a past article – one of the first articles I wrote for SEGAbits – this one is special. No, it is not number 1/1,000. And yes, while it is owned by Senior Online Community Manager Kellie Parker, that is not the reason why it is special. Can you see what is in Ryo’s lap? It’s a little plastic green pepper! For some bizarre reason, during the production process a little green pepper from some other product fell into Ryo’s lap. The pepper seems to be fused to Ryo’s arms, and it’s pretty funny how it made it into the box without anybody noticing the addition. Seeing as how this is the only Ryo Hazuki statue to sport a green pepper, it could be considered the rarest of the 1,000 produced.
Kellie also shared with us her big Hello Kitty Sonic the Hedgehog plush, won at an arcade in Japan by one of Jun Senoue’s fans. While hanging out with Jun in Japan, Kellie came across this cool item in a UFO Catcher. If I’m remembering the story correctly, a fan of Jun’s had a friend who was an expert at the machine. When they learned that Kellie wanted the plush, the fan ran off to get their friend, and when they returned with friend in tow, the UFO expert quickly won the plush for Kellie. The big fluffy Sonic Kitty now resides at SEGA’s San Francisco office on Kellie’s desk. Move over Big, theres a new cat in town.
As our visit wound to a close, we took some final photos, said our goodbyes, and headed for the elevators. To the right of the elevators was this cool painting of classic and modern Sonic, created live at 2011’s Sonic Boom by artist Gregory Siff. The painting was a nice reminder that while we are living in a modern era, SEGA’s offices and employees have not forgotten the past. Paying a visit to SEGA of America was this SEGA fan’s dream(s) come true, and I want to again thank Julian and Kellie for taking the time to make it a reality.