Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary with 25 great underrated moments

sonic 25 headerSEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 25 today, and while we’ve celebrated franchise milestone years in the past, there is something really special about this one. A quarter of a century is a long time, and it is a testament to SEGA’s perseverance and the devotion of the Sonic fanbase that the franchise is still going strong. Sonic Lost World and the Sonic Boom franchise – particularly the games – are often pinpointed as the franchise’s recent weak points and signs that the franchise as a whole needs to be put down or at the very least take a long break. While I am not here to debate the merits of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom, I will say that to end a series or take a long break because of either is both incredibly shortsighted and far too extreme a reaction. I would also argue that Sonic is about much more than just the main series games, as fans like to label the major titles, and that there has always been great Sonic things happening even during the franchise’s darkest years.

In celebration of 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, join me in looking back year-by-year as I shine the light on great moments in Sonic history that more people need to be talking about.

Fastest Food Alive: A look back at the 1994 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion

As we near 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, I wanted to kick off a video series looking back at an aspect of the franchise that has always been a favorite of mine – food promotions! From McDonald’s to Topps to Carl’s Jr and beyond, SEGA has teamed their flagship franchise with some of the greatest, and at times weirdest, food companies. In this first installment, I take a look back at the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion which ran worldwide in 1994 and 1995. Everything from the commercials to the in-store displays is covered, and I even clear up some misconceptions about that whole Tails recall situation and figure out just what that yellow Tails ball was. Special thanks to The Gagaman for additional information.

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Eat at McDonalds, get a chance to win Sega E-Store money, games or Sonic comic

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce and stop the presses!

In “late because I didn’t hear about it until now” news, McDonalds has been having a “Win USA wins, you win!” contest going on. It appears one of the many prizes you could win is $10 in Sega E-Store money. After checking the official contest site, it looks like you also have a chance at the two Sega London 2012 games (including Mario and Sonic) along with a Sonic comic about the Olympics. Appearently with an exclusive cover. Better get a move on, as the final events are this Sunday! Man, I wished I’d have known sooner.

So the good news is, you may win some Sega money! The bad news is, you have to eat at McDonalds. XP

Pakistani McDonalds Ad Featuring Sonic Heroes

Kotaku Wrote:

You may have seen these cheap LCD games offered as McDonalds Happy Meal toys before. They’ve been run in several territories around the world. But you’ve never seen them advertised like they were in Pakistan.

Back in 2004, what must surely be one of the world’s least popular McDonalds outlets tried a unique method of selling the Sonic games: making an animated commercial that looks like it was made by a 12-year-old. In 1994.

Oh, and Rouge the Bat is naked. Creepy.

I have a few of these McDonald games still lying around (they were given away free with Happy Meals, I suppose that is the drill across the world), I don’t remember seeing this advertisement though. The advert has surprisingly poor production values and is entirely the fault of McDonalds, since SEGA has no presence in our country. This commercial marks the first and last time a SEGA game (or endorsed) product was marketed and distributed in Pakistan.

For Kotaku’s information, McDonalds is comparatively more popular in Karachi than it is in America, I am not sure but we definitely have more than 20 McDonalds outlets in my city alone.