Swingin’ Report Show #87: Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book – Cook & Becker CEO Maarten Brands

The SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show is back, bringing you an interview with Maarten Brands, CEO of Cook & Becker who is behind the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book! In this, his first public interview talking about the book, Maarten goes into the history of the international art dealership Cook & Becker, how the SEGA partnership began and what fans can expect from the Sonic art book.

The book releases soon and comes in two editions, which you can pre-order now:
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25TH ANNIVERSARY ART BOOK – COLLECTOR’S EDITION
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25TH ANNIVERSARY ART BOOK – STANDARD HARDCOVER

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SEGA News Bits: First Look at the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book

Cook & Becker’s Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book is now up for pre-order, and on this SEGA News Bits George and Barry share their thoughts on the upcoming book. Take a look at several images of the Special Collector’s Edition of the book and learn some details of what we might expect to find in the book.

Are you a Sonic collector with original official art? Contact Cook & Becker as they are looking for potential rarities to include in the book!

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First look at the official ‘Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary’ art book from Cook & Becker – available for pre-order

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Thanks to the next-gen art dealers at Cook & Becker, we have a first look at the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book via an in-depth gallery of images as well as a full press release. So let’s get down to it! The art book, the first ever official art book and design history for the long running series, encapsulates 25 years of history. The book will be made available in a limited Special Collector’s Edition as well as a Standard Hardcover Edition. The Special Collector’s Edition features an outer box, a special inner sleeve that folds into a display stand for the book and an exclusive newly drawn matted art giclee print by Sonic Team’s Yuji Uekawa. The Collector’s Edition is limited to 2,500 copies and sells for $120/€120 respectively. As a pre-order bonus, Cook & Becker offers a 10% discount on the Collector’s Edition if it is ordered before February 2017. The Standard Edition, meanwhile, retails for $45/€45 and consists of the book itself.

Let’s talk about the book! Officially licensed, the book (310mm H x 275mm W) will feature 200+ pages of images and text, including interviews with key Sonic designers including Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Uekawa. As seen in the image gallery below, you can expect to find concept art, promotional art, 3D renders, box art and – as revealed in our recent article – original official art and rare collectibles submitted by fans (pending approval from Cook & Becker and SEGA, of course).

After the break, check out a full press release detailing the book as well as a gallery of several images showing off the ins and outs of the book as well as the Special Collector’s Edition. Don’t forget to pre-order the book today at the official Cook & Becker site!

Attention Sonic the Hedgehog collectors: Cook & Becker are looking for rare original official art and collectibles

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If you haven’t already heard, next-gen art dealers Cook & Becker plan to release a “Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book”. The book will cover the history of Sonic and will include design sketches, official character illustrations, in-game art, pixel art, rare promotional art and game box art. While SEGA has provided Cook & Becker with many great art assets from the company archives, as is the case with original art spanning 25 years there is always more out there in private collections.

Cook & Becker reached out to us asking if we would ask you, the fans, to lend a hand if you can. As the book enters the final stages of design, there is little under a month left before the window closes on what can appear in the book and we are asking any fans with cool rare retro merchandise, rare original promotional art and rare manual scans to reach out to Cook & Becker via their contact page or email maarten [at] candb.com. Cook & Becker is looking for high res photos and scans of what they may not already have. They will credit anyone in the book that sends in material that gets included. I know, for example, that there is some really great original art from the late SEGA Genesis-era artist Greg Martin in several collections.

It should be noted that Cook & Becker are NOT looking for fan art, only rare and original official pieces of artwork and collectibles. More news on Cook & Becker’s book to come, so stay tuned!

SEGA and Cook & Becker to team up to release the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book

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Via the Cook & Becker blog comes the awesome news that SEGA has teamed with the art dealer to release a Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book. The book will cover Sonic’s entire history and will include design sketches, official illustrations, in-game and pixel art, promotional art and box art. The book will also contain never-before-seen artwork and will have interviews with designers and artists who worked on the series. Pre-orders have not yet opened, but Cook & Becker expect pre-orders to open wordwide in October or November with the ship date set as early 2017. There will be two versions, a Standard Edition and a Collector’s Edition.

Not to toot our own horn, but back in July of 2015, we interviewed Aaron Webber and when asked what sort of Sonic merchandise we’d like to see, we asked for a Sonic the Hedgehog art book. Aaron sounded genuinely interested in making such a thing happen. So, you’re welcome and Aaron… can we have a free copy of the book?

Next Retro Gamer magazine to feature Streets of Rage 2, Sonic 25th issue now available

retro gamer issues 158 159

UK retro gaming enthusiast magazine Retro Gamer is on a roll with Sega coverage!

In their most recent issue (#158), their cover story was Sonic’s 25th anniversary. They included an interview with Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka, where they discussed Sonic’s past, present and future. The Sonic coverage was pretty extensive, with it making up a good portion of the issue. SEGAbits and Sonic Retro contributor Nick Thorpe penned the piece.

Interested fans can still find copies of this issue on some newsstands or order it online.

In the next issue of Retro Gamer (#159), the cover story will be Streets of Rage 2. They promise to show “how Sega beat Capcom’s Final Fight to create the Mega Drive’s greatest scrolling fighter.” Well, that certainly sounds promising. The same issue will also have a feature on the Sega Master System.

You can look for it when it arrives or order it here.

It’s not every day you see Sega games gracing the cover of a magazine anymore, at least in English. You might as well take the chance when you get the opportunity.

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Japanese Pre-Order Items Are Very Tempting

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It seems that SEGA of Japan will be having some really tempting Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary themed pre-order items for the upcoming Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (called Sonic Toon in Japan) on the Nintendo 3DS. The Japanese site ebten.jp (You can buy the set on Play Asia outside of Japan) has two versions Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, one being just a pre-order for the game and a Sonic 25th Anniversary set  which comes with the following:

  • Flat acrylic cut outs of Sonic the Hedgehog doing random poses and even has one of him sleeping. There are 7 patterns in total and it comes with a stand to display the cut outs (one at a time of course). Perfect to put around your desk. Note: while it looks like classic Sonic, he still has green eyes.
  • Sonic 25th Anniversary Mug which is a blue wrap around design featuring a white outline of Sonic’s head. On the other side of the mug we have a small cute, chubby classic Sonic.
  • Sonic 25th Anniversary 3D Crystal which looks pretty awesome (video of how it looks below). It is a crystal cube with 3D stereoscopic laser engraving of classic Sonic doing his famous finger wage pose and the Sonic 25th Anniversary logo in the back. The crystal changes color depending on the angle as well! The item is 50 × 80 × 50mm in size.
  • Sonic 25th Anniversary Nintendo 3DS theme. This digital theme will cycle through eras of Sonic’s 25 years as you select things in the Nintendo 3DS main menu. So far this digital Nintendo 3DS theme has only been shown for the Japanese release. You can see that in motion after the jump.

So how much is this all going to cost you? The Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice 25th Anniversary pre-order set costs 9,504 yen not including shipping (about $95 USD) and comes with all the items pictured here along with a copy of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. The set won’t ship until the games Japanese release date of October 27th, 2016. Of course since the Nintendo 3DS is region locked, that a Japanese copy of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice would be useless but look at the sweet 3D crystal! Want to see more of that Sonic 25th Anniversary 3D crystal in action? Hit that jump.

Yuji Naka wants to see a Mario and Sonic crossover action game

SonicandMarioCrossOver

We know that Mario and Sonic have had a long line of crossover Olympic titles throughout recent years, but that isn’t what Yuji Naka, one of Sonic’s creators envisioned for the duo’s cross over.

Recently Yuji Naka spoke with the Japanese website Famitsu about the origins of Mario and Sonic game, which started talks as an action game during the GameCube era when SEGA first went 3rd party. As we know today, this lead nowhere and Mario and Sonic didn’t happen until SEGA acquired the license to make Olympic video games.

Here is Yuji Naka talking about Mario and Sonic co-starring on titles based around the Olympics and the origins of the project:

“Actually, I wanted Mario [and Sonic] to appear together, so one time I went to give Miyamoto-san a presentation on how I want to create an action game which is co-starred by Mario and Sonic. It was in the GameCube days, and I took around four planners with me. It is a pity that the discussion was ‘clearly it isn’t necessary for Mario and Sonic to co-star in an action [game]’ and it didn’t become a reality, but SEGA was able to get the license for the Olympics just at that time, so in order to make the best use of the license, companion characters appeared together. A little later Sonic appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, this too came into reality because I requested from Sakurai-san, ‘I want Sonic to appear [in Smash Bros.]’. The Olympics is a bit different from my wish, but I think it’s a good thing that children around the world are happy about them co-starring. But someday I want to realize an action [game] together with Mario. I think I’m going to give another presentation so that Takashi [Iizuka] finds the necessity [of a Mario & Sonic action game] (laughs).” – Yuji Naka

Yuji Naka wasn’t the only original Sonic the Hedgehog creator to chime in on the interview, original Sonic designer Naoto Ohshima said the following:

Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Postmortem Stream at 7PM Central Today

UPDATED: Watch the archive of the stream above. Bartman3010 joins with Donnie from Sonic Paradox News and TSSZ, Chris and Aaron from Find the Computer Room and our own NeoHazard to talk about the 25th anniversary party, Sonic Mania and project 2017. Listen to our woes of corralling a bunch of nerds from the internet together, Bartman complimenting a Dick (Tracey,) and other happenings around the event and San Diego Comic Con in this Bold and Tasty stream.
Tune in today at 7PM central for talk on the 25th anniversary party, Sonic Mania, Project Sonic 2017, Totinos and more with Sonic Retro, SEGAbits and guests!

Sonic 25th Party Post Mortem Stream This Friday at 7PM Central

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UPDATED: The postmortem podcast will air at 7PM central instead of 5PM central to make time for more awesome guests to arrive!

The  Sonic Mania hype may be coasting at this point, but we’re just getting started with the celebration of “The World Famous Blue Hedgehog” by hosting a live podcast on SEGA Channel Retro on YouTube this Friday at 5PM central. Sonic Retro and SEGAbits were live and in person at the event and we’ll talk about the event, Sonic Mania, Project Sonic 2017, Totinos, LEGO Sonic the Hedgehog and more!

SEGA News Bits: Project Sonic 2017 Debut Trailer Reaction & Discussion

During the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party SEGA showed off the Project Sonic 2017 debut trailer which sent shock waves across the interwebs. Why such a huge reaction? Because this Project Sonic 2017 debut trailer is the first look at Sonic Team’s next big Sonic the Hedgehog video game. So join George and Barry as they discuss their thoughts on the Project Sonic 2017 debut trailer and what it means for the future of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Project Sonic 2017 will launch in winter 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo NX, and Windows PC!

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SEGA News Bits: Sonic Mania Hands On Impressions

We played Sonic Mania, and now we’re going to tell you what we think! In this SEGA News Bits, George and I (Barry) rest our aching feet just hours after the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Party in San Diego to share our reaction to the Sonic Mania reveal and give our thoughts on how the game plays. Do we have another Sonic 4 on our hands or is Sonic Mania the true successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles? The answers are obviously “nope!” and “hell yes!” in that order.

Special thanks to Neo Hazard for letting us use his footage, you can check out his channel here! Also, thanks to Bartman for being the one to play the game in our footage. You can find Bartman’s YouTube channel here!

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See the first trailer of Sonic in Lego Dimensions

Along with all the other news unveiled at Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary party, we got to see the first gameplay of Sonic in Lego Dimensions! The trailer shows Sonic running through Green Hill Zone and other dimensions within the Lego crossover game. It’s also our first glimpse at Super Sonic. Overall, looks really cool. Sonic specific Lego Dimensions content comes out this Fall.

Classic Sonic and Green Hill Zone announced for Sonic Dash

Just a while ago at the Sonic 25th Anniversary event, Sonic Dash, one of SEGA’s popular games for Android and iOS was featured on stage for a bit. Sonic Dash, developed by Hardlight, has hit 200 million downloads, and that isn’t the only news. Green Hill Zone and Classic Sonic were also announced as new content for the game. The new Sonic Dash content will be available to play tonight.