Twenty years ago, Sega showed off its bold new mascot for the first time at the Tokyo Toy Show. He may only have been two months old, but Sonic the Hedgehog was already walking and wagging his finger as these scans from 1990's EGM 13 show.
Even with twelve months of its development cycle left, it's remarkable how much of the game's iconic graphical style was nailed-down: chequered hills, lanky palm trees and that title screen are all present and correct in what was so early it's likely to have been a slideshow of screenshots rather than anything playable.
Naturally the differences are just as interesting as the similarities: Sonic's wide-legged, arms-out "ready" stance, the massive mountains and those peculiar blocky buildings in the background didn't make it to the final game of course, meaning Sonic may well have had completely different animation at this early stage.
Sadly the chances of finding any footage from this time in the young hog's life is extremely slim, but hopefully these magazine scans may lead to further screenshot finds in the future. According to 1up, EGM was the only American magazine at the show so if you have any Japanese or European games magazines from 1990, you may be sitting on more very early shots of Sonic the Hedgehog. Dig them out and let us know.