News Article

SEGA Wants Sonic to be the Next Hello Kitty

Posted by Mike Mason

Hogmoney

It seems that Hello Kitty Sonic plush was a sign of things to come. SEGA hopes that Sonic the Hedgehog can become as big an icon as Sanrio's top cat.

SEGA Europe COO Jurgen Post spoke to MCV about the lucrative merchandising potential of Sonic. With licensing teams dedicated to the task in both the UK and US, SEGA has golden rings in its sights as it looks to maximise the hedgehog's profitability.

We dream of Hello Kitty. We’re still far off from that but we can see that our profits are growing year on year in the US and Europe [on merchandising].

We’ve got a licensing team on the ground in the UK who are focusing on that and that team will expand. We’ve got a team in the US and which will also expand. We used to run it all out of Sega of Japan, but having people on the ground is making a big difference.

We can't wait for the oversized Knuckles gloves.

[via mcvuk.com]

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User Comments (52)

Portista

#2

Portista said:

It's been a very long time since Sonic first appeared, and if he hasn't become that big yet, then I don't think he ever will....

Swiket

#3

Swiket said:

Well both SEGA and the Hello Kitty owners are creatively bankrupt, so I guess it makes sense.

HappyHappy

#4

HappyHappy said:

Start off by making a new Sonic cartoon like The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Odnetnin

#5

Odnetnin said:

Now that James is gone I'm free to say this: Sonic becoming the next Hello Kitty would be by far the best thing to ever come out of the franchise.

Linkuini

#6

Linkuini said:

I thought they used to be after Mickey-level fame. They must have reeled in their expectations since then. And I thought the fans were the ones getting cynical.

WaLzgiStaff

#8

WaLzgi said:

They should probably release a new game that does not rely on previous games to be good first. Just saying....Sega's been trying to milk this dead hedgecow for years and it's produced very little milk :P

ATDI

#14

ATDI said:

Step 1: Give him a voice that doesn't make people cringe.
Step 2: Design him more like classic Sonic.

RaylaxStaff

#18

Raylax said:

It was all a cover-up. James didn't go work for NoE. He went to work for Sega Europe.

C-Olimar

#22

C-Olimar said:

why don't Ninty try this with Mario? He has way more merchandising potential than the comparatively bland blue hedgehog...

kkslider5552000

#23

kkslider5552000 said:

At least they're honest?

I don't think this means anything beyond "yay merchadise". But I think if they wanted to do this, they should have done it in the early 90s.

theblackdragonAdmin

#24

theblackdragon said:

it's great to aspire to that kind of brand recognition, but Hello Kitty is second only to Mickey in popularity, isn't she? i'm with kkslider, i think they kinda missed the boat here if that's what they're wanting, lol. good luck to them, i guess :3

torotoid64

#26

torotoid64 said:

"But hello Kitty is second only to mickey in popularity, isn't she?" And your point is?

KromCompany

#27

KromCompany said:

maybe sonic games should become free roaming to go to the next level or event on a single planet, to travel to the next planet you must go to a rocket or something. Im not much of a sonic fan but its just an idea. Im saddened to watch my friend get tricked into buying into the never changing franchise.

Neram

#28

Neram said:

I'm willing to bet Sonic is already more renown than Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty is only really popular with little girls where EVERYONE knows who Sonic the Hedgehog is, pretty much.

misswliu81

#29

misswliu81 said:

i don't know about hello kitty, but pair sonic up with mario in a platform game, not those olympics games made by nintendo would boost sonic's credibility.

nindocrash

#30

nindocrash said:

Knuckles always had the same character potential as sonic in my opinion. I hope to see a new sonic&knuckles title in the future, with a more respected rivalry between the of two them.

RR529

#31

RR529 said:

I bought a Sonic graphic T-shirt a few months ago (classic Sonic, FTW!), and I'd certainly buy more Sonic merch if given the chance.

I have a boatload of Mario stuff (two graphic T-shirts, a baseball cap, wallet, and the Club Nintendo Mario folding fan), so I'd be more than happy to get Sonic stuff as well.

sinalefa

#32

sinalefa said:

Well, Hello Kitty has like 15 more years of experience than Sonic, so I see that difficult to happen. Specially when Kitty was specifically conceived as a merchandising character, not as a videogame character that branches off towards merchandising. If that ever happens, I think that Mario would be the chosen one.

ThomasBW84Admin

#33

ThomasBW84 said:

Basic tip for SEGA - If no-one buys Sonic games any more (sales have been below par for a while now), then only those with fond memories of his 16-bit days and a few enthusiasts will buy up merchandise. If you want him to be big, make more good games like Sonic Generations and convince people to buy them. Without the games reaching a wide audience, all of the plush figures in the world will make little difference.

Azaris

#36

Azaris said:

I hope sonic isn't the only sonic character getting a plushie.
I love collecting plushies and i would to have tails,amy,rogue,and cream plushies.

FJOJR

#39

FJOJR said:

@C-Olimar Nintendo does do this with Mario. I've seen Mario candy, hats, toys, clothes, and other merchandise in all kinds of stores. Mario is at the point where the generations of kids from the 80s and 90s now look back on him fondly and remember how cool he is. If there is one thing I always say it's #WeNeedMoreMario.

Emaan

#40

Emaan said:

First of all, Sega needs to rethink their priorities. :p
Second, its very different having a Sega article without James :|

Kage_88

#41

Kage_88 said:

@3DSonicPizza - Great, non-fanboyish contribution there. I'm a Sonic fan too, and even I know he's nowhere near as popular as he once was. Unlike Mario, his games have been wildly inconsistent over the last 12 years or so (and the collapse of SEGA didn't help matters).

Still, I appreciate SEGA's enthusiasm and dedication though. Maybe they'll pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, and accomplish their goal.

AntiGuy

#42

AntiGuy said:

Continue Sonic X or make a completely different anime and make sure it doesn't fall in the wrong hands like with 4kids, they destroyed the essence of Sonic X, making it completely unwatchable...

Araknie

#43

Araknie said:

They need an anime to do that. Look at Kirby how he grow up back in games and other stuff with the "recent" anime.

warvad

#44

warvad said:

Holy crap oversized knuckles gloves would be amazing! Make it happen, Mr. Mason!

Onett

#46

Onett said:

Sega has to create a new show or somehow rekindle interest in the series by developing games that are consistent enough to bring new and old fans together. As of now, they're pigeonholing themselves.

RudysaurusRex

#47

RudysaurusRex said:

Ummm... Sonic already has no rep, so this could drive the final nail in the coffin, or open it up to younger audiences.

Yanchamaru

#48

Yanchamaru said:

Back in the 90's, Sonic was for everyone but now is he marketed towards children. RIP little buddy

OdnetninAges

#49

OdnetninAges said:

@Kage_88

The fanboys and trolls are idiots.

On one side you have "OMG YES RFH4ETG" And on the other, "Just let Sonic the Hedgehog die already".

Look here. Sonic already went through this phase in the 90's... his face was plastered on everything. Times have changed.
I've seen VERY few Sonic fans in this generation, so basically, this would not work, unless they make more, well, good games.
Saying he was "never" popular, or has "no rep" is just ridiculous. And saying "Well, he's the best & he'll always be popular" is ridiculous too.

Basically, let them do their thing.
He gets popular again: Great.
He stays the same, but still has fun games like Colors and Generations: Ok.

He'll still have people who enjoy his games.

Henmii

#51

Henmii said:

Instead of merchandising it to death, they could much better bring Sonic generations to the Wii u, AND create a kick-butt 3DS sidescrolling Sonic!

And oh yeah: Bring Sonic the hedgehog 4 episode 2 to the Wii u e-shop!

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