SEGA Want Sonic to be as Popular as Hello Kitty

Sonic the Hedgehog may be a well-known gaming character, but SEGA want his popularity to reach beyond gamers. How do they plan on doing that? With more licensing and merchandise. SEGA’s Jurgen Post, COO of Sega Europe, hopes that one day Sonic will be as iconic as Sanrio’s Hello Kitty.

“Sonic is a well-known character, but we’ve got a lot of room to grow in merchandising,” he told MCV.

“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 will always do the computer game but the merchandising is a very important aspect to Sonic.”

I guess we now know why this is happening.

Source: MCV UK

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  1. im sure more kids these days know sonic more than hello kitty, but thats pretty cool that their sales and popularity is going more and more each year

  2. how about just making a great game for once. look how popular mario is and its all thanks to epic games

  3. Really weird analogy, but alright, whatever works. Hell Sonic’s already scored a cameo in a major movie that Mario didn’t, so that’s an automatic boost

    1. Actually, Mario and Luigi were supposed to be in the movie. However, Disney was unwilling to pay the price Nintendo wanted.

  4. How strange…I recall reading somewhere that Sonic was more recognisable than Micky Mouse once…good to know that more merch is on the way though…

    1. That was back in the good ol’ days. 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembered lol.

      1. Thinking about it I think it may have been in the Generations edition of Games Master.

        haha, good to hear I didn’t just imagine that 😛

  5. If they want Sonic to be more popular then they need a movie!!
    Hello kitty doesn’t have a movie 😛

    1. The thing is, if Sonic had his own movie, only Sonic fans would see it. The majority of people would say “What the fudge is that?!” if they saw a trailer of the movie, and would not want to see the movie. Also, a lot of Sonic fans would not see it, due to it being “Modern Sonic”.

      1. On the contrary, Sonic is a very appealing character, especially to kids. I mean, his attitude, his style and his sense of speed all make him a very unique character. I mean, isn’t that what attracted us to Sonic in the first place? He was COOL! Kids would love the movie, as with any other animated movie, and maybe Sonic would even gain some new fans. Also, if a kid likes Mario, chances are they’ve played Mario and Sonic’s Olympic outings, and they would at least know who Sonic is.

  6. I didn’t even know hello kitty was still popular. I’ve only seen one form of merchandise in the past 7 months, and that was just a kids backpack…. But ok, If they want to bring up Sonic’s Merchandise end up, I’d say give it a go. lol

    That was back in the 90’s when the games were at their highest peak. lol

  7. Theres a ton of Hello Kitty stuff around where I live. I’d kill for more Sonic merch.

  8. Sadly though to my knowledge Sonic isn’t all that popular to kids now a days.Not unless they have older siblings who’ve played Sonic games I don’t see them recognizing Sonic characters.I know Sonic X still airs reruns so maybe he gets some exposure there, I just always thought Sonic’s fanbase is like mid teens and up.

    1. Really? I always see kids with Sonic shirts on. Now, I know I don’t know if they have older siblings or not, but I do see them quite often.

      1. I remember one time back in September. I was out shopping when this kid walked past me and whispered to his mum “He’s wearing a Sonic shirt!”

        I was feeling pretty shit then, but he made my day =3

    2. more kids today know what sonic is than hello kitty. in terms of what more people buy kids don’t buy sonic games (kids today like online games) and young girls buy hello kitty stuff

    1. oh gosh furbies, now those are old, in fact the funny thing is I didn’t collect them, my mom did

  9. Well. This is definitely different than “we want CoD’s audience” that’s so popular nowadays.

    1. If they wanted cod’s audience they would’ve told gearbox to make a generic aliens shooter, instead of an awsome sci fi fps title with “real” originality. Or (I can’t believe I’m saying this) they would’ve made shadow the hedgehog 2, but put it in a first person view.

  10. They want to compete with the indestructible demon that is Hello Kitty? They’ll need 2 priests and some holy water.

  11. Seems legit, but why Hello Kitty? Try a more well-known icon in other media, just not Hello Kitty. Try a more well-known character outside of gaming… Now that I think of it, no other character in the modern toy industry comes to mind aside from characters from movies or TV shows. Come to think of it, WHERE did Hello Kitty come from?

  12. Fat chance. Sonic’s going to have to do more than be merchandised to death in order to reach Hello Kitty proportions. Mario is currently approaching that level of Hello Kitty status in Japan and it was well more than riding only on the backs of merchandising and licensing; Mario’s games are well publicized and reach good ratings and reviews worldwide. Not only that, but Mario has kept his high popularity consistent in Japan and the rest of the world; Sonic has a lot to make up for in lost time again.

  13. Actually, I’m kind of glad he ISN’T as popular as Hello Kitty. If he was, I think my poor merch-collecting wallet would implode, creating a black hole.

  14. Yes SEGA! Leave Sonic merch to the west! We got Jazwares figures, we got Archie comics, all the best Sonic things are made over on this side of the world.

  15. there also doing this because Sega is struggling right now hence the closer of most of there offices and hence the cut on IP’s, sonic generations didn’t sell so well either and same goes for sonic 4 episode 2, so what im guessing here is Sega are going to Milk sonic like mad in the merchandise front hoping this would bring back major interest in the games which should make those sell like hot cakes

  16. ” but SEGA want his popularity to reach beyond gamers.”

    Well i know one person who’s already done this but he’s not apart of SEGA. I was playing his game last night online actually.

  17. Remember there was a time when McDonalds had sonic and hello Kitty toys as promotion, with them next to each other…?

  18. Hello Kitty in Sonic and Allstars Racing Transformed. Lol

    Seems like SEGA is pulling out all the hat tricks on cross overs lately. Mario, Wreck it Ralph, Megaman, Hello Kitty etc.

  19. Have to agree on the fact that Sonic, though somewhat popular has never extended as far as something like Hello Kitty. There’s a few reasons for this. Firstly is that Sonic has never been hugely popular in Japan, contray to what some people might think and that’s most likely due to his Americanisation during his conception, something that is still somewhat present today. Secondly is the varying quality of his games, when a characters critical acclaim is hit it effects even fan confidence, which naturally leads into how much merch they buy. Thirdly is character design and intention. Hello Kitty is almost a faceless persona, it has just enough detail to be unique but it never excerts a prominent them; minimilism at it’s best and what enables it to take on many forms easily, essential to merchandising. It also has a bit of the Kawaii aesthetic going which is very popular.

    Basically Sonic is, or was prominently meant to be a games character which so happened to become popular enough to merchandise. Hello Kitty always had a merchanidising plan around it.


  21. I’m all for new merchandise 🙂 I love collecting.
    Hello Kitty is HUGE, so it’ll be interesting to see what they crank out!

  22. I think this is going to be SEGA’s great opportunity to turn things around for both the company and the franchise. Lets hope to God this will come true!

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