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Living The Hedgehog Lifestyle

Sonic the Hedgehog pasta with tomato and cheese sauceVideo game characters are often featured on a variety of merchandise, but it's the all-star characters among us that are spread all around the merchandising world.  You know that a game character has hit the big time when he or she appears on completely unrelated non-gaming products such as pencils, socks, handheld radios, canned pasta, couches (with matching curtains), Frisbees, party invitations, skateboards, bicycle helmets, headbands, and other such things.  Today we explore the licensed side of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog with a comprehensive review of nearly twenty years worth of Sonic merchandise from around the world.  Behold the extensive collection over at Sonic Gear.

Probably the most noticed, and longest running Sonic food was a pasta...product. These canned non-noodles and meat substance were made by Franco-American. They were sold for years, and were widely available at almost any super market in the canned items isle. As you can see, the label evolved THREE times over the course of Sonic's design! The design of the cans did not vary much with the meatball/non-meatball content. The noodle shapes did not change, only the labels differed.  For most of the run of the pastas, they had a contest of some kind. The earlier one had "Sega Scratch N' Screamstakes" where you could win games, game systems, money or large arcade consoles.

I was a Nintendo/Mario booster as a kid, so I happily grew up surrounded by similarly baffling out-of-place licensed Nintendo merchandise instead of Sonic items.  Seeing the mountains of Sonic merchandise here gives me something of a Cold War vibe similar as to when I see aged photos of Soviet versions of quality American products.  Yes, there was a Sonic pasta, but surely it's just a cheap imitation of the assuredly high quality Mario pasta.  Never mind that they're both made out of pasta factory floor sweepings and Grade Z circus animal meat.