Sonic X-Treme Radio Revealed
August 06, 2017
The legendary lost status of Sonic X-Treme for the Sega Saturn is a well-tread item of Internet lore. I'm sure you know the story: Sega's big 1996 holiday release for the Saturn is canceled after internal struggles between the development team and the publisher, leaving a high profile hole in the console's library. While the game never released, some tie-in merchandise did. We covered the retitled X-treme animated Christmas special, Sonic Christmas Blast (previously titled A Sonic X-Treme Christmas), once before on PTB, and now we have photos of an AM/FM radio branded with the X-treme name. You see, kids, FM radio was... oh, never mind. Take a look.
TIL Sega began producing promotional items for the canceled Saturn game Sonic X-Treme
I searched around for other merchandise meant to help promote Sonic X-Treme and wound up at an old Angelfire page that, in addition to the radio, lists a cassette player and ice cream. How did this X-treme stuff make it out the door if the game never did? What was the point of promoting a dead release? Tgunter at Reddit sums it up:
The logo matches the one used in early promotion for the game, and the copyright date on the back says 1997, while Sonic X-treme was originally slated for Christmas 1996, but delayed multiple times before being canceled. So everything points to this being a tie-in. Manufacturing takes time to line up. It makes perfect sense that merchandise got made for Sonic X-treme, considering it was supposed to be a big release.
Makes sense to me. I'll allow it. It's always interesting to see the range of products used to promote other products. Did Sonic need a radio or a cassette player that had nothing in common with the game other than the logo on the box? Of course not, but it helped keep the game in the collective consciousness of children and gave cheap radios and other such things a level of appeal. I ate a lot of tasteless fruit snacks as a kid just because Mario was on the box. Hell, we're talking about this radio right now because it says Sonic X-Treme on the package. This licensing strategy must work.