|Fans of Sonic seem to be endless, and just as endless is the supply of Sonic-fan-items for you to see! What creative objects will everyone come up with this time?
Why are these NOT bootlegs? Because their owners are not trying to pass these off as official goods, and in most cases, there is only ONE of each item you see. No one's in some factory somewhere mass-producing things only hoping to grab money. Most of these are crafts created by Sonic fans, will they inspre you?
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What's that? It's a form of fan figure that got started...in someone's garage in Japan. They're a bit of a Japanese exclusive thing to do, but it's not really known why. Fan figures are crafted usually out of clay first, then a molding process is used to cast them in resin, plastic, or something else hard. They're never/or very rarely an action figure, it is usually a figurine or a mini statue as is the case with what you see here.
They are sometimes released unpainted (the buyer must paint), other times they're completely done.
|Because it is generally a single person doing it, there are never many made. Something like 100 of the same thing might be really high. They then get sold at events like a comic convention, a fan-con, or even a figures-con specifically for stuff like this. You'd rent a booth and display your wares while everyone else shopped and did the same thing.
It's pretty nifty, but it is also pretty labor intensive. Doing stuff like this is really difficult and takes a lot of skill, patience and work. Garage kits are interesting to see. ALL kits in area discovered by Hedgy
|Here is a display for the kits that are on sale at this particular show. You can see they have Velvet (a girl form something else) the Knuckles seen above in both painted and unpainted form, and NiGHTS from that Sonic Team game, doing the classic pose from the box cover. This was likely around the time of Sonic Adventure 1. Seeing this display lets you know how they were shopped for/shown off.|
|Here is simple little figurine Sonic.
Back in the time this was sold, big companies weren't doing those 'figure variants' where like you could get grayscale/clear/etc of the same character, so a mini Sonic like this would have been new to see. They have him in a bit of chibi style, in the finger-waving pose. But look how far over the eye is. The pupil is super small and never actually gets that far over in his eye, because it looks a little strange if it happens. It seems the price for this is 3,500 yen, which is about $31 dollars (in 2020, exchange rates of money are different in different years) Discovered by Hedgy
|A Chip figure from Sonic Unleashed!
Here, a Garage Kit maker has sculpted a Chip, and put it near their Jazwares werehog action figure. It's about to scale with him, too. (Wasn't it always strange that there was never any Chip merchandise despite his huge role in the game? They wanted to plaster the Werehog all over things but Chip made it to a few posters and that was it) Garage Kit makers often step in to create things that companies didn't, for whatever reason, so in this case Chip makes a lot of sense. Discovered by Hedgy
|Garage Kits Are Not Bootlegs:
They are never labeled as official. They are not trying to trick people into thinking they are official merchandise. They are not made by a company, but rather an individual. They are hand-made and not mass-produced. They tend to be sold at conventions where everyone who is buying knows exactly what they are getting. They don't copy official items, instead they make only unique items that you couldn't get otherwise. (They are not knocking anything off)
|Here's a running modern Sonic display figure.
He requires his base to stand, as he is in an all-out running pose with only 1 toe and 1 heel down. Of course, like all of them, he's hand painted. (Note very tiny eye & very thin belly dot) The paint used was ultra-matte which is interesting to see him not be shiny/glossy/plastic tone like lots of other stuff.
|It doesn't have to be a figure though....!
This is a garage...disk..that's not a kit at all. It's like a fairly large relief-type plaque of that SA1-specific "wierd walkin" circular-Sonic. It's done in metallic silver paint with a patina applied so that the textures are darkened for a cool look.
If it reminds you of anything, it's likely the old very first action figures anyone ever got of Sonic from ReSaurus toys back in the day. They used metallic relief disks for figure bases. Discovered by Hedgy
|A fab figure!
Done by the same artist who made the Chip above, here comes sliding/turn Sonic the display garage figure. They've added Chip to the photo to make it look like he's flying along for the adventure.
What a cool idea for a dynamic and action-filled look on a display figure. Sure he needs a base, but with the shoe sideways he's easy to stand on his own too. Discovered by Hedgy
|Here are progress photos for Garage Knuckles. He starts off as this white substance, and clearly has to be done in parts. There's a line through the head where the spikes are attached, and you can see how his tail and legs go onto the body. Detail was added with pen for reference.|
|On the left you can see what he looks like before the nose is attached. Next, that sliding/running one can also pose standing up, if he's reaching for the wall. Having him looking over his shoulder (the head has to be mounted on the neck, so naturally it could turn) makes the pose more fun.|
|From the hand in the photo above, you could tell that the figure wasn't going to be tiny. However, when they're displayed together like this with the Megadrive, you can see that they're actually rather large.
Why? Usually because things that are super tiny are more difficult to work with, as are huge things that take up lots of materials or get weighty. There's a median size that balances out ease of sculpting and use with the properties of the material. This is probably right on the dot with the size. And it's good, because it makes an impact on display.
All photos in this section discovered by: Hedgy
|It's Soap Shoe Sonic Garage Kit
With this photo you can see how they come unassembled, and then you glue it together and paint it..
As you can see, the kit came in a square box with sitting Soap Shoe Sonic on there (He's a fan art, probably done by the figure maker) & the design house name in the upper left corner. (It's in Japanese, you can't read it anyway) Inside the box looks like...just jumbled parts of the figure, in a tan colored resin. So, this thing was going to take some skill to have. Because putting the pieces together with glue and getting the seams perfect is one thing...then applying exactly the right paint colors the right way is yet another. It looks like you may have even had to put together the skate board he's holding.
|This IS a great figure though, very Sonic Adventure without the 'big dumb grin' or odd poses. The shoes are very well sculpted, and the hand pose is nice as well. Here, someone has added a shiny base for him to stand on.
This was VERY limited edition. How limited? Maybe 40 were made, and was only sold in Japan's Wonder-Fest around the time of SA2. Wonder-Fest (won-fes sometimes) is known for being a big venue to sell garage kits like this, so it wouldn't be surprising to find him there.So it's both super cool and super rare...which means it's likely also super costly. Photo discovered by: Hedgy
|Did garage kits get custom packaging too?
Yes! If their maker wanted to box it up in something to keep it safe and sell it, they sure did. In this case it's a cut styrofoam box with blue/white printed label glued onto the top. The interior of the foam is likely cut to fit the pieces, or possibly to house the whole display figure inside. The kit itself builds modern Sonic who is reaching out a hand for something, while the other hand is on his hip. The mouth is very SA1 style with the open/teeth so that's why that side of his head is shaped a little oddly/it's to accomodate the SA1 mouth.
|It's a nice looking figure, capturing the SA1 era style nicely. There's more text at the bottom of the box label, but you can't read it since it's all in Japanese. Discovered by Hedgy|
|Ah, modern art: sometimes it is understandable and sometimes it isn't. And this fan sculpture probably goes into the 2nd category, because what exactly is going on here? This is a metal (most likely) sculpture that has running Sonic but he's placed among a metal...platform with a beam and then there's a partial circle of thick wire sort of..shape behind him. The beams are specifically placed to obscure his eyes/face and also make it kind of impossible for him to be 'running' where he is unless its meant to depict him clipping through poorly done video game level arcitecture. Noice the 'weathering' of the paint on the metal parts and that the Sonic is clearly made of a fresher/newer metal (or plastic made to look like metal) Whoever made this would likely have to explain it. Photographer and artist unknown/pending someone writes in|