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The Official Sonic the Hedgehog Special (1992)

#16 User is offline BlackFive 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:58 AM

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View PostPengi, on 20 May 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

The "Yearbook" version is hardback, whilst the "Special" version is paperback. In the UK, hardback Annuals/Yearbooks are a staple Christmas gift. You only really see them in November/December, then sometimes discounted in January to get rid of extra stock.

So the hardback was sold in Christmas 1992. The second hardback Yearbook (with the AoSTH Robotnik) went on sale Christmas 1993. I remember that the second hardback Yearbook was made available again for Christmas 1994 - even as a kid I thought that was stingy, and realised that was the reason they didn't print the year on the cover.

All of this indicates that the "Special" was the reprint, renamed so that it could be sold outside of the Christmas period. The 1993 Yearbook also got paperback "Special" reprint.


Mine is the hardback though, and still has all the features which point to it being a 1993 release.

Is there a version of the first yearbook which has different content on pages 19, 36, 37, 49, 50 and 51? At any rate, I've yet to see a picture of the cover which lacks the "Win a Mega CD!" on the front cover. Did Grandreams arrange two separate Mega CD competitions one year apart, just so they didn't have to change the front cover? Or was it one competition that lasted 18 months? :v:

If nothing else I can imagine that the artwork for the first yearbook was done in 1992. Artwork for annuals is often drawn about a year before release, and it would explain Robotnik's transitional outfit and maybe even why Tails looks particularly off-model in the "Double Sonic" story.

#17 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:17 AM

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This can't have been a 1992 release - it specifically credits games with a copyright of 1993. And the European Grand Prix took place on the 11th of April, 1993.

However, the six button Arcade Power Stick had yet to be released, which dates it before September 1993.


Which means it was probably released in the summer for some reason, with much of the art, as said, drawn in (late?) 1992 (i.e. before Sonic 2 was much of a thing).



But it's a very strange time to release a yearbook.

#18 User is offline BlackFive 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:22 AM

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View PostBlack Squirrel, on 20 May 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

This can't have been a 1992 release - it specifically credits games with a copyright of 1993. And the European Grand Prix took place on the 11th of April, 1993.

However, the six button Arcade Power Stick had yet to be released, which dates it before September 1993.


Which means it was probably released in the summer for some reason, with much of the art, as said, drawn in (late?) 1992 (i.e. before Sonic 2 was much of a thing).



But it's a very strange time to release a yearbook.


I think yearbooks/annuals are traditionally released at the very beginning of September, sometimes late August, but aren't really heavily promoted until nearer the Christmas shopping season (I say traditionally, because nowadays they're more likely to come out in July).

#19 User is offline Pengi 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:02 AM

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Ah, you're right, I didn't think to double check all the other features. So the first book was a 1993 release and the second a 1994 release. (The second hardback was definitely made available again the following Christmas though.)

I assumed Christmas 1992 because Elson's work on the Yearbook is what helped him land the Sonic the Comic gig (summer 1993). But Annuals/Yearbooks would have a far longer lead time than ongoing magazine publications. So the comic strips themselves were probably drawn before Sonic 2 was released.

(I'd completely missed your first post BlackFive - looks like we were posting around the same time!)
This post has been edited by Pengi: 20 May 2018 - 10:10 AM

#20 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:35 AM

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View PostBlackFive, on 20 May 2018 - 09:22 AM, said:

View PostBlack Squirrel, on 20 May 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

This can't have been a 1992 release - it specifically credits games with a copyright of 1993. And the European Grand Prix took place on the 11th of April, 1993.

However, the six button Arcade Power Stick had yet to be released, which dates it before September 1993.


Which means it was probably released in the summer for some reason, with much of the art, as said, drawn in (late?) 1992 (i.e. before Sonic 2 was much of a thing).



But it's a very strange time to release a yearbook.


I think yearbooks/annuals are traditionally released at the very beginning of September, sometimes late August, but aren't really heavily promoted until nearer the Christmas shopping season (I say traditionally, because nowadays they're more likely to come out in July).

And they can probably get away with that for say, a Blue Peter annual, where as long as nobody is caught taking cocaine, the content is going to be largely the same regardless of what time of year it's released.

But with Sonic, huge things happened in late 1993 and the media was geared up for it all - two cartoon shows, Sonic CD, Spinball and Chaos, plus plenty non-Sonic Sega stuff (including the Mega-CD 2, which ruins that competition a bit). August seems a bit late to not mention any of that.


My guess is this came out around May/June 1993. The "news" section is a bit thin on the ground, which is typical for late Spring, early Summer (before Summer CES 1993, in this case).


The paperback, "non-yearbook" edition arriving a few months later is fair game, if still a little strange.

#21 User is offline BlackFive 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 12:11 PM

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View PostBlack Squirrel, on 20 May 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:


And they can probably get away with that for say, a Blue Peter annual, where as long as nobody is caught taking cocaine, the content is going to be largely the same regardless of what time of year it's released.

But with Sonic, huge things happened in late 1993 and the media was geared up for it all - two cartoon shows, Sonic CD, Spinball and Chaos, plus plenty non-Sonic Sega stuff (including the Mega-CD 2, which ruins that competition a bit). August seems a bit late to not mention any of that.


My guess is this came out around May/June 1993. The "news" section is a bit thin on the ground, which is typical for late Spring, early Summer (before Summer CES 1993, in this case).


The paperback, "non-yearbook" edition arriving a few months later is fair game, if still a little strange.


Fair enough, that makes sense. If it was released at a different time to most annuals it may explain why it's called a "Yearbook" and not an annual, in an attempt to cause less confusion. Grandreams published a load of lisenced annuals during the 80s and 90s, and aside from Sonic it looks like they were all called "Annuals" and not "Yearbooks" (though "Special" was still used for reissues).

#22 User is offline 360 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:04 PM

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View PostPengi, on 20 May 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

The "Yearbook" version is hardback, whilst the "Special" version is paperback. In the UK, hardback Annuals/Yearbooks are a staple Christmas gift. You only really see them in November/December, then sometimes discounted in January to get rid of extra stock.

So the hardback was sold in Christmas 1992. The second hardback Yearbook (with the AoSTH Robotnik) went on sale Christmas 1993. I remember that the second hardback Yearbook was made available again for Christmas 1994 - even as a kid I thought that was stingy, and realised that was the reason they didn't print the year on the cover.


Ah that makes sense! Looks like I got the yearbook version then probably as a Christmas gift (the one I definitely had was hardback). From what I remember I was in hospital in the Winter of the early nineties at some point (1993?) and my parents wanted to get me a present so opted for the yearbook because they knew I loved Sonic.

Fond memories of having it - it was my prized possession for much of my childhood. This thread is such a blast from the past.
This post has been edited by 360: 20 May 2018 - 04:07 PM

#23 User is offline Grind Monkee 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:15 PM

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I'm fairly certain that my hardback "yearbook" version of this is tucked away safely in my parent's attic.
From what I recall about it, it's completely identical apart from the cover. I'll have to get up there and dig around some for it.
It never dawned on me that it would be a somewhat obscure item for most people.

#24 User is offline Xilla 

Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:42 PM

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View PostPengi, on 20 May 2018 - 10:02 AM, said:

Ah, you're right, I didn't think to double check all the other features. So the first book was a 1993 release and the second a 1994 release. (The second hardback was definitely made available again the following Christmas though.)

I assumed Christmas 1992 because Elson's work on the Yearbook is what helped him land the Sonic the Comic gig (summer 1993). But Annuals/Yearbooks would have a far longer lead time than ongoing magazine publications. So the comic strips themselves were probably drawn before Sonic 2 was released.




I know a few people who've worked on annuals for things like the Beano and they've all told me the vast majority of strips are drawn the best part of a year in advance. So it wouldn't surprise me if indeed the strips were drawn pre-Sonic 2 release, especially with Tails shoe-horned into the last story in GHZ.

Other possibility is that the artists and writers were only given Sonic 1 as a reference. I asked Mark Millar about his StC work a while ago and he told me Sega basically sent him a Megadrive with Sonic 1 (plus Streets of Rage 2) and that's all he had to go by.

The story set in Spring Yard always intrigued me, it seems to heavily rely on stock art that was around at the time.
This post has been edited by Xilla: 20 May 2018 - 07:51 PM

#25 User is offline Andy Avenue 

Posted 21 May 2018 - 03:15 AM

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This is really cool! I had one of these back when I was 6 or 7, but I honestly thought it was just one of those things I had made up in my head as it was different to the usual Sonic the Comic.

I have always had that image of Sonic eating Maltesers at the start of "Double Sonic" in my head but just could never figure out if I imagined it or not!

View PostBlack Squirrel, on 20 May 2018 - 04:50 AM, said:


This style of Sonic was always my favourite in STC, used to love the way Sonic's leg spin looked.

Been great to read through again, definitely made my Monday morning a bit more enjoyable! Thanks for this!

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