He's one of the most recognizable video game mascots in history -- a blue, spiky-haired mammal named Sonic who can run at supersonic speeds.
Well, believe it or not, but it's the 20th anniversary of the quick-footed hedgehog and his yen for golden rings, as the character made his debut in the summer of 1991 on the Sega Genesis. That same year, Sonic also appeared in a Japanese arcade racing game, Rad Mobile, as a rearview mirror ornament.
To celebrate his two decades in interactive entertainment, the following are a few facts you might not know about the beloved game character:
That's a lot of running: More than 80 million Sonic the Hedgehog video games have been sold worldwide since the series began 20 years ago. Sega says about 60 million people have played at least one Sonic game in their lifetime and collectively have scooped up more than 70 billion rings to date (yes, billion with a "b"). Sonic's classic shoes were allegedly inspired by a pair of Michael Jackson's boots.
Fountain of youth: How old is Sonic? He's 15. And just like Bart Simpson, he never ages. Yes, that means he should be 35 this year, but maintains his youthful zest to this day -- and even continuing onto his next game, Sonic Generations, out Nov. 1, for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Sonic Generations 3D for the portable Nintendo 3DS platform debuts on the last day of 2011.
You're famous!: The have been four animated television series to star Sonic the Hedgehog, beginning with 1993′s Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. That same year, Archie comics began the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series and Sonic made his real-world appearance at Macy's Thanksgiving Day in New York City. There was also Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie in 1996.
What's your sign?: Sonic is a Cancer as he was born on June 23 (er, in the video game world). His favorite drink is cola and preferred food is Chili dogs (poor Tails, who often runs behind him) and the blue guy might be fast on foot but he can't swim. In the original Sonic games on Sega Genesis, the evil villain Dr. Robotnik was called another, slightly more scrambled name in Japan: Dr. Eggman.
Sounding off: There have been more than a dozen theme songs for Sonic the Hedgehog, many of which have been performed by Crush 40. This includes "Reach for the Stars," "It Doesn't Matter," "Open Your Heart," "Live and Learn," "His World," "Seven Rings In Hand," "Un-Gravitify" and "We Can." And who could forget "Endless Possibility" by Bowling For Soup from the game Sonic Unleashed?
- Sega Genesis