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A brand-new LEGO Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone set will soon be in the hands of Sonic fans around the world. And what's more, it is actually a fan-made creation from the LEGO Ideas programme.
In spite of the name, LEGO Ideas isn't all about designing new sets; it's more of a celebration of construction and creativity regardless of skill level and at all ages. There are activities and contests too for fans to explore; this week's activity is mini medieval builds, and contests for developing your own LEGO game in Unity and filming a day in the life of a LEGO blacksmith. Previous winners of the LEGO Fan designer programme have brought Voltron, The Flintstones, and Mickey Mouse to the collection - and now, Sonic will be featured as an official LEGO set.
Viv Grannell, a 24 year old from the United Kingdom, absolutely adores Sonic and they had to get stuck in when LEGO announced the new initiative. Their Green Hill Zone creation is inspired by Sonic Mania, which riffed off the original Mega Drive/Genesis entries in SEGA's series, featuring side-scrolling gameplay with an optional CRT filter to replicate the fuzzy visuals of an old telly. As well as boasting animated opening and ending sequences in the game, Sonic Mania "remixed" classic levels and mixed the art styles of the Mega Drive and the Saturn, and garnered praise for its vibrancy and polish.
"I've been invested in the world of Sonic for almost my entire life, and it's such a perfect fit for the LEGO system that I spent about a year rallying support for it to happen," said Viv in LEGO's press release for the new set. "Having 10,000 people back my design was overwhelming enough, even with friends and family behind me, but having it be selected for further development was the most exciting secret I have ever had to keep!"
It's undeniable that they've done a cracking job on the design and set, and not only will younger fans of Sonic enjoy building Green Hill Zone, but this will be a must-have for both SEGA and LEGO collectors, too. (Please do note that the set in the photo is the prototype Ideas version - the final release will no doubt be slightly different!)
Once Viv's design is through the product development phase, it will go on sale worldwide. Expectedly, SEGA is as pleased as punch with the new set, especially as it is the Sonic series 30th anniversary in June.
"At SEGA, we've always encouraged fans to take part in the legacy of the Sonic franchise through their own creations and it's wonderful to see the tradition continued through the LEGO Ideas program," said director of brand licensing at SEGA Europe, Jason Rice. "We're thrilled to partner with Viv and the LEGO Group, and hope to inspire fans to continue creating their own unique Sonic the Hedgehog experiences for generations to come."
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