The Top 10 Best Sonic Toys of 2019 – Reviewed
Sonic the Hedgehog is a veritable establishment within the world of videogame character toys. The Sonic franchise has many things that children crave, including speed, action, justice, cute characters, and snarky protagonists facing off against diabolical villains.
But for many people, the Sonic of yesteryear appears foreign when compared to the rich galaxy of Sonic toys on the market today. Picking the best Sonic toys requires understanding how the landscape of Sonic has changed and knowing which features to look for in a new toy.
Quick Picks: See Our Top 3 Favorite Sonic Toys
Sonic Toy Reviews
Check out our top ten picks for Sonic the Hedgehog toys.
#1 Choice – TOMY Sonic Boom Multi-Figure Pack Action Figure
What’s better than the entire Sonic crew — and a core villain — in a single pack of action figures? Not much, and that’s why this TOMY pack is a great pickup for any new or experienced Sonic fan.
- Includes 5 characters
- Great for newcomers to the Sonic universe
- No accessories included
This pack includes action figures of Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and even Dr. Robotnik. This means that the pack is basically a ready-to-go Sonic play experience. While the action figures aren’t abundantly interactive on their own, they’re a great team.
The only issue with this set is that there aren’t any accessories included. On the bright side, this means that your next purchases will be easy: just kit the team out with the accessories that they need to shine.
A vehicle is a good idea for an additional accessory.
#2 Choice – TOMY Sonic Boom Blue Force One
With this TOMY Sonic Boom toy set, you’ll get the hedgehog himself as well as a vehicle which he can use to move even faster than normal.
- Includes both Sonic and a vehicle
- Great for combining with other Sonic toys
- Unique vehicle design
- Sonic’s goggles look awkward
Sonic isn’t typically very interested in driving cars, but his Boom Blue Force One trike is the exception. Sonic can ride in the vehicle or run alongside it, making for a great active play opportunity.
The only issue with this play set is that Sonic’s goggles are a bit of an eyesore, and they don’t make much sense given the character’s background.
Nonetheless, most Sonic fans can probably forgive the fact that Sonic shouldn’t need goggles to drive a car if he doesn’t use them when he’s normally scooting around.
#3 Choice – NKOK RC Sonic SSAS R2 Car with Lights
This NKOK RC Sonic car combines the speed of Sonic with the joy of controlling a remote control car.
- Fun RC car experience
- Easy to use
- Great for going fast
- Poor battery life
While Sonic may not need to use a car to get around quickly like the rest of us, this RC car helps Sonic to get around in style and speed at the direction of you or your child.
The controls are easy to learn and master, which means that Sonic will be jetting around the house and entertaining everyone around. You may find that the Sonic mobile is a bit of a nuisance, but your household’s Sonic fan will absolutely adore it.
You’ll need to supply this vehicle with six AA batteries before Sonic can zoom around the living room, however. Unfortunately, this toy chews through batteries faster than Sonic chews through corn dogs, so you’ll need to have at least a dozen extras on hand.
#4 Choice – Super Sonic The Hedgehog Classic 11.5″ Plush Toy
For the youngest Sonic fans, sometimes a plushie in the shape of Sonic is all it takes to have a good night cuddled up by the old SEGA Genesis machine.
- Great for napping
- Soft materials
- Classic Sonic design
- No potential for active play
When your Sonic fan wants something in the shape of Sonic that they can put on display or snuggle with, this plushie will be a great pickup because of its softness and ineffable Sonic aesthetic.
Sonic fans who want a lot of action from their Sonic toys will be disappointed by this plushie, however. For the Sonic lovers who want to play with a toy that can zoom, this plushie isn’t the right choice.
There’s nothing inherently sedentary about the plushie itself, but the entire design of the toy screams that it’s intended for use as a pillow or as a collectible rather than as an active play piece.
This means that the oldest and the youngest of the Sonic fans can find something to share in common by enjoying this plushie.
#5 Choice – PDP Pixel Pals Sonic the Hedgehog Collectible Lighted Figure
When your Sonic fan is more interested in a decorative collectible than a Sonic toy for active play, this PDP Pixel Pals light up decoration is a great purchase.
- Emits a pleasant glow
- Pixelated aesthetic
- Great for display
- No play potential aside from collectability
When you plug this Sonic light into the wall, it’ll illuminate the entire area with blue, white, and pink light that’s positively delightful to see. The light isn’t bright enough to disturb sleep, but it might be enough to read under if you’re willing to squint a bit.
The problem with this light is that it isn’t something that can be played with. Instead, it’s a decoration or an entry into a Sonic collection. This means that it probably isn’t the best toy for the youngest Sonic fans or those who want to run around in the yard with their Sonic toys.
On the other hand, these features make this Sonic light a good choice for older Sonic fans who want to display their fandom in a conservative and less interactive way. The light’s utility makes it a great piece for a desk, bookcase, or shelf.
#6 Choice – Sonic The Hedgehog 5 Pk Kids No Show Socks
With these Sonic socks, your home’s Sonic fan will be able to rep their favorite series clandestinely — or show off their allegiance when it’s time to play.
- Fun Sonic swag aesthetic
- Five different Sonic characters
- Great for back-to-school wear
- May not be appropriate for older Sonic fans
You’ll get a total of 10 socks with this set, which means that your child could wear a pair of Sonic socks for every weekday. In the set, you’ll get socks with the likeness of Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Robotnik, and hyper-Sonic.
For kids going back to school, the versatility of these socks is hard to beat. Likewise, these socks aren’t just for playtime. Because the socks cut off at the ankle, your child could potentially hide these socks from their friends until their shoes are taken off.
Unfortunately, the sizing of these socks is only appropriate for children under the age of 12. Older Sonic fans simply won’t be able to fit their feet into these socks.
#7 Choice – Sonic Classic 1991 Ultimate Figure
- Customizable poses
- Includes accessories
- Classic Sonic look
- Best for collectors
With this figure, you’ll get Sonic, a display platform, a ring, a corn dog, and several different faces for Sonic to wear. The faces and accessories are easy to swap out, and Sonic’s joints can be set in any configuration you desire.
It’s clear that this toy is intended for display rather than active play, which means that it’s probably better for older Sonic fans rather than younger ones. Younger fans may not understand the appeal of creating a customized Sonic statue for their room, but collectors will love it.
#8 Choice – Sonic the Hedgehog Large Backpack
Showing off Sonic swag is a surefire way to win the hearts of fellow Sonic fans, and that’s what makes this Sonic backpack shine.
- Great for middle-aged Sonic fans
- Features three Sonic characters
- Large capacity
- Zippers may break
This backpack features Sonic, Shadow, and Crystal the Hedgehog in a trifecta of the entire moral spectrum within the Sonic universe. As a result, your Sonic lover can show off one of the figureheads of each alignment — and each of the series’ main protagonists.
The only major problem with this backpack is its zippers. The zippers aren’t high quality, which means that they tend to jam or snap when something is lodged inside. So long as the Sonic fan zips the backpack carefully, you won’t run into any problems.
#9 Choice – Sonic the Hedgehog Kids’ SNC4028 Digital Display Quartz Blue Watch
Keeping time is a necessity, and that’s why this Sonic watch can be a great addition to your Sonic fan’s wardrobe of accessories.
- Features Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles
- Includes flashing LED light show
- Not water resistant
With this digital display watch, you can display the time, activate a Sonic-themed light show, and represent the best Sonic characters on your wrist at all times. So long as the watch stays out of the water, it’ll tell the time with perfect precision while being a visual testament to your love of Sonic.
Because this accessory is intended for children, the band is sized for small wrists, so older Sonic fans probably should look elsewhere for their timekeeping needs.
#10 Choice – TOMY Sonic Collector Series 2 Figure Pack with Comic, Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic
Sonic has changed a lot over the years, and with this TOMY two-figure pack, you can play with Sonic in his original or his modern iterations.
- Includes two figurines
- Includes classic Sonic Universe comic
- Great for old fans or new fans
- No explanation of why Sonic’s aesthetic changed
Sonic’s sleek modern look and his friendly vintage aesthetic are featured in this set, which means that it’s a great way to bridge the divide between old school Sonic fans and the new generation of fans. These figures are history lessons about Sonic, and the comic is a nice touch.
The hardcore Sonic fans may be a bit disappointed by this set’s lack of explanation regarding when and why Sonic’s aesthetic shifted from the classic look to the more streamlined modern design.
What age groups are Sonic toys intended for?
Sonic toys are intended for ages 6 to 16 — a large range by most measures. This means that there are several sub-demographics within the intended age range for Sonic toys in general:
- The youngest Sonic fans
- 9 to 12 year olds
- 13 to 16 year olds
The preferred features and playstyles of each of these age groups differs substantially, so it’s important that you can tell the difference between the toys intended for each.
The toys intended for the youngest Sonic fans tend to be less interactive than others. This means that plushies, clothing, and other non-interactive Sonic branded toys are the right match.
For this age group, the biggest appeal of a Sonic toy is that it features Sonic or another primary character. They aren’t looking for much from their toy, aside from the fact that it’s clearly from their favorite series.
The middle age group of Sonic fans demands a bit more from their Sonic toys. Children from 9 to 12 tend to want to interact with their Sonic toy actively rather than passively, which makes action figures and games more appealing than toys intended for younger children.
Finally, the 13+ age group wants a mix of Sonic branding and play opportunity, with the caveat that any toy which appears too passive may seem uncool. In other words, Sonic-branded clothes, action figures, and games are winners for this demographic, but plushies are not.
Which Sonic toys are the best for Sonic enthusiasts?
While there isn’t any particular type of Sonic toy which Sonic enthusiasts will enjoy to an exceptional degree, there are a few rules of thumb which you can use to find the right Sonic toy for your intended audience.
First, you need to ensure that whichever Sonic toy you purchase depicts a character or event from a generation of Sonic toys that the recipient is familiar with.
The Sonic universe is very large, and it features dozens if not hundreds of comic books, cartoons, video games, and other materials.
Many characters are obscure or rare, but nearly every character and setting that has been depicted somewhere in the Sonic universe has a corresponding toy. Picking an esoteric Sonic toy that depicts a rare or niche character is probably not a good strategy.
In other words, if you’ve never seen a Sonic character like Vector the Crocodile depicted in any Sonic game or multimedia, you probably won’t appreciate getting a Vector the Crocodile toy as a gift.
This means that you need to exercise at least a little awareness of the character or setting depicted in the toy you’re thinking of buying and compare it to the characters and settings which the intended recipient has been exposed to.
Because you probably don’t have a full understanding of which Sonic characters and settings the recipient has exposure to, you should probably play it safe and stick to the main Sonic cast rather than purchase toys which feature latecomers or oddballs.
Which Sonic toys and characters are the best for newcomers to Sonic?
If you’re looking for a Sonic toy to introduce a newcomer to the Sonic universe, you should seriously consider sticking to a toy which depicts one of the following characters:
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Tails the Twin-Tailed Fox
- Dr. Ivo Robotnik / Dr. Eggman
Dr. Ivo Robotnik, also known as Dr. Eggman or just Eggman, is the series’ main antagonist, which means that he’s a great pickup for a second toy or as part of a set of toys.
In contrast, Sonic the Hedgehog and his stalwart twin-tailed fox companion Tails are the series’ protagonists, meaning that a toy which depicts at least one of the heroes is required for a proper introduction to the series.
When you’re shopping for a Sonic toy that is right for a newcomer to the Sonic universe, you should probably avoid characters like:
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Princess Sally the Squirrel
- Amy the Hedgehog
- Eva the Bat
- Any human characters other than Dr. Robotnik
The reasons for avoiding these characters are that they are somewhat obscure in the Sonic canon or that they are easy to mistake for a core protagonist or antagonist, making them a source of potential confusion for a newcomer.
Shadow and Mecha-Sonic are both very similar to Sonic in terms of their appearance, and their role as villains may be especially difficult to handle for someone without a lot of experience with the series.
Likewise, Knuckles can be a confusing character because of his on-again off-again alliance and rivalry with Sonic, which is difficult to parse in the best of times. Subsequently, Knuckles’ rival Eva the Bat is similarly inscrutable, and she is also less commonly depicted than Knuckles.
What should I look for in a Sonic toy?
You should be on the lookout for a few different features when you pick a Sonic toy. These features include:
- The character(s) depicted in the toy
- The cool factor
- The “zoom” factor
The characters depicted in the toy are important because they determine the context of play.
Not all Sonic characters are fit for the same play contexts — while some morally ambiguous characters like Eva the Bat are more than happy to pursue greed, children will readily identify that altruistic play contexts like rescuing captured animals are not up her alley.
So, be sure to pick the characters depicted in the toy accordingly. Villains and heroes have different motivations in the Sonic universe, and that means it’s entirely possible for two heroes to be fighting each other, which can make it a lot easier to find the right combination of toys.
And don’t forget: villains fight each other all the time in the Sonic universe, too. But, if your Sonic acumen isn’t enough to determine who could plausibly be fighting who, there are a few rules of thumb which you can follow to ensure a good choice.
Characters aside, the cool factor of the toy is a big draw when it comes to Sonic toys. Most Sonic fans will find a speedy and cheeky Sonic toy to be more cool than a clunky and clanky nameless robot enemy which is destined for Sonic to defeat with minimal effort.
In the same vein, action figures and other toys intended for active play are typically better on the cool factor than toys which are intended for display or collection. This means that plushies and Sonic apparel may not be as cool as a spring-loaded Sonic playset.
Of course, you’ll need to be sensitive to the age of your young Sonic fan and their tastes. One child’s super cool Sonic toy is another child’s bore.
Likewise, purchasing an accessory toy which empowers certain characters can be a great way of maximizing the cool factor. For example, purchasing Tails’ venerable biplane to use as a transport for the rest of the gang can bring the cool factor to a solid collection of toys.
This raises the last feature you should look for in a Sonic toy: the “zoom factor.” Sonic is about speed, and the best Sonic toys capture the series’ hectic blitzes in their design and their potential for different kinds of play.
In contrast, sleepier Sonic toys tend to miss the message of the series and thus be less appealing to the series’ fans.
While it might seem to satisfy the cool factor requirement to purchase a toy of a stasis chamber which can hold power ups or a Chaos Emerald, there’s nothing that screams “zoom” with a static structure like a stasis chamber.
In short, stasis is boring, and boring is the opposite of zooming — and Sonic is all about zooming. So, pick the Sonic toys which are zoom-friendly rather than zoom-resistant and whoever plays with them will appreciate it.
The takeaway here is that you should try to identify the Sonic toys which imply fast-paced and active play rather than those which supplement other toys or focus on other forms of play.
What type of play experience do children get when they use Sonic toys?
When a child plays with their Sonic toy, they can typically choose between the following types of play experiences:
- Active play
- Role playing play
- Imaginative play
Active play is the crux of the Sonic play experience. When children do active play with their Sonic toys, they’re up and running around or making rapid movements with their toys to simulate the hectic clashes between Sonic and villains.
While active play with Sonic toys rarely reaches the level of true athletic exertion, it’s typically a far cry from passively sitting in silence. Chasing power ups, bopping villains, teaming up with friends, and chasing loot requires more energy than most other videogame toys.
Role playing goes hand-in-hand with most Sonic play experiences. The reason behind this trope is that humans are not major participants in the world of Sonic, so children often need to place themselves in Sonic’s shoes to have the fast-paced fun that they crave.
Imaginative play and role playing have a blurry boundary most of the time, and this is especially true when children play with Sonic toys. Because children may not be willing to step into Sonic’s shoes themselves, they may invent new characters in their likeness.
Sonic toys aren’t perfect, however. In particular, Sonic toys aren’t great for:
- Creative play
- Constructive play
- Developing a sense of fairness
- Developing thinking ability
- Developing hand-eye coordination
Where Sonic toys tend to falter is in their educational value and in their ability to promote creative play. The Sonic universe is not exhaustively defined, but there aren’t too many opportunities for constructive thinking or creative expression.
There are a few crossover toys which incorporate concepts like Legos into the Sonic universe, but these are half-hearted attempts at getting the best of both worlds. You may find that children aren’t very engaged with the seemingly clashing nature of these toys as a result.
Likewise, the Sonic universe doesn’t have many opportunities for learning or developing cognitive abilities. There isn’t much time to stop and study the roses when you’re busy jetting around at the speed of sound, chasing treasure and avoiding enemies.
Learning itself isn’t a major focus of the Sonic series, nor is it touted as a virtue by the characters. Instead, many characters in the Sonic universe are motivated by greed — including a few of the characters which are closer to heroes than villains, like Knuckles.
This means that you should probably encourage learning about moral virtues in a context that is separate from playing with Sonic toys, as there aren’t too many good role models when it comes to doing good deeds for the right reasons within the Sonic universe.
Furthermore, the Sonic universe never intersects with the real world, so there aren’t many lessons to learn from playing inside of it.
Now that you know which Sonic the Hedgehog toys will leave your child impressed, it’s time to hit the gas and pick one or two to purchase. Remember to maximize the zoom factor, and stay true to the lighthearted and playful Sonic spirit!