Updated: Aug 20, 2021
According to a podcast from back in February, Bits N' Bricks had the opportunity to speak with a representative from SEGA® regarding the LEGO Ideas set Sonic Mania™, and the how and why behind their partnership with The LEGO Group. Speaking a little bit about the design process, John Choon, Director of Marketing with SEGA® said:
"The main thing is our licensing team is leading the charge on the design, working closely with the LEGO team ... but it's really a collaborative process where our team, as well as the LEGO Group's team is working hand-in-hand." John Choon, Director of Marketing, SEGA®
John also mentions that the original fan designer, Viv Grinnell, is also closely involved in the design process as we expected—but, from taking a look at the original design, it's hard to see what could be improved upon. One of the things that does get mentioned in the interview is how the Ideas set merges the Classic Sonic world with the Modern World, and one of the things Choon mentions is that the inclusion of Dr. Eggman's Mech and Sonic appeals to the classic Sonic Green Zone, but he also states that, "the universe is so rich with a lot of various characters that I think offering [different characters] in the future would be cool." So, could we possibly see another Sub-theme of Sonic that involves Character Packs, similar to that of LEGO Super Mario™, or maybe even a SEGA®-themed Collectible Minifigure Series? Only time will tell!
They then go on to discuss the partnership between The LEGO Group and SEGA® in further detail. When asked by the moderator what makes the LEGO Format a good fit with SEGA's brand, John replied that "the LEGO Group is just such a recognizable [and] iconic brand with a name that everybody out there knows" and he also goes on to cite their "commitment to quality over the years."
"It's really about creativity and encouraging innovation [much like] SEGA also strives to do similar things with our core values for our products . . . and hopefully that will lead to more things in the future." John Choon, Director of Marketing, SEGA®
This hint at SEGA® and The LEGO Group's relationship continuing beyond LEGO Ideas Sonic Mania™ could also be supported by a statement made by the Director of Brand Licensing at SEGA® following the announcement that the project had met approval by the LEGO Ideas review board, back in February.
"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. 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." Jason Rice, Director of Brand Licensing, SEGA® Europe Ltd
We still don't have any official information regarding the potential release date for the LEGO Ideas Sonic Mania™ official set, but considering LEGO is just now working through some backdated Ideas projects from 2019, it could be another year or two. It's nice to know that the door is open for a new Sonic the Hedgehog Theme, and maybe even the potential for other SEGA® games making their way into the LEGO Format down the line. One thing is for certain, that the success of LEGO's partnership with SEGA® will certainly rely heavily on this first incursion into the sea of LEGO Ideas—so the set will need to sell really well in order to make things happen down the line. As always, we'll be following this story closely and reporting any updates as new information becomes available, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and head to the bottom of the screen to subscribe to stay in-the-know! Also, if you want to listen to the full Bits N' Bricks podcast, click below to listen on Youtube!