The video game project was originally part of the first 2020 Ideas review, the results of which were announced back in September. But while Guillaume Roussel’s The Earth Globe passed at the first time of asking, Grannell’s Sonic the Hedgehog-inspired build was held back for further consideration.
The Ideas team has now finally confirmed – as part of the second 2020 review results – that the classic SEGA character will be returning to LEGO through Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone. As the project name suggests, it’s based specifically on the Green Hill Zone level of 2017’s Sonic Mania video game, but it remains to be seen whether the LEGO Group will stick with that specificity or go for a broader Sonic-themed set.
“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,” Grannell said. “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!”
The final product will be developed in conjunction with SEGA. While there’s no word on the release date at the moment, it’s not unreasonable to expect it may be fast-tracked ahead of other Ideas sets in the waiting – such as The Earth Globe and the Fender Stratocaster – in order to launch alongside Sonic’s 30th anniversary in 2021.
Some of the foundations will likely already be in place, too, as this wouldn’t be the character’s first LEGO rodeo. 71244 Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack brought us our first Sonic minifigure back in 2016 as part of LEGO Dimensions’ second year of content, and it’s fair to assume the new set will simply reuse that same mould (particularly given Ideas’ usual penchant for avoiding new moulds, 21324 123 Sesame Street aside).
“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 SEGA’s Director of Brand Licensing 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.”
Truman Cheng’s Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night has also been approved as part of this latest review, meaning there are now a grand total of nine Ideas sets in the wings. The next one is expected to be 21326 Winnie the Pooh, but after that it’s anyone’s guess.