If you’ve kicked around FFZ a while, you may already know that I was a SEGA kid. I had the Master System and the Genesis, and I still have both and play them regularly. Sonic’s legacy hasn’t fared all that well over the years, I cannot deny that, but whenever I sit down to play some Sonic on the Genesis, I am in 16-bit heaven. I have a number of Sonic toys that I wanted to look at for the 30th Anniversary and I got sidetracked, but picking up a couple more this past week gave me the push I needed to get cracking on reviewing some of this stuff. Time to get serious!!!
Today I’m checking out the Green Hill Zone Playset and a Diorama Set, both in the 2.5-inch scale by Jakks Pacific. I was originally just going to get the Playset because it was on sale, but the Diorama set looked like it would work well with the Playset, so I grabbed it too. Let’s start with the Playset!
Green Hill Zone requires just a quick bit of assembly, and once that’s done you get a pretty cool little slice of Sonic’s very first romping ground. It includes a modern styled Sonic figure, a spring platform, and three rings. There are some pegs scattered across the set, which can be used to peg on figures or the three rings that come with it. The base and grassy bits are nicely textured, and I really dig the checkered rock printed on the sides of the cliffs.
Up until now, I’ve just been collecting the 4-inch Sonic figures, but I have to say this little guy is pretty cool. He has the appropriate level of attitude and with rotating hinges at the shoulders and hips, you get some decent articulation for such a small and stylized figure. The paint could be a little sharper in some areas, but you have to zoom in pretty close to see any of that.
As far as play gimmicks go, the biggest attraction in Green Hill Zone is the loop. There’s a platform on a track with a foot peg so you can plug a figure onto it and there’s a lever on the back so you can whip him around the loop! There are even pegs to place the rings around the loop. I was surprised to see that the platform will even hold the figure steady at pretty much any angle. FUN!
But as fun as that is for a while, the only other play gimmick is the spring platform, which doesn’t do much. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think this is a cool setup, but it’s probably best regarded as a place to display figures than an actual playset. Of course, the other set I’m looking at today makes for some great additions, so let’s bust that open.
The core of this set is the pair of figures! You get Sonic and Tails in a very classic style, which I love! These are great little figures with the same level of articulation as the modern Sonic. The paint on these is a lot cleaner too. Plus, Sonic’s got a bitch-slapping hand!
The rest of the set consists of some “furniture” for the Playset. And yeah, the yellow spring platform is in there, so I’ve got stuck with two of those! Still, worth it! You get two check points, one tall and one short; An item box TV with the forcefield bubble on the screen; and a Spike Trap! All of these are cool items, and they can each attach to the Playset, or you can just put them anywhere. It really spruces things up and offers more display options. I do, however, wish this set included more rings. Heck, I would have rather had just three more rings instead of another spring platform.
The Green Hill Zone Playset was on sale for $12 (down from $20) so that was a great pick up. I rolled the money I saved into the Diorama set, which paid for almost half of it. Both are really fun packages, and I’m going to enjoy displaying them in my Game Room as I get it set up over the coming weeks. I’ll definitely pick up more of these sets if they come my way, and it’s actually got me wanting to grab some of the Mario sets as well.