Sonic the Hedgehog is the title character and protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series produced by Sega. He is a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog who has the ability to run at supersonic speeds, and attacks many of his enemies by curling into a ball. He most commonly achieves his goals by racing through levels, collecting power-up rings, and surviving against enemies and obstacles.
The character was created by programmer Yuji Naka and designer Naoto Ōshima, and his franchise debuted with the launch of its first game for Sega's Genesis console in 1991. Sonic became the official mascot of the company and one of the biggest power players of the 16-bit generation, establishing himself as a formidable rival to Nintendo's mascot, Super Mario. He is one of the most famous video game characters in the world, and his games have sold more than 80 million units worldwide. He has also appeared in spin-off comics and animated TV shows.
History with the Macy's Parade
Sonic's first appearance in a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was in the 67th parade, in 1993. This gave him the distinction of being the first video game character to have a balloon in the parade.
However, during its parade debut that year, the Sonic balloon crashed into a lamppost at Columbus Circle due to strong winds; in the process, it injured a child and an off-duty police officer. The balloon was almost completely damaged during this accident. Despite this, Sonic returned to the parade the following year, with repairs. His return appearance at the 1994 parade was preceded by an appearance in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania at a launch event for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. In 1995 he was deflated by a lamppost once again, but unlike 1993, he did not cause any injury. In 1997 he was damaged greatly by the winds and could not fly at all. After 1997, he was retired, but he made a slight comeback in 2001 on the 75 Parade Superstars float, celebrating the parade's 75th anniversary, on which he appeared with Kermit the Frog, Betty Boop, Garfield, and other characters whose balloons in the parade had been retired.
In 2011, after being absent for over 10 years, Sonic returned to the Macy's parade with a new balloon, in celebration of his 20th anniversary. The updated balloon was based on the modern design of the character, introduced in 1999, which has longer limbs and quills, green eyes, and a slimmer body, and also has a different pose from the "classic" Sonic balloon. In the 2013 parade, Sonic's left arm got caught on a lamppost, but was eventually freed. He was retired after 2013.
- Classic Sonic (1993-1997)
- Modern Sonic (2011-2013)
Spinball Theme (Virtual Sonic) (1993-1997)
Splash Hill Zone (2011-2013)