1. Before the arrival of Sonic, Sega's unofficial mascot was was a big-eared dude named Alex Kidd.
His games appeared mostly in the Sega Master Drive. When executives at Sega made the decision to compete head-to-head with Nintendo's Mario, Alex was demoted as mascot and replaced with Sonic.
2. Sega held an internal competition to see who could design the next superstar that would lead the charge in the video-game war against Nintendo.
These were some of the failed designs.
3. Naoto Oshima won the competition by designing this legendary character.
4. At one point, Sonic's infamous arch-nemesis Dr. Robotinik was considered for the lead of this new Sega franchise.
5. Inspired by Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse, Sonic's original name was "Mr. Needlemouse."
6. Sonic's iconic red-and-white footwear was inspired by both Santa Claus' color scheme and Michael Jackson's boots in Bad.
Look at the belt buckles on the shoes.
7. His sassy attitude is inspired by Bill Clinton's "get it done" personality.
8. Sega of America believed that Sonic the Hedgehog would fail because Americans "had never even heard" of a hedgehog.
9. In the early stages of development for the first game, Sonic had a love interest named Madonna.
10. Sonic's first appearance was on the promotional material for the Sega-sponsored 1990 musical tour of DREAMS COME TRUE.
11. Sonic the Hedgehog was released in the U.S. before Japan.
12. As of 2011, Michael Sroka holds the Guinness World Record for Highest Score on Sonic the Hedgehog clocking in at 404,980 points.
13. Michael Jackson composed some of the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
14. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles were originally one game.
15. Sonic's biggest weakness, the inability to swim, was based on a mistake.
According to Yuji Naka, one of the creators of Sonic, "[I] assumed that hedgehogs can't swim, so that's why [I] made it that Sonic can't swim... Apparently hedgehogs can swim, but they can't climb out of water."