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Gaming icon Sonic the Hedgehog marks 25 years with limited-edition art book

Sega’s blue hedgehog mascot will be honored in a new hardcover compendium that collects 25 years of art from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and fans can reserve a limited edition that includes an exclusive matted art giclee print from longtime series art director Yuji Uekawa.

Publisher Cook & Becker is now accepting pre-orders for standard hardcover and Collector’s Edition versions of its Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book. Copies will begin shipping in April 2017.

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1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis marked the introduction of one of gaming’s most enduring icons, and dozens of Sonic games followed in the years that followed. The Sonic franchise remained exclusive to Sega consoles up until the demise of the Sega Dreamcast, and the series has since spanned multiple generations of console hardware.

Sonic himself will star in a pair of Sega-published titles launching in 2017, including the 2D throwback platformer Sonic Mania and a currently untitled multiplatform release that returns to the style of gameplay featured in 2011’s Sonic Generations.

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Cook & Becker’s forthcoming art book will cover the highs and lows of the Sonic series, ranging from Sonic’s 16-bit origins to infamous missteps like Sonic and the Black Knight and 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog. Its pages will feature cover art from all previous games in the series, along with rarely seen pre-production artwork and character design drafts.

“The Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book honors the video game icon with a striking ‘coffee-table style’ volume about the art and visual design of his universe,” Cook & Becker announced.

“It contains key art, illustrations, promotional art, and rare material from the timespan 1991 – 2016, and has a complete written history of the origins and evolution of Sonic as a design icon. Detailed accounts by Sonic Team-members such as Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka, Kazuyuki Hoshino and Yuji Uekawa explain key design decisions shaping Sonic The Hedgehog over the years.”

Both versions of the Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book feature more than 200 full-color pages bound in a hardcover volume that includes a separate dust jacket. The Collector’s Edition adds a protective outer box, an inner sleeve that doubles as a book stand, and an exclusive art print from character artist Yuji Uekawa.

The standard hardcover version of the Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book is currently up for pre-order at $45. The Collector’s Edition, limited to 2,500 copies, can be reserved at a discounted rate of $108 through February 2017. Both versions will ship on April 20, 2017.