Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sonic Dash Is Adding The Danimals Mascot As A Playable Character

Sonic Dash, the free-to-play mobile runner game from Sega, has introduced several new characters since it launched in 2013. While the main attraction in Sonic Dash is the stable of Sonic characters (including various forms of the Blue Blur himself ranging from Classic to Modern to even the 2020 live-action movie version), the game has had its fair share of brand collaborations and crossovers. The latest crossover was announced today and is perhaps the most unexpected yet, as Bongo, the enthusiastic mascot of the children's yogurt brand Danimals, is coming to Sonic Dash.

By buying specially marked Danimals pouches and smoothies, players can unlock the monkey as a playable character in Sonic Dash. If you're unfamiliar with Bongo, he's described in the press release as "Danimals kids' spirit animal; an imaginative adventure enabler who lives in a magical treehouse where he and his friends play the day away." Players receive Bongo when they scan a QR code on the back of Sonic Dash-branded Danimals packs to download Sonic Dash to their mobile device and complete the tutorial level.

If you're no fan of Bongo (presumably you're a parent since the press release explicitly states that "kids rule, no parents are allowed" when it comes to him), you can also use these Sonic Dash-branded Danimals packs to unlock new character customizations including Pirate Sonic and Captain Shadow. These character variants can be earned in-game by collecting all four birthday themed items on the track, which includes a Danimals smoothie pack.

"Danimals is a household name in the food and beverage industry, and a favorite among kids everywhere, so we're thrilled to partner up with them as part of Sonic's 30th anniversary celebration," chief brand officer for Sonic the Hedgehog and senior vice president at Sega of America Ivo Gerscovich said in a press release. "By integrating the packaging with Sonic Dash, we're able to offer Sonic fans an exciting new way to collect new characters in the game and experience Danimals unlike they ever have before — in the Sonic universe."

Past collaborations have included limited-time crossovers with brands like Angry Birds, Sanrio, Pac-Man, and more. Fans have been speculating for a long time what we might see from the Sonic's 30th anniversary celebration ever seen head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka told us at E3 2019 that "the next big year for Sonic is 2021." To this point, we've learned of merchandising deals, brand collaborations such as this one, and a new animated series on Netflix, but nothing of substance on the game front. Hopefully we'll learn more on the gaming front soon.

The most recent mainline Sonic games to release came in the form of Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces. Both of those launched in 2017 within a few months of each other. Since then, Iizuka and Sonic Team announced in 2019 that a new mainline Sonic game is in development, while developer Sumo Digital released Team Sonic Racing that same year. 

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