ESP Japan unveils fastest guitars yet with Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary models

It's been 25 years since Sonic The Hedgehog first started grabbing rings and battling Doctor Robotnik, and to celebrate the occasion, ESP Japan has designed four 25th Anniversary models for Sega's most famous creation.

Based on models built for Sonic composer Jun Senoue, the guitars feature Sonic and his not-so-popular rival Shadow (we'd have rather seen Knuckles, or even Tails, but hey ho), and are available in high-performance and standard models.

Built for speed, the ESP SN-25th Sonic The Hedgehog Guitar-II offers an alder body with bolt-on maple neck and ebony fingerboard, plus a Floyd Rose 1000 vibrato, and Seymour Duncan JB and SSL-4 pickups.

It's the same spec for Shadow's offering, although it only packs a single Seymour Duncan JB humbucker at the bridge. Nonetheless, both guitars come with a certificate, pick set, musical score, "special" polishing cloth and gigbag.

ESP's high-performance Sonic-II and Shadow-II, meanwhile, up the ante with Jescar frets, custom inlays, Gotoh tuners and sneaker-esque headstocks.

The Sonic-II adds a Schecter Monstertone single coil to the neck, while Shadow-II features a red-button kill switch. Both guitars come with custom hardcases.

ESP's high-performance models offer subtle tweaks, including these natty sneaker headstocks

We're not sure whether any of Sonic's guitars will make it overseas, but buying one will set you back ¥165,000 (£1,194/$1,581) for the standard models, and an almighty ¥645,000 (£4,664/£6,181) for the high-performance versions.

Best get pawning those Chaos Emeralds before you, ahem, spring for one of these…

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.