Sega’s nippy blue hedgehog is due to get special mention at the upcoming GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards, being recipient of the inaugural Outstanding Contribution Award. Sonic will (we’re told) be attending to accept the award this Friday.

Since the first day of the release of Sonic The Hedgehog back in 1991 on the SEGA Mega Drive, SEGA has sold over 70 million Sonic the Hedgehog games worldwide and Sonic has appeared in four animated TV series. SEGA’s superstar has also starred in his own line of comics and been officially declared by the book of Guinness World Records as the fastest videogame character of all time. Yeah, in your face Zool! While it’s estimated that a staggering 70 billion rings have been collected during Sonic’s 20 years of gaming.

“We are so excited that Sonic has been awarded the first-ever Outstanding Contribution Award at the Golden Joysticks,” said David Corless, Sonic Brand Director. “In today’s ever changing market it’s rare for a character to last for 5 years – let alone 20. And that’s testament to the popularity and longevity of our blue-blurred mascot. This award couldn’t have come at a better time as we celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary and with the amazing Sonic Generations just around the corner. Here’s to the next 20!”

GamesMaster Editor-in-Chief Robin Alway adds: “Right from his debut on the Mega Drive 20 years ago, Sonic The Hedgehog has blazed a cool trail through the history of gaming, leaving also-rans in his blue blur and winning over legions of fans with his attitude and speed. He’s a brilliantly designed character and a true gaming icon and it’s an honour to be marking his contribution with this award.”