Sonic’s been a busy boy this year, not only celebrating 20 years in the business but also scooping the GamesMaster Golden Joystick inaugural Outstanding Contribution Award. Without further ado, we give you 20 things you never knew about Sega’s blue blur – unless you happen to be a bona fide geek that is:

1. Over 70 million Sonic games have been sold worldwide since the first game released on June 23rd 1991

2. Sonic is fifteen years old and has never aged…

3. An estimated 60 million people have played at least one Sonic game in their lifetime

4. Sonic runs faster than the speed of sound and is officially the fastest videogame character of all time (Book of Guinness World Records)

5. Sonic was voted number one video gaming icon of all time* (msn poll 2009)

6. Sonic’s shoes were partly inspired by Santa Claus (for the colour red)

7. Some of the ideas presented to the SEGA management team when creating a new character for the company were an armadillo, a rabbit and various other designs… until Sonic was eventually chosen

8. Sonic’s favourite food is chilli dogs

9. Sonic’s first ever appearance was a humble one – as a toy hanging from the rear-view mirror in the little-known arcade racing game Rad Mobile

10. Sonic has starred in his own line of comics and in 4 animated TV series

11. SEGA sponsored the Williams F1 Grand Prix team, and the team’s lead driver, Alain Prost during the 1993 Formula One championship. After dominating the season Williams won the constructors title and Prost won the drivers title that year.

12. Sonic cannot swim… though in real life hedgehogs can!

13. Sonic fans have collected over 70 billion rings between them over the last 20 years!

14. Sonic was the first video game character to have a balloon in New York’s famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

15. Sonic has made various cameos in other games and TV shows including The Simpsons

16. Sonic has appeared in over 65 games

17. Sonic’s best friend, Tails, real name is Miles Prower – which is a play on “miles per hour” and a reference to Sonic’s speed

18. One of the original Sonic designs before coming to the character we all know and love gave him a girldfriend called Madonna and put him in a rock band

19. Sonic’s nemesis is Dr. Eggman – who is always trying to take over the world until Sonic thwarts his plans. The only game he did not appear in was Sonic and the Black Knight

20. Along with the sky and the ocean, the colour of Sonic was inspired by the blue of the SEGA logo