April Fools

In today's Gouken review, we mentioned that we'd posted a similar April Fools' joke a few years ago. Here, preserved for posterity, is that joke:

Fuldigen, HA (March 31, 2005) - SOTA Toys, one of the most dynamic, fastest-growing, and critically-acclaimed action figure and collectibles companies in America, specializing in the design, creation, and distribution of figures based on famous entertainment industry properties from film, TV, video games, and the music industry, as well as celebrities, sports figures and other notable personalities, is pleased to announce its next exclusive Street Fighter variant figure, Sheng Long.

Sheng Long began life as an April Fool's joke in the pages of "Electronic Gaming Monthly." He was said to be the teacher of Ken and Ryu's Shotokan style and a hidden character in the classic Street Fighter 2, unlockable only by players whose skill allowed them to get through the entire game without ever taking any damage. The joke caused a huge spike in the game's popularity, as fans flocked to arcades trying to find this hidden character.

"Sheng Long is just such a cool character," said Jerry Macaluso, president/founder, SOTA Toys. "He's the April Fools joke that became real. No one ever really found him in the game, but now I can get him into the hands of toy fans everywhere."

Strictly limited to 4,105 pieces, Sheng Long will be available directly from SOTA's booth at San Diego's Comic-Con International, July 14-17.


Founded in 1997, SOTA Toys, Inc., is based in Van Nuys, CA. The company designs, creates, produces, and markets novelty products and action figures, based on well-known entertainers and celebrities. Founder Jerry Macaluso, a veteran toy designer, has had many years of experience in this business, having previously created and designed toys, action figures, and other products based on such well-known properties as "Star Trek," "Aliens," "Predator," "Spiderman," "Power Rangers," "Resident Evil," Playboy, Bruce Lee, and hundreds more. For more information visit www.sotatoys.com.

About Comic-Con International:

With attendance in 2004 topping 85,000 people, the San Diego Comic Con is the largest pop culture and comic event in North America. The annual convention is sponsored by Comic-Con International which is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. CCI runs from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17, with a Preview Night on Wednesday, July 13.

The city of "Fuldigen, HA" ("fooled again - ha!") is a reference to the original EGM article, which credited the tip to a Mr. W.A. Stokins ("waste tokens") from the fictional town. The production run of 4,105 was a clue, as well: it's the date 4/1/05 - April Fools' Day. And the misspelling of Spider-Man as "Spiderman" was intentional, since no one but Marvel ever seems to be able to remember that the name is hyphenated; a small mistake like that makes the press release look legit.

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One Response to April Fools

  1. RM Radcliffe says:

    I really want that figure...

    I've no shame in admitting that I fell for the gag, but I still wish the figure existed... =(

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