A lot of people reacted strongly to the new Sonic Boom character redesigns. While the designs mostly seem goofy and easy to jab at, they were way more outlandish at the onset, according to a GameSpot interview with Big Red Button's Bob Rafei. "We experimented with different colors and surface features on the characters, such as fur or scales, and quickly Sonic Team came back with their discomfort of that," Rafei explained.
Sonic Team acted as a "guardrail" for how far Big Red Button could change the iconic characters. "Without their input, the character would have been a lot more alien and different from what Sonic is known for."
Rafei also recounted Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka coming to see what they were working on early on. "I felt sorry for the guy because sometimes he couldn't actually look at the screen--it was too traumatic seeing all the crazy stuff we wanted to do," Rafei explained. "Over the course of that meeting, when we were coming up with new ideas, we had a very sincere--just two adults talking--conversation about why a character should or should not wear pants, and that was a very surreal moment in my life and my career." So Sonic almost had pants?
All the athletic tape, as well as Sonic's Nathan Drake scarf, also came under question. Rafei already explained the tape before, but added how it represents a practicality inspired by boxers and American football players. "When the world is in jeopardy, you don't have time to worry about what you look like," Rafei explained.
Though I'm not sure I've seen either tape their biceps/under their armpits like Nu-Knuckles, though bicep bands have become popular in the NFL despite serving no practical purpose. "There is absolutely no benefit from a performance standpoint or a medical standpoint," said Ralph Reiff, athletic trainer and director of St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis. "It’s purely a fashion statement."