Reprints are strips that have already been published once and have been recycled for newer readers. As part of Fleetway's "5 year cycle", the board decided that many of the original readership will have left the publication by a certain point and started introducing older comics, replacing the usual fourth story. Issue 133 began marketing this as a "Blast From The Past", publishing a classic lead Sonic the Hedgehog. Two reprints were introduced for Issue 155 and, by Issue 157, there was only one original strip per issue (the second strip had only lasted an extra two issues to allow the Eternity Ring story arc to end. Starting with Issue 185, every single strip was a reprint, ending STC's 184 run of original material.
This practice was extremely unpopular with Boomers and the comic came to end with Issue 223, hosting all four parts of The Evil Empire. Former editor Deborah Tate has said that she believed readers would have continued to appreciate new stories, but the decision was out of her hands.
As a nod to this unpopular decision, Sonic the Comic Online produced the Issue 251 Reprint Special. After the start of a new era, the editors decided to make Issue 251 a reprint-only affair, republishing the stories from Issue 224 (albeit retouched with new lettering and graphics from Mike Corker). However, this was just another April Fools' Day prank.