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Logo-supersentai.png This article is about a/an toy company involved in the Super Sentai and Power Rangers franchises. PR2020 logo.png

Bandai Logo

Bandai Co. Ltd. (株式会社バンダイ Kabushiki-gaisha Bandai) is a Japanese conglomerate serving as a subsidiary of the larger Bandai Namco Holdings (株式会社バンダイナムコホールディングス Kabushiki gaisha Bandai Namuko Hōrudingusu), which specializes in toy making, video game development, anime production, and entertainment themed area management such as arcades and amusement parks. It is the world's third-largest producer of toys (after Mattel and Hasbro) and is headquartered in Taitō, Tokyo.

History

Initial Success

Bandai was established in 1947 during the aftermath of World War II by Naoharu Yamashina as a small toy distribution division within the textile business. In 1950, Bandai, which meant "eternally unchanging" or "things that are eternal", became its own company and began selling their own original toys, which later were exported to the United States to overwhelming popularity as "Made in Japan" products. As the company grew in revenue and production, they established overseas offices by 1961, starting with New York City. By 1963, the company achieved considerable success from their line of toys based on Astro Boy while serving as the exclusive toy sponsor for the anime. Bandai's Ultraman toys were also a blockbuster hit, which were later released in North America under the Bandai America banner.

Popy logo

By the 1970s, Bandai expanded through joint ventures with other companies which allowed them to became a major player in the Japanese toy industry and compete with companies such as Takara and Epoch. Around this time, Bandai created the spin-off division Popy (ポピー), which became notable for producing the first toy versions based on Kamen Rider, as well as for revolutionizing the toy industry in the use of die cast metal for their robot toys with the Chogokin line. Due to corporate restructuring, Popy was merged back into Bandai and dissolved, with its sole surviving division being PLEX, which now plans toys and characters under Bandai Namco.

In 1980, Bandai launched a series of plastic models based on the anime Mobile Suit Gundam, which would become known as the popular Gunpla series. In 1985, Bandai expanded to develop video games for the NES and other consoles.

Present

Bandai-Namco

In 2005, Bandai expressed interest in purchasing video game developer Namco, to which it had succeeded in 2006 for 1.7 billion dollars. Upon the acquisition that resulted in the creation of Bandai-Namco Holdings, subsidiaries for the combined conglomerate were created and designated into different areas, including the video game developer Bandai Namco Entertainment which handles game development to their licenses of popular properties such as Ultraman, the Kamen Rider SeriesIcon-crosswiki.png, Super Sentai, Power Rangers (formerly, now part of Hasbro), Tamagotchi, and Digimon.

On September 21, 2018, the company acquired Bluefin Brands to enhance their distribution network and marketing in North America, creating a new subsidiary to operate alongside it called Bandai Namco Collectibles that became active in January of 2019.

Distancing from Power Rangers

On February 15, 2018, it was announced that Power Rangers, Saban Brands, and Bandai USA had mutually agreed not to renew their global Power Rangers master toy license agreement, effective April 2019.[1] The following morning at the New York Toy Fair, representatives at Hasbro announced that it would take Bandai's place as the distributor and manufacturer of Power Rangers toys worldwide, with the exception of Japan and parts of Asia where Super Sentai toys are sold. On April 1, 2019, Hasbro officially took over the master toy license.

Subsidiaries

  • Tamashii Nations
  • Tamashii Lab
  • Bluefin Brands
  • Banpresto
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Bandai Fashion
  • Bandai Spirits

Merchandise Lines

External Links

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