Bandai

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This article is about the Japanese toy manufacturer. For other uses, see Bandai (disambiguation).
Bandai Co., Ltd.
株式会社バンダイ
Subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings
Industry Toy Maker, software & programming, film production, anime & tokusatsu
Fate Merged with Namco
Successor Bandai Namco Entertainment
Founded July 5, 1950; 66 years ago (1950-07-05)
Headquarters Taitō, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Kazunori Ueno, President & CEO
Mitsuaki Taguchi, COO
Products Gundam models, Godzilla, Super Sentai models, Naruto Gachapon and Figurines, Tamagotchi, Digimon, plastic model kits, among others
Number of employees
973 (as of March 31, 2005)
Parent Bandai Namco Holdings
Website Bandai Japan
Bandai UK
Bandai US
Bandai Europe
Bandai Asia

Bandai Co., Ltd. (株式会社バンダイ Kabushiki-gaisha Bandai?) is a Japanese toy maker and video game company, as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits. It is the world's fourth-largest producer of toys (after Mattel, Hasbro, and LEGO).[1][2] Some ex-Bandai group companies produce anime and tokusatsu programs. Its headquarters is located in Taitō, Tokyo.[3]

After its merger with game developer and amusement facility operator Namco, Bandai Company, Limited is now under the management of Bandai Namco Holdings and a member of Bandai Namco Group. After group reorganisation in 2006, Bandai heads the group's Toys and Hobby Strategic Business Unit (SBU).[4]

History[edit]

Saab 96 tin plate toy car by Bandai

Bandai was founded in 1950. In the 1960s Bandai expanded to include export sales. Bandai's racing car set, which first appeared in 1962, became a huge success. The 1970s continued to see Bandai expand, with Bandai Models being established in 1971. Although not their most profitable range, Bandai's 1/48 scale AFV models dominated that segment of the model kit market. Bandai America Inc. was established as local US sales/marketing operation in 1978. Spacewarp, a line of build-it-yourself toy rolling ball "roller coasters" was introduced by Bandai in the 1980s.

Since the 1980s, Bandai has become the leading toy company of Japan, and to this day, has the main toy licenses in Japan to popular properties including Daikaiju, Ultraman, Super Robot, Kamen Rider, the Super Sentai and Power Rangers series (which they took part in creating), Gundam and many others.

The management of Bandai and Sega discussed a merger in the late 1990s and voted to implement it,[5][6] but the merger was later cancelled, citing "cultural differences", after a large scale protest by Bandai's middle management.[7][8]

Former subsidiaries[edit]

Bandai headquarters

Before the formation of Bandai Namco Holdings, Bandai had many subsidiaries. After group reorganization in 2006, they are managed under several strategic business units (SBUs) of the group. Further detail:

Toys and Hobby SBU[edit]

Popy[edit]

In 1971, Bandai founded its subsidiary company Popy which helped to launch toylines such as Chogokin and Machine Robo. It was merged into its parent company in 1983.

Bandai USA[edit]

Bandai USA (doing business as Bandai America Incorporated) is the American distribution arm of Bandai that makes toy products for the U.S. market and manufactures Power Rangers, Big Hero 6, Digimon, and Ben 10 toys. Other past products include

Visual and music contents SBU[edit]

Bandai Visual[edit]

Bandai Visual Co. Ltd., produces and distributes many popular anime and tokusatsu titles. These titles include Cowboy Bebop, Big O, Outlaw Star, Please Teacher!, Escaflowne, and the popular Gundam, Kamen Rider, Ultraman, and Super Sentai series. Their subsidiaries include the Emotion Music Company Limited, in which the logo is the Moai, a statue found on Easter Island. They now head the Visual and Music Contents SBU. Their North American division, Bandai Visual USA was absorbed into Bandai Entertainment (also a division of Bandai Visual) on July 1, 2008.

Bandai Entertainment[edit]

Bandai Entertainment was a subsidiary of Bandai Visual that was involved in the distribution of numerous anime in North America, as well as manga, American-made graphic novels and other merchandising ventures related to anime. Their headquarters in the United States were located in Cypress, California. They had a European subsidiary named Beez Entertainment (also a subisidiary of Bandai Visual) who handled European licensing & distribution rights to their library. The first part of Beez Entertainment's name stood for Bandai Entertainment European Zone, as Bandai Entertainment had operations in Europe. Beez Entertainment was based in France. Bandai Entertainment absorbed Bandai Visual's North American division, Bandai Visual USA, at the start of July 2008, and as a result, they were taken over by Bandai Visual, who then became their new parent company (though Bandai Entertainment continued to be part of Bandai). In addition, Bandai Visual also took over Beez Entertainment as their entry into the European market, and Beez Entertainment also continued to be part of Bandai as well.

However, Bandai Entertainment is no longer acquiring licenses to new anime,[9] and as of March 1, 2013, they are no longer distributing and publishing home video in North America except for some.[10] Also, Beez Entertainment is no longer releasing new anime in Europe.[11]

Carddass[edit]

Carddass is the Bandai subsidiary responsible for releasing trading card games based on popular Bandai franchises. This includes games such as the Gundam War Collectible Card Game based on the Gundam metaseries, as well as a Gash Bell (Zatch Bell!) TCG, Naruto CCG, Rangers Strike (Super Sentai series, Kamen Rider series, Metal Hero series), Neon Genesis Evangelion Ultra Galaxy Daikaijyu Battle (Ultra series) and most recently their most successful to date, the Battle Spirits Trading Card Game.

Sunrise[edit]

Main article: Sunrise (company)

Game contents SBU[edit]

Bandai Games (now Bandai Namco Games)[edit]

Bandai Games produced and distributed video games based on Bandai properties including Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front, Gundam Wing: Endless Duel and Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo.

In the early 1990s, Bandai published games for Nintendo in the United Kingdom, including Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.[12]

In the beginning of 2005, Bandai Games opened a United States office as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai America which, prior to that, handled the publishing of video games in North America itself.

On March 31, 2006, it merged with Namco Ltd. and was renamed Bandai Namco Games Inc.

Motorsports[edit]

2006 Bandai Direzza SC430.

In 2006, Bandai entered Super GT with Lexus SC, and won 2006 Super GT Season GT500 Class Round 3 Overall Winner and ranked on fifth place in GT500 Class.

Consoles[edit]

During the late 1970s, Bandai sold the TV Jack console line: a series of pong based consoles. The last of the series was the Bandai Super Vision 8000 console released in 1979. It wasn't a simple pong based console system but a cartridge system with an 8-bit NEC D780C (Z80 clone) as CPU.

During the early 1980s, Bandai distributed a number of videogame machines. In 1982 the Bandai Arcadia, a variant of the Emerson Arcadia 2001, was released in Japan by Bandai. There were also four Japan-exclusive game releases which were the only known Arcadia titles written by other companies than UA Ltd. They also released local variants of the Intellivision and vectrex game consoles.

Bandai produced a running mat called the Family Fun Fitness System for the Nintendo Entertainment System starting in 1986. A series of games was released both in the US and in Japan, including Athletic World and Stadium Events for the NES. Shortly after its release, Nintendo purchased the rights to the FFF mat in North America, replacing it with their own redesign, the Power Pad. In order to maintain branding continuity, Stadium Events was pulled from shelves after a short period of availability at Woolworth's stores. Because the game was pulled from shelves and discontinued before many copies were sold, Bandai's Stadium Events is universally accepted as the rarest licensed NES game released in North America.[13][14] A shrinkwrapped copy of the game sold for $41,270 on eBay in February 2010.[15] The sister game to Stadium Events, called Athletic World was initially released with a label that indicated compatibility with the Family Fun Fitness mat, but was later re-released with an updated label that mentions the Power Pad instead.[16] Stadium Events was not released again, but instead was slightly modified and relaunched as the Power Pad pack-in game, World Class Track Meet.

In the 1990s, Bandai teamed up with Apple to make The Pippin. They also made their own game console, the Playdia. Neither was a mass-market success. In 1999, Bandai created the WonderSwan portable game system. It, and its update, the WonderSwan Color, sold modestly well, but were unable to seriously challenge the dominant Game Boy Color and later, the Game Boy Advance. It was discontinued in 2003.

Handheld systems[edit]

Bandai has also released a series of handheld game consoles including the WonderSwan, WonderSwan Color and Swan Crystal. The systems were only released in Japan.

Bandai has also released a series of LCD games including Tuttuki Bako (released in Japan in 2008) and the LCD Solarpower series (released in the 1980s in both regions).

Games developed/published by Bandai[edit]

Bandai Super Vision 8000
  • Beam Galaxian
  • Gun Professional
  • Missile Vader
  • Othello
  • PacPacBird
  • Space Fire
  • Submarine
LCD
  • Patsy Duck
  • Sailor Moon
  • Sailor Moon Heart
  • Anpanman
Arcadia 2001
Bandai RX-78
Mac OS
Playdia
3DO
Sega Game Gear
Game Boy
NES
Nintendo DS
Sega Genesis
SNES
PlayStation
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
Sega Saturn
Nintendo GameCube
Wii
Virtual reality / Augmented reality
Xbox 360
Game Boy Advance
Microsoft Windows
Wii U
3DS

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lego Celebrates 50 Years of Building". Time. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Everything Is Awesome: Lego Leaps Barbie For World's Largest Toy Maker". 
  3. ^ "Bandai Group Establishes 'Bandai Channel' to Distribute Broadband Content." Bandai Group. March 4, 2004. Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Toys and Hobby Strategic Business Unit
  5. ^ http://www.cnet.com/news/bandai-and-sega-band-together/
  6. ^ http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/1997/01/23/national/sega-bandai-to-merge-into-entertainment-giant/#.VgF86_lVhBd
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/28/business/acquisition-of-bandai-by-sega-called-off.html
  8. ^ http://kotaku.com/5828939/when-sega-wanted-to-take-over-the-world-and-failed-miserably
  9. ^ "Bandai Entertainment to Stop Releasing New DVDs, BDs, Manga". Anime News Network. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  10. ^ "Bandai Entertainment to Discontinue Home Video, Manga, Novel Sales". Anime News Network. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "France's Beez Entertainment Stops Releasing New Anime". Anime News Network. 
  12. ^ https://archive.org/stream/nforce-magazine-06/NForce_06_Dec_1992#page/n7/mode/2up
  13. ^ "Original Nintendo Stadium Events Cartridge | Rare Video Games Auctions, Sales & Pricing". Gamesniped.com. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  14. ^ "Wii Feature: 25 rarest Nintendo games ever". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  15. ^ Mike Smith. "Rare Nintendo game is $40,000 windfall". 
  16. ^ "Variant labels for NES games [Archive] - Retrogaming Roundtable". Digitpress.com. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  17. ^ * Dig Dug II box art, also see Moby Games entry.

External links[edit]