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Bandai Co., Ltd. (株式会社バンダイ,   Kabushiki Gaisha Bandai) is a Japanese company, most famous for its toys and model kits. Bandai owns or has acquired rights to numerous franchises and has produced large numbers of merchandise for them. It is also the parent company of game developer Namco Interactive, with the two carrying out a merger to become Bandai Namco.

Bandai holds a 49% stake in the Japanese film studio Tsuburaya Productions, having helped the studio out of financial difficulty by doing so.

Within the Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman fanbases, Bandai is most well-known for manufacturing countless vinyl figures and merchandise based on the aforementioned properties.

History[edit | edit source]

Bandai was founded in 1900, and quickly rose to popularity by mass-producing models made of metal. 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. 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, but the merger was later cancelled, citing "cultural differences".

In the 1980s, Bandai purchased several substantial shares in Tsuburaya Productions, saving the studio from financial difficulty. In return, Bandai is now the principal merchandising provider for the studio.

Selected filmography[edit | edit source]

Toy lines[edit | edit source]

Notable subsidiaries[edit | edit source]

  • Bandai America - the American distribution arm of Bandai that makes toy products for the U.S. market and manufactures Power Rangers, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, and Ben 10 toys, among other franchises; it has released Godzilla figures in the U.S. since 2002, including for the 2014 American film.
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment - a video game development company and publisher which published the 2014 Godzilla video game for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 and City Shrouded in Shadow for the PS4.
  • Tamashii Nations - a Japanese company that specializes in producing highly-detailed articulated figures as part of its S.H. FiguArts and S.H. MonsterArts lines. It has produced several figures from the Godzilla franchise as part of the S.H. MonsterArts line.

External links[edit | edit source]


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