Bandai Co., Ltd. (株式会社バンダイ is a Kabushiki-gaisha Bandai)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.
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.
- The Godzilla Collection, a line of Japanese figures that were produced from 1983 to 1995.
- Godzilla: High Grade, a line of Japanese figures that began in 1994.
- Godzilla Memorial Box, a boxset of Japanese figures released in 1995.
- Godzilla Forever, a limited line of Japanese figures that were produced in 1996.
- Godzilla Island Monster Series, a line of Japanese figures that were produced for the television show of same name in 1998.
- Toho Kaiju Series, a line of Japanese figures that were produced in 1998.
- Movie Monster Series, a line of Japanese figures that began in 2001.
- Bandai America's line of figures for the American market that began in 2002.
- Godzilla 50th Anniversary Memorial Box, a boxset of Japanese figures released in 2005.
- Movie Monster EX Series, a line of Japanese figures that began in 2015.
- King of the Monsters Series, a line of Japanese figures that began in 2016.
Bandai America is 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. The company has been releasing Godzilla figures in the U.S. since 2002, including figures for the 2014 American film.
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Bandai Namco Entertainment is a video game development company and publisher. It published the 2014 Godzilla video game for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 as well as City Shrouded in Shadow for the PS4.
Bandai is the parent company of 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. Tamashii has produced several figures from the Godzilla franchise as part of the S.H. MonsterArts line.
NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association) is an American subsidiary of Bandai which specializes in collectible figures of characters from action, science fiction, and horror films. It acquired the license to Godzilla in 2014 and since then has released several figures of the character.
- Toho Kingdom interview with Bandai America (August 2013)
- Godzilla (2014)-focused Toho Kingdom interview (March 2014)
- Toho Kingdom interview with Bandai America (July 2015)
- Official Bandai America Twitter page
- Official Bandai America Instagram page
- Official Bandai America website
- Official Bandai Europe website
- Offcial Bandai Japan website
- Official Bandai Korea website
- Official Bandai Asia website
- Official Bandai Premium Twitter page
- Offcial Bandai Premium website
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