Bandai

To provide timeless entertainment through endless creativity

Bandai was founded in 1950 by the late Naoharu Yamashina under the name of Bandai-ya. The Japanese pronunciation of the phrase is Bandai fueki, meaning "eternally unchanging". Founder Yamashina felt this phrase expressed his wish that Bandai be a company which, in his words, makes toys that please people of all generations, irrespective of the times, a firm that will develop and grow for ever and ever.

About Bandai

Bandai UK Ltd is a subsidiary of the third largest toy company in the world, Bandai Co. Ltd. Established in the UK in 1982, Bandai UK has grown to be the master toy licensee of some of the most popular properties in children's toys and entertainment, including Power Rangers, Pokémon, Ben 10, Digimon, Gundam, Thunderbirds and original products including Badge It! and the worldwide phenomenon Tamagotchi.

Creating Diverse Businesses and Services by Capitalising on Characters’ Appeal

The Bandai Group makes the most of its extensive line up of characters, and offers appealing products and services in a wide range of fields including video game software, apparel, confectionary, visual content, amusement machines and prizes, mobile phone network content, and course, toys – a field in which we have a long history. We not only turn characters into products, but also launch these products in a timely fashion, in close association with TV and other media. It is our challenge to create new businesses by forecasting the needs of the times, and at the same time. Promote the appeal of characters in a multifaceted manner, so as to further reinforce our management foundation.

Characters with Long-Term Popularity and Multigenerational Appeal

Power Rangers, Digimon, Gundam…… The strength of Bandai’s character business lies in its ability to generate revenue steadily, by taking advantage of its flagship characters that continue to capture the hearts of many people of all generations. In combination with this, we have introduced character portfolio techniques, with which we are actively exerting efforts to achieve growth by nurturing existing characters as well as by creating new characters and original characters with the future in mind.

Appeal of Entertainment Spreading Across the World

As there are no boundaries when it comes to “dreams” and “inspiration” of people, the scope of Bandai Group’s business is boundless. The Bandai Group is enhancing the globalisation of its products in various business segments, including toys, video game software and visual entertainment. Take Power Rangers a brand with huge worldwide popularity.

We are dedicated to presenting characters’ appeal in the form of high-quality entertainment to people around the world, tailored to each country and region.

The Bandai Group has exerted its efforts in finding and nurturing promising characters, and has gained substantial experience since it identified the potential of the character business more than 30 years ago.

The Group’s experience and expertise serve as the backbone of our relationship with corporate partners such as copyright holders based on trust, and have helped sustain partnerships, create new characters based on collaboration, and form business alliances with leading companies aimed at complementing and expanding our businesses.

Our recent partners include: 4Kids Entertainment, Disney Consumer Products, DIC Entertainment, Universal Studios Consumer Products, Warner Bros and Sanrio.

In September 2005, Namco Ltd. and Bandai Co. Ltd. of Japan merged to become the Bandai Namco Group. Global interests encompass five strategic business units (SBU’s): toys and hobby, amusement facilities, video game content, mobile content, and visual and music content.

2008 - Happy Birthday Power Rangers

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive is launched and celebrates its 15th continuous year on sales in the UK.

The Bandai Namco Group consists of over 50 group companies employing 3400 staff with consolidated net sales of $4 billion dollars in 2007.

Bandai Timeline

1982

Bandai UK established.

1989

Bandai’s range includes radio control cars, Egg Monster, arts and craft toys.

1990

Bandai launches Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, which become the year’s hottest toy. Bandai signs deal with Nintendo to distribute its hardware and software across Europe.

1991

Turtles become the best selling toy across Europe. Bandai wins Toy of the Year for Turtles in the UK. Bandai becomes the fastest growing toy company in UK with strong performances from both Bandai toy division and Bandai Nintendo division. GameBoy is launched and becomes a huge success.

1992

Bandai wins Toy of the Year for GameBoy. Toy division continues to sell Turtles; new launches include Toxic Crusaders, Little Dracula and Robo Machines.

1993

Nintendo distribution deal finishes. New toys launches include Star Trek and Disney Tale Spins.

1994

Power Rangers launched in May and becomes and instant hit with kids.

1995

Power Rangers mania continues. Bandai wins Toy of the Year for Power Rangers. Sega Lock On launched.

1996

First Power Rangers Movie launched. Power Rangers wins Boy Toy of the Year. New launches include Masked Rider.

1997

Power Rangers ZEO launched. New launches include Beetleborgs. In May the UK is gripped by Tamagotchi fever, as the world first virtual pet is unleashed. 40 million are sold around the world by the end of the year.

1998

Power Rangers Turbo launched. Second movie launched. Tamagotchi range extended to include Tamagotchi Angel. Boy’s version of Tamagotchi launched – Digimon. Bandai fuel the year’s craze for yo-yos with the Yomega X-Brain. Welcome Betty Spaghetty. Tamagotchi wins Innovative Toy of the Year.

1999

Power Rangers in Space launched. New launches include Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog.

2000

50th Anniversary of Bandai Co. Ltd. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy launched. Digimon TV show launched along with toys.

2001

Power Rangers Light Speed Rescue launched. Digimon toy line extended. Gundam Wing model kits and toys launched.

2002

20th Anniversary of Bandai UK. Power Rangers Time Force launched. New ranges include Hello Kitty Dream World and Bratz, a new fashion doll concept featuring “Girls with a Passion for Fashion.”

2003

10th Anniversary of Power Rangers. Power Rangers Wild Force is launched and is the best selling boys toys throughout the year. Bratz increases in popularity. Badge It! launched and becomes the must have toy of 2003. Bratz wins Girls Toy of the Year.

2004

Power Rangers Ninja Storm released and continues to be the best selling boys toy. Thunderbirds toys launched to coincide with the live action movie. Other new launches include Teen Titans and Pokémon Advanced. Tamagotchi Connexion launched in May and becomes a hit again. Super Badge It! launched. Bratz wins Girls Toy of the Year. Badge It! wins Creative Toy of the Year.

2005

Power Rangers Dino Thunder launched and continues to be popular with children in the UK. New Debuts include toys on Gerry Andersons’ New Captain Scarlet, and soft toys based on Disney’ Bambi. Tamagotchi Connexion Version 2 wins Toy of the year.

2006

Power Rangers Space Patrol Delta launched and quickly becomes the best selling boys toy of the year. Other new launches include Bag It! , Unazukin, and Pocoyo a stunning pre-school property from Zinkia. Version3 of Tamagotchi Connexion is launched and continues to be the UK’s best selling toy in the UK. Total sales of Tamagotchi exceed 4 million pieces in the UK by the end of 2006.

2007

Power Rangers Mystic Force is launched and continues its excellent sales performance against strong competition from blockbuster movies. Ben 10, a new animated series from Cartoon Network is launched in spring and quickly becomes a top seller. The Omnitrix F/X scoops the Boys Toy of the Year award. Bandai return to the dolls market with Disney Fairies, a new toy line based on the ever popular Tinker Bell, and Strawberry Shortbread a heritage brand from the 1980’s. Tamagotchi Connexion Jinsei and Jinsei Plus (Version 4 & Version 4.5) are launched and continue to be the UK’s No1. selling toy for the third year running – a feat never achieved by another toy since toys record began by Consumer Tracking group NPD.

2008

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive is launched and celebrates its 15th continuous year on sales in the UK. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl toys are launched after strong sales from the latest Nintendo DS games. Tamagotchi Connexion Familitchi is launched and continues to perform well in the toy market. Ben 10 toy line extended and becomes No1. selling boys brand in March. Other new launches include Puchi Puchi – a novelty toy that simulates bubble packaging and Catcha Beast – an interactive electronic game.

2009

Power Rangers Jungle Fury is launched and continues to be popular with kids in the UK. Ben 10 moves to the next level with the launch of Ben 10 Alien Force. New launches will include some exciting girls brands including Star Friends, KeyTweens, Harumika and Tamagotchi Music Star the newest extension to the Tamagotchi brand. Celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2009, Bandai will also be launching toys for Noddy in Toyland.

2010

Power Rangers Racing Performance Machines (RPM) is launched and becomes the 17th consecutive year of this evergreen brand boy's brand. Ben 10 fever continues to the next level with the launch of Ben 10 Ultimate Alien in autumn. Star Friends, KeyTweens, Harumika and Noddy will see new line extensions added. New launches will include Armouron, a unique new concept combining boy's action, role-play and construction. Tinga Tinga Tales; a new pre-school property to be broadcast on Cbeebies in spring and is based on the Tanzanian art style and African folklore.