Bandai (Bandai Co., Ltd.) is a Japanese company that specializes in the production, marketing and sales of toys and video games. Bandai is one of the world's top four largest producers of toys worldwide. They are one of the most iconic brands ever established worldwide as well, as their products and sub-brands all hold a very strong and popular culture with users and customers.
Bandai was founded in 1950, producing toys for the Japanese market. A decade later they started to expand to enter the export market, marketing their awesome Japanese toys all over the world. Bandai established Bandai Models in 19771, producing many scaled model kits. From the 1980s onwards, Bandai has been the leader in Japanese toy manufacturing in both Japan and globally.
Bandai, as a company, is now under the management of the greater Bandai Namco Holdings and also a member of the Bandai Namco Group. Bandai merged with Namco, a leading Japanese game developer and amusement facility operator, in 2005. As a whole, Bandai Namco now manages the strategies of all of its subsidiaries and brands of its toys, video games and arcades, anime, and amusement parks.
Bandai's inventory of brands and products is vast. They produce many different forms of products for the majority of the world's popular anime, cartoons, and hero TV shows. They produce many different forms of each product category as well.
For toys, Bandai produces many products such as action figures, roleplaying toys, model kits, car models, and even premium figures and replica items for toy enthusiasts. Bandai's video games are mainly based on the brands and franchises that they have licenses for such as the Gundam franchise.
There's also a Bandai museum located in Tochigi, Japan, which is devoted to showcasing their own popular characters and brands. The museum consists of nine floors and a Gundam themed café. It also has a store which sells exclusive items.
Bandai's businesses consists of marketing their own brands through products and video games. However, they also manufacture toys and other products for licensed brands. Here are their top brands they produce many products for:
Gundam is without a doubt one of the biggest and most iconic brands that originates from Japan. Gundam is actually a media franchise that was created by Sunrise. The franchise mainly features these giant robots (or more aptly, "mecha") which are named mobile suits in the show; the main mobile suits of these shows carry the name of "Gundam".
The entire Gundam franchise started with the first TV series airing in April, 1979. The release marked the revolution of real robot (or mecha) based anime as it placed these robots in militaristic war settings. This success of the first series sparked the growth of the entire franchise, spawning off many numerous forms of media such as other TV series, movies, mangas, novels, and video games.
The model kit and action figure lines of Gundam by Bandai has also become one of the largest toy and hobby franchise industries in Japan. Bandai has been producing many Gundam model kits for years now, along with a wide line of action figures.
Super Sentai & Power Rangers
Everyone grew up watching Power Rangers, boys and girls alike. It's one of the oldest costumed super-hero TV shows that still runs until today. Much as it is popular, a lot of people never really understood nor know of its relationship with Super Sentai, a long-time running Japanese superhero-team (Tokusatsu) TV franchise.
Power Rangers is a franchise that is made by Americans for the Western and English speaking markets; it borrows heavily from the Japanese Super Sentai. Itcan be seen as a Western reinterpretation of Super Sentai. Regardless however, both franchises are similar, with the roots in Super Sentai.
Bandai produces all of the merchandise and toyline of both Super Sentai and Power Rangers such as action figures, roleplaying toys, and also video games for a number of platforms.
The Digimon franchise is mainly about these creatures called Digimon, monsters that live in a "Digital World", which is made up of Earth's communication networks. The story of each Digimon series generally follows a group of humans called the "Digidestined" (or "Tamers") who team up with a selected few Digimon to defeat evil Digimon and humans who want to destroy the digital world or the real world itself.
The Digimon franchise first began in 1997 with a series of virtual pet toys similar to the famous Tamagotchi. The designs of these monsters first began with a cute motif, but as the brand went on, the design became a little bit more serious through the influences of American comics. The brand rose up to popularity really quickly when the first season of the anime and the first video game released in 1999. The brand has since expanded to several different series and also video games.