Bandai Shakes Up the Toy Aisles and Announces Its Extensive Line-up for 2004 Toy Fair
Bandai America Incorporated, a subsidiary of the third largest toy company
in the world, Bandai Co. Ltd, starts the new year with a bang by announcing
its most diverse toy line-up to date for the upcoming 2004 American International
Toy Fair in New York City. With a complete collection of toys from top-selling
brands such as Power Rangers and Strawberry Shortcake; master toy licenses
for exciting new television properties like Astro Boy and a movie property,
Thunderbirds; and entry into the hot collectible games category, Bandai projects
huge success in 2004 in a variety of toy aisles.
"We are thrilled to ring in the New Year with our largest and most
diverse line-up of toys ever. Bandai will continue our expansion of product
with existing brands, launch new properties and enter new categories," said
Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bandai America Inc. "Boys
and girls of all ages will see a comprehensive line-up from favorites Power
Rangers, Strawberry Shortcake, SD and Gundam, the debut of new licensed properties,
including the classic character Astro Boy, and our entry into the popular collectible
card gaming arena. We even have a few surprises that toy lovers will get to
see only at February's Toy Fair."
The Power Rangers' 12th season, Power Rangers DinoThunder, promises
to be action-packed, combining the number one boys action figure brand with
a perennial favorite theme among boys - dinosaurs. Bandai America will introduce
a complete line of toys to support the DinoThunder series - which will debut
on ABC Kids on February 14, 2004 - including action figures, Megazords, vehicles,
playsets, die-cast, role-play items and trading cards. The line will also include
new toys, such as Raptor Cycles and ATV vehicles.
Following the success of last year's battle-scarred assortment, Bandai
expands the Gundam line to include characters from the new Gundam Seed series,
scheduled to air on the Cartoon Network Action Block in April 2004. The new
line features deluxe 4.5-inch action figures, 4.5-inch deluxe battle-scarred
action figures with dioramas, 7.5-inch action figures, action figures with
vehicles, action figure model kits, and a 12-inch Mega Size Gundam.
|4.5" Gundam Seed Action Figure - Gundam Astray Blue Frame||Action Figure Model Kit Level 1 - Gundam Astray Red Frame|
Bandai America has been named by Sony Pictures Consumer Products as master
toy licensee (worldwide excluding Asia) of the much anticipated Sony Pictures
Television anime series Astro Boy, which is set to blast-off on the #1 kid's
network, Kids' WB! in early 2004. Astro Boy was created 50 years ago
by the legendary artist Osamu Tezuka, widely regarded as the pioneer of anime
and the "father of manga" (Japanese comic books). In 1963, Astro
Boy became the first Japanese show imported to the United States and one of
the country's top-rated syndicated series. Bandai America will produce
an extensive line of Astro Boy toys, including action figures, vehicles, role-play
items (excluding costumes, masks and accessories) and playsets.
Bandai Co., Ltd. signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Universal Studios
Consumer Products Group (USCPG) as the master toy licensee for the upcoming
theatrical presentation, Thunderbirds. From Universal Pictures and Working
Title Films, Thunderbirds is a live-action feature film based on the hit British
television series of the 1960s, which followed the perilous exploits of the
Tracy family. Thunderbirds, starring Bill Paxton and Sir Ben Kingsley, is slated
for release on August
6, 2004. Under the agreement, Bandai America is developing vehicles modeled
after the Thunderbirds rescue crafts in the film as well as dynamic playsets.
The products are scheduled to hit shelves by June 2004.
Jagun Fighters debuted in August 2003 as a new brand that combines action
figures with the elements of a game involving "fate" and "chance," carried
out with two players battling one another with game pieces called Power Eye
Stones. Bandai America launched the brand with a unique, grassroots campaign
including sampling, in-store demos, outreach at anime/gaming conventions, a
beta testers program and an interactive gaming environment at www.JagunFighters.com.
In 2004, kids can add to their collection with new stones and 3-inch and 6.5-inch
action figures, as well as new transforming stone sets with three pieces that
can be combined into an exclusive, collectible figure.
Knights of the Zodiac
Originally introduced to Japanese audiences as "Saint Seiya" in
a wildly popular TV show and toy line back in 1986, the property has since
become an international phenomenon as a top-rated series across Asia, Europe,
Central America and South America, and a multi-billion-dollar franchise, with
25 million action figures sold worldwide. The new TV show, entitled Knights
of the Zodiac successfully debuted in the United States on August 30, 2003
as the #1 show across all boy demographics on the Cartoon Network's Saturday
Action Block. Launching at retail in January 2004, Bandai America will release
action figures that are exclusive to the American market. Future assortments
will include additional action figures, playsets and role-play items.
|Black Andromeda||Black Dragon||Knight of Golden Sagittarius|
Combining action, adventure, humor and spunky pint-sized heroes, Bandai America's
new Superior Defender (SD) toy line has proven to be the "next BIG thing
in robots." An all-new 3-D animated TV show based on the property, entitled
SD Gundam Force, debuted to spectacular ratings September 1, 2003 on the Cartoon
Network (#1 with boys aged 6-11). And Bandai America's SD action figures' debut
at retail exceeded initial sales expectations, with action figures flying off
the store shelves as soon as they are stocked. For 2004, Bandai America's
toy line will continue to represent all unique characters from the SD universe,
with 1.5-inch and 5-inch articulated action figures, vehicles, playsets and
snap-together action figures of various skill levels, in addition to a new
mega-size, battery operated action figure.
|5" Action Defender Combo Set - Captain Gundam & Gun Vehicle||5" Action Defender Combo Set - Knight Tallgeese & Golden Griffon|
About Bandai America
Bandai America Inc. is a subsidiary of Bandai Co. Ltd., the third largest toy
company in the world, with 27 subsidiaries in 8 countries worldwide. Global
interests include toys and children's entertainment, video game software,
multimedia, music, full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards,
candies and licensed apparel.
Bandai America Inc. is celebrating its 25th anniversary as the master toy
licensee of some of the most popular properties and brands in children's
toys and entertainment, including the Power Rangers, Gundam, Strawberry Shortcake,
Astro Boy and SD product lines. Bandai America is headquartered in Cypress,
California and company information is available at www.Bandai.com.
|Posted 9 February, 2004 - 11:03 by JoshB|