CYPRESS, CA, October 2, 2003 - Exceeding initial expectations, Bandai America Incorporated's Superior Defender (or "SD") action figures are flying off toy shelves almost as soon as they are stocked. This comes as the new cell-shaded animated television show based on the property, entitled SD: Gundam Force, debuted to spectacular ratings September 1st on the Cartoon Network (#1 with boys aged 6-11). The humorous and action packed show airs Monday through Friday at 5:00PM during the Toonami block.
"SD's little, squashed-down robots have a tremendous crossover appeal," said Zach Oat, editor, ToyFare Magazine and Wizard Entertainment. "I think the reason they're doing so well at retail is because they're loved not only by the kids who watch the show, but also by collectors who are aware of the Japanese version of the property, and by the average consumer who spots it in the toy aisle and is immediately intrigued."
While already a huge phenomenon in Japan, this marks the first time the SD characters have made their way to the U.S. Key to the appeal is the design behind the spunky heroes. Scrunched down and disproportionate, SD sports a unique look which also gives key insight to the "in your face" attitude of the characters.
"We're absolutely blown away by the response," said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bandai America Inc. "We were confident they'd find a devoted audience, but they've far surpassed our expectations. We're making them as fast as we can to meet demand."
Superior Defender is an intergalactic adventure of incredible proportions, featuring a variety of vertically challenged robots from three different worlds. The Mobile Defenders transform into moving machines; the Knight Defenders are superior sorcerers; and the Musha Defenders are experts in armor. These pint-sized heroes join together to fight an enemy with a Napoleon complex of its own, the dreaded Dark Axis.
Faithfully representing all the characters and environments from the SD universe, Bandai America's toy line consists of 1.5-inch figures and snap together action figures, as well as new products never before produced, including 5-inch action figures, vehicles and playsets.
The Mini Defender Collectible Packs feature five 1.5-inch articulated figures that come with their own accessories. The Mini Defender Playsets include five 1.5-inch figures, and resemble a vehicle that opens up to reveal a command center. At the 5-inch scale, Action Defender Figures come with their own weapons and accessories, and have swinging or sword movement. The Deluxe Action Defender figures also come with their own accessories, and have a transforming feature or come battlized. Vehicle Sets include their own 5-inch figure that can ride on the vehicle; the vehicle can transform or has a shooting feature.
In addition, a series of snap together action figures will be available in varying skill levels. At the advanced level, the figures have a unique transforming action.
These kits are similar in concept to Bandai America's popular Gundam line, which revolutionized the model kit industry when it was introduced in the United States four years ago. Visit www.SDGundamForce.com for games, storylines, character bios, and additional information.
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, Digimon, Strawberry Shortcake and Hello Kitty product lines. Bandai America is headquartered in Cypress, California and company information is available at www.Bandai.com