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"Astro Boy" Unveils Expanded Bandai Shop At San Francisco's Sony Metreon

Bandai: Jay Cochran - 2003.10.20

"Astro Boy" Unveils Expanded Bandai Shop at San Francisco's
Sony Metreon

Bandai America Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of its Unique Retail Space at the 3rd Annual Metreon Festival of Anime

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - October 20, 2003 - More than 300 Bay Area anime fans joined the super-charged robot Astro Boy on Saturday, October 11th to launch Bandai America Incorporated's newly expanded Bandai Shop at the 3rd Annual Metreon Festival of Anime. Astro Boy, the classic icon of Japanese animation, made his first live appearance after the recent announcement of the original manga brand's return in 2004 with a highly anticipated anime series from Sony Pictures Television to debut on Kids' WB! and an exciting lineup of toys from Bandai America.

Located on Level Two of Metreon - A Sony Entertainment Center in San Francisco, the Bandai Shop debuted in 2001 as a unique 500 square-foot retail space. The Shop features a number of Bandai America's classic anime properties, including fan favorite Gundam, as well as one-of-a-kind displays such as a 6-foot tall Gundam head and a fully assembled 5-foot Gundam action figure model kit. With the recent renovation, which doubled the amount of retail space, the Bandai Shop has expanded its offering of action figures, model kits and vehicles, as well as dolls, plush and other toys. Anime fans - and all toy lovers - can find Bandai America products ranging from Power Rangers, Superior Defender, Jagun Fighters and Strawberry Shortcake.

"Anime has seen its popularity and relevance expand exponentially over the last few years in the United States," said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bandai America Inc. "With our exciting expansion in the Bandai Shop at Metreon, Bandai America can continue to provide anime fans with an ever-growing slate of action figures, model kits and other toys designed to meet their unique collecting needs."

This is the third year that Metreon has hosted its popular Festival of Anime. Festivities included exclusive screenings from leading home entertainment provider Bandai Entertainment and special appearances and panel sessions that included a visit from Doug Chiang, creator of Robota. Additionally, festival-goers were treated to demos of Bandai America's latest game property, Jagun Fighters. The Astro Boy costume character was on hand to take photos with fans and help Bandai America re-open the Bandai Shop to consumers.

About Bandai America Inc.

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, Superior Defender, Astro Boy and Strawberry Shortcake product lines. Bandai America is headquartered in Cypress, California and company information is available at Bandai.com.

About Metreon - A Sony Entertainment Center

Metreon is the first-of-its-kind entertainment center located at Fourth and Mission streets in the heart of downtown San Francisco. This 350,000 square-foot "house that Sony built" features an eclectic mix of the Bay Area's best restaurants, shopping venues, theatres, and attractions, including the West Coast's largest IMAX theatre. Metreon is a business unit of Sony Corporation of America. For information about Metreon, please call (415) 369-6000 or visit Metreon.com.

About Sony Pictures Consumer Products

Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP), based in Los Angeles and London, handles the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television and through Spider-Man Merchandising, L.P., a limited partnership with Marvel Enterprises, the upcoming motion picture Spider-Man 2(tm) and the Spider-Man(tm) animated series. Additionally, SPCP properties include such theatrical titles as the highly anticipated "Underworld" and "Ultraviolet", the Academy Award winning short, "The ChubbChubbs(tm)", television properties such as "Astro Boy(tm)", "Stuart Little(tm)" animated," "Jackie Chan Adventures(tm)," and the popular game shows "Wheel of Fortune(tm)," "Jeopardy(tm)" and "Pyramid(tm)."

SPCP is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). SPE is a division of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at SonyPictures.com.

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