Bandai America Expands Core Brands & Unveils New Homegrown Property At The 2005 American International Toy Fair
Toy Company Bandai America Inc. Grows its Business Through Core Brand Extensions,
Focusing on New Categories & Toy Aisles For Some of Today’s Favorite
Bandai America Incorporated - a subsidiary of the third largest toy company in the world, Bandai Co. Ltd. - is set to unveil its new portfolio of brands at the 2005 American International Toy Fair in New York City on February 20-23, 2005. The company announced that it is expanding its business by growing its current slate of core brands, which includes powerhouses Power Rangers and Teen Titans for boys, and Strawberry Shortcake and Tamagotchi Connection for girls.
In addition, Bandai America will unveil a new toy property based on the television series created by sister company Bandai Entertainment Incorporated, a leading provider of anime home entertainment. Entitled D.I.C.E. (DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises), the homegrown brand is set to conquer the boys’ category with action figures, vehicles and role-play items, as well as additional licensed products.
“We are aggressively expanding the reach of our brands into new categories and toy aisles. Power Rangers will see a major expansion in its role-play toys and Strawberry Shortcake is growing into the baby dolls aisle, capitalizing on a popular play pattern among girls. In addition, we are increasing our recently established collectible games division with some exciting new licenses,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bandai America Incorporated. “Bandai America is also gearing up for the launch of D.I.C.E., which is extremely unique in that the animation, toys and video games are all being created by the various divisions of one company.”
Power Rangers SPD
Known for protecting the Earth from evil, a new team of Power Rangers is here to stop a mysterious wave of crime that has engulfed the world. The Interplanetary Chief of Police has hired five top-notch teenage officers to take on the case as Power Rangers Space Patrol Delta.
For more than 13 years, Power Rangers has remained one of the top boys’ action brands as a result of its dynamic toy line and use of popular themes that resonate with kids. To support the new police-themed season, Bandai America is introducing a massive line of toys, including a major expansion in the role-play category, new novelty figures, and more cycles and ATVs that are featured in the show. The new season debuts in February 2005, airing 17 times a week on ABC Kids and the Jetix boys action block on ABC Family and Toon Disney.
Bandai America’s Teen Titans toy line was the surprise hit of 2004, and fans are sure to be thrilled to see the expansion of merchandise and characters planned for the new season. Based on the popular DC Comics’ characters and airing weekly to tremendous ratings on Cartoon Network and Kids’ WB!, Teen Titans features five superheroes with special powers and abilities, but who still cope with the challenges of adolescence. While the product line’s core 3.5” action figures - as well as 1.5” and 5” figures - will be refreshed with a breadth of new characters, 10” figures and the 6.5” “Super Deformed” pals are set to debut. Other new products include the T-Robo deluxe transforming vehicle/playset; role-play sets that include communicators and other accessories featuring the various characters; and a collectible card game.
A new brand from Bandai America, D.I.C.E. is a futuristic adventure with loads of transforming dinobreakers based on the dynamic entertainment property developed by sister company Bandai Entertainment Inc. and airing on Cartoon Network. D.I.C.E. (DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises) is a large corporation established to deal with emergencies occurring throughout the Sarbylion galaxy. D.I.C.E. F-99 is the only unit comprised entirely of highly trained kids. When a problem arises, the team is called to the rescue and they get the job done with the help of their Dinobreakers. Bandai America’s lineup includes 4.5” action figures, 12” electronic action figures and a variety of role-play items including electronic swords and “Gild Suit” costume accessories. The heart of the property lies in the vehicles, with Machine Runners, Attackers and Defenders capable of transforming to “dino” mode when needed. Bandai Video Games will also release a title based on the D.I.C.E. property in the Fall.
For more than 25 years, the legendary Japanese property Gundam has engaged fans throughout the world with intricate plots, amazing animation and technological designs of futuristic mobile suits that push the envelope. Bandai America marks the sixth year of the property in the U.S. with the extension of the Gundam Seed toy line. The TV series of the same name, which is the latest in the Gundam series, is different from past incarnations due to its stand-alone storyline, making it ideal for new fans to discover the franchise. The product line features an expanded collection of Battle-Scarred action figures and the action figure model kits that have anchored the property since its inception. Bandai America’s cards division also plans to expand its recently released Gundam War collectible card game later in the year.
Pretty princesses, fabulous fairies and beautiful ballerinas, oh my! Strawberry Shortcake is now the belle of the ball with a new collection of scented dolls and toys featuring the fun theme of “dress up.” Join the berry best friends as they put on an imaginative play and host a costume party with all the make-believe characters that girls love. Now in its third year since the brand’s triumphant return, Strawberry Shortcake has become an evergreen property that “lets little girls be little girls,” yet appeals to fans of all ages. The new product line features lots of new characters, including Rainbow Sherbert, Peppermint Fizz, Coco Calypso and Seaberry Delight, as well as themed dolls, a playset, plush, a new delightful castle and an interactive Strawberry Shortcake doll that has light up jewels.
Strawberry Shortcake Baby Dolls
Growing sweeter all the time, Bandai America is expanding its Strawberry Shortcake brand into a new play pattern this Fall with the launch of Strawberry Shortcake Baby Dolls. As one of the first licensed properties of its kind, the product line offers an adorable collection of baby doll versions of Strawberry Shortcake and friends that girls can dress, feed and love like their very own. In addition to 6” Berry Mini Babies, the new product line features a 12” My First Strawberry Shortcake Baby and a 12” Berry Sweet Kisses Strawberry Shortcake doll that blows kisses and makes a cute smooching sound when you squeeze her tummy. Strawberry Shortcake Baby Dolls will be launched with the world’s sweetest baby shower, generating anticipation for the arrival of these new bundles of joy.
Tamagotchi Connection Version 2
The virtual pet phenomenon that swept the nation in the mid-1990s made its highly awaited return last year as one of the top holiday must-haves. In 2005, the popular egg-shaped toy that simulates the life cycle of a real pet is back with new colors, games, features and more interactivity than ever before. In addition to the infrared technology that allows Tamagotchi Connection owners to “connect” with others to create successive new generations, you can now earn “Gotchi” points which can be used to shop for special treats, items and food. The new version also includes secret codes that can be unlocked by pushing a special sequence of buttons, which then allows you to shop for a unique item not available through Gotchi points. If you unlock all the secret codes, your Tamagotchi becomes immortal and a next generation is guaranteed. Special two-packs, called Tamagotchi Connection Best Friends Forever, will be available with a special gift so that best friends can immediately start sharing treats and interacting.
After experiencing a successful debut last year, Bandai America’s emerging collectibles games division is expanding in 2005 with the launch of some highly anticipated new games. Three of the properties represent exciting new licenses for Bandai America: Teen Titans, Gundam and Japan’s hottest card craze, Zatch Bell!. In addition, the CG division is releasing a new expansion for its popular Digimon brand, as well as featuring its unique collectible miniature game called Navia Dratp.
About Bandai America Incorporated
Bandai America Incorporated is a subsidiary of Bandai Co. Ltd., the third largest toy company in the world, with 30 subsidiaries in 13 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 Incorporated is the master toy licensee of some of the most popular properties and brands in children's toys and entertainment, including the Power Rangers, D.I.C.E., Teen Titans, Strawberry Shortcake and Tamagotchi product lines. Bandai America is headquartered in Cypress, California and company information is available at www.Bandai.com