Bandai Co. Ltd. (founded in 1950) is a Japanese toy making company and is the world's third largest producer of toys. After the merger with video game developer and producer Namco, Bandai Co. Ltd. is now under the management of Namco Bandai Holdings Inc.
Some of the early tin plate toys are highly collectible.
Since the 1980s, Bandai has become the leading toy company of Japan, and to this day, has the main toy licenses in Japan to popular properties including Daikaiju, Ultraman, Mazinger, Kamen Rider, the Super Sentai Series (which they took part in creating), Gundam and many others.
|July 1950||President Naoharu Yamashina founds Bandai, based in the Kikuya-bashi region of Asakusa in Taito Ward, Tokyo|
|Paid-in capital ¥1 million. Mainly selling celluloid toys, metallic toys (passenger cars), and rubber swimming rings.|
|September 1950||First original Bandai product launched: the Rhythm Ball.|
|March 1951||Export sales commence.|
|April 1951||First original Bandai metallic toy launched: the B-26.|
|April 1953||As exports expand, new shipment and warehousing facilities constructed in nearby Komagata.|
|July 1953||Product inspection department established to perform quality control checks on all products.|
|R&D department established to improve quality of metallic toy range and develop new products.|
|Transport division (forerunner of Bandai Logipal) commences operations.|
|January 1955||Waraku Works established|
|June 1955||New company office built in Komagata 2-chome, Asakusa, Taito Ward.|
|Company logo created using the initials BC (Bandai Company).|
|September 1955||Inaugural issue of "Bandai-ya BC News" (PR letter)|
|November 1955||Bandai launches a product guarantee system-an industry-first-in conjunction with the Toyopet Crown (1956 version) model car.|
|July 1958||First TV advertisement airs with the catch-phrase "the Red Box means a BC-guaranteed toy."|
|July 1959||"Cars of the World" model car series launched.|
|Company logo stressing emphasis on product quality (commonly known as the "Banzai mark") created.|
What's it worth? Take a look at this Bandai Thunderbirds price guide: sold listings for a value indication.