(written from a Production point of view)
Bandai Co., Ltd. (pronounced BAN-dye) is a Japanese corporation specializing in toys, games, models, and videos. They are best known as the company responsible for the international distribution of toys which are based on Japanese properties such as Godzilla, Gundam, Tamagotchi, Sailor Moon, Power Rangers, and the US animated Teen Titans series.
Founded in 1950 to produce tin toys, Bandai has become the world's third largest toy producer (right behind US companies Mattel and Hasbro) with holdings and subsidiaries all over the world. Recently, Bandai merged with video game developer and producer Namco (best known as the makers of the Pac-Man video game) to become Namco Bandai Holdings, Inc.
Bandai was the exclusive UK and European distributor of the Playmates Toys line of Star Trek toys and action figures. The company marketed the figures in two versions. For the UK, French, and Spanish markets, the figures were released on similar blister cards to the US and Canadian releases. The German action figures were released in unique "windowbox" packaging.
The company also began to produce a Star Trek V: The Final Frontier video game for use with the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989 but the game was not fully completed nor released to retail. The incomplete game is available as a simulated ROM for use with Nintendo emulator programs on modern computers and is inconsistent with many elements of the film.
Star Trek starship model kits
During 2003 and 2004 , Bandai produced a small line of Star Trek model kits. These kits featured pre-painted snap-together models with lighting kits included. What made these kits remarkable was that they were Bandai originals and were not associated with traditionally-licensed model kit producers like AMT/Ertl or Revell-Monogram. The model ships were molded in different scales than most previous versions, too.
Bandai's designers were given access to the original studio models for their research and had the input of Star Trek designers John Eaves, Rick Sternbach, and Doug Drexler. Their comments were included in the instruction sheets which helped the modeler to more accurately build the models. Unlike many original Japanese productions which are normally intended for the home market, these kits were created to be international releases as the instruction sheets are translated into five languages.
|Starship Model Kit Line|
|USS Enterprise (refit)||1:850||2003||116192|
|USS Enterprise-A||2004||124915||Essentially a re-issue of 116192 with decals for sister vessels|
|USS Voyager||131434||Small production run, making this release quite rare|
Star Trek Deck Building Game
In 2011, Bandai announced the release of a new Star Trek card game, the Star Trek Deck Building Game. The "Premiere Edition", a "complete-in-the-box" three-hundred-card game set in the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation, was released on 7 October 2011.