Bandai Namco is one of the world's largest toy manufacturers, although toys and games form only part of its diverse range. The company was formed in 2005 from the merger of toy and entertainment developer Bandai with videogame and amusement arcade designer Namco. The resulting group produces a wide range of electronic games, toys and action figures based on its collection of character franchises including Dragon Ball, Mobile Suit Gundam, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and others, as well as the universally popular Pac-Man, who celebrates his 40th anniversary in 2020. The group mostly produces toys for boys, but its girls' range includes Tamagotchi "virtual pets". Among its newer concepts is music-themed game and TV series IDolish7 about a boy band pop group. The toy business is in turn supported by an extensive entertainment division which produces games for home consoles, mobiles and amusement arcades, as well as character-based cartoon series for TV. The group also manages, either outright or with partners, an extensive chain of almost 1,600 amusement arcades, mostly in Japan. Among its large range of other products is the celebrated pocket board game Othello, based on the traditional game Reversi. Group revenues for the year ending March 2020 were approx $6.6bn, with more than 80% of sales generated within Japan. Toys and board games accounted for around $2.1bn. The biggest contribution to revenues - around $2.8bn - comes from what the group describes as network entertainment, primarily character-based games for smartphones, PCs and consoles. Merchandise, games and content for Dragon Ball from across all the group's divisions accounted for over $1.2bn in sales and Mobile Suit Gundam for another $715m. Mitsuaki Taguchi is group president. Namco was founded by Masaya Nakamura in 1955 to develop mechanical rides for amusement parks, but really hit its stride with the invention of the Pac-Man acarde video game in 1980. Bandai also started in the 1950s, making racing cars and model kits. It found its own niches with the introduction of merchandise tied in to its own or other developers' TV cartoon series.
Capsule checked 3rd November 2020
Who are the competitors of Bandai? see Toys & Games Sector index
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