Bandai Announces Gundam Seed

Feb 17th 2004
NEW YORK, February 15, 2004 – The legendary Gundam property reaches a milestone year as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in Japan. First introduced to the United States market five years ago, Gundam has proved an international phenomenon, and Bandai America Incorporated marks the event with the introduction of the Gundam Seed toyline.

Based on the brand new Japanese series of the same name, Gundam Seed is different from many past Gundam incarnations due to its stand-alone storyline, making it ideal for new fans to discover the franchise. Currently the number one brand for Bandai Japan, Gundam Seed continues the property's strong legacy and comes to the U.S. in 2004, much to the delight of fans and collectors.

Gundam's remarkable success is due in large part to the faithful enhancement of our toylines to bring the intricate, ever-changing storyline to life,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Bandai America. “In this landmark year, we hope to bring even more fans on board with our toyline inspired by this brand new chapter in the Gundam saga.”

The Gundam Seed series begins a year after the outbreak of war between the Earth Alliance and the rebel space colonists known as Zaft. Radical new technologies, including advanced weapons called mobile suits, gave Zaft the edge over the Earth Alliance. With much of Earth now under the space colonist's control, the Alliance begins a desperate secret program to develop its own state-of-the-art mobile suits. Thus, Gundam Seed is born.

Bandai America's Gundam Seed assortment features an expanded line of the popular Battle-Scarred action figures with battlefield environments, the debut of a Mega Size Gundam, and the action figure model kits that have anchored the brand since its inception. Popular characters from past Gundam series will also be released throughout the year in an array of sizes, ensuring there is something for every fan's taste. Bandai America also plans to release a collectible card game based on the property later in the year.

“The fact that we're celebrating 25 years of the Gundam franchise is a testament to the power of the brand,” said Lori Moreno, senior marketing manager for Bandai America. “Audiences continue to respond to the themes of the series and the innovative designs of the toys. Gundam is a proven powerhouse, and will continue to be for many years to come.”

Gundam Seed will air Saturday evenings on Cartoon Network beginning in April 2004. In addition, Bandai Entertainment has begun discussion with potential licensing partners on the Gundam Seed property.

“We look forward to establishing a strong and fruitful relationship with potential licensees for what is certainly a landmark launch,” said Rika Davis, director of licensing for Bandai Entertainment.

In addition, Bandai Entertainment will soon unveil plans to distribute the Gundam Seed series on DVD home video beginning Fall 2004. For information on Gundam Seed, please visit the official Gundam website at www.gundamofficial.com.

About Bandai America Incorporated

Bandai America Incorporated is a subsidiary of Bandai Co., Ltd., the third largest toy company in the world, with more than 30 group companies in 9 countries. 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 celebrating its 26th year as the master toy licensee for some of the most popular properties and brands in children's toys and entertainment, including the Power Rangers, Teen Titans, Gundam, Astro Boy, Superior Defender, Strawberry Shortcake and Hello Kitty product lines. Bandai America is headquartered in Cypress, California, and company information is available at www.Bandai.com.

About Bandai Entertainment, INC.

Bandai Entertainment, INC. is the premier distributor of Japanese animation on DVD home video in North America and includes a licensing division focusing on third party licensing opportunities for Superior Defender Gundam Force, Gundam Seed, and additional anime properties. The company has distributed notable titles like .hack//SIGN, Cowboy Bebop, and Witch Hunter Robin. Bandai Entertainment, INC. is a subsidiary of Bandai America Inc. with additional company and product information is available through our website at www.bandai-ent.com.

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