Dragon Ball Z® Fans Celebrate the Return of Bandai America to the Hit Anime Series from FUNimation® Entertainment
Action Figure Leader Bandai America Inc. Makes its Triumphant Return as the Property's Master Toy Licensee
(CYPRESS, CA - October 30, 2007) - A proven leader in the action figure and youth electronics categories, Bandai America Incorporated today announced that it is returning to FUNimation Entertainment's Dragon Ball Z franchise as the North American master toy licensee. Fans of all ages are poised to see one of their favorite brands, considered one of the most successful anime properties from Japan, recapture the excitement since Bandai America's last Dragon Ball Z lineup in 2000.
"We are proud of this partnership with Bandai America and we look forward to unveiling the new line," said Bob Brennan, director of licensing at FUNimation Entertainment. "We are confident that together with Bandai we can move into the new era of Dragon Ball Z."
"Beginning Spring 2008, the Dragon Ball Z toy line will be reborn like no one has ever seen before," said Colleen Sherfey, director of marketing, Bandai America. "With our expertise in action figures, existing fans will have their ravenous demand for exclusive Dragon Ball products satiated, while new kids will be drawn in by the unique play patterns and toys."
The Dragon Ball franchise consists of three dynamic sagas, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, and is one of the most successful anime properties of all time. The franchise was first created by Akira Toriyama as a "manga" or comic in the 1980's. Since then, it has exploded into a global phenomenon that has generated more than $4 billion in merchandising sales.
The Dragon Ball Z saga follows the adventures of Goku, who along with the Z Warriors, defends the Earth against evil. The action-packed adventures are not only entertaining, but they reinforce the concepts of good triumphing over evil, teamwork, loyalty and trustworthiness. The series airs today on Cartoon Network, as it has since the saga first debuted in the U.S. back in 1998.
The immensely popular Dragon Ball franchise is also the gold standard of anime-based video games, with more than 25 different games and over 10 million units sold since May 2002. For the upcoming holiday season, Atari will release "Dragon Ball Z Budokai™ Tenkaichi 3" for the PlayStation®2 and Nintendo Wii™. For more information on Dragon Ball Z, visit the official Web site at www.dragonballz.com.
About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for home entertainment sales of Japanese animation in the United States. The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights with its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, Internet, home video sales and distribution. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, please visit www.Funimation.com.
About Bandai America Inc.
A leader in introducing Japanese toy trends to the United States, Bandai America Incorporated is a subsidiary of NAMCO BANDAI Holdings (USA) Inc., an entity that resulted from the integration of Namco Ltd. and Bandai Co. Ltd. of Japan. Global interests encompass six strategic business units: toys and hobby (toys, models, apparel and sundries), amusement facilities, game content (home and arcade console gaming), network (mobile phone and PC content), visual and music content (including home entertainment), and an affiliated business group. Bandai America is the manufacturer and master toy licensee of some of the most popular brands in children's toys and entertainment today, including Power Rangers, Ben 10™, Dragon Ball Z®, Tamagotchi® and Girlz Connect. The company is headquartered in Cypress, California and information is available at www.Bandai.com.