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Mighty Morphin’ Namco Bandai

John Stith
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-02

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Bandai and Namco announced they would be merging in a $1.7 billion deal, making them stronger in the epic battles of Japanese toy companies. The merger would put them in the #3 spot of largest toy makers in Japan.

Bandai is best known for its lines of toys for children including the Power Rangers, Digimon, and the Teen Titans. The toys lines are built around action figures and dolls, TV series and DVDs and some games. Namco owns the rights to many classic arcade games including the PAC-MAN line and currently publish dozens of titles for various game consoles and some amusement parks in Japan. This move will put the company in a much stronger position in the insanely competitive Japanese toy market.

This merger marks one of several in the Japanese entertainment industry in recent years. Bandai tried to merger with Sega a few years ago but the deal didn't go. Sega ended up joining forces with Sammy, a pachinko machine maker. In 2003, NAMCO and Sega tried to merge as well but that deal didn't work either. Nintendo and Sega/Sammy will be the only two companies ahead of the new toy conglomerate.

One of the biggest benefits for the two companies will be no real overlap in toy lines. Their markets have been different so this will allow them expand a great deal and attempt some crossover market tricks. The Digimon/PAC-MAN team up still hasn't been mentioned though.

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About the Author:
John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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