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Bandai America Unveils Dinos, Titans, Strawberries and More at Toy Fair

Bandai America Inc., a subsidiary of the third largest toy company in the world, Bandai Co. Ltd, is unveiling its hot new toy lineup this weekend at the 2004 American International Toy Fair in New York City. The company has 13 huge brands of beloved and soon to be classic toys, as well as its entry into the popular collectible games category.

"Boys and girls of all ages will find a lineup from favorites POWER RANGERS, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, SD and GUNDAM, as well as the launch of the hip, fashionable T*Neez toyline and the fantastic TEEN TITANS line, said Bill Beebe, svp of sales and marketing, Bandai America. Consumers will see Bandai America's debut of cool, new licensed properties, including the classic character Astro Boy, and our new entry into the popular collectible card gaming arena."

Bandai America will introduce a complete line of toys to support the POWER RANGERS' 12th season, POWER RANGERS DINOTHUNDER -- which will debuted on ABC Kids on Feb. 14, 2004 -- including action figures, Megazords, vehicles, playsets, die-cast, role-play items and trading cards. The line will also include new toys, such as Raptor Cycles and ATV vehicles.

The GUNDAM line expands to include characters from the new GUNDAM SEED series, scheduled to air on Cartoon Network in early 2004. The new line features deluxe 4.5-inch action figures, 4.5-inch deluxe battle-scarred action figures with dioramas, 7.5-inch action figures, action figures with vehicles, action figure model kits and a 12-inch Mega Size Gundam.

Based on the popular DC Comics' characters and the television series from Warner Bros. Animation, the TEEN TITANS toyline will center on the core characters from the show (led by Robin), with 3.5-inch action figures available featuring an assortment of weapons and accessories. They will also come packed with vehicles and playsets based on designs from the show, including the T-Sub and Teen Titans Tower -- the headquarters of the crimefighting team. Five-inch figures will also be available, each featuring a different sound or unique action feature. Miniature Comic Book Heroes figures will be available in packages of six, and two role-play sets allowing children to become the Teen Titans are planned as well.

Bandai America's new STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE doll and toyline has been a hit with girls and moms, claiming the #3 sales status in the mini doll category. In 2004, Bandai expands the Strawberry Shortcake line of scented dolls and toys featuring exciting new themes, fashions, play environments and interactive features.

Highlights include the interactive Singin' Surprise Strawberry Shortcake, which allows girls to hear special phrases and songs when a special wand is waved across the included activity book; Berry Talkin' Apple Dumplin', Strawberry Shortcake's baby sister who learns how to talk the more that girls play with her; and a line of dessert-inspired fillies, which will also be featured in a new fall DVD release from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. New characters such as Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie will also add to the fun of collecting all of Strawberry Shortcake's berry best friends.

Bandai is also unveiling line and activities for SUPERIOR DEFENDER a new 3D animated TV show based on the property, entitled SD GUNDAM FORCE, as well as toys for ASTRO BOY, THUNDERBIRDS, JAGUN FIGHTERS, B*STYLIN' and KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC.

January 2004 marked Bandai America's entry into the hot collectible card game (CCG) category. New games based on SUPERIOR DEFENDER (SD) and KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC were released in January 2004 while CCGs for Gundam will debut in June and there is a an assortment of trading cards based on the popular POWER RANGERS property coming, the first time trading cards have been available since the first season of the TV show over a decade ago.

An entirely new division and design team has been created at Bandai America to make a unique gaming experience for fans and collectors. Distinct game play has been created for each property, rather than simply recycling the same game with new graphics for different brands. Dedicated Websites for each individual game will also be accessible to gamers online with rules, tactics, tips and even upcoming tournament information.

Bandai America is a subsidiary of Bandai Co. Ltd., the third largest toy company in the world, with more than 30 group companies in nine 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 is headquartered in Cypress, California, and company information is available at .

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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