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|Founded||July 5, 1950|
Bandai is a Japanese toy and video game company. In addition to being one of the world's leading toy producers, it is known for being a former console manufacturer and holding the rights to the popular Gundam series.
Bandai was founded in 1950. The company expanded through the 60's and 70's, becoming one of the world's leading toy companies.
Bandai was creating consoles even during the 1970's, based on the popular game Pong. Several new machines, none of which were particularly notable, were released throughout the 80's. Eventually, the company collaborated with Apple to create the Pippin, which was released in 1995 to little success. The Pippin would be Bandai's last console. The company later discussed creating a gaming handheld, code-named the "WonderSwan." However, the system was cancelled early on due to a lack of expertise in handheld games and a lack of support from game developers. However, the Tamagotchi series of handheld digital pets proved to be a success.
A merger of Sega and Bandai was discussed in the late 1990's, but was ultimately dismissed due to cultural differences between the two companies.
Bandai purchased a majority of shares for Taito in late 2005, and soon afterwards made Taito into a subsidiary of the company.
Bandai is best known for making game adaptations of their various intellectual properties. These include games based on the Gundam, Power Rangers, and Digimon franchises alongside their original RPG Franchise, Xeno, created by former Square Director Tetsuya Takahashi. However, since their acquisition of Taito in late 2005, Bandai has expanded their library, as Taito owns the rights to popular series such as Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble. In recent years, there have been attempts to combine the two companies' series in order to profit on the combined fanbases. These attempts have included handheld and mobile games such as Space Invaders: Gundam and Digibobble.