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September 24, 2004

Diamond Forges Strategic Partnership with Japanese Toy Giant Bandai

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 11:18 am

Press release from Diamond Comic Distributors:

Beginning with the October cover-dated issue of Previews (Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.’s monthly catalog), a wealth of previously unavailable Japanese toys and models will now be available to western collectors, competitively priced, and available through comics specialty shops throughout North America!

It was with great excitement and enthusiasm that representatives of Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. and Japanese toy manufacturing giant, Bandai Co. Ltd., recently formed a strategic partnership to bring many of Bandai’s incredible toys and models to western shores. “This has been something we’ve been working towards for many years now,” stated Bill Schanes, Diamond Vice President of Purchasing. “We’re extremely pleased to finally have Bandai of Japan aboard with us.” As Japanese toy enthusiasts and collectors around the world know, Bandai is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sci-fi and anime-related toys, models, and collectibles, but many of their most desirable items have remained out of reach to most western collectors.

The October issue of Previews features the first wave of toys and models from Bandai Japan, including fourteen all-new Gundam Seed model kits, and the latest releases in their world-renowned “Soul of Chogokin” (SOC) line. Bandai’s SOC line is one of the most popular die-cast series in the toy company’s long history. Part retro/tribute to the “chogokin” (metal or die-cast) toys of the ’70s, and part modern marvels, the SOC series brings the stars of Japan’s most popular and legendary animated series to life as high-end, ultra-detailed die-cast toys, all featuring an unheard-of level of articulation and craftsmanship.

Future releases from Diamond and Bandai will include:

  • Soul of Chogokin: Super Robots such as Mazinger Z characters Garada K-7, Doublas M-2, and the “Mazinger’s Angels” trio of Minerva-X, Diana-A, and Venus-A. Also scheduled for 2005 are high-end die-cast figures of Neon Genesis Evangelion’s EVAs!
  • Soul of Popynica: “Popynica” are die-cast vehicles and figures made in the classic style of Bandai ancestor, Popy, and are based on classic and recent anime, such as Kaneda’s Motorcyle from Akira.
  • SIC/Super Imaginative Chogokin: Hyper-detailed figures (usually with a motorcycle or vehicle) including the family of Kamen Rider characters.
  • Gundam Fix Figuration: Deluxe, highly-articulated action figures of Gundam Mobile Suits, packed with weapons and accessories.

“These are the toys that collectors have been paying extremely high prices for online,” said Frank Supiot, Import Toys Brand Manager, “but now collectors will have an all-new source for SOCs: their local comic shop. DCD is working with Bandai Japan to bring these toys to the hardcore collectors, as these items will not be made available through mass market chain stores such as Wal Mart, Target, or Toys R Us.”

Fans can find these and other great products at their local comics shop, or by contacting the Comic Shop Locator Service toll free at 1-888-COMICBOOK (1-888-266-4226), or by visiting them online.

Retailers interested in this unique product should contact Michel Buster by phone at 1-410-560-7112, ext. 308, or by e-mail at

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