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Toy Fair 2016: Bandai

Bandai-Power-rangers-Toy-FaBandai has proven that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Using the slogan “Find Your Power”, Bandai charges ahead with year 2 of Power Rangers: Dino Charge. Like years past, this means upgraded gear, new rangers, new weapons, new zords, and new and exciting action. On the dedicated girl’s front, Bandai is going all out for a new series called Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. As the chief partner for toy production, expect all sorts of product for this new Korean-French animated series. With Bandai, things seem to change and stay the same, all at once.

Power Rangers: Dino Charge is continuing with a winning formula. On display were numerous variations of all 10 power rangers, from basic figures to dino steel and armored upgrades. There are also deluxe vehicles and rangers sets to maximize play value with the numerous dino chargers available. Joining the first 6 are the purple, silver, graphite and aqua rangers. These will be available in 5-inch and 12-inch scales. The villains have proven to be a huge success, so expect new entries peppered in as well, minus the much-requested Poisandra sadly. Where is a Toys R Us box set when we need them?

The Legacy collection expands to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers year 2. With the White Tigerzord, the Thunder Megazord arrives at a hefty $199 MSRP. Also on display were the just-released Blade Blaster (accidentally on clearance at your local Toys R Us, if you head over now), the Falconzord, and the black and gold Dragonzord. Bandai is expanding the movie morphers, issuing pink, red, and blue morphers. Yellow and black morphers should be assumed to see release later. The customizable wrist communicator rounds out this impressive lineup. There will also be yet another re-introduction of the Classic Power Rangers action figure collection. This time they pledge to have a long-term commitment, with no stops and starts, collect-and-connect Zord pieces, and impressive articulation. A few prototypes were on display, but the 6.5-inch scale they decided on were slightly too big, and not true 6-inch scale. Hopefully, along with the sculpting changes to come, the scale can be revisited as well. If they wanted to stand toe-to-toe with other 6-inch action figures, these teenagers need to be shortened.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is the story of young heroine Marinette, a fashion designer-turned-crime fighter.called Ladybug with the aid of her Kwami named Tikki. She is fighting alongside her civilian secret crush Adrien (disguised at Cat Noir). Together they thwart the plans of the evil Hawk Moth. The toy offerings of Bandai keep it very targeted. Fully articulated action figures and dolls include Marinette, Adrien, as well as their Ladybug and Cat Noir personas, respectively. With the dolls come their Kwamis, the beings responsible for their powers: Tikki and Plagg. The series has been greenlit for seasons 2 and 3, so where the show (and toys) goes is anybody’s guess. There are enough dolls and action figures to satisfies boys’ and girls’ tastes.

What is fascinating about Bandai’s licenses is that they incorporate play for both genders. Brothers can play and identify with Adrien or Cat Noir while girls can join the Power Rangers action as the pink or purple ranger. Not too many licenses really cater to both genders equally and Bandai had traversed these waters expertly. It gives a whole new dimension to “there’s something for everyone”.

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