The vibe at Bandai was really different this year. Due to the lease expiring at the toy center building, many companies had to shuffle around and find different spaces to exhibit their wares. Bandai decided to set up in a hotel this year that was only a few blocks from where we were staying.
Bandai, always the gracious hosts, treated us to a nice spread of sandwiches and deserts. We had some time to chat with the PR people and even people from Bandai directly.
Once we got into the showroom we were shown the three main lines for boys for 2007. This article will focus on the biggest brand, Power Rangers.
First off, they had the latest Megazord on display, the Dual Drive megazord. It was shown in the Drive Max Megazord packaging, but a press photo shows the final product. I spoke directly to the Bandai rep there about the fan outrage regarding the new megazords. They said they were aware of the issue and have had meetings solely about it. The consensus is that what's done is done, and at this stage of the game they can't change anything. No word whether or not we will see ALL the vehicles in this scale.
Bandai confirmed there will be a store exclusive, but were unable to disclose what toy or at what location.
The previously released Jumbo Red Ranger will be the only Jumbo released in this line, but future lines will have Jumbos in them. I said that people really like the megazords over the characters. This led into an interesting discussion about how different the US and Japanese markets are. Bandai said that the Japanese market was focused around the Megazord's while the US market was focused on the figures. The US versions had to be re-tooled because they felt that at the $39.99 price point the toy should have been bigger and had more play value (ie light and sound).
There were a few things on display that we were not allowed to take pictures of. First was the Mission Response Vehicle Playset. This playset is a giant red truck that features lights, sounds and missile launchers. You can also place 5" Mission Response action figures on the sensors in the cockpits to activate sounds and phrases in the figures. Also on display was the Mega Misssion Helmet. This is a really nice, almost show-replica helmet (not a mask, a HELMET) that you can plug into your computer via a USB hub and download missions. The missions will then play inside of the helmet (audio only) so you can re-enact your favorite missions.
Finally, for the 15th anniversary of Power Rangers, Bandai announced that they are releasing all 15 6.5" action figures in their classic paint schemes. Also to be released are three 5" figure sets that span the history of the line and come five in a package.
For more images, see
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive Toy Fair Photos (17 images)
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrice Press Kit Photos (78 images)