Why is Bandai ignoring us... ?

Hi everyone,

It just frustrates me to see how a huge company like Bandai with all the Gundam / Gunpla products is ignoring the international EU / US markets. At least somehow they are… instructions for Gunplas not even in english? No magazines for us, no translations, no books for us. Why is that? Why are they so strictly only in Japan with nothing else provided for international customers? They must see that there is some hype going on and the stuff is being shipped worldwide and sold nearly everywhere.

And even with new Animes / TV shows coming up, you need to hope that at least it gets english subs… I don’t get this kind of thinking :frowning:

Bandai essentially shut down their “outside japan” divison. And even then, they don’t really care. Cost alot of money to licsence and dub everything, they barely ever broke even on it so they shut down a division that wasn’t making them money.

Exactly what Exia said, outside of Japan, Gundam fans are few and far between, so why dish out the money for something that isn’t going to gain profit, it’s a business.

I don’t think that is true, from what I can read on the web there is a massive world wide community… but not only for Gundam, this counts for nearly everything, there is a huge community for Animes / Mangas but only a part gets translated.

But of course, without any marketing or promotion why should someone know Gundam better in EU for example… this is a huge market with much potential but it seems that they just don’t care for it or lack the know-how on how to make profit :wink:

Yeah of course if you look on the internet you’re going to find what seems to be allot of people who like the same thing.

And there is a good ammount of Gundam and Anime fans in general but how many of them are big enough to really keep going and warrent the adding costs of Dubing, Licenseing and marketing added on geting an Anime popular especially outside of Japan? I mean it all can’t be as big as DBZ, Naruto, Bleach and One Piece can it?

I can at least speak for the US, you can ask most people here what Gundam is and odds are they’ll either say ‘Big Robots’ or ‘What the f*** is Gundam’ most likely the second one, granted that’s just in my experience.

There are billions of people on this planet, anything less than 10 million is a small amount IMO. Even if there are a few million worldwide fans, it’s not really alot on the grand scheme.

It’s kind of like that here too. Gundam SEED aired on a local channel years back, and I think 00 did too, yet nobody could give a damn for it.

I can also speak for some of my overseas friends. When I bring up Gundam, or any mecha related subject, they simply go dark about it. All I get is ‘cool’ or ‘nice’.

This is just South Africa. We have a small anime following here, I’m sure there are other gundam fans, but less than several hundred.
We don’t have anything related to Gundam in hobby stores, everything is sports related.
Sports are the only thing the muscleheads can do in this country -_-

But yes, as for Edimasta’s original statement, you won’t get much support in the western world. A lot of shows usually get english subs, if fan subbed.
You must realize it’s not the fault of the Japanese producers, but international distributers for not supporting it.

Also another thing feel I should point out is while there may be a lot of people as you say how many of them are actually willing to buy things? I’m sure the amount of people who buy gundam DVDs pales in comparison to the amount that watch it on the internet for free. Also the fact that 00 and Gundam seed failed to attract anyone is bad news. I mean those are two of the most recent series with the some of coolest designs of the whole of the gundam series. Also very action based and dramatic. If that didn’t get some people in then I don’t think there’s much hope. Like someone else said it’s a business. This is the real world. Unless it’s profitable and easy it’s not gonna happen.

I’d rather Bandai put in a little effort to make Gunpla more accessible outside of Japan.

This Bandai Hobby Online business entirely shuts out non-Japanese fans who don’t have the money to use a middleman service. I really wanted MG Tallgeese II too…

Um i’m sorry but how is that different from any of the other limited models or any of them really? The fact that it’s expensive shuts out people abroad who can’t buy and limited editions are always expensive.

I echo what Exia and ZRC said: Bandai simply doesn’t see the profit from international markets.

Like you said before, it’s not just with Gundam too. Macross is another fine example of this kind of focus and unlike Gundam, a US company actually has a license for the darn franchise right now. And yet, very little of the related products are available. The 1/60 figures from Macross Frontier? Almost impossible to obtain outside of Japan and those that are available are very pricey and extremely limited, but they’re readily available at brick-and-mortar stores in their home country. HLJ themselves even said Bandai doesn’t care about anything outside Japan in response to someone’s letter about why such products are so difficult to get.

Without doing any extensive marketing research, we’ll never really know how much demand there is everywhere else for Gundam. We may get the impression that there’s a huge market for it, but perhaps we’re only seeing a small picture.

You’ve already depicted a few points here.

However, Gundam is widely popular in Asia. Browsing on Facebook, I usually notice many Asians (mostly people residing in Indonesia, the Philipines and China) discussing about Gundam.
Additionally, there are many officially approved and licensed fan clubs in Asia.
Consequently, I take it that Gundam is distributed and published better than it is in the US.

That being said, there is still one thing that leaves me wondering about what Bandai’s intentions are.

There are no Gundam fan clubs in the US.

There is one in Europe! Precisely speaking, there is one in Italy

Their intentions? Did you even read the thread man? They don’t have any. They just don’t care.

I’d read the thread.
What I attempted to indicate was that the Japanese might hate America for what they did in WWII.

Something like : The intention not to plan on any further service for America and (subsequently) Europe.

Japan is withholding Gundam shows and models from the US as retribution for WWII? I don’t mean disrespect but that seems pretty silly. The US and Japan have good political relations. I think a lot of Japanese people are fascinated by American pop culture as younger Americans are with Japanese culture. I would think any resentment left over from the 40’s has lessened over multiple generations by now. Of course I have no evidence to prove any of this.
Like others have said it just comes down to not losing any more money on a market that doesn’t provide sales.

That’s the main argument though.

But Italy, in spite of their comparably small amount of fans, has an offically licensed fan club whereas America doesn’t.

I’m wondering why that is.

EDIT : Coming to think about it, my WWII thingy sounds a little stupid. (You can never know for certain though)

I’Ve just collected some facts about Italy and come to the conclusion why they have their own fan club.

First of all : According to some reports I’ve read recently, they consist of 200 members. (That’s not many, right?)

But :

Italy is an anime-friendly nation.
They’ve been producing animes in cooperation with Japan for many years now.
Italians especially fancy older animes.
You can find anime stuff everywhere in Italy
The head (or one important member) of theirs owns many kits. If I recall correctly, he’s in the top 5 of those possessing the most gunpla kits.


But isn’t this just paradox… or naivity? Why is the market not providing sales? Obviously because they don’t do anything to create a market… they just ignore the whole international market. Instead of pushing every TV show of Gundam outside and generate awareness they do the opposit. If you want to earn more money you need to invest money, but maybe the Japanese just think different here.

And the model kits are just awesome, I have never had so great kits that move so good, are perfectly articulated, have great quality parts and are hell of a lot of fun to build. Why is no one aware of this in Europe or the US for example? We have millions of model builders…

I guess there’s a small one in italy, with an offical fan club situtated there.
Yeah, this is a little contradictory.

But hey I’ve got another idea :

As Bandai is going to create Gundam: The Origin as an anime next year, wouldn’t it be shrewd to make it a show published worldwide ?

I have to agree with this. I’m seeing official releases in italy as I’m reading wiki’s for plenty of old anime, like Grendizer.

Completely agree with you about the kits. Have you seen the instructions on how to build a typical non-Japanese model kit? It’s nowhere near the same level of ease and comprehension as your average gunpla instruction manual. They’re certainly getting better, but the fact stands. It does make you wonder why that kind of simplicity isn’t being taken advantage of. No need to market them to the typical kid when you have plenty of hobbyists around that are willing to take the chance at them.

As for market awareness, I think there are just too many factors we don’t know of that are affecting Bandai’s decision and it could be that their train of thought is to keep things local. They’re obviously doing well enough to last this long.