Three new BEAR’GGUY Gunplas have been announced for release in February by Bandai. The new releases will include a PAPA’GGUY and two PETIT’GGUY varieties. The PAPA’GGUY (center image) sports a mature look with a top hat and cane, while the two PETIT’GGUY Gunplas, Soda Pop Blue & Ice Candy (the image on the left) and Bitter Sweet Brown (the image on the right), are both desert themed. Please note, Bandai has warned Gunpla builders that neither desert themed PETIT’GGUY is edible.
October will see the release of a High-Grade 1/144 Mobile Worker Gunpla kit. The kit is based around Gundam The Origin and will be priced at ¥1,944 or roughly $16. Expect to see the Mobile Worker Gunpla kit out in October.
A new gashapon series, Gundam Senshi DASH 02, will be offering up a new line of super deformed style figures. The Mobile Suit Figures included in the line will include the Nu Gundam, Sazabi, Crossbone Gundam X3, Crossbone Gundam X2 and a Mystery Unit. Priced at 300 Yen, the line will be released this August.
Another well known “Pocket Monster” from the original 151 Pokemon will soon have its own Bandai D-Arts figure. The grass/poison Pokemon Venusaur, who evolves from Bulbasaur and Ivysaur, will feature many points of articulation, as seen on similar D-Arts figures. The first Pokemon D-Arts figure, that of Mewtwo, was released on March 30th, 2013 while Charizard will be released in April of this year. Venusaur is set to be released in August, 2013 and will likely feature a similar price point of ¥3,990/$40, the same as the Charizard and Mewtwo D-Arts figures.
Bandai will be releasing its first Pokemon D-Arts figure, that of Mewtwo, on March 30th. Standing about 6 inches tall and priced at roughly $40, the D-Arts Mewtwo features an impressive degree of articulation, which allows the figures hands and tail a great range of motion. Also included are a small figure of Mew as well as a accessory that shows the effect of one of Mewtwo’s moves. April will see the release of three more D-Arts Pokemon figures; Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur.
$14.6 billion. That is the estimated market capitalization of privately held toy maker LEGO. This makes the Danish company the world’s most valuable toy manufacturer by market capitalization, just ahead of American firm Mattel, which is valued at $14.4 billion, while Hasbro trails far behind both companies with a value of $5.4 billion. Japanese toy manufacturers Bandai and Tomy had a value of roughly $3.85 billion and $520 million respectively while Canadian firm Mega Brands, manufacturer of Mega Bloks, had a market capitalization slightly over $200 million.
Led by CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO saw revenues rise 25% last year and manufactured an impressive 45.7 billion bricks. LEGO’s greatly expanded its product offerings in recent years adding themes based on licenses such as The Lone Ranger, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Marvel and DC Superheroes. It has also created new original properties such as Friends, Ninjago and Chima. LEGO stores have also proliferated across North America and Europe.
The Kristiansen family, which owns LEGO, controls its stake through Kirkbi A/S, an investment company headquartered in the same town as LEGO, Billund, Denmark. Kirkbi also owns 36% of Merlin Entertainments Group; the owner of the LEGOLAND theme parks and Discovery Centers among other attractions around the world. Merlin Entertainments Group recently opened two new LEGOLAND theme parks, one in Florida and another in Malaysia as well as a LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Toronto, Canada with plans for another in New Jersey.