Bandai/Namco & Bluefin To Grow North American Market Share In Collectibles/Hobby/Toy Arena
Leading Japanese Toy & Collectibles Company Acquires Bluefin Distribution
Source: Bluefin Corp., MediaLab press release
Special Thanks to Erik Jansen
BANDAI NAMCO Collectibles LLC, a newly established dedicated division of one of the world’s leading toy and collectibles brands, BANDAI NAMCO, enters 2019 poised to take advantage of significant recent company developments aimed at strengthening and expanding its market share and further enhancing its business geared to the substantial toy and hobby customer base across North America.
A crucial component of Bandai’s North American strategy has been the acquisition of Nippon Imports LLC (DBA: Bluefin Distribution) wherein great synergies are expected from the expertise and resources offered by both companies, Bandai and Bluefin Distribution. Led by its CEO, Steve Fujimura, Bluefin Distribution has made its mark in the industry by becoming one of the leading distributors and promoters of the toy collectibles and hobby segments. Brand equity and retailer loyalty led BANDAI NAMCO Collectibles LLC to retain the Bluefin name. Mr. Fujimura continues his leadership role as CEO in this new organization and partners with COO, Koji Iwata, a Bandai Senior Vice President with extensive international experience in the toy industry.
Based in Anaheim, CA, Bluefin is a leading master and channel distributor of Japanese toys, collectibles, novelty and hobby products. The company’s extensive catalog is stocked with diverse, high quality and popular collectibles and other products, including action figures and model kits, from a variety of renowned BANDAI product lines. Bluefin is also the exclusive channel distributor for other renowned collectibles brands including Storm Collectibles, and is the official North American consumer products and retail development partner for Studio Ghibli, and the exclusive distributor for Mr. Hobby/GSI, SEN-TI-NEL, and Flame Toys.
For 2019, BANDAI and Bluefin are developing several key initiatives to support top tier product releases from Bandai Spirits Tamashii Nations and Hobby that are based on powerhouse properties such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Star Wars and Godzilla (for Tamashii Nations). There will be also be a continued focus on the booming Dragon Ball product lines from Bandai’s Shokugan, Hobby and Tamashii Nations lines.
To drive efforts on the marketing side, Adam Newman has been appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer of Bluefin. Mr. Newman previously served as the Senior Director of Brand Management for the Tamashii Nations Brand at Bandai America and previously oversaw the brand’s launch in Western markets from Bandai’s Collectors Toy Department in Tokyo. He will now oversee North American sales and marketing efforts for all of Bluefin’s brands.
“In today’s digital age, both core and casual collectible consumers in North America have greater access to import product lines than ever before,” says Newman. “We look forward to cultivating these demographics even more with engaging promotional activity and a broader scope of product availability.”
The Bluefin acquisition provides a full range of wholesale and channel distribution services and support, including warehousing, fulfillment and customer service. It also will strengthen sales and expand the company’s extensive localized hobby retail distribution network.
Bluefin is a leading master and channel distributor of Japanese toys, collectibles, novelty and hobby products. The company’s extensive product line features a diverse and continually expanding catalog of high quality and popular collectibles from Asia. As a Bandai Namco group company, Bluefin distributes products in the U.S. for Bandai Tamashii Nations, Hobby and Shokugan. The company’s array of brand offerings also includes products from Storm Collectibles, Mr. Hobby/GSI, SEN-TI-NEL and Flame Toys, for which the company is the North American exclusive distributor. Bluefin is also the official North American consumer products and retail development partner for Studio Ghibli. Additional company information is available at bluefinbrands.com.