March 26, 2024

Bandai Plans to Open More Than 80 Stores Handling Capsule Toys Overseas in the Fiscal Year Ending March 2025

New stores will be established mainly in the US, bringing the number of overseas stores to 130, 2.6 times the current number. The domestic capsule toy market is expected to reach a record high in the fiscal year ending March 2024, mainly due to a recovery in visitors to Japan. Bandai is hurrying to develop overseas markets against the backdrop of the global popularity of Japanese animation.

Bandai has 50 stores in the US, Europe, and Asia and will expand its store network around Los Angeles to ensure efficient product delivery. Anime such as "Mobile Suit Gundam" and "Dragon Ball" are popular locally, and sales of related products are expected to increase.

Ryota Katano, Deputy General Manager of the Vendor Division, analyzes, "Overseas, there is no culture of purchasing miniature products from vending machines, and this was a rare occurrence, leading to this hit."

The capsule toy market in Japan is substantial. According to the Japan Toy Association, the fiscal year ending March 2023 was the largest ever, at 61 billion yen, a 36% increase from the previous year. The industry magazine Monthly Toy Journal estimates another 20% increase to about 75 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March 2024.

The domestic market believes that "We've already made inroads in the major commercial centers" (Aeon Fantasy), and overseas business will become more important in the future. To expand overseas, the question will be whether sales can be tailored to each country, such as with cashless payment support and exclusive medals.