Bandai Namco has announced that they have acquired an 80% stake in Nippon Imports, LLC, who operate in North America as Bluefin Corp. Import collectors will know Bluefin as the company that brought collectibles from Bandai’s Tamashii Nations, Storm Collectibles and Flame Toys to North America. Under the new agreement, Bluefin will still operate under its current name.
According to the post from Anime News Network, Bandai is looking to speed up their releases outside of Japan. They are also looking to use Bluefin’s existing network to organize fan events. Bandai also announced a new subsidiary Bandai Namco Collectibles LLC, which will DBA as Bluefin and be headquartered in Anaheim, California. They will begin operations starting in January 2019.
After the jump, you can check out a translated version of the Japanese press release.
BANDAI NAMCO HD, acquires US “BLUEfin” business Established US toy business company for core fans
The BANDAI NAMCO Group moves to strengthen the market for core fans in North America. On September 19, 2018, BANDAI NAMCO Holdings announced that it will establish a new subsidiary BANDAI NAMCO Collectibles LLC focusing on the high target market in North America.
BANDAI NAMCO Collectibles is headquartered in Anaheim, California. Established in October 2018, it starts operation in January 2019. The capital is 27 million dollars. Mr. Steve Fujimura will be appointed as president and CEO, and Mr. Kanefumi Iwata of Bandai Namco America will be appointed COO.
A major advantage of the new company is that it is an importer of the local Japanese toy for establishment and receiving business transfer from retailer NIPPON IMPORTS, LLC. NIPPON IMPORTS is a “BLUEfin” brand, selling products such as figures for core fans.
The brand of BLUEfin is familiar to fans at large booth exhibitions such as comic and anime expo. In particular, they are demonstrating their strengths with the related character products of the BANDAI NAMCO Group.
BANDAI NAMCO Collectibles inherits “BLUEfin” brand and continues to deliver hobby related products to fans in North America.
Also, Steve Fujimura, president and CEO of BANDAI NAMCO Collectibles, is also CEO of NIPPON IMPORTS. The head office address of the new company is the same as the current head office of NIPPON IMPORTS. 80% of the shareholders of the new company are BANDAI NAMCO Holdings USA and 20% are NIPPON IMPORTS. In fact, establishing a new company seems to be regarded as an acquisition of BLUEfin related business by BANDAI NAMCO Group, making it a subsidiary company.
With the establishment of this subsidiary, the BANDAI NAMCO Group will be able to acquire the distribution and brands of products for core fans. On the other hand, BLUEfin side will be able to do business with expansive capital and group capabilities.
Japan’s content business is said to have less profit in proportion to the popularity of animation. It is often pointed out that sales can not be provided at the same time as the release of the work, and that the sales are not sufficient. Whether BLUEfin will change that situation, the key to future development will be relevant products. The BANDAI NAMCO Group’s challenge will draw attention.
Via: Animation Business
Please note – this article was updated to clarify the subsidiary role and Bluefin name going forward.