After 25 years, Saban has decided to cut ties with Bandai!

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Saban Brands is making a big shift in its toy business and has decided to part ways with Bandai.

Bandai America has created the Power Rangers toys for 25 years, but Saban Brands announced today that it will not be renewing its partnership with Bandai as of April 2019. The official statement is included below.

"After a successful 25-year partnership building the iconic action franchise, Power Rangers, Saban Brands and Bandai have mutually agreed not to renew their global Power Rangers master toy license agreement, effective April 2019. Bandai will continue to support Power Rangers, including the 2018 commemoration of the Power Rangers 25th anniversary and the current season, Super Ninja Steel. In addition, Bandai, through its partnership with Toei Company Ltd., will continue to exploit toy rights for the Super Sentai series, which has enjoyed over 40 years of success, in Japan and select other Asian territories."

The change won't really be seen until later in 2019, so Bandai will probably end up producing any of the lines and toys that they've already announced or previewed. That's good for a few reasons, including the fact that this year is the 25th anniversary, so the changeover coming in 2019 shouldn't cause any hiccups in the celebration.


Commentary: When Power Rangers debuted 25 years ago, I was basically just slightly too old to appreciate it.  I did enjoy the first two seasons, and I really wanted a Dragonzord toy, but it just never worked out, but I just didn't feel the same connection to Power Rangers as I did Thundercats, He-Man, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

About three years ago, my kids started to get into watching old Power Rangers episodes on Netflix.  To be honest, I hadn't even realized Power Rangers was still on the air at the time.  But I watched Dino Charge with my kids each week, and I found a whole new love and appreciation for Power Rangers.  We even bought a bunch of the toys for the kids, and I was always impressed by well made they were on a whole. It had to be a real pain in the ass to make toys that are fun to play with, aesthetic, AND for the robots and vehicles, able to be connected to each other and still be fun to play with.  But Bandai definitely made some terrific Power Ranger toys over the years.

I actually found this news kind of shocking.  I think Bandai's toys are a huge part of what made Power Rangers so successful over the years.  It's like waking up one morning to find out that Disney bought up Marvel or Star Wars! 

I am not sure there is a toy company that would be willing to put out Power Rangers product the quality Bandai did at a reasonable price range.  Hopefully the line will stay in good hands...word is they have already started casting for season 26 of Power Rangers to air next year.  Hopefully Bandai will put out a lot of cool things in their last year with the license at least.