Collecting US vs Japan Power Rangers
By Anont C.
Known as one of the biggest toy brand company, Bandai have been producing toys for many years. Probably famously known in North America for distributing and licensing series, Power Rangers; however, Bandai actually branch out in to their own North America company, when it all started from Japan. Known in Japan today as, Bandai Japan, the company also produce these license property to the toy market as well; the differences is not in just the company name with a specific region name, but also the toy quality they produce.
With Bandai Japan's success in the toy market in Japan, naturally they want to expand their market to the North America; that's when Bandai of America was created. The show then license its merchandises with Bandai Japan to create various toy line to accommodate the children's market, most notably the mech (giant robo) toys. While the products may at first utilizes the same materials and same mold to create the toys, the first toy line had a different sticker patterns, from its Japanese counter-part. The stickers' pattern different visual makes the figures not show-accurate to what it's presenting -- and its product from Japan. With minor difference like that can usually be ignore, since the function of the toys still remain the same; but as time goes on, more changes happen to its North America products.
As later years progress, we started to see the difference in quality of the plastic from the figures, as this was done in order to cut-cost of the production. By doing that the North America products suffer from its quality presentation, and occasionally its sizes. A major example that of this was during the 2007 series, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive; as the figures are not only aren't show accurate now, but lack more mobility than its Japanese products. This also marks the first time that each region products won't be compatible with each other; as before the figures use to be compatible to combine with each other -- despite its difference in sticker patterns. Now, not only are the products may not be show-accurate, but you can't function them together. This makes it more frustrating to the collectors, and become more selective on the purchase of the figure itself. You would either pay the high-price from Japan, but with great quality as demonstrated on the show; or, choosing the low-cost product from North America, as a water-down version.