Bandai Playdia – When animation and games colide

Hmmm, what can I say about the Bandai Playdia…. Bandai has released successful machines over the years ranging from cool Game & Watches (without the ‘watch’ part) to the Wonderswans, but taking a new approach and creating a machine for the family/children was probably not their best idea. ?


A few details:

  • Model – Playdia
  • CPU – 8-bit Toshiba TMP87C800F
  • Released – 1994
  • Price then – 24,800yen
  • Price now – $10 to $100

The Bandai Playida was released primarily for the children’s market, and titles included revolutionary concepts such as edutainment (insert sarcasm), and also popular animation from the period – some even had edutainment mixed with popular animation (vomits in mouth a little).

Bandai was the only developer creating games for the Playdia, and although this strategy might work for Nintendo (if they ever decide to try it), it did not work for the Playdia. Most of the games are focused heavily on video, and seem to be influenced by games like Dragon’s Lair.

Dragon Ball Z (the game pictured bellow) was probably one of the more interesting titles, and it’s actually the only game I own for the system. It is a video based fighter… What do I mean by “video based fighter”? Basically, you trigger little fight sequences with moves on the control pad, and the timing and type of those moves mean punch or be punched. Although interesting, it feels somewhat cumbersome to play.


The controller is an infrared transmitter that actually works quite well – well better that I thought it would anyway.


The rear of the unit has standard AV out, and of course the power in port. I have to say that having standard AV outs is a plus, and I wish more consoles from the 80s and 90s did the same thing. Hold on, was that my first compliment for Bandai Playdia?



You can’t see it there very well (in the picture bellow), but there is a white piece of cardboard that sits ontop of the Playdia. If you’re looking for complete make sure that’s there.


For the collectors I guess this is one machine that looks great on the shelf. It’s the last console produced by Bandai, and that is reason enough to own one. Would I own one to play games on though? Nope, don’t reckon I would. ?

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