A while ago we introduced a ‘Suggest a kit’ form where anyone can submit an idea for a product for us to add to our range. A lot of people have asked us for Premium Bandai kits over the last few months so we decided to look into the possibility of stocking some of those kits.
What is P-Bandai?
P-Bandai stands for ‘Premium Bandai’ and refers to a range of Bandai’s products which are produced in very limited quantities with a capped production number. P-Bandai products are usually reproduced less frequently than main line products with some never to be reproduced again.
We’ve been referring to ‘products’ because P-Bandai isn’t just for Gunpla but for the rest of this post we will be talking about P-Bandai Gunpla kits specifically.
In terms of Gunpla kits, Bandai releases a wide range of kits regularly under the P-Bandai banner. Kits are announced and then released for pre-order shortly after through either P-Bandai’s own website or distribution partners. Unfortunately for us in the UK, retailers do not have a direct distribution channel for P-Bandai kits like those based in the US and Japan. Kits are then released 3 – 4 months later and sent to those who pre-ordered. Depending on how popular the kit is, Bandai may repeat the process for that kit by opening up another pre-order cycle which again takes around 3 months.
What is different about P-Bandai kits?
For the most part, P-Bandai kits are modified versions of main line kits. The modification is usually the inclusion of new accessories, different coloured runners or maybe some new runners to change the look of certain parts of the kit.
The box art of P-Bandai kits differ as they usually feature a colour overlay design rather than the full colour art you would expect from a Gunpla kit.
Another signature feature of P-Bandai kits is that they usually include waterslide decals in place of stickers included with most main line kits.
A Scalpers Market
Unfortunately like most limited run or collectible items, P-Bandai kits are often bought up very quickly by scalpers so those wanting these highly sought after kits will often have to pay way above the original asking price. P-Bandai kits generally cost more than mainline releases anyway so collecting these kits can be come a pricey hobby.
We ourselves have found it difficult to procure kits at a reasonable price. We will continue to work on lowering our costs to bring more P-Bandai kits to the shop.