Dragon Ball Takes Over as the Best IP (Groupwide) Thanks to a Boost in Sales in Quarter 2
Most of Bandai Namco Holdings’ Top 10 IPs sales are up year-on-year (y-o-y) across the board for the fiscal year 2023 (which occurred from April 1 to September 30) with the exception of Naruto, Pretty Cure and Aikatsu! The latter had witnessed the biggest drop among the three by 69.23% to 0.4 billion yen (≈2.73 million USD) from 1.3 billion yen (≈8.88 million USD) it made in the same period the year before. Its three major titles: Dragon Ball, Mobile Suit Gundam and One Piece have all gone up throughout the half year when compared to the previous year with One Piece leading in terms of gains. It grew the largest among the three by 66.20% to 35.9 billion yen (≈245.09 million USD) from the 21.6 billion yen (≈147.47 million USD) it made the year before. Mobile Suit Gundam saw sales went up y-o-y by 24.30% to 62.4 billion yen (≈426.10 million USD) whereas Dragon Ball appreciated by 7.35% to settle at 65.7 billion yen (≈448.64 million USD). As for others, Ultraman saw the second most improvement at 36.92% to 8.9 billion yen (≈60.77 million USD), then we have Super Sentai at 35.62% more than last year to 3.5 billion yen (≈23.90 million USD).
Throughout the first quarter of FY2023 (that happened from April 1 to June 30), the situation was a little different. The period at the time saw Mobile Suit Gundam outpacing Dragon Ball as the best series for the quarter, topping Bandai Namco Holdings’ list at 29 billion yen (≈198.03 million USD) while Dragon Ball came in second at 27.5 billion yen (≈187.79 million USD). In the next three months, the additional 38.2 billion yen (≈260.85 million USD) made by Dragon Ball has allowed it to surpass Mobile Suit Gundam, though the 33.4 billion yen (≈228.07 million USD) made by Mobile Suit Gundam was not that far off.
Historically Speaking, Mobile Suit Gundam Is the Biggest Earner So Far Since FY2008
Historically, from FY2008, and in terms of half year sales, Mobile Suit Gundam is still Bandai Namco Holdings’ biggest IP, having earned the group 529.9 billion yen (≈3.63 billion USD) in sales while Dragon Ball is the second largest at 432 billion yen (≈2.96 billion USD). One Piece, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai are 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively at 211.9 billion yen (≈1.45 billion USD), 171 billion yen (≈1.17 billion USD) and 128.9 billion yen (≈881.76 million USD).
For the Toys and Hobby Business, Mobile Suit Gundam Retains Its Crown
Here, nearly all titles have recorded an increase in sales y-o-y with only three that reported a decline. The Aikatsu! series suffered the most significant drop among the ten titles as sales retreated by as much as 57.14% y-o-y to 0.3 billion yen (≈2.05 million USD). As for Kamen Rider and Pretty Cure, both experienced only a minor drop of 4.04% and 3.33% each to 9.5 billion yen (≈64.88 million USD) and 2.9 billion yen (≈19.81 million USD).
One Piece marked the most gains here of all the titles as sales catapulted by 132.08% to 12.3 billion yen (≈84.00 million USD) from 5.3 billion yen (≈36.20 million USD) it made the year before, pushing its position to become the second bestseller within the segment behind Mobile Suit Gundam. Dragon Ball was up by 18.81% from 10.1 billion yen (≈68.97 million USD) to 12 billion yen (≈81.94 million USD) while Mobile Suit Gundam experienced another growth of 38.07% y-o-y as it further solidified its Number 1 position at 30.1 billion yen (≈205.54 million USD) which is a 15.3 billion yen (≈104.48 million USD) gain for the quarter, slightly higher than the 14.8 billion yen (≈101.06 million USD) it made in the first quarter.
It is not only Mobile Suit Gundam’s plastic models (or also known as Gunpla) that contributed heavily to sales for the series in this segment as according to Bandai Namco, demands of its digital cards were also well received. Likewise, One Piece noted the same with its trading card games that were positively received.
Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo’s Gunpla (left) were among the models noted in Bandai Namco Holdings’ report while
One Piece trading cards (right) contributed greatly to sales
As for how much sales of toys and hobby related products account for the total series sales, we have Aikatsu! at 100%, meaning it derived all of its sales from this segment. Mobile Suit Gundam saw the segment contributing nearly 50% of its total sales while Dragon Ball is at 18.26%. One Piece thanks to its growth saw the segment making up 34.26% of its total series sales while Kamen Rider is much higher at 66.90%. The rest is as follows:
|Total Series Sales
|Total Toys and Hobby Sales
|% of Total
|Mobile Suit Gundam||62.4||30.1||48.24%|
Overall: Impressive First-Half Result
All in all, the group reported a 21.3% improvement in overall sales from 393.65 billion yen (≈2.69 billion USD) the fiscal year before to 477.62 billion yen (≈3.26 billion USD) thanks to the various measures deployed by the group to stay relevant, particularly with its fanbase. Profit attributable to parents also widened by quite a large amount from 39.53 billion yen (≈270 million USD) to 66.56 billion yen (≈454.77 million USD), part of it was driven by foreign exchange gains caused by the weakening of yen.
While nearly all segments the business is undertaking reported growth, its IP Production Business is the only one that suffered a fall in sales y-o-y by 2.9% to 35.07 billion yen (≈239.63 million USD) as the segment could not reach the same kind of performance it did the previous fiscal year. This is the segment where the group worked on video-related projects in particular for titles like Mobile Suit Gundam and Love Live! among many. Sales of packages fell by 1.82% to 5.4 billion yen (≈36.87 million USD) to be its worst performing half year result since FY2016 while sales that come from production, license, distribution, events etc. experienced a reduction of 12.17% to 29.6 billion yen (≈202.17 million USD).
Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai 2nd Season (left) and Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans – Tokubetsu-hen (right) were among those that aired during the half year.
Its other segments such as its Digital Business and Amusement Business experienced decent growth of 29.6% and 24.7% each. Sales for its Digital Business were mainly supported by existing titles, specifically Elden Ring from outside of Japan which continues to contribute to sales positively for the group. Then, the stable sales of Digimon Survive in the previous quarter further strengthened the segment. As such, the segment incurred sales worth 193.90 billion yen (≈1.32 billion USD) with an operating profit of 44.7 billion yen (≈304.87 million USD), up 71.7% y-o-y.
As for its Amusement Business, the latest spread of the coronavirus did not slow down the business allowing the segment to recover. It also saw strong sales of equipment, particularly in the United States and Europe. As a result, the segment was able to produce 48.66 billion yen (≈332.24 million USD) in sales and an operating profit of 4.80 billion USD (≈32.79 million USD), 96.3% higher than the prior fiscal year.
BANDAI NAMCO Holdings is incorporated in Japan with its head office in Minato-ku. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under ticket symbol: 7832
All currency conversion was done at the time of writing.
From Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo (or Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury) official web page here. Illustration from JNTHED.
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FY2023 Quarter 1 Performance
Mobile Suit Gundam (IP)
Dragon Ball (IP)
One Piece (IP)
Kamen Rider (IP)
Mobile Suit Gundam (Toy and Hobby)
Dragon Ball (Toy and Hobby)
One Piece (Toy and Hobby)
Kamen Rider (Toy and Hobby)
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