Playdia by Bandai

Credit: Evan Amos
Console Name: Playdia
Original Name: プレイディア
Alternate Named(s): BA-X
Release Date: September 23, 1994
Original Price: ¥24,800
Country of Origin: Japan
Manufacturer: Bandai
Discontinued In: 1996
Number of Games Cartridges: 33

Since the advent of video games, Bandai have been in the forefront of the industry in Japan. After releasing pong consoles and importing various consoles such as the Emerson Arcadia, CGE Vectrex and Mattel Intellivision n Japan, Bandai released in 1979 their own Bandai decided to get out of the video-game console market to focus on the video games and peripherals. During that period, Bandai released multiple games for the Nintendo Famicom and it’s not before 1994 that Bandai decided to go back to its root.

In June 1994, Bandai announced the upcoming released of the BA-X, a multimedia home entertainment system during the 94′ Tokyo Toy Show. The system was promoted to be an affordable system. A karaoke adapter was also planned to be released in fall of 1994, but the accessory was never released.

On September 23, 1994 Bandai finally released the BA-X under the name Playdia. The BA-X appellation was still partially retained as part of the model name (BA-001). To promote the console, Bandai hired Yumi Adachi, a popular actress from the series Homeless Child. The console released alongside 3 games from the blockbuster series Bandai had access to : Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and SD Gundam. Hello Kitty and Ultraman, two others of these blockbuster licenses were released 5 days after the launch.

Targeting an audience from ages 3 to 7, the console didn’t have the start Bandai was hoping for.  After almost a year, sales were still sluggish and Bandai was losing money. A decision was made to expand the target audience and create a new line of product called PlaydiaV which stands for Playdia Virtual and Visual.  The goal for these titles to make the player feel as if they were sharing a virtual space with the protagonist of the software.  The “V” is often thought to be for voice, as the name of the first (and only) series released under this branding, is the “Element Voice Series”, which are visual novels played by popular Japanese’s idols of the time. The new product line which was consisting of three titles was released on June 22nd 1995. Mika Kanai, Rica Fukami and Aya Hisakawa were the first idol to be published under the new branding. Bandai decided to raise the price of all games were raised significantly. Prices of early title would oscillate between ¥3,800 and ¥4,800 while newer titles would be between ¥5,800 and ¥9,800.  The PlaydiaV series were listed for ¥6,800.

To differentiate the PlaydiaV title from the original “Kid’s line”, Bandai change the branding of the Playdia to add their new IQKids tagline, pushing even more on the education titles. This seems to coincide with the change in the model name to BA-002. At this time, the difference between the two models is not documented, but this might be another cost-reduction strategy by changing internal components. The strategy was somewhat successful and Bandai managed to have the Playdia stay afloat.

In the end, the Playdia suffered the same fate as most of the other multi-segment console. The Playdia wanted to compete in many spheres (video player, video game, etc), but failed to be true competitor in any of these spheres. With the failed released of the Design Master Denshi Mangajuku and the arrival of the Casio Loopy which was about to target a sub-segment of the Playdia target audience (spoiler alert, they will also fail), Bandai had to re-evaluate their option. The Playdia did not have what was required to be in a competitive market. Being the only 8-bit console of its generation, the console was not powerful enough to create interesting games visually, relying instead a lot on full-motion video. With only one title published by a third party (Ie Naki Ko – Suzu no Sentaku), the system had to rely constantly on the Bandai IP’s which were started to be redundant (as shown with the 7 different games featuring Ultraman). In the end, Bandai decided to abandon the Playdia and to concentrate on their upcoming Bandai Pippin.

The remaining stock of Playdia consoles were sold to Banpresto in order to create kinetoscopes for arcade room. Two titles were available : Micha King Disc: Sentai Series and Micha King Disc: Sailor Moon SuperS. Both titles would feature 4 short clip each that could be viewed thought the kinetoscope glasses.


33 games were released in the year and a half of the existence of the Playdia.


Dragon Ball Z: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans – Earth Chapter
ドラゴンボールZ 真サイヤ人絶滅計画 -地球編
1994-09-23  – ¥4,800
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S: Quiz Challenge! Sailor Power Rally!!
美少女戦士セーラームーンS 〜クイズ対決! セーラーパワー結集!!〜
1994-09-23  – ¥4,800
SD Gundam Daizukan
SDガンダム 大図鑑
1994-09-23  – ¥4,800
Ultraman Powered: Kaijū Destruction Tactics
ウルトラマンパワード 怪獣撃滅作戦
1994-09-23  – ¥4,800
Hello Kitty: Yume no Kuni Daibōken
ハローキティ ゆめのくにだいぼうけん
1994-09-23  – ¥4,800
Aqua Adventure: Blue Lilty
アクアアドベンチャー ブルーリルティー
1994-09-25  – ¥3,800
Newton museum: Dinosaurs Encyclopedia vol.1
ニュートンミュージアム 恐竜年代記 前編
1994-09-25  – ¥3,800
Newton museum: Dinosaurs Encyclopedia vol.2
ニュートンミュージアム 恐竜年代記 後編
1994-09-25  – ¥3,800
Shuppatsu! Dōbutsu Tankentai
1994-12-08 – ¥3,800
Ultra Seven: Global Defense Tactics
ウルトラセブン ~地球防衛作戦~
1994-12-16 – ¥4,800
Dragon Ball Z: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans – Space Chapter
ドラゴンボールZ 真サイヤ人絶滅計画 -宇宙編
1994-12-16 – ¥4,800
Norimono Banzai!! Kuruma Daishūgō!!
のりものばんざい!! くるま大集合!!
1994-12-16 – ¥3,800
Norimono Banzai!! Densha Daishūgō!!
のりものばんざい!! でんしゃ大集合!!
1994-12-24 – ¥3,800
Nobody’s Child: Suzu’s Choice
テレビシリーズ 家なき子 〜すずの選択〜
1995-03-22 – ¥4,800
Gamera: The Time Adventure
ガメラ ~ザ・タイムアドベンチャー
1995-03-22 – ¥3,800
Elements Voice Series vol.1: Mika Kanai – Wind & Breeze
エレメントボイスシリーズ(1) かないみか 〜Wind & Breeze〜
1995-06-22 – ¥6,800
Elements Voice Series vol.2: Rica Fukami – Private Step
エレメントボイスシリーズ(2) 深見 梨加 〜Private Step〜
1995-06-22 – ¥6,800
Elements Voice Series vol.3: Aya Hisakawa – Forest Sways
エレメントボイスシリーズ(3) 久川 綾 〜Forest Sways〜
1995-06-22 – ¥6,800
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS: Hiragana Lessons with Sailor Moon!
美少女戦士セーラームーンSS セーラームーンとひらがなレッスン!
1995-07-28 – ¥6,800
Ultraman: Hiragana Mission
1995-07-28 – ¥5,800
Ultraman: Hiragana Mission
(with Armband)
1995-07-28 – ¥6,800
Ultraman: Welcome to Alphabet TV
ウルトラマン アルファベットTVへようこそ
1995-07-28 – ¥5,800
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS: My First Step in English with Sailor Moon
美少女戦士セーラームーンSS セーラームーンとはじめてのえいご
1995-08-24 – ¥5,800
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS: Welcome! Sailor Kindergarten
美少女戦士セーラームーンSS ~ようこそ!セーラーようちえん~
1995-08-24 – ¥5,800
Ultraman: Welcome to Alphabet TV
ウルトラマン おいでよ!ウルトラ幼稚園
1995-08-24 – ¥5,800
Chōgōkin Selections
超合金 セレクションズ
1995-10-20 – ¥9,800
Elements Voice Series vol.4: Yuri Shiratori – Rainbow Harmony
エレメントボイスシリーズ(4) 白鳥 由里 〜Rainbow Harmony〜
1995-11-16 – ¥9,800
Soreike! Anpanman: Picnic de Obenkyō
それいけ!アンパンマン ~ピクニックでおべんきょう~
1995-12-15 – ¥5,800
Ultraman: Let’s Play with Numbers in Ultraland
ウルトラマン ~すうじであそぼう ウルトラランド~
1996-03-22 – ¥5,800
Ultraman: Intelligence Upgrade Mission
ウルトラマン ~知能アップ大作戦~
1996-03-22 – ¥5,800
Elements Voice Series vol.5: Mariko Kouda – Welcome to the Marikotown!
エレメントボイスシリーズ(5) 國府田 マリ子 〜Welcome to the Marikotown!〜
1996-03-27- ¥9,800
Ninjaboy Rantaro: Gungun Nobiru Chinō Hen
1996-04-24 – ¥5,800
Ninjaboy Rantaro: Hajimete Oboeru Chishiki Hen
1996-05-15 – ¥5,800
Gekisou Sentai Carranger: Fight! Hiragana Racer
激走戦隊カーレンジャー ~たたかえ!ひらがなレーサー~
1996-06-26 – ¥5,800


Promotional Titles
A series of 9 promotional titles were also created a various moment in the lifespan of the Playdia

  • Playdia Quick Interactive System Sample Soft [BS-002] – 1994-09-23 – Distributed to retailers.
  • Yumi to Tokoton Playdia (“Dokidoki Campaign” Present Soft) [BS-003] – 1994-09-23 – Limited to 5000 units.
  • Yumi to Tokoton Playdia (“Wakuwaku Campaign” Storefront Sample Soft) [BS-004] – 1994-09-23 – Distributed to retailers.
  • Go! Go! Ackman Planet [BS-005] – 1994-11 – 200 units included with V Jump magazine.
  • Jump Limited Special: 4 Great Heroes Battle Collection [BS-006] – 1995 – 300 units included with Weekly Shōnen Jump.
  • Bandai Item Collection 70’ [BS-007] – 1995-04 – Given to console buyers at point of purchase.
  • Elements Voice Series Sample Soft [BS-?] –  1995-07-28
  • Playdia iQ Kids Sample Soft [BS-009] – 1995-07-28 – Distributed to retailers.
  • Kero Kero Keroppi: Uki Uki Party Land [BS-010] – 1995



Share the Knowledge