Bandai is Japan's largest toy company, and Takara's biggest domestic rival. It is also, the world's third largest producer of toys.
During the 1980s, when Bandai had very little direct presence in the North American market, they not only licensed their Machine Robo toyline to Tonka as GoBots, but also licensed several other molds to Hasbro. These molds were used by Hasbro for the Transformers line that they obtained, when they bought out another Japanese company, Takatoku.
Since the Transformers cartoon would air in Japan, these toys were dropped from the animated lineup to avoid giving Takara's rival free publicity... with the exception of Jetfire, who instead got a name-tweak and extensively-changed animation model, probably due to Hasbro wanting some form of advertising for a very expensive item.
- Current Hasbro Chief Operating Officer Brian Goldner was an executive at Bandai's American division before joining Hasbro in 2000.