It’s official: the Mobile Suit Gundam of your childhood is actually coming to life this year. Nope, not a toy, but an actual 18-metre/60-foot-tall moving statue!
The life-size iteration of the iconic RX-78-2 Mobile Suit Gundam piloted by Ray Amuro weighs roughly 25 tons, and is currently being built at the Gundam Factory Yokohoma in Japan as we speak. It will be officially unveiled to the public at Yamashita Pier from October 1, 2020, and will remain there until October 3, 2021.
Before the October unveiling, the factory will be holding an exclusive preview event in July and August 2020, which will showcase the display as it is being built. This preview is also in conjunction with the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which will take place from July 24 – August 9.
In the factory itself, there are two main areas, with the first being the 25-metre-tall Gundam Dock Tower where the RX-78-2 will be displayed at and that you can take pictures of. Opposite it is the Gundam Base Yokohoma Satellite, a two-story building which has an exclusive merch and Gunpla (Gundam model kit) shop, as well as a Gundam-themed cafe.
Anyway, if you’re keen on getting first dibs on visiting the Gundam statue in its full life-size glory this October, pre-orders for tickets will go up on sale in July. Ticket prices have yet to be announced.
Other than the RX-78-2, the other life-size Gundam statue that was recently built in Japan is the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, which resides in Tokyo’s Odaiba district.
Here’s a look at a 1/30 scale model showcased at the recent announcement event:
Here’s an idea of how it might walk, based on a model kit at the 2015 Gundam Expo:
Now while this looks a little basic at this level, it will definitely draw plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” as an 18-metre, 25-ton hulking robot.
The 40th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam is certainly in full swing this 2020, with the likes of the Hello Kitty 45th anniversary crossover, Gundam-themed Owndays eyewear and headcase, Oppo phone, Uniqlo shirts, Seiko watches and more giving you plenty of reasons to celebrate the iconic mecha franchise in grandiose fashion.
It seems now there are many more reasons to visit Japan in the second half of this year, with the upcoming opening of Super Nintendo World and the Square Enix Theme Park all battling for your attention (and money, no doubt).
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.