Japan marks Gundam's birthday
Tuesday 22 June 2010
Just weeks after the opening of the world's first Gundam cafe in Tokyo, a number of companies and communities across Japan are also marking the 30th anniversary of the release of the first "Mobile Suit Gundam" models.
All Nippon Airways is to give one of its aircraft a special paint job for the the next nine months, with a graphic of the machines splashed along the fuselage, while a life-size statue is being constructed outside Higashishzuoka Station.
The colossal figure, which is due to be completed by July 24, will be armed with its signature Beam Sabre.
One of the most popular animated television programs when it was first released in 1979, Gundam soon spawned a wide range of spin-off products that caught on around the world. Based on the animated tale debuting in 1979 of giant robotic suits called Gundam, that are guided by human "pilots," plastic model kits first hit toy stores shelves in 1980.
Bandai Co., the toy company behind the kits, has sold an impressive 400 million units and the global franchise is believed to be worth around Y50 billion (€404.4 million).
The company chose the city of Shizuoka as the site for its 18-meter tall statue as a nearby factory produces the plastic model kits - more commonly known as "Gunpla" - while ANA has collaborated with Bandai on previous projects.
"We will be having an image of Gundam on the fuselage of one of our Boeing 777 aircraft on domestic routes from July 16 until the end of the fiscal year in March," Megumi Tezuka, a spokesman for the airline, told Relaxnews.
"We're doing this because this year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the first plastic model kit," she said. "People who are in their 30s and 40s now were children when Gundam first appeared, so we want to give them happy memories of their childhood and give them something that they can talk about with their own children."
ANA will also be selling two collectors' edition Gundam model kits on its flights, one for domestic routes and a different version on its international flights.
Namco Bandai is also developing a new title in the existing Gundam computer game series that takes advantage of the new stereogram technology in the new Nintendo 3DS hand-held game player.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Hey Arnold! is coming back, and possibly Rugrats too
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up