“Gundam” fans who have dreamed of seeing the giant mech suits from the hit anime franchise come to life will get to rejoice because a life-size 59-foot replica of the “RX-78-2 Gundam” will make its debut in the Port of Yokohama later this year.
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Though it is not the country’s first gargantuan Gundam considering there is a 64-foot statue modeled after the “RX-0 Unicorn Gundam” in the Japanese island of Odaiba, this functional giant robot will have the capability to walk and move its limbs, according to a report from TimeOut.
The robot warrior will weigh about 25 tons and will be accompanied by an 82-foot dock tower. Development of the RX-78-2 Gundam began in 2014 with the launch of the Gundam Global Challenge projection, according to Futurism.
It will be on display at the grand opening of the Gundam Factory, which kicks off on Oct. 1.
Tickets go on sale in July. However, super fans may partake in the Gundam Factory Yokohama Special Experience, a limited-edition program that will take place before the opening. Participants get a sneak peek at the factory, early entry and special access to an observation deck at the dock tower.
When it opens, the Gundam Factory will be situated across from the giant Gundam and dock. There will be shops, exhibitions, a café and an academy dedicated to the franchise. The factory will close on Oct. 3, 2021.
Gundam has been a cash cow for video game developer and toymaker Bandai-Namco. Moreover, the 12 series franchise is one of the top 15 highest-grossing media franchises having generated more than an estimated $20 billion in sales, according to ComicBook.com.
It’s no wonder why Bandai-Namco has been trying to purchase the entire Gundam franchise. The company put in a bid for a majority stake in the common stock of Sotsu Co. Ltd., the advertising agency that is the parent company to animation studio Sunrise, which has worked on the popular series.
Bandai-Namco already owns 22.3 percent of Sotsu Co., according to Anime News Networ. However, the entertainment company could very well end up the sole owner of Gundam’s rights if its bid is successful.
Other cult titles under the video game developer include Tamagotchi, “Dragon Ball Z: Super Dragon Stars” and Disney’s “Big Hero 6” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”