If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you’ve most probably heard of (and still love) Gundam.
They’re military-style mecha robots that are controlled by human pilots, of which the various anime, manga, and merchandise has spawned millions of fans across the globe, spanning multiple generations.
If you’re not familiar with the multi-billion dollar media franchise, think of the Jaegers in Pacific Rim, but infinitely more badass.
And if you’re a true Gundam fan, you’ll most probably have heard of the existence of life-size statues of the giant robots in Japan.
If you were lucky enough, you even got to see it in person.
The first one, modeled after a RX-78-2 Gundam, was constructed in 2009 in conjunction with Gundam’s 30th anniversary. It stood at 18 meters tall just outside the Diver City Shopping Center in Tokyo’s Odaiba district.
But its removal in 2017 shocked fans of the franchise, wondering why it had been taken away.
Turns out, it was being replaced.
In September 2017, an RX-0 Unicorn Gundam took its place. And this one was slightly taller too, standing at 19.7 meters!
And perhaps what made them even more of a spectacle was the fact they had moving parts, and even lit up at night.
There’s even one being built at the new Gundam Factory in Yokohama to celebrate the franchise’s 40th anniversary.
It was estimated that visitors would be allowed to see the new Yokohama Gundam by October 2020, but with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo to be postponed, we’re not so sure anymore.
But in case you’re wondering how it’ll look like, take a look below:
However, there is one more being built. And it’ll be the first life-size Gundam outside Japan.
Before proceeding, would you like to take a quick gander at where this new Gundam is being built?
South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, or maybe even Singapore?
Nope, none of the above.
It’ll be in the metropolis of Shanghai, China.
Set to be unveiled in 2021, the new Freedom Gundam being erected in Shanghai is said to have a total height of 18.03 meters, making it roughly the same height as the first life-size Gundam that was built in Tokyo back in 2009.
Announcing the news on their Weibo account, Bandai Namco revealed that their new Gundam would be located at the LaLaport Mall in Jinqiao, Shanghai.
If the thumbnail (above) of their announcement video is of any indication, then we can expect to see a truly magnificent Gundam towering over its future Shanghai location.
Have you seen any of the life-size Gundams up close?
Cover image sourced from Forbes.