National

Public asked to help build moving giant Gundam

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The life-sized Gundam figurine in Tokyo’s Odaiba district is an impressive sight as it towers a full 18 meters above its visitors and has grown into a popular tourist attraction since it was erected in 2009.

Built to mark the 30th anniversary of the TV series “Mobile Suit Gundam,” the creation is basically stationary. For the 40th anniversary in 2019, however, the world may see a giant Gundam walking the Earth.

Bandai Namco Holdings recently announced it is launching a project called the Gundam Global Challenge to build a life-sized Gundam that can physically move.

“The time has finally come, and we want to offer the challenge of making an 18-meter Gundam capable of moving,” Bandai Co. CEO Kazunori Ueno said Wednesday in an announcement that was uploaded to the Internet.

The Gundam Global Challenge asks the world for plausible ideas on how to build a moving full-scale Gundam.

“This project literally goes beyond Japan and aims to gather wisdom from overseas to achieve a new Gundam dream,” Ueno said.

The Gundam Global Challenge has two sections — real and virtual. One is to build a Gundam that can physically move, while the other will seek to create a full-scale Gundam with virtual reality.

The project will accept ideas from this month until next Feb. 27. Basic plans will be formalized in 2016 and production will begin in 2018.

Bandai said it will financially support the ideas chosen for the project.

For more information, visit gundam-challenge.com/en/index.html .