Two years ago, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Gundam series, Sunrise erected a life-sized RX-78-2 Gundam on the island of Odaiba in Tokyo. The Gundam was on display for two months before it was dismantled and moved to Shizuoka the next year and displayed next to the Bandai factory. While it was the same Gundam that was at Odaiba, a beam saber was added to encourage more people to come see it. Again, the Gundam was only displayed for a few months before being dismantled again.
There was some speculation about what would happen to the Gundam after the second dismantling. Some people thought that the pieces might eventually be scrapped, others thought that it would be continually erected and dismantled at different sites in Japan. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like the Gundam has been tossed away, as it has returned to Odaiba this summer (sort of).
Many people had realized beforehand that it would be too costly to keep up and maintain a life-sized Gundam and let tourists view it for free. To solve that problem, Sunrise is once again displaying the Gundam, but in pieces rather than fully constructed. For a small fee, visitors are able to get up close and personal with the Gundam and marvel at all the small details they put into it.
While a dismantled Gundam is nowhere near as awesome as a fully constructed one, there are a couple of perks to visiting the Gundam pieces. First of all, you can actually get close enough to the different parts to see the writing on them. Secondly, you can actually sit on one of the Gundam’s hands and take a picture. Third, you can actually control the lights in the head using your own power (pedaling power). It’s not as cool as lighting up the whole Gundam, but who here didn’t enjoy trying to turn on as many devices as they could by pedaling at a science center as a child?
If you’re a Gundam fan and just happen to be in Tokyo for the next week, then you should definitely visit the Gundam display in Odaiba. For those of you living further away, you might want to book your flights soon as the display will only be around until August 21.