The real life-sized Gundam statue at Odaiba is definitely a place you should visit if you're going to Japan. Either you're a Gundam fan or not, you would surely enjoy this iconic 18m tall robot from a 1979 Japanese anime, Mobile Suit Gundam.
The 1/1 scale RX78-2 Gundam is located directly in front of Diver City Tokyo Plaza. To reach there by train, you can alight at Fune-no-kagakukan Station (via Yurikamome LIne) or Tokyo Teleport Station (via Rinkai Line).
I've been there early January 2012 but the shopping mall and the surroundings were still in the midst of construction. But, the Gundam was completed though.
I had a chance to visit Japan again in October that year and at that time, the site was already open for public!
The RX78-2 Gundam was the first Gundam ever introduced and its popularity made the Gundam an important symbol for the Gundam franchise and among many Japanese robots animation. To celebrate its 30th Anniversary, the company created and built this life-size statue at Shiokaze Park, Odaiba in 2009. Then, it relocated to Shizuoka prefecture in 2010 before bringing it back to Odaiba Island (2012).
The Gundam was darn huge and the superb detailing on every single part of the Gundam body would make you think that the robot is actually real and pilot-ready. Just look at that the Gundam's rocket thrusters, the knee joints and the fingers. Excellent!! As a Gundam fan, I enjoyed the view very much and even stood there for like 15 minutes admiring the Gundam. :)
The Gundam's gigantic step.
At that time of my visit, there was this colourful half body RX78-2 Gundam sitting right beside of the original one, known as the Flower Gundam. It was made out of 10,000 pots of topiary flowers. Its purpose was to promote green movement and trees planting along with the 29th National Urban Greenary Fair Tokyo event.
This is the Char Aznable Toyota Auris, a special collaboration between Toyota company and Gundam's main antagonist character, Char. The actual Toyota Auris already looked great but, this Char version was better. It comes with extra aero kit, 18" wheels and fine detailing which the standard Auris does not have. And, most of the interior and exterior bodyworks were heavily customized with Char Aznable theme and Zeon logos. One of the best part is, lucky owners of this car can hear GPs direction voiced by Char Aznable (Shuichi Ikeda) himself. How cool is that?!
Click Play above to see the CM for the Char Aznable Toyota Auris. Very interesting!
Inside Gundam Front Tokyo store, special exclusive Gundam merchandise were on sale. Please don't forget to get something, Gundam plastic models or even 100 yen postcard as souvenir because you can never find anywhere else selling this goods. Not even electric town Akihabara!
Before leaving the place, don't forget to pay a visit to Gundam Tokyo Front exhibition area at the highest floor of Diver City Tokyo Plaza. There are many attractions like Dome-G video experience, Gundam museum, 1/1 sized Strike Freedom Gundam and many more, but admission fee is required.
I didn't go into pay zone area but instead I went into Gunpla Tokyo, a free zone area for the public. Here, you could find all kinds of Gundam models (Gunpla) that existed since 1980 to the latest model kit. It was surely a holy ground for Gunpla modelers and fans.
The RX78-2 Gundam of different era in respective sizes. Look at how much Gundam model kits have evolved over 30 years.
But, no Gunpla model kits will ever beat 1/1 live sized Gundam. A perfect replica build.
Evening to night transition.
Before calling it a day, I did stay back a while more for the awesome night view of the Gundam and special video projection shown only at certain time of the day.
Video Credit: [YOUWIN1970 @Youtube]
For those of you who are curious of the Gundam's video projection, hit the Play button! The video is a bit long, but you can fast forward to 11:00 to catch the action. :)
The RX78-2 Gundam statue has been around Odaiba for a year now and there isn't any future news saying that it'll be relocated or dismantled, which I think is great because it will not only attract more people from around the world to come and see it, but Bandai company will also benefit from its merchandise sales. With the Mobile Suit Gundam around, it'll keep the evil Zeon forces away thus, making Odaiba a safer and livelier place to be. :D