Yes, I did go to the Gundam Expo held just this past weekend in Akihabara’s UDX building! It was my first Gundam Expo and I am glad I went and I already cannot wait until next year.
Sure there were a lot of things there I had seen before, such as:
The SD Gundam AGE kits that were shown to everyone back at the 51st All Japan Hobby Show
But there was also some other neat stuff. I tried to get some good pics and I’ll share them with you now (even though I know that within minutes of the doors opening at the Expo these pictures were all over the internet).
The first big section they had was the Gundam AGE section.
The main points for this sections were, as you can see on the sign, the revealing of the MG kits and some large HG Diorama. While no photos were allowed of the kits I did snap a few of the Dioramas. Check them out.
Still not feeling anything towards the suits of the AGE anime.
But more my style was this:
Some RG additions for the RG Strike Gundam! It’s the FX-550 Sky Grasper.
Prototypes look good. And so did this Dio.
After that was a prototype of the MG Duel Gundam Assault Shroud, but no pictures were allowed (but that didn’t stop the guy standing next to me who pointed his camera, noticed the No Pics sign, stopped, looked around guiltily, and took a picture.) It looked good. Trust me!
Then it was onto this wall.
Here there were 10 cubby holes, in each one a Gundam kit designed by a celebrity (or somewhat of a celebrity). For example:
These three beargguy’s had their color scheme designed by (obviously) these three young girls.
And this cool Strike…
By an SKE48 member (SKE48 is a group of girls like AKB48, but younger. 日本らしい).
After that was a neat little section showing how Bandai creates their models. They had three guys behind a glass wall, with cameras overhead pointing down at their hands so you could see in detail how they design a gundam, mold individual parts, and create box art. Of course, no pictures were allowed but they did seem to working on the MG Gundam AGE-1 Normal.
After that there was a little section showing some of the Bandai online shop exclusive kits.
Kshatriya and Sinanju are looking good.
And beside that was a cool display showing Gun-Pri (Gundam Prints). What they do is take the box art from any MG kit and convert it into a cloth wall hanging or T-shirt. Sweet!
Next was the Gundam UC section.
Along one wall was the entire HG Gundam UC lineup. I don’t think I need to show those, but there was this little HG close by.
HG Delta Plus Clear Version. Not bad.
But the big gun (pun intended) for this show was the MG Full Armor Unicorn. I’ve already shown shots of the kit itself from the previous Hobby Show, but what Bandai did at this Expo was show off the base that those big rockets can form.
the MG Unicorn can hop onto this.
I wasn’t aware of this before and now the FA really has my attention.
The last part of the exhibition floor was reserved for the Gunpla Builders World Cup 2011 entrants. Here were the finalists of the World Cup assembled in one place and visitors to the Expo got to vote for the best one in both the Junior and Open division. I didn’t take pics of everything (probably because at that time the line up for the 限定 kits was allowed inside to start purchasing and I wanted to reserve my spot), but I’ll show some amazing pieces of work.
Check out the Sazabi!
I always thought the Sazabi looked a little chubby. Definitely not this one!
Here’s a nice Unicorn Diorama complete with lighting.
And check out this MG Sinanju!
I built a Sinanju once. This puts anything I would ever be able to do to shame.
But I was more impressed with this:
A T-Rex made from MG Zaku 2.0 parts! Allow me to add a few more explanation points!
This thing is crazy. I like staring at it and picking out the different parts. Oh, I see a front thigh armor piece. Oh, there’s the side of the elbow. Wow, the kneecap is actually the Zaku head!
I hope this wins, but I actually voted for this kit.
This is an RG! Using the Real Grade Frame the modeler made this. The level of detail is amazing. Looking at what he did in such a small space was mind-boggling so I voted for this guy. Amazing!
After that I put the camera away and got in line for the Gunpla Expo limited edition kits. There were actually two lines. First you had to line up and then tell a staff member what you were there to buy and they would give you tickets for each item.
Then you had to lineup again, for even longer, and hand your tickets over to two smiling ladies behind the counter who would yell your order back to people behind the shelves like waitresses in a restaurant yelling your order to the hidden chef.
They were helpful and I packed the items I picked up into a box, walked one floor down to the post office and mailed it rather than trying to carry it on a train.
Then I went to the Hub, an English style pub ASM and I frequent regularly, and had some nice beverages.
Then I headed back to Akihabara station and on the way noticed this.
Oh, Japan. You so crazy.