Bandai Sells 400 Million Tiny Plastic Gundam Models

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Bandai Sells 400 Million Tiny Plastic Gundam Models

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Since 1980, Bandai has sold 400 million plastic models of the mecha from its iconic Gundam franchise - three models for every person living in Japan.

In 1979, Yoshiyuki Tomino's groundbreaking Mobile Suit Gundam anime first aired - and was initially a flop, running only 43 episodes instead of the 52 that were planned. However, after the release of the first "gunpla" model (that is, Gundam plastic model) in 1980, interest in the series skyrocketed, and the Gundam franchise has since grown into one of the pillars of Japanese pop culture.

Yesterday, it was announced that Bandai had sold 400 million gunpla since that first model thirty years ago. That's a really, really big number, in case you hadn't realized. In fact, given that there are only 127 million people living in Japan (roughly), that means that Bandai has sold 3.14 gunpla to every person in Japan since 1980.

Of course, that's not exactly true, given that collectors tend to have much more than three models - and that people outside of Japan buy them, too. In fact, seeing as how I've got 16 or so on my desk right now and I'm living in North Carolina, I'm already skewing those figures by myself - whoops!

The figures have scaled exponentially in complexity, too - from the very first 1980 model of the original RX-78-2 Gundam to the latest Perfect Grade kit, the 00-Raiser from Gundam 00 - a kit which has 1031 pieces in total.

Another fun fact: Even if we assumed that every single one of those models was of the smallish 1/144 scale (generally about 5in tall), if you laid them end to end they would be 31565 miles long assuming my math is correct - long enough to wrap around the Equator.

That's a lot of tiny plastic robots. And they're all awesome.

(Asahi, via Twitter)

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I know I did my part in buying those things.

hehe, I remember playing with all kinds of Gundam toys when I was a kid. They would do battle with the Transformers.

Good times...

Wow 400 million models thats alot.

Shame my G Gundam models broke. They were awesome but were so easy to break.

400 million and I own...11 of 'em. 12 if the D-50c Loto twin pack counts as two models.

Im one of them! Got Gunda WIng on my desk at home and I love it!

As already noted, guys like this throw off that average just a tad.

I own one and the mathematical end was quite amusing.

Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Shockolate:
Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Nah, we're cool until the TM Revolution starts playing.

I remember watching Gundam as a Kid and my cousin who lives in Japan sent me a few small models, he has a few pictures on Flickr of massive Gundam models in Japan as well, there as big as statues its mental.

Great show anyway.

Never heard of 'em, but that's a lot of a models ;o Wonder what's sold more, that or Airfix models ;)

Anyone know where i can find some of these? i had a bunch of G gundam ones, then my brother destroyed them all.

Wow. I've never seen Gundam, but I wouldn't be adverse to having one of those models on my shelf (it can go next to my Daleks). I wonder how many Warhammer miniatures have been sold?

John Funk:

Shockolate:
Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Nah, we're cool until the TM Revolution starts playing.

Until a couple years from now, right? Then the new main character can come along... Oh, until he breaks down >_>

Besides? How many guns does Freedom have? Like, what, a dozen, right? Pretty sure he couldn't take out -all- our gunplas!

Wow! Thats worth some Credit.

Calumon: So you have the money, why won't Bandai make a Next Gen Digimon Game? :(

I more than did my best. I got 83 in my cramped room now and two more on the way. Bandai always has good quality. Not hours of sanding to make parts fit together (damn Revell). I'll keep on buying.
Bandai is still the only company in the world that can inject 4 colors in one runner. Go Japanese tech!

Fenixius:

John Funk:

Shockolate:
Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Nah, we're cool until the TM Revolution starts playing.

Until a couple years from now, right? Then the new main character can come along... Oh, until he breaks down >_>

Besides? How many guns does Freedom have? Like, what, a dozen, right? Pretty sure he couldn't take out -all- our gunplas!

Freedom? Or STRIKE Freedom? One has many more guns than the other. :P

Slycne:
As already noted, guys like this throw off that average just a tad.

That article made no mention of how many she threw away.

squid5580:

Slycne:
As already noted, guys like this throw off that average just a tad.

That article made no mention of how many she threw away.

I thought I remember reading somewhere that it was a lot, but I think it's safe to assume that if arson based suicide was the reaction that it was a lot more than three.

You wanna see a REAL gundam enthusiast?

http://www.dalong.net

He owns all of the master grade and perfect grade gunplas, and is still very active today...

In all seriousness, i thank...

Yoshiyuki Tomino - For making Gundam and changing how robots are seen forever
Sunrise - For making the spin-offs and spreading Gundam love(even if some are sucky)
Bandai - For making the model kits that satisfy us fans.
Fans and Modellers - Who made this landmark possible

GUNDAM FOR THE WIN!! IKIMASU!!!

Slycne:

squid5580:

Slycne:
As already noted, guys like this throw off that average just a tad.

That article made no mention of how many she threw away.

I thought I remember reading somewhere that it was a lot, but I think it's safe to assume that if arson based suicide was the reaction that it was a lot more than three.

I dunno. He was 29 and still living with his mom. Her throwing out 3 of them could have been the straw that broke the camel's back :D

I used to build Gundam models all the time. Then I stopped. Not too sure why... but that 00-Raiser model makes me want to start up again.

It starts with outnumbering us with their model Gundams....wait till they outnumber us with actual Gundams.

One down...

Was into Gundams a long time ago but I kind of fell out of that when it got super crazy with all of the spin-offs. 08th MS Team will always hold a place in my heart though.

John Funk:

Fenixius:

John Funk:

Shockolate:
Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Nah, we're cool until the TM Revolution starts playing.

Until a couple years from now, right? Then the new main character can come along... Oh, until he breaks down >_>

Besides? How many guns does Freedom have? Like, what, a dozen, right? Pretty sure he couldn't take out -all- our gunplas!

Freedom? Or STRIKE Freedom? One has many more guns than the other. :P

Freedom has 8-12, SF has 20-24 roughly with the star-ish-shaped reactor thing on its back

The two wing models I bought as a kid broke. I would love to buy some 00 models but the only place I could find was hobbylinkjapan which would involve me paying about 60% extra for shipping :(

Aptspire:

John Funk:

Fenixius:

John Funk:

Shockolate:
Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Nah, we're cool until the TM Revolution starts playing.

Until a couple years from now, right? Then the new main character can come along... Oh, until he breaks down >_>

Besides? How many guns does Freedom have? Like, what, a dozen, right? Pretty sure he couldn't take out -all- our gunplas!

Freedom? Or STRIKE Freedom? One has many more guns than the other. :P

Freedom has 8-12, SF has 20-24 roughly with the star-ish-shaped reactor thing on its back

This is the Freedom; you can tell because it doesn't have gold joints. And yeah, with the SF, every single one of its wings also had a DRAGOON attack drone.

I always like models like these and miniatures like warhammer. But never got into them because I don't have steady hands, so putting them together/painting them gets very frustrating.

Yeah, I contributed a good 18 of those sales myself. Personally I love the Gelgoog Marine and Gouf models.

Though, Wing Zero Gundam Custom always hold a special spot to me.

and I feel as if they waited to announce the amount sold, so that they could say that exact, specific 3-digit number... :P

Shockolate:
Oh god, it's Kira "Jesus" Yamato in the Freedom!

We are SO FUCKED!

Ahhh the memories of Gundam Seed.

Damn now I wish I had one... though I'm not really a fan anymore :(

My Shenlong figure served me well against the army of Digimon figurines.

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I love that Gundam. It's my favorite!

Playing with toys is so much more fun than...looking at them.

I own 16 Gundam models at the moment and plan on buying plenty more in the future.I enjoy building them and I like to collect the Universal Century models and all the Gundams that resemble the original Gundam in it's core design like the 0 Gundam.

awesome... and that picture of the 00-Raiser looks worth getting.

I remember owing the mechs from the Wing series. Holy shit do I miss my childhood.

That reminds me I really should assemble the ones my cousin got me on his school trip to Japan 3 bloody years ago :? he'd be so pissed if he found out they'd been sitting in a box for so long.

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