Search for the Life-Sized Gundam (in pictures)
Sometimes it pays to be aware of where traveling takes you. A recent trip put me in Odaiba, an artificial island in Japan’s Tokyo Bay. As I looked at a replica of the Statue of Liberty, a nagging feeling crept-up….
I’ve heard of this place before… I should be looking for something…
No, it’s not a THAT statue. But something similar…
Evening came, but an ephemeral voice kept whispering in my ear… “Odaiba… odaiba… [odaiba]…”.
My eyes widened. As GFBR previously noted, in 2009 at Shinozake Park, Odaiba, they erected a 1:1 scale model (or “statue”, if you will) of Amuro Ray’s RX-78-2 from Gundam. It was then moved to Shizuoka in 2010, and then moved back to Odaiba in 2011.
That life-sized mobile-suit could still be there!
Tablet in hand in the pouring rain, I made my way to the DiverCity Tokyo. It’s already been a year… could it still be there? A quick check of the shop list revealed the existence of a Gundam Cafe on the second floor. Searching for that cafe in the indicated floor yielded nothing. Dismayed, I proceeded out the nearest exit when lo and behold…
… the RX-78-2 Ver.GFT! On this rainy night, it stood guard with its back to the mall as it silently observed the nearby city for possible Zeon attacks.
This 1:1 scale replica is 18 meters tall. Not quite bigger than the mall it protects, but it does span a few floors.
I was already contemplating about how to cut the pieces from the runners (gardening cutters?) and file-off the flash lines (B1 sized sandpaper?), but it appears this Real-G grade model is not for sale. A little tent beside it did offer gunpla for purchase. Unfortunately, they’re all smaller (much MUCH smaller).
The Gundam Cafe was nearby. Soaking wet from the rain, I proceeded to the cafe hoping for something warm to drink. That and, perhaps, to meet Amuro Ray. The mobile-suit didn’t seem to have a pilot inside, perhaps he was taking a break.
It was a good thing they had pictures, ‘coz I had no idea which is which.
The Zaku design was quite cute, almost didn’t have the heart to drink the thing. The coffee was actually quite good.
As I enjoyed my cup, I was greeted by the military staff who seemed to be trying to recruit me. I really couldn’t care less about the war, but she gave me this cute smile, so I enlisted.
Being untrained in combat, my first mission was to support the war-effort by increasing the available war-funds. The cafe, fortunately, had quite a few products available to help with that.
These mugs might have made the awesome coffee even awesomer!
This is a pastry mold, but perhaps it can be used to make ice as well?
Maybe I can use that to make cakes/sweets like these?
Mini-Gunpla. It has gum inside too.
And something to put some fun on your office desk… a box of mini-Zakus!
Ain’t they the cutest thing?
Unfortunately, due to time, rain, and goods to be carried around, I was unable to see the rest of Gundam Front Tokyo. Hopefully, on my next visit, I’ll be able to see the headquarters.
[All pictures by the author.]