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Mental Over ’80s Mecha Metal part 5 – Mobile Suit Gundam

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Strangely enough, the grandaddy of mecha-themed anime, Gundam never saw distribution in the U.S. during its original run in the ’80s.

Editor’s Note: This is part 5 of an 8 part series running all this week on GeekExchange.com! Check back every day to reach a little further back into the history of ’80s Mecha!

The series, which was first shown in 1979, revolves around giant robots called Mobile Suits that are piloted by humans in a complex war with one another. Gundam has gone on to expand to multiple series, movies and video games, becoming an icon in Japan that rivals the popularity of Star Wars here in the States. Most every Mobile Suit that has been featured in the Gundam universe has a model-kit made available by Bandai. The Gundam line of model kits really is like no other on the market and for good reason: Bandai has been engineering and continually improving Gundam kits for an incredible 34 years.

LEFT:
Mecha-09: Gundam RX-78-2 1/100 (NG)

Release: 1980
Price: $10 (1994 re-release)
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This is it, the re-release of the very first Gundam kit that started the Mobile Suit model-kit empire. Its simple construction didn’t allow for much “mobility,” but then again not many other kits designed in 1980 did. It’s nice that Bandai still offers this classic kit today.

RIGHT:
Mecha-10: RX-78-2 Gundam 1/144 (RG)

Release: 2010
Price: $38
robot4less.com

The all snap-together kit requires neither paint nor glue but comes out looking like it was painted and assembled by a professional. On top of that, the model kit is fully poseable, featuring ball joints and internally shifting parts that allow the Gundam to move its body parts like that of a real person. The Real Grade (RG) line of Bandai kits are simply incredible.

Photos by Jerry Tsai

Figures courtesy of Tony Yao

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