Gundam Front Tokyo

August 7, 2012 at 18:00 | Posted in Events, Random rants | 2 Comments
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I recently went to Tokyo to pickup my ESP M-II CTM guitar from Ochanomizu and I planned my trip to coincide with the Summer Wonder Festival (pics coming soon). So to kill 3 birds with 1 stone, I also decided to visit Gundam Front Tokyo (GFT) in Odaiba.

So what exactly is GFT? It’s basically a small Gundam museum/attraction located at the 6th (or was it 7th?) floor of the Diver City Tokyo shopping mall in Odaiba. The free area includes a roomful of all gunpla from past to present; limited GFT merchandise shop; and a clothes shop.

To enter the main display area, you have to pay 1200yen admission fee. Tickets can be bought at the counter on the same day, but if it’s a public holiday, chances are tickets would be sold out. So a pre-purchased ticket (online or convenience store) was recommended. The first part of the main area is the Dome-G. As the name implies, it’s a dome-shaped screening area, where they show a 10-15 minute clip of various Gundam animations. It was fairly interesting, but because the footage is projected onto the dome, I had a mild neck strain from looking up too long.

After the screening, guests will be ushered to the main exhibit area which contains half of 1:1 scale Strike Freedom; a 1:1 scale damaged Core Fighter; a scale model of A-Baoa Qu and a character photo spot. That’s about it.

And finally if you venture outside the Diver City building, there you will find the 1:1 scale RX-78-2. No fancy gimmicks like rotating head and smoke from the chest vents this time, but it’s still impressive as ever. And just behind it, there’s a Gundam Cafe where you can eat a Bernie hamburger (just kidding).

Overall, I personally feel there’s very little attraction to warrant a 1200yen entry fee. The 1:1 scale Strike Freedom and Core Fighter looked amazing, but the neck-straining experience in the dome was a bummer. So enough talk, here’s some pics I took. Enjoy

 

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Gundam Big Expo

October 25, 2009 at 20:33 | Posted in Events | 3 Comments
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Yes, I know it was a few months back and I’m fully deserving of the title slowpoke. I just haven’t had the time to organize the many photos I’ve taken over the past few months and this event unfortunately was my lowest priority. But anyway, better late than never right? This expo was one of the many events Bandai has prepared in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Gundam. If i recall correctly, they divided the expo into several sections: anime, gunpla, games, stage, books and merchandise sections. Only the merchandise section had no entrance fee, the rest required ~1000yen for entry.

At the books section they had, well…gundam books. Mangas, magazines etc.

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Even Tomino  has his own book

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And just beside the books section were some Gundam artwork by artists unknown to me, but they look nice anyway

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The gunpla section is actually just a small row displaying gunpla from the first clunky bits of plastic from the 70’s to the sleek design of today’s MG.  I actually like the boxart of those old kitsgbe_mu-06

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There was also a dedicated section for the 1:1 scale Gundam in Odaiba. They have a PG-sized model of the 1:1 scale model of the RX-78. Man, they really love the RX-78. They also displayed some components of the gundam, including the mold for the v-antennae. The last 2 pics are the real 1:1 scale gundam I took from the train on the way back.

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As I entered the anime section, some posters of the anime series caught my attention. You can see my bias for U.C stuff, as I didn’t take any photos of other series’s posters :P

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The anime section started off with 0079 U.C and in the middle was this massive diorama with HGUC models (lots of em)

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And then there’s other dioramas involving the RX-78…

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The rest of the anime section included the rest of gundam series that ever existed. And each section had the respective mechas and/or dioramas. Here they are in no particular order:

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And also, for each anime subsection, there were big scale models of the ‘hero’ mobile suits..

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And that’s about all the photos I took. There was the stage event where they had some famous gundam related celebrities, mostly the voice actors. I recall the voice actor for Gihren Zabi giving his Zeon speech and following that the crowd went “ZIEG ZEON!!!” That was cool. There’s also a screening booth for a short CG animation called ‘Ring of Gundam’. Nothing interesting actually. Just after the exit was the merchandise section but I didn’t really fancy buying anything, plus the queue was long. So that’s it, and as always enjoy the pics.

Green Tokyo Gundam Project

July 30, 2009 at 01:29 | Posted in Events | 1 Comment
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If you’re a Gundam fanboy, you probably have already heard about or seen pics of the giant 1:1 scale RX-78-2 in Shiokaze Park, Odaiba. Well I just had to go there and take a look at it with my own eyes. Finding my way to the park from the station was easy enough, just follow the arrows with the words “Gundam” on em. I reached there around high noon and it was a really hot, yet fortunately clear day. As expected, the park was abuzz with people & activity; a bazaar-like atmosphere. Different variations of the 0079 Gundam theme song, ‘Tobe Gandamu‘, can be heard over the loudspeakers. Around the park there were food stalls, picnic tables, a platform where you can be photographed with the Gundam in the background (for a fee, of course) and a booth selling official merchandise.

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As for the Gundam itself, it was, well… huge. The surrounding area around the Gundam was already crowded with people taking photos with various cameras, ranging from cellphone cams to huge DSLRs on tripods. I was able to get a good zoom from my humble 40-150mm Zuiko lens. The Gundam was very well detailed and the design seems to be a mixture of the first MG and the OYW version of the RX-78-2.

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If you’ve ever wondered what the warning decals on your model kits actually say, well now you know. I was quite disappointed that they didn’t use engrish :(

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After having enough of taking pics under the hot sun, I decided to take a break and I left the Shiokaze park for the Makuhari Messe which was less than an hour train ride away. What’s going on there, you may ask? Why it’s just the Wonder Festival of Summer 2009. I’ll post pics from that event later. In short, I spent a few hours there, mostly taking photos and enjoying the view. Then I returned to Odaiba for a second viewing of the Gundam.

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As I was waiting for the sunset, I decided to join the queue to buy some souvenirs at the official bandai shop/booth. Yes, you have to queue up because the shop was very small and can only accommodate a few people at a time.

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As it grew darker, the number of people there didn’t let up. I guess they had the same ideas as me: to watch the Gundam light up. Actually at certain time intervals, the Gundam can turn its head left and right, and then look up while being accompanied by the cheesy sound effects you hear from the original anime. At the same time, smoke would appear from the chest, shoulder, booster and calf areas.

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And as night fell, it was time for me to go home, having taken my fill of photographs.

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It was a fulfilling journey and experience, one that I would be glad to say ‘I’ve been there’. As a memento, I bought a HGUC model of the the life-sized gundam. Its actually identical to the HGUC Gundam Ver.G 30th, except for the box art and the addition of a scale-model of the platform seen at the park. I also bought a fan (hey, I’m a Gundam fan!) and some postcards. I hope you enjoyed the pics and this post. Cheers!

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