Japan Has Said Goodbye to Its Life-Sized Gundam

A little over 3 years after it made its stomping debut, the mechanized, moving real-scale replica of the original legendary Gundam in Yokohama is no more. But Bandai sent out its walking, talking giant robot with a bang—and a tribute that paid homage to Gundam’s past and present.

The 18 meter tall, life-sized replica of the classic RX-78-2 Gundam—the original main mobile suit of the 1979 anime—originally opened to the public at the Yokohama Gundam Base in Tokyo Bay in December 2020, and was announced as part of the celebrations the year prior for Mobile Suit Gundam’s 40th anniversary.

While there are several statues of true-scale replicas of the franchise’s giant robots in Japan, the Yokohama Gundam was the first of its scale to feature advanced mechanics—36 moving parts in total—that allowed the mobile suit to perform rudimentary movements from its framework display, including kneeling, walking in place, and moving its arms and head. But after extending its intended exhibition length twice beyond its originally planned 2022 closure—in part spurred by the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic and due to overwhelming demand to the attraction, which saw nearly 2 million visits during its run—the Yokohama Gundam has moved for the last time.


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