While most dread turning 30, Japan's most beloved mobile suit is standing tall... literally. Earlier this week Japan became the proud owner of the first life-size Gundam, which now towers over Tokyo Bay's Odaiba Island.
Built by Bandai in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the "Mobile Suit Gundam" anime series, the iconic Gundam RX-78-2 replica stands close to 60 feet tall, making it the first ever in-scale mobile suit to accurately portray the proportions of the legendary mecha. There's a gallery of photos of the suit on a Japanese-language blog, but we've posted a pair of our favorites here.
Though many sequels and spin-offs sported new suits of armor, this particular model effectively stands as the symbol of the franchise thanks to the success of original pilot Amuro Ray's adventures.
For "Gundam" fans, the image almost seems too good to be true -- like a Photoshop prank gone horribly right. Fortunately for fans, the shots represent a very real feat of engineering.
Many other Gundam model replicas have been built before at a smaller scale, but the closest Bandai had come to constructing the symbol of the franchise up until now came in the forms of a giant lantern and a shell housing an interactive theme park attraction, neither of which was constructed from the ground up. The new replica is also rumored to sport light-up and mechanical features. Sadly, they won't manifest in the form of a working beam sword.
The replica will be on display through most of the summer, giving fans with the proper documentation and plenty of spare yen a very tall reason to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.
What say ye, Splash Pagers? Is this a simple Gundam celebration or a preemptive strike by the Earth Federation against Zeon rebels? Demonstrate your Newtype abilities in the comments.