Chinese Theme Park: Statue Is Not Copied From Gundam (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
Chengdu Guosetianxiang, an amusement park in the central Chinese province of Sichuan, has denied accusations that its orange robot statue was copied from Sunrise's Gundam anime franchise. A public relations representative said, "It is not an imitation but an original [design]. It is not an copy of Gundam, but a design we came up with." However, the representative acknowledged, "Since there are reports of similarities, we are currently working on modifications." Sotsu, the primary copyright holder of Gundam, said that it is "investigating" the facts of the matter. The news source FNN is streaming a video report about the issue.
The park's website used a two-character Chinese term for Gundam to promote the statue; the website previously used an image (since removed) of the 00 Gundam design (from the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam 00) to promote the statue. Like recent interpretations of the original RX-78-2 Gundam design from the first Gundam series, Chengdu Guosetianxiang's statue has "EFSF" on its right shoulder and "WB" on its left shoulder. (In Gundam, those abbreviations stands for "Earth Federation Space Force" and the carrier ship "White Base," respectively.)
According to the Chinese park's website, the orange statue will be decorated to "light up the Christmas night." The website once listed the height of the statue as "15 meters" (about 49 feet), but it now lists "20 meters" (66 feet). A 18-meter-tall (59-foot-tall) "life-size" Gundam statue once stood at Tokyo's Odaiba Island and now stands in the central Japanese city of Shizuoka. While the Shizuoka statue is made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic over a steel frame, the Chengdu Guosetianxiang statue is made from nylon cloth stretched over a metal frame.
In 2007, a different Chinese theme park in Beijing faced allegations that it had costumed characters based on the characters Doraemon, Hello Kitty, and Mickey Mouse.
Sources: Sports Nippon, Sports Hochi, Nikkan Sports, FNN
Update: FNN posted a new video report on Monday to note that the theme park has covered the statue's face with a vinyl sheet. According to people connected with the park, the sheet is necessary "for final modifications." FNN also notes that there are displays with characters that are strikingly similar to Japan's Ultraman character.
follow-up of 15-Meter Orange Gundam Lookalike Rises in China
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history