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Life-Size Moving Gundam to Stay on Display Until March 2023

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Gundam Factory Yokohama was originally slated to close in March 2022

Sunrise's Gundam.info website announced on Friday that the Gundam Factory Yokohama facility — which houses a moving, life-size RX-78-2 Gundam statue — will remain open until March 31, 2023. This extends the time it will remain open by a year. However, the facility will close for maintenance from mid-May to mid-July to prepare for the extension.

The announcement noted that the extension was due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting states of emergency in Japan preventing many people from visiting the site. The new extension will now allow more people both locally and abroad to visit.

The facility was originally slated to close on March 31 this year. (It was planned to be open for only a limited time.)

In addition, the online retail service Premium Bandai will once again offer the model kits and other items previously exclusive to Gundam Factory Yokohama, from January 31 to February 15. A bus decorated with an illustrated wrapping of the statue will start running from the Yokohama train station to the stop next to Gundam Factory Yokohama on February 23.

The 18-meter-high (59-foot-tall) life-size, moving Gundam held its grand opening for public viewing in December 2020. With the closure of the other four Gundam Cafes this month, the Yokohama Satellite cafe at Gundam Factory Yokohama will be the only Gundam Cafe left open.

Bandai Namco currently has three life-size Gundam statues on display. A life-size "transforming" RX-0 Unicorn Gundam statue from the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn anime debuted at Tokyo's Diver City complex in September 2017. Sunrise then unveiled the moving RX-78-2 Gundam statue from the first Mobile Suit Gundam anime in Yokohama in December 2020. The life-size statue of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed debuted in Shanghai in May 2021. (The Unicorn Gundam statue in Tokyo replaced a previous, mostly immobile RX-78-2 Gundam statue.)

A fourth statue will be unveiled in Fukuoka's Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport this April. The statue will depict a new mobile suit named the RX-93ffν Gundam, heavily based on Amuro Ray's RX-93 ν Gundam (pronounced "Nu Gundam") that appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack anime film.

Source: Gundam.info

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