Deck the Halls With Boughs of Gundam


This December, visitors to Tokyo’s famous Akihabara electronics district will be able to celebrate the holidays beneath a Christmas tree made up of little plastic robots.

Akihabara has been famously described (by me, just now) as “Nerd Mecca.” Not only is it the shopping district to go to in Tokyo if you want all the latest and greatest consumer electronics, it’s the shopping district where you can find every hobby-related item you could ever want. Statuettes of anime girls, rare videogames, comic books and graphic novels – and of course, plastic models of the mecha from the popular Mobile Suit Gundam franchise.

To celebrate the release of PSP action game Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus, Namco Bandai will be erecting a Christmas tree 5 meters tall (that’s approximately 16 feet) that will feature 60 gunpla – short for “Gundam plamo,” which itself is short for “plastic model.” Though the report says the tree will be “made of” the models, I’m assuming that they’ll just be the ornaments since making an actual tree out of the little things would be quite the monumental engineering feat.

Veteran voice actor Tohru Furuya, who voiced protagonist Amuro Ray in the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam, will be on hand to switch on the tree’s lights – naturally, the series’ standard red/white/blue main character color scheme – this Thursday, December 3rd. The first 100 people to pick up the PSP game will be able to take their picture with him, but let’s face it – with as many hardcore Gundam fans as there are in Japan, the odds of any of The Escapist community members being one of that number are pretty darn slim.

Now, it’s no full-scale statue or anything, but I’d certainly love to have a Gundam Christmas tree of my very own. Besides, if the plan is to decorate it with 60 models, I’ve got almost a quarter of that number here on my desk at work. What do you say, Namco Bandai – can we trade?

(Manichi Shinbun via ANN)

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