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Press Release
2001/05/15
Bandai Co., Ltd. (7967)
Head Office: 2-5-4 Komagata, Taito-ku, Tokyo
President: Takeo Takasu
Capital: 23.6 billion yen
Gundam Model Sets Reach Distribution of 320 Million-
Popular With All Ages, Increasing Interest World-Wide

New Model On Sale May 26th
High Grade Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2


Over 320 million Gundam models have been shipped to outlets around the world since the series was launched in 1980, and now a new model to be released May 26th.

HGUC Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2: birth of a new standard

TOKYO, May 15, 2001 - Bandai's Hobby Division announced the release of the High Grade Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2 model kit, a new edition in the popular Gundam model series that sets a new standard of design for the 21st century. The 1/144 scale model will be launched on May 26th at model shops, toy stores and other outlets throughout the country at a price of 1,000 yen. Sales are expected to top half a million units by the end of March 2002.

This new model is easy to assemble and does not require glue or paint, so that children - and not just their parents - can enjoy building the Gundam kit. The new model has more movable parts than the previous HG Series, multiplying the number of possible poses for enacting favorite scenes from the animated TV show or exciting new stories from your imagination.

The evolving Mobile Suit Gundam Model Series

The Mobile Suit Gundam model series is a kit that assembles into a plastic model of the robot mobile suit featured in the hit TV animation "Mobile Suit Gundam", which premiered in 1979. Ever since the first model, 1/144 Scale Gundam, was released on the market over twenty years ago, the series has proven popular not only with pre-teens and teenagers, but also with adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

More than 430 different Mobile Suit Gundam model kits have been offered for sale in Japan alone since the series began. The newly released models reflect Bandai's constant improvements not only in scale proportion and moving parts, but also in technology. New models use advances that allow for easy, fool-proof assembly like the Snap-fit and Multiple-color Production processes which eliminate the need for gluing and painting.

Snap-fit and Multiple-color Production are Bandai proprietary technologies, developed at the Shizuoka plant (702 Sodeshi, Shimizu, Shizuoka-ken). The Snap-fit system lets everyone enjoy model assembly by simply snapping together closely fitting parts, using no glue. The Multiple-color Production process allows parts of differing colors to be attached to a single runner (the plastic frame which holds the kit parts before assembly), so that no painting is required to achieve a full-color model.

High Grade Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2 on Tour-
The 40th Shizuoka Hobby Show and Akihabara In-store Event Promotions


Bandai will be exhibiting the new High Grade Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2 model kit prior to market release on May 26th. The product will make its debut at the 40th Shizuoka Hobby Show to be held at Shizuoka Twin Messe. The event is open by invitation to the industry on May 17th and 18th, with general admissions on May 19th and 20th.

Following the Shizuoka Hobby Show, Bandai will be sponsoring the "Akihabara Gundam Model V Strategy" event at hobby shops and other outlets in Akihabara from May 25th through 27th. The event will coincide with the launch of sales (Sales to begin May 26th) and will feature footage of models on electronic billboards, a stamp rally, actual model assembly by pro model builders and other activities promoting the new model kit.

Gundam Models Around the World: North America, Asia, Europe, Oceania

Gundam model kits are available in 14 countries around the world, and are growing more popular every day. In the United States the animated series "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing" (Japan, 1995-1996) started airing on Cartoon Network, a cable channel with 60% coverage of the country, in March 2000. The series has proven to be one of the most popular of the Japanese animation offerings on the network, and that growing popularity is reflected in rapidly increasing sales of models, action figures and other Gundam products. The original, "Mobile Suit Gundam" series is scheduled to be shown on Cartoon Network beginning late in July of this year, and the international version of the new High Grade Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2 and other products will be released in conjunction.

In Asia the model kits and related products are available and selling well in Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

In Great Britain broadcast of "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing" began this January, along with the distribution of related products for sale. The TV series is scheduled to begin this summer in Italy and Australia as well, with coordinated product releases. These developments, as well as continuing sales in Canada, Germany and France, reflect the ongoing advance of Gundam model kits and other Gundam products around the world.

The Development of Bandai Group's Gundam Character

Gundam is an original character developed by Bandai Group's Sunrise Inc., which achieved extraordinary popularity with the broadcast of the first Gundam TV series, "Mobile Suit Gundam" during the April 1979 - January 1980 season. In the twenty years since then the Gundam character has been featured in nine animated TV series, seven full-length movies and four original video productions, capturing and keeping the hearts of fans new and old.

In addition to Gundam model kits, Bandai designs and markets action figures, vending machine prizes, trading cards, candy prizes and software for the WonderSwan Color hand-held game system as part of a broad line-up of character toys and products featuring Gundam. Latest results (as of the end of March) report sales of the hit software "Mobile Suit Gundam" for Play Station 2 at 470,000 since it went on sale at the end of last year. Other Gundam-related products such as Bandai Visual's DVDs and videos as well as Bandai Networks' mobile phone download service are also gaining favor with fans.

Total sales for Gundam products in FY2000 were approximately 24.7 billion yen worldwide, a success that Bandai Group is determined to improve upon in the years to come.

Gundam Perfect Web at http://www.gundam.channel.or.jp/ is the official Gundam site, operated by Bandai and Sunrise.

High Grade Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2
On sale:
May 26, 2001
Suggested retail price:
1,000 yen (excluding Tax)
Size:
1/144 scale, height 130mm
Suggested age range:
8 years or older
Distributed to:
Model shops, toys stores and other outlets throughout the country
  • The Mobile Suit Gundam model is a kit that assembles into a plastic model of the robot featured in the hit TV animation "Mobile Suit Gundam"
  • The robot displays the realism of the Gundam conceptual design as executed in three dimensions, reflecting the supervision and leadership of the famous Mr. Hajime Katoki
  • Movable parts allow for a wide range of dramatic play
  • The robot can be equipped with the beam rifle, beam saber, shield, and bazooka from the current animation series
  • Gundam's Core Fighter, which functions as both the robot's cockpit and fighter plane, is included


  • (c) Sotsu Agency, Sunrise
    When using this photograph be sure to include the copyright, above.


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