6 June 2024

Gundam, the iconic Japanese franchise, known for its giant robotic “mech” suits and its accompanying model kits, Gunpla, has captured the hearts and minds of enthusiasts around the world. 

In particular, Thailand has seen a remarkable surge in interest in and influence of both Gundam and Gunpla. These two phenomena have had a profound impact on many Thai people.

This is a big chance for Gundam fans to explore the first ever Gundam exhibition to be held in Thailand, ‘GUNDAM docks at Thailand’, where everyone can find a variety of Gunpla models, including showcases of marvellous Gundam statues.

The exhibition is divided into 3 major zones: In the first zone, visitors can explore the history of the Gundam fictional multiverse since 1979 and the Gunpla plastic model, which was first produced in 1980. 

Visitors will also get to know the world of Gunpla models, which have 7 grades to collect, including the Entry grade, SD or Super deformed, HG or High grade, Mega Size model, RG or Real grade, MG or Master grade and PG or Perfect grade. 

The exhibition also features masterpieces crafted by Thai Gunpla builders, who participated in the 11th Gunpla Builders World Cup.

One of the most interesting parts of the event is the showcase of Ecopla, which is a project which aims to collect the runners of GUNPLA and recycle them into new plastic model products through chemical recycling, a cutting-edge technology.

For Gunpla lovers, a lot of exclusive merchandise is in the second zone, where you can find the limited Gunpla models with Thai line art on its shield and unique design, paying tribute to Thailand’s tricolour flag.

The third zone provides a Gunpla workshop, where visitors can learn to build Gunpla models themselves in the Genius Planet zone on the sixth floor.

Even though there are many robot based cartoons in the world, the expert said that there’s no cartoon that reaches around the globe like Gundam, with its main story and Gundam design.

Thanayod Lopattananont, Research Fellow in Asian Security and Cultural Relations, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, said that “We must admit that Japan is a nation that excels in two things. First, the story is very good, with a lot of drama, different from western cartoons at that time. The first episode of Gundam, which was released in 1979, was the story of the fight against the colonists and about liberation, similar to Star Wars.”

“Secondly, when Japan presents something, they are very good at retaining detail. Therefore, we will not only see the robots and the battle in the animation, but we can see the movement and every step of a robot and its design is similar to ancient samurai. The earliest figures had two-handed swords, while also carrying a gun sometimes. It is a combination of traditional Japanese identity with the modern world. You can imagine how this kind of modern figure existed in that old era. When western robot cartoons couldn’t do it, Gundum could.”, He added.

For anyone interested in the Gundam fictional multiverse, the event will be held until October 29th, from 10am to 10pm, at Central World, Bangkok.

By Kitipat Chuensukjit