First shop selling Gundam robots opens in Southeast Asia

A Japanese toy shop selling Gundam figures based on the hit animated series ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ has opened in Bangkok, Thailand.

THE GUNDAM BASE THAILAND, the first Gundam flagship store in Southeast Asia, opened on November 11 in the Siam Center shopping district, a popular tourist spot in the Thai capital.

The shop sells exclusive Gundam items, and model kits known among fans as ‘Gunpla’ – which is shorthand for Gundam plastic model. The shop also boasts of housing the largest Gundam exhibit in Southeast Asia.

Impatient customers who can’t wait to unbox their purchases can assemble their models in a designated area inside the shop.

Bandai Spirits Co., Ltd., the company that produces the Gunpla model kits, said in a statement: ‘We hope to provide visitors with an experience that they can only get here, where you can see, learn about, buy, and enjoy Gunpla all under one roof.’

A total of 700 million units of Gunpla models have been sold since their release in July 1980. There are a total of 16 Gunpla stores worldwide including in Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, and Shanghai.

The genre-defining Gundam franchise is an influential sci-fi war drama that popularised the use of giant mecha robots in Japanese animations.