Gundam robot fans compete to build models at event in Thailand

Fans of the Japanese Gundam robot competed to build models at an event in Thailand.

Skilled assemblers and enthusiasts showcased their intricate work at at the flagship store for Gundam lovers in Bangkok.

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.

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.

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

According to data from Business Wire, the Gundam franchise had amassed more than five billion dollars in global sales by the year 2000.

By 2018, Gundam had become of one of the top 15 highest-grossing media franchises of all time with more than 20 billion dollars in total revenue.

The creation is now owned by Bandai Namco Holdings.