Full-scale Freedom Gundam now standing in Shanghai.

It’s easy to forget how long it took Gundam to get out of Japan. The original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series premiered on Japanese TV in 1979, and for the better part of the next two decades the franchise was more or less exclusive to its home country.

These days, though, Gundam is a global hit, and just like the rest of the world now gets official releases of anime and video games featuring the extended family of titular mecha, as of this month a country other than Japan has its very own full-scale Gundam statue.

China has now become the second nation with a Gundam. First announced last summer, it’s a recreation of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam, the hero mecha of the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed series, likely reflecting Chinese otaku’s fondness for that particular branch of the franchise (though this will no doubt irk fans of the separate but similarly named GF7-023NA Gundam Freedom from Mobile Fighter G Gundam 7th Fight).


At 18.03 meters (59.15 feet) tall, the Freedom Gundam is 0.03 meters taller than the statue of the original RX-78 Gundam in Yokohama, but 1.7 meters shorter than Tokyo’s RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (oddly enough, the Freedom Gundam statue doesn’t seem to be standing up completely straight, though). Like the Unicorn, the Freedom Gundam stands guard outside a shopping center, the newly built Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport Jinqiao.

▼ And yes, the center has a Gundam Base store with model kits and excusive merch.

Assembly was finished in time for the center’s opening on April 28, with the head being placed just a few days prior.

▼ A much more involved processes than snapping a piece in place for a store-bought Gunpla set.

However, prep work for the Freedom Gundam project isn’t quite finished yet. Like with Tokyo’s Unicorn Gundam, eventually there will be daily light/sound shows in which parts of the statue light up and clips from the anime series play on a screen mounted on the outside of the building.

Those performances won’t start until the Freedom Gundam’s “opening ceremony” on May 28, but for fans who simply want to look up at the giant robot in awe, they can do that right now.

Sources: Jin, Gundam.info, PR Times
Top image: Sunrise
Insert images: PR Times
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