Mobile Suit Gundam is looking to make a big splash this year with the upcoming release of its next anime feature-length film in Hathaway's Flash, but a recent initiative that has sprung up in Japan gets the legendary anime franchise in the recycling game with its Gundam Plastic Models. The Gunplas have been popular for decades now since the debut of the anime in the late 1970s, and now, the plastic models can help fans of the space fairing anime contribute to saving the environment with the new "Gundam Recycling Project" that has begun in Japan.
2020 was a tough year for the franchise of Mobile Suit: Gundam, with its involvement in the Tokyo Summer Olympics being postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic delaying the games themselves. On top of this, Hathaway's Flash also had to be delayed and will be arriving in theaters in Japan later this year. During the coronavirus pandemic, several Gundam fans decided to acquire Gundam plastic models to wile away the hours, making the Gunplas that have sold over 500 million figures to date, a hot ticket item during a time when many felt they were relegated to their homes.
The "Gundam Recycling Project" was designed by Bandai Namco Holdings, Bandai Spirits, Bandai Namco Amusement, and Logipal Express, which attempts to take one of the most important parts of the plastic models and recycle them so that their materials can be used in other Gunplas. The "Runners" are the plastic contraptions that house the numerous parts of the Gundam Plastic Models that fans use to assemble the popular figures. The recycling boxes have been installed at 190 locations in Namco arcades in Japan, allowing fans to deposit their Gundam runners for future use.
Gundam plastic models haven't just brought to life a variety of mech suits that we've seen in the anime, but also from mech suits that have appeared in novels and other bizarre fusions that you might otherwise never see when it comes to the world of anime.
Would you participate in the Gundam Recycling Project if it were brought to the West? What is your favorite Gundam Plastic Model that you've seen produced over the course of the franchise? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of Gundam.