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Moving Gundam statue set for life-size landing in Yokohama

A 1:30 scale model of the Gundam Global Challenge's planned Gundam-Dock, part of the Gundam Factory Yokohama complex set to open in Yokohama on Oct. 1, 2020, is seen at an announcement event on Jan. 20, 2020. (Mainichi/Yukiko Murata)

TOKYO -- Mobile Suit Gundam fans, prepare to be moved.

The Gundam Global Challenge project team announced plans on Jan. 20 for a life-sized, moving Gundam statue -- part of a larger complex dedicated to the iconic anime robot called Gundam Factory Yokohama set to open on Oct. 1 in the Yamashita Futo harbor area near Yokohama's famed Chinatown -- in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the popular anime series.

The team has been working on making a moving version of the robot since 2014, and tapped researchers, engineers, creators and other professionals to hash out a viable design for public display. The fruits of their labor will be an 18-meter-tall Gundam statue, wrapped in gangways that will bring visitors a close-up view of the robot from its legs all the way up to its face.

The Gundam Factory will be made up of two sections: the giant replica mecha in the Gundam-Dock, and exhibits explaining the technology behind the robot's moving parts and other Gundam goodies plus a cafe and gift chop in the Gundam-Lab.

The Gundam Factory Yokohama, south of Tokyo, is scheduled to run for a year after its October opening. Tickets are expected to go on sale in July.

(Japanese original by Yukiko Murata, Photo and Video Center)

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