While Gundam is everywhere today, for most of the ’80s and ’90s it was up to Western anime fans to carry the torch of Gundam through fanzines, magazine articles, and newsgroups.
The first part of a deep dive into the origins of gunpla and mecha modelling in the U.S., looking back to the 1980s when Japanese model kits invaded hobby store shelves and wargaming tables.
The gunpla boom of the early ’80s saw an explosion of interest in mecha modeling and provided unprecedented opportunities for a group of model enthusiasts that dubbed themselves “Stream•Base.”
Drawing from their experience in TV anime, 3D photo stories, and other media, ARTMIC created rich OVAs that, more often than not, shared familiar thematic elements along with a consistently recognizable visual style.
Take a quick trip back to 1984 and check out the latest SF3D Original kits from Nitto.
There was no shortage of anime magazines in the 1980s, but what about all those other things the maniacs cared about? Cosplay, garage kits, doujin, dinosaurs… Do-Pe covered an eclectic array of otaku interests over its brief three-year run.
During the gunpla boom of the early ’80s, giant robots were everywhere… even safety campaigns for kids. Meet Japan National Railways’ Gundam doppelganger, Railway Crossing Warrior Shadan.
Sony’s marketing campaigns for their MSX computers involved everyone from Syd Mead to Seiko Matsuda, but their most memorable bit of advertising may have been a print ad featuring a scratch-built powered suit to advertise their HiTBiT HB-F1 MSX2 machine.
Project A-Ko’s origins in the adult anime series Cream Lemon are well documented, less so the influence and shared staff between the iconic OVA and the legendary TV show, Urusei Yatsura.
Gundam fans dancing in the streets in Tokyo circa 1980. Who were the Tominoko Tribe?