Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 13:03:41 -0800

Hi Phil, thanks for an early field report - you saved me a trip!

>I just got back from Bandai's Gundam Wing modelling event at the Santa
>Monica Toys R Us. I'm a little underwhelmed with what I saw there.


>There was also a table featuring two Gundam Wing staffers building models.
>The models that were being built weren't that extravagant - they were just
>snapped together with the decals applied, and a marker used to apply some
>simple panel line details. I shouldn't have expected Hooby Japan level of
>quality since the point of the exhibit was to show how easy it was for a kid
>to build a model. It was dissapointing to see that there weren't many kids
>interested in what was going on when I was there (around 10:30). The video
>might have been drawn some kids in, but I don't know how exciting it is to
>watch two adults building model kits. The only other spectator who seemed
>really interested in what was going on turned out to be another Gundam ML
>member whose name esacpes me.

This is kind of funny, because the first time I was exposed to Gundam was
when I saw a similar marketing promotion - some adults building Gundam kits
at a table near where they were selling these kits, except these people
were true professionals - they were building fully glued and painted 1/250
mobile suits from the Diorama sets, and did an outstanding job too. I was
hooked immediately and found the video soon after that. The rest is 20
year's worth of history. Too bad things aren't the same 2 decades later,
with a new generation raised by MTV to have no attention span whatsoever.

>Most of the staff there were wearing a really nice Gundam Wing Polo shirt,
>but regretablly they didn't have any of these for sale. Most of the people
>I talked to were members of the Advertising Agency Bandai hired to promote
>Gundam Wing, and as such they weren't real knowledgeable about the plans for
>Gundam Wing (let alone other Gundam series). There was one guy who might
>have been a Bandai or Anime Village rep, but I didn't get a chance to talk
>to him.

It's funny how the press release said "Gundam launching party at TRU"
instead of, more accurately, "Gundam Wing launching party at TRU". They
probably realized that "Gundam" would pull in a bigger crowd than "Gundam
Wing" for those who aren't paying attention. I mentioned about the launching
party to a fellow Gundam fan, but after he realized it was just Wing, he
refused to go because they weren't putting out Master Grade kits. ;)

>In any case, those of you who couldn't make it didn't miss much. I ended up
>buying a kit (1/144 Epyon)

$7.99 + tax? Ouch. Tell me if the 2 stickers, a B&W replica of the manual,
and a Business Reply card is worth the extra dough. Personally I don't think

>but it didn't look like much else was going on.
>I build better kits than the experts that they had there.

LOL. I think most of us on the GML do.

>I left a little
>puzzled, wondering why Bandai is trying to push the show this early, long
>before it will air in the Spring.

Trying to pull in the holiday shopping crowd, most likely. So there
weren't any contests or prize drawings for Southern California residents,
like they hinted?


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