Gunpla is a shorthand term combination of the words ‘Gundam’ and ‘Plastic’. So when we say ‘Gunpla’ think ‘Gundam Plastic Model Kit’. These kits come disassembled with the individual pieces attached to what we call ‘runners’. Each piece is removed from a runner with a pair of small precision cutters (nippers). Those pieces then attach to other pieces by simply slotting them together in various ways. No glue is required and easy to follow visual instructions are provided with each kit.
The manufacturer of Gunpla is Bandai and they have spent years refining their craft. In the video below, we get to see how the Bandai Hobby Center creates new Gunpla models from the design stage through to actually boxing the product ready for shipping to retailers like us.
Gundam fans can take note of the staff uniforms resembling the attire of the Federation from the anime. The machinery and layout of the factory is also designed with a Mobile Suit aesthetic. It really shows how much Bandai values the franchise as a whole.
What might be surprising is how much craftsmanship is on display. It is easy to think the process just involves a computer spitting out a design but a lot of manual research and development goes into each model. Imagine designing giant robots for a living!
With Gunpla gaining popularity worldwide, Bandai has announced that they need a larger factory which is set to open later this year. We hope they produce a new video showing how far the operation has come since the below was made in 2015.