Gundam Info, the official Sunrise Gundam portal website, has announced Gundam Factory Yokohama will be extending its operations by one year until March 31, 2023. The moving Gundam attraction was initially to shutter March 31, 2022.
The decision to extend operations was made after discussions with the city of Yokohama and other related parties in response to the passionate requests of fans in Japan and abroad who were unable to visit the venue due to travel restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency declarations in Japan.
As part of the extension, the GFY will be closed for maintenance for about two months from mid-May, and is scheduled to reopen by mid-July. The details will be announced on the GFY official website as soon as they are confirmed.
In addition, beginning February 23 GFY will begin operating a specially designed “wrapped bus” in collaboration with the “BAYSIDE BLUE,” a series of buses that connect the east exit of Yokohama Station to tourist facilities in the Bay Area and Yamashita Pier.
The “Gundam Global Project” began as an ambitious project to realize the dream of creating a life size, 18m tall RX-78-2 Gundam that moves, the Gundam would later be dubbed RX-78F00 Gundam.With the tagline “Challenge the dream: When Gundam moves, the world moves.”, the project launched in 2014 but was stalled due to complications. In 2018, the project was revived for the Gundam 40th Anniversary.
The project was overseen by staff members from the realms of anime and film production to robotics and engineering. Masaki Kawahara, who’s helmed the creation of the previous Gundam statues, served as project manager. The Gundam utilizes a steel frame with a carbon resin exterior, powered by electrical actuators, and relies on Asratec Corp’s “V-Sido” operating system to generate motion.
The Gundam Factory Yokohama opened December 2020 at Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier as an amusement facility showcasing the moving 18m RX-78F00 Gundam statue. The facility consists of Gundam-Dock Tower, which allows visitors to see the Gundam much closer and Gundam Lab, a two story building featuring event spaces to learn about the statue’s design, structures and mechanisms through talk shows, lectures, research presentations and workshops. The Lab includes the Gundam Pilot View SoftBank 5G Experience, a VR dome that simulates a real time Gundam piloting experience from the cockpit using 5G technology courtesy of SoftBank. Located within the Gundam Lab is its own satellite Gundam Cafe and The Gundam Base with their own unique menu and limited edition merchandise.
Also in December 2020, the RX-78F00 became the “Largest mobile humanoid robot” and “Largest mobile Gundam” in the Guinness World Records.
Source: Gundam Info