Bandai is bringing Japan's famous Gundam Base store to the United States, but only for a limited time.
Per Crunchyroll, Bandai announced that a special Gundam pop up shop will open in San Diego to coincide with the upcoming "Special Edition" of Comic-Con, which will be held in the city from Nov. 26 - 28. The shop will recreate the theming of the chain's flagship stores located in Tokyo and Fukuoka. The chain hosts special events related to the series, showcases rare and unique models, and most importantly, sells exclusive merchandise that isn't available anywhere else. The pop up shop will bring some of these unique goods, including rare and exclusive Gunpla model kits, to the United States for the first time.
Gundam Wing fans should plan a trip to San Diego to pick up the Gundam Base exclusive Master Grade Epyon EW, which features Zechs Merquise's iconic mobile suit redone with a new metallic finish. For Universal Century purists, the store will also carry the transparent MG Gunner Zaku Warrior, as well as the exclusive Gundam Base variant Master GradeRX-78-2 Gundam Ver. 3.0, which features a unique blue color scheme that matches the store's logo. The pop-up shop will also give collectors the chance to pick up the RX-78F00 Gundam Bust Model, which is a limited edition item that was previously sold at the Gundam Factory, Yokohama's famous Gundam museum.
While the Gundam Base stores appear to be doing well, the same cannot be said for shop's sister business, the Gundam Cafe. The anime-themed restaurant chain announced this month that it will close all of its locations throughout Japan within the next year. The announcement came as a surprise to many Gundam fans, as the restaurant had recently announced new updates to its menu. While no official reason for the closure was given, fans have speculated that the restaurants, which were popular tourist attractions before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, faced a sharp downturn in business once travel restrictions went into effect in 2020.
Despite that, Gundam fans still have plenty to look forward to: Netflix recently revealed a first look at the upcoming live-action Gundam movie, which is being produced by Legendary Pictures and will be directed by Kong: Skull Island's Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Animation studio Sunrise also announced three new Gundam anime projects: an Iron-Blooded Orphans spinoff entitled Uror Hunt, a movie remake of the original Gundam anime's Cucuruz Doan's Island episode and finally, an all new series entitled Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, which will premiere in 2022. The studio also announced that it is working on the sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway, which will feature the return of the original series' Bright Noa.
Source: Bandai Namco, via Crunchyroll