Nike and Bandai Team Up for New Gundam Unicorn Collab

Nike and Bandai have announced a new collaboration that features both Gundam Unicorn-themed sneakers and Nike-themed Gundams.

The new collaboration also features pro skaters Paul Rodriguez and Yuto Horigome, who recently took home the first gold medal for skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. A new illustration and animated short were produced to promote all aspects of the collaboration, which features animated versions of Horigome and Rodriguez piloting the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam and its brother unit, the Banshee Gundam, which have been redesigned with new Nike-branded paint schemes. The short also showcases Nike's latest limited edition sneakers, which are patterned after each mobile suit's "Destroy Mode" and feature the show's Unicorn emblem as well as a Nike logo that has been redesigned to resemble to the head crests of each unit. The logo can also be detached to recreate the Gundams' more subdued "Unicorn Mode" appearance.

Gundam Nike Collaboration promo image, featuring Unicorn Gundam and two pro skaters
Gundam Model Kits from Bandai's Nike collaboration

The new Gundam Dunk Highs will be available at select Nike SB stores and on Nike's SNKRS website on Sept. 24 for 13, 200 yen (roughly $120 USD). The Nike branded model kits for the Gundam Unicorn and Banshee will go on sale on the Premium Bandai website on Sept. 23. Both the sneakers and the Gunpla kits are being produced in limited quantities.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn began as a novel series by Harutoshi Fukui, which was adapted into an anime in 2010. The series is set after the events of Char's Counterattack and deals with a renewed conflict between the Earth Federation and a faction of Neo-Zeon, who are now led by a masked man known only by the name "Full Frontal." Similar to the franchise's original protagonist Amuro, Unicorn's new lead Banagher accidentally becomes the pilot of his family's secret weapon, the transforming Unicorn Gundam, during an attack on his home colony.

The Gundam Unicorn anime received a positive reception upon its release, where it was praised for its beautiful animation and visual style and was widely regarded as a return to form for the long-running sci-fi anime franchise. The anime adaptation was directed by anime industry veteran Kazuhiro Furuhashi, who previously worked on series such as Ranma 1/2 and Hunter X Hunter. The series was followed up in 2018 with Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative, a movie which mostly features a new cast of characters and is set one year after the conclusion of Unicorn. Narrative received a more mixed reception than its predecessor.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is available for streaming on Netflix and Hulu.

Source: YouTube, Premium Bandai

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