Mobile Suit Gundam premiered on Japanese television on April 7, 1979, and since that time it has spawned an endless number of television series, OVAs (Original Video Animation, i.e. straight to video productions) and movies. The series was an instant hit, and in July 1980, the first Gundam plastic model kit, also known as “Gunpla” was released. Due to the timing of the series and merchandise, 2009 was the 30th anniversary of the series, and this year is the 30th anniversary of the models, making for essentially a two year long celebration.
Asahi Shinbun (Japanese language), recently reported that since the first Gunpla was sold 400 million model kits have been sold all around the world. So it makes sense that this is something Bandai, the company behind the brand, would want to celebrate, and something other companies would like to get into also.
Softbank, one of the major cell phone carriers in Japan, has announced the Gundam Cellphone 945SH G, a special edition of the upcoming Sharp 945SH. The basic phone, as well as the Gundam version, features:
- A 3.4 inch (854X480) full-wide VGA ASV LCD
- A 1.4 inch (64X192) OLED sub-display
- 12.1 mega pixel anti-shake autofocus camera
- microSDHC memory card support
The Gundam edition will also have Gundam related content on it that will show you things such as schematics for the RX-78-2 Gundam, the first robot to ever carry the name in the original series. The phone also includes a special edition model kit of the robot it is based on along with a dock for you to display your phone and model together.
This isn’t the first time a Gundam phone has been released in Japan. There was at least one other for sale back in 2008 themed around Char Azanable, the main “villain” (it depends on how you viewed his motives) of the original series. In the case of that phone, its dock was shaped like the head of his custom red Zaku (evil robot) unit.
At the time of this writing the pricing for the 945SH G hasn’t been announced yet, and it will ship in Sept. As you might expect, this is a release for Japan only.