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Gunpla Banzai: Barnes & Noble selling Gunpla kits

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Build Fighters to follow?

It's actually funny: For as much access as North American anime fans have to Japan's pop culture output these days, there really are some things that are still difficult to find over there. For example, it's easy to get your eyeballs on licensed anime releases (via streams or discs), but getting your hands on some sweet Gundam plastic models (aka gunpla) is mainly the domain of specialist retailers and online commerce. Compare that to the state of affairs in parts of Asia, where there's a Bandai-sponsored Gunpla corner in every major toy department, and the stuff that's hard to find is the anime meant to sell all those gunpla.

That state of affairs is about to change, if book retailer Barnes and Noble has anything to say about it. They've just announced plans to return gunpla to store shelves starting next month. And it doesn't seem to be just a token gesture or a move to dump unsold stock from the anime boom, as over 400 B&N stores will be stocking Bandai-produced models from “numerous Gundam series like Gundam Wing, Gundam UC, Gundam Build Fighters and more.” And the models hitting shelves will be the same as what's sold in Japan, allaying some fears of the product being simplified for the foreign market. Some B&N stores will also sell prebuilt Gundam action figures (specific lines weren't mentioned, but the Robot Spirits series seems like a shoo-in) for the less assembly-inclined Gundam fan. 

Overall this is good news for Gundam fans. If I had a random gunpla for every time Bandai's attempted to get the Gundam lightning to strike big in the States, I'd need a special case to hold all my models. But God bless 'em for continuing to try.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 


 



Filed under... #consumerism ftw! #figures #Gundam #gunpla #industry affairs #Models #Tomopop #toys

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