I’ve mostly known World Expo events in television and movies and little did I know they’re still happening. To the initiated, these are huge events that celebrate culture and innovation, with examples including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Space Needle in Seattle. In fact, there’s one every five years and there was supposedly a World Expo in 2020. But we all know what happened so just like the recent Summer Olympics, it got postponed to 2021 and this October is Expo 2020 Dubai.
Japan has likewise designated an ambassador to this event, and for Expo 2020 Dubai, it is no other than the granddaddy RX-78-2 Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam. But it won’t be just a vanilla version the Gundam, this is yet another special version designed by Kunio Okawara. And knowing Bandai Spirits, they are releasing it as an exclusive kit. But unlike previous event-exclusive kits which are mostly recolors, this Expo 2020 Dubai version of the HGUC “Revive” Gundam from 2015 would actually feature retools, albeit subtle to better translate Kunio Okawara’s design.
With the design featuring accent lines, Bandai Spirits decided to not cheapen out and did subtle remolds to the front crotch piece, forearms, knee armors, the shield, and even the beam saber handles. I believe the red bits for the front crotch, forearms and knees would be separate red parts, with the white stripes on the latter two being color-correcting seals. But you can always paint them thanks to the provided panel lines. The red outline of the shield also protrudes a bit more to the central section while the beam saber handles would also likely have seals.
The kit also will also feature additional thrusters on the rear of the legs and will come with additional hand parts for more expressive display options. It will all come in a specially designed Japan Pavillion-theme packaging and will include a special leaflet featuring an interview with Kunio Okawara. Speaking of Okawara, they’ve also released a short interview describing the significance of the Gundam on the current Japanese culture. You can check out the clip below.
HGUC 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam [PR Ambassador of the Japan Pavillion, Expo 2020 Dubai]
October 2021 / ¥2,200