Gunpla marketing gimmick in the early 2000s

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False Prophet
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Gunpla marketing gimmick in the early 2000s

Post by False Prophet » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:12 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hJ60JkPXsA

Is this true that in the early 2000, you could build your Gunpla and get a "rank" from Bandai through the old official Gundam website? How did it work exactly? Did they categorize different models into different ranks; or did they judge individual models through photos?

And did this gimmick work? Because I read an interview years ago on Gears Online, which Mark Simmons said that Bandai had troubles bringing Gunpla into the US market in the early 2000s.

doctorx0079
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Re: Gunpla marketing gimmick in the early 2000s

Post by doctorx0079 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:32 pm

I was there. I still have my pin. From what I can recall, you bought a kit, sent in the UPC and they sent you a pin made of pot tin with an enamel picture on it. That's it. The whole skill level thing was very misleading and confusing. It was probably invented by American marketing weasels who didn't have a clue about Gundam. It seemed to be aimed at little kids who were expected to snap kits together. In reality it takes more skill and effort to make a 1/144 No-Grade Wing kit look good than a 1/60 Master Grade RX-78 Gundam kit. I first noticed Gunpla when Wing was on Cartoon Network and all of a sudden there was Gunpla at K-Mart and Toys R Us, with all-English boxes no less. Walmart got some too. Fast forward to today, and I doubt we will ever see Gunpla at Walmart again, unless it's the website. You won't see Gunpla at Toys R Us because it doesn't exist! And if you can find a K-Mart they probably don't have anything you want to buy let alone Gunpla. But Hobbytown USA has tons, Bandai Hobby sells direct through Amazon, Barnes and Noble has a few, independent hobby shops get them from Bluefin, and the anime conventions have Gunpla as they always have. Gunpla at Walmart may be a thing of the past but who really cares.

doctorx0079
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Re: Gunpla marketing gimmick in the early 2000s

Post by doctorx0079 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:35 am

They did categorize models based mostly on how many parts they had. The lowest "skill level" were the NG Wing kits, and I think the highest "skill level" were the handful of MG kits that got an English-language release, such as the RX-78 Gundam 1.0. It's kind of dumb because the NG Wing kits require the most work to look good, but it seems they just had in mind little kids snapping them together or something. There was also a Gundam bus that traveled around and was also oriented towards kids. The way Gunpla are being distributed in the US now is much more sensible IMO.

doctorx0079
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Re: Gunpla marketing gimmick in the early 2000s

Post by doctorx0079 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:59 am

That ad is dumb isn't it? The ad agency had no clue. All you actually had to do was send in a UPC code anyway.

False Prophet
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Re: Gunpla marketing gimmick in the early 2000s

Post by False Prophet » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:21 am

doctorx0079 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:59 am
That ad is dumb isn't it? The ad agency had no clue. All you actually had to do was send in a UPC code anyway.
Thanks you so much for the confirmation! And I have just known about the bus. What a shame for Bandai to have put so much efforts selling Gundam back them and failed.

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