Photo/IllutrationA rendering of the “Gundam-Dock,” the facility that will store and maintain a moving life-size Gundam (SOTSU-SUNRISE)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

YOKOHAMA--“Mobile Suit Gundam” fans can catch special previews here this summer of a 25-ton replica of the 18-meter-tall action hero that will be able to move by remote control.

The completed Gundam at Yamashita Pier will debut to the paying public on Oct. 1 and remain on display for about a year, according to the Gundam Global Challenge, which is funding the project with other entities.

But fans who can't wait until then can glimpse the work in progress at weekend pre-opening events in July and August to coincide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The 25-ton action figure is a recreation of the first-generation Gundam model featured in the TV series that started airing in 1979.

To produce and assemble the colossal figure, the Gundam Global Challenge and its partners will rent a 9,000-square-meter site in a corner of the pier's former warehouse district from the city of Yokohama.

They also plan to construct a two-story complex called the “Gundam-Lab,” where visitors can learn about the statue or check out a cafe and shops.

Visitors will be able to see the statue up close from heights of 15 to 18 meters at a special observation deck in a separate hangar which will be known as the “Gundam-Dock.”

Details of the Gundam, other than that it will incorporate the latest technologies and that its movements will be managed by remote control, have been kept tightly under wraps.

Yasuo Miyakawa, a representative director of the Gundam Global Challenge, told media representatives at a Tokyo news conference he hoped the massive replica and the complex will make fans realize that exciting new things lie ahead for Gundam, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.

Ticket prices and other information about this summer’s pre-opening events will be announced later.