Bandai Namco Holdings have released the highlights of their financial year, and among them was a true benchmark - the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has earned 131.3 Billion Yen, a franchise record and only just behind the evergreen Dragon Ball at 144.5 Billion Yen.
The increase is up 101.7 Billion Yen, and is expected to bring in 135 Billion Yen next year.
In a statement from Bandai‘s President and Representative Director Masaru Kawaguchi , he stated: “With Mobile Suit Gundam, the plastic model of the Gundam[Aerial] that played the lead role in Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury recorded strong results. Among the HG TV series lead role Gundam versions, it had the highest initial sales in history, and it currently continues to be popular.”
No doubt Suletta's adventure has been the talk of the internet since it debuted last year, the high production value, unusual school setting and female protagonist has made it a darling not only among mecha fans, but also younger fans and women too. The intention to broaden the appeal of Gundam beyond its base appears to be paying dividends.
Of course, Gundam has been firing on all cylinders recently, with Mobile Suit Gundam, Cucuruz Doan's Island also doing good business and giving fans of the 1979 series something to celebrate too.
If my cabinet is anything to go by, the sheer number of Metal Build and Chogokin figures they've been pumping out hasn't hurt them much either. For everyone with talent and time, Gunpla remains a staple of Japanese culture exported worldwide.
For a full breakdown of the figures, as well as Bandai's broader success, check out this article at Gundamnews.org.