Well over 1,000 Gundam Models have been made by Bandai to date (updated October 2008). Every month about 5 new kits are released by Bandai in Japan. Gundam models are released in series. Current active series for which new kits are being made include Perfect Grade (most difficult), Master Grade (for advanced buiders), High Grade Universal Century (beginner to intermediate difficulty), Super Deformed (or SD- meant for kids), EX (for advanced builders) Gundam Seed (recent anime series currently being released on DVD in USA), and Gundam 00 (On Sci-Fi channel twice a week starting Monday, November17th). There are over 20 different Gundam series in all most featuring specific anime series that have been released like the extremely popular Gundam Wing/Endless Waltz series. Bandai rotates production on all their model kits. Popular one are available from Bandai every few months while less popular kit may only get produced once every few years, and some will likely NEVER be produced again.
How to Build
All new models are snap fit (no glue!) and pre-colored (no paint!). However, some EX series may require some glue and do need to be painted to look good. All kits also come with decals and some even come with bases. Please keep in mind all instructions are in Japanese but we have NEVER had a complaint about this. Why? Becuase they are all pictoral and very easy to follow. Also, we recommend having a pair of nippers that can be picked up at any hobby shop for a few bucks to cleanly cut off any small pieces of plastic left over when you snap it out of the mold (called sprue).
Prices and Difficulty
Price usually goes along with difficulty. The less expensive kits, $10 and under are the easiest to build and can be built in about 30 minutes by a 5 year old (but may require some help because sometimes they can't focus for that long). $10-$25 kits are medium difficulty and take several hours to build (need to be 7 years old minimum to try these). $25-$115 are medium to advanced and take a few hours up to eight hours or so to build (10 years old and up). $115 and up- very difficult and plan to build over several days as a project (14 years old and up).
If you've never built a Gundam Model before we recommend that you start with the least expensive and work you way up. Even if you're older try a $10-$25 kit first, the least expensive are probably too easy for you. The beauty of Gundam models is not needing paint or glue to have an impressive final product. Building models is good for spatial relation brain development. If you want toencourage a budding architect or an engineer in the family Gundam models can be a fun way to develop these kind of skills. Most young adults and children get a new toy and play with it a few minutes. Gundam models take time to build and are usually a highly valued toy/model once built.
You must actually build Gundam models so there is a sense of pride and ackomplishment when you finish. Gradually building up a hand-made collection and you will certainly impress your friends. Gundam models are also highly posable so kids (or adults) can actually play with them, but will not hold up to rough play. However, my son tends to take them apart again and put them back together and also plays with his. In other words Gundam models tend to NOT be put in a box after a few hours of play like most toys are.
We'd love to be of assistance and also feature the largest selection of Gundam models in the country with up to 500 different kits available at any one time. With 16 years of experience with Gundam models we can help you pick out the perfect kit for a friend or for yourself.
No Glue...No Paint....All FUN!!!