Japanese robots go large as life

Tokyo - Adults who never grew out of their love for Gundam robots will soon see their dreams become as large as life as a toymaker rolls out human-size versions of the Japanese anime hero.

The 1.5m tall version of the Gundam - whose adventures in far-away worlds have been a longstanding hit on Japanese and US television - sends red laser rays from its head and flashing lights through its eyes.

Weighing 35kg, the robot strikes poses, makes robotic noises and fires away with its "Vulcan" machine gun.

The metallic-bodied man-machine has been collected for years in miniature version.

While children may be enthralled by the life-size Gundam, at a price tag of ¥350 000 (about R21 000) the target audience is 20- to 40-year-old men, toymaker Bandai said.

"They can use the robot as part of interior decoration - decorating their living rooms, for example - or else simply enlarge their collections," a spokesperson for the company said.

"Since Gundam is so popular among men in this age range, I am sure they will be very happy with a Gundam this big," she added.

Bandai Co aims to sell 1 500 models of this "Hyper Hybrid" Gundam starting on December 16 in speciality stores or online. - Sapa-AFP

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