Take part A1-2 and add part D3-5, then turn the middle part top-wise?? This week, we're talking about the world of Gundam plastic models, AKA Gunpla, with special guest, Lauren Orsini—_[The Otaku Journalist](https://www.otakujournalist.com/)_ and author of _[Gunpla 101](https://www.gunpla101.com/)_!
Next week: Are you hearing voices? Animal noises? The creme-de-la-creme? The feminine abyss? I'm not sure what any of that means, but we'll be hear to talk Scott Pilgrim with a special guest!
## Where can I learn more about Lauren Orsini?
If you want to learn more about Lauren, you can [follow her on Twitter](https;//twitter.com/laureninspace), or read about more of her work on [The Otaku Journalist](https://www.otakujournalist.com/), _[Gunpla 101](https://www.gunpla101.com/), or the [Gunpla 101 twitter](https;//twitter.com/gunpla101)!
## Episode outline
### Fandom Facts
**History and Origins:**
While doing the research for this week's topic and unearthing the history of Gunpla, we inevitably were lead to our guests on words. From [Gunpla101.com's "the History of Gunpla"](https://www.gunpla101.com/the-history-of-gunpla/):
> Mobile Suit Gundam, the first Gundam series ever, aired in 1979.
> Less than a year later, the first Gunpla kit appeared. And for the past 30 years, people of all ages have continued to enjoy this unusual hobby.
> - The word “Gunpla” was coined at the same time as the first kit. Like “cosplay,” it’s a Japanese amalgamation of two English words—“Gundam” and “plastic,” as in “plastic model. English speakers will interchange this with “Gundam models,” but we usually say Gunpla because it’s shorter.
> - The first Gunpla, released in July 1980, cost just 300 yen, or about $3. Obviously, it was a kit for making the very first Mobile Suit Gundam model.
> - The earliest Gunpla kits, released between 1980 and 1989, are nothing like the Gunpla we build today. Instead of snapping together, you had to glue them together with cement. Even trickier, they were all one color, and you’d need to paint them first! You’d get a rigid, hardly poseable model for your reward. Today these are called FG (First Grade) kits.
> - The first High Grade was released in 1990 and cost 1000 yen, or about $10. As would become a tradition, the first model of any grade was the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Today High Grade is synonymous with “cheap and easy,” but in 1990 it was considered a more detailed, poseable grade of Gunpla.
> - The first Master Grade was released in 1995 and cost 2500 yen, or about $25. It is the first time the original Mobile Suit Gundam was named correctly, as the RX-78-2. The grade was originally designed to be used for a select number of models to commemorate Gundam’s 15th anniversary, but the popularity of these more accurate models is why they’re still being manufactured to this day.
> - The first Perfect Grade Gunpla appeared in 1998 and cost 12,000 yen or about $120. Today’s Perfect Grades make this look cheap, often topping $200 or more. Perfect grades come in 1/60 scale and include so much detail that they can take weeks to build. They may even come with wiring for LEDs or other electronic features.
> - The first Real Grade showed up just recently, in 2010. It was designed to be a step up from High Grade in terms of realism, without being as complicated as a Master Grade.
Looking at some of the [Google Trends data since 2004](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F077wn1), Gunpla has gained some popularity, and is relatively stable in terms of search volume having grown by 50% since 2004. There appears to be some precipitating event around September 2013 where interest picked up quite a bit, possibly in relation to _[Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam:_The_Origin)_ being released in North America? It's unclear.
[// Gundam build fighters - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundam_Build_Fighters]: #
The top ten countries by search volume are: Japan (by a huge margin), Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, China, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Canada is 11th, and the United States is 13th.
**Size of Fandom:**
Based on a number of different sources:
- The Gunpla Subreddit has over 48 000 subscribers
- The Advanced Gunpla Subreddit has over 3000 subscribers
- "As of 2015, Bandai has sold an estimate 450 million units, with nearly 2,000 different Gundam plastic models" [Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundam_model). A simple calculation of units per model gives us over 225 000 units per model (and a good rough estimate of the number of fans).
It's safe to say that there are probably _more than 100 000 fans_.
We don't have data for this week's fandom, but we do have some data of fans of Gundam from the Gunpla subreddit, which is close (it's at least the same sample population). [From a survey conducted by MrUsamaKhan](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/4i4xpx/results_the_definitive_gundam_survey_2016_initial/)...
- Most folks got into Gundam via the Anime (79.7%), but a large percentage also got into it via Gunpla (13.5%)
- _Gundam Wing_ was the first Gundam anime that most saw (42.1%) followed by _Mobile Suit Gundam_ (14.2%), and _Mobile Suit Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny_ (12.7%)
There was also a link to [Gunpla demographics in Japan](https://imgur.com/1Bx4g3f) which includes some age data and a comparison of 2010 to 2015 (along with when different Gundam series were released):
- _Age:_ The largest group is folks ages 40-50 (30%) followed by folks ages 30-40 (22%) then folks age 20-30 (20%). It looks like, for the most part, folks are growing up with the hobby, but also, younger folks are getting into it too!
From Lauren's own Gunpla 101 stats:
- _Age:_ About 33% are ages 25 - 30 (the largest group) followed by folks 18-24 (Google Analytics does not report on folks younger than age 18)
- _Gender:_ Fairly even, with 54% male and 46% female
[// kept getting sucked into Lauren's articles]: #
**Fanac Fast Facts:**
- There are over 6300 works on [Archive Of Our Own](https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Gundam%20*a*%20Related%20Fandoms/works) in the Gundam series:
- _Age ratings:_ Teen and up (1900+), General Audience (1700+), Explicit (1200+)
- _Categories:_ M/M (3700+), Gen (1500+), F/M (1200+)
- _Fandoms_: Gundam Wing (5100+), Gundam 00 (400+), Gundam Seed (200+)
- Japanese researchers discovered in 2005 that in a study of university students, building Gunpla before doing mathematical drills produced a significant improvement in completion time.
### [Last Episode's](http://fanthropological.com/e/366e7273a4b538/) Famous Last Words
How big can the models get?
[//A 1:1 scale model exists in Odaiba, and 1:6 or 1:12 promotional sizes exist]: #
Are there enthusiasts who don't care about the series at all?
What are the forbidden techniques of Gunpla? (think about Lego)
Gunpla is the modern day ship-in-a-bottle building.
### This week's spotlight
**[Gunpla Builders World Cup](http://bandai-hobby.net/GBWC/)**
> “Gunpla Builders World Cup” is the official Gunpla global tournament presented by BANDAI where modelers around the world show off their completed Gundam models. The competition determines the greatest Gunpla builder in the world and let creators fight for the title of Gunpla World Cup Champion!
If you happen to be at [Otakuthon](http://www.otakuthon.com/2018/home/) next week, you can probably participate in the Canadian semi-finals portion of the GBWC!
OR if you happen to be at [Otakon](https://www.otakon.com/), you can check out Lauren's panel, _39 Years of Gundam Anime_, or the _Art in Gundam_ panel.
**[Race Against Time IV](http://raceagainsttime.io)**
> Now in its fourth year running, the Race Against Time is an annual charity marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Canada by beating the SNES classic, Chrono Trigger, as many times as possible in 24 hours. This year, the event is running every week until August 11 and 12 for the main event (see website for detailed schedule).
> Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that slowly robs those afflicted of their memories, and, eventually, their very sense of being. We are racing to help preserve those memories of loved ones and for a cure to stop it once and for all!
> All donations go directly to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
### Famous Last Words
This week's famous last words around *next week's* fandom, Scott Pilgrim!
How popular is Scott, as a character within the fandom?
Is the music portion of Scott Pilgrim as important to the GN fans as it is to fans of the movie?
How divisive was the movie?
What did you think of Lost at Sea?? Do you want to talk about Lost at Sea with Lauren?
[// Hope Larson - graphic novels]: #
## Where can you find us online?
We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:
- If you want to be part of our podcast (or just want to check us out), we record our podcast LIVE on [twitch.tv](http://twitch.tv/thenickscast) every Monday at 20:00 Eastern Time!
- For all the latest updates, check us out on [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast) or [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast)
- To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast)
- For our latest convention updates, *Let's Plays*, and other in-real-life video, [check out our YouTube channel](http://youtube.com/thenickscast)
- We're also on [iTunes](https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/fanthropological/id1163621210), and [Google Play](https://play.google.com/music/m/Icmngxz7yhaoivdvivvf6q6c2pu?t=Fanthropological), and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
- if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try [[email protected]
- You can check out [our website](http://thenickscast.com); that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
- Everything is `thenickscast`, so if you can't find us, go on your social network and search for that!
## What is "Fanthropological"?
How did you read this far without asking this question?!
Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan's-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.
## Who is "The Nickscast"?
*We* are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek ... who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the _most_ creative).
We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It's what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.
We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren't "those Weird-o's", but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. *Because everyone's a fan.*
Special thanks to Lauren Orsini for making the time to chat with us, especially as she was in the midst of a move when we had chatted with her!
- [Wikipedia - Gundam Models](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundam_model)
- [Gunpla 101 - The History of Gunpla](https://www.gunpla101.com/the-history-of-gunpla/)
- [Wikipedia - Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam:_The_Origin)
- [r/Gunpla - [Results] The Definitive Gundam Survey 2016 - Initial Results](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/4i4xpx/results_the_definitive_gundam_survey_2016_initial/)
- [Archive of Our Own - Gundam Series and related fandoms](https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Gundam%20*a*%20Related%20Fandoms/works)
- [Prezi - Model kit building and its effect on the brain](https://prezi.com/aoqux9zworsg/model-kit-building-and-its-effect-on-the-brain/)
- [Crunchyroll - Social Media Falls In Love With "Gundam" Relationship Story](http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/11/22/social-media-falls-in-love-with-gundam-relationship-story)
- [Gunpla 101 - Trust You: The Making of a PG Gundam 00 Diorama](https://www.gunpla101.com/trust-you-the-making-of-a-pg-gundam-00-diorama/)
- [Gunpla 101 - How Gunpla First Came To America](https://www.gunpla101.com/gunpla-first-came-america/)
- [Wikipedia - Impossible Bottle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_bottle)
- [Instructables - Building a Ship in a Bottle](http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-A-Ship-In-A-Bottle/)
- [YouTube - Putting a Ship Into a Bottle](https://youtu.be/sk1IRhmcVR4)
- [Marine Insight - Everything About Ship in a Bottle - The Famous Nautical Gift](https://www.marineinsight.com/recreation/everything-about-ship-in-a-bottle-the-famous-nautical-gift/)
- [Folk Art in Bottles - The History of Ships in Bottles](https://www.folkartinbottles.com/other-media/articles/68-history-of-ships-in-bottles-by-bob-de-jongste)
- [Wikipedia - Gundman Model](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundam_model)
- [The Gundam Wiki - Gunpla](http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/Gunpla)
- [Gunpla 101 - About Us](https://www.gunpla101.com/about-us/)
- [Anime Amino - Why Build GUNPLA? (An Introduction to Gundam Model Building)](https://aminoapps.com/c/anime/page/blog/why-build-gunpla-an-introduction-to-gundam-model-building/z2tx_u0eGdMkzJmL1kEBNN6zj0K8n3)
- [The Escapist - Scientist Says Building Gundam Models Makes You Smarter](http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/101126-Scientist-Says-Building-Gundam-Models-Makes-You-Smarter)
- [FROM JAPAN Blog - Why Is Gunpla So Addictive?](https://blog.fromjapan.co.jp/en/anime/why-is-gunpla-so-addictive.html)
- [Quora - Can You Buy Gunpla When You Become Adult in Japan. And Do "Most" People Look Down on You?](https://www.quora.com/Can-you-buy-Gunpla-when-you-become-adult-in-Japan-And-do-most-people-look-down-on-you)
- [r/Gunpla - Why Do You Build Gunpla?](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/4awyu9/why_do_you_build_gunpla/)
- [r/Gunpla - Dear r/Gunpla, Thank You](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/8g4lp5/community_dear_rgunpla_thank_you/)
- [r/Gunpla - Does Anybody Else NOT Watch Gundam?](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/8ex29b/does_anybody_else_not_watch_gundam/)
- [r/Gunpla - Thoughts on SD Gundams](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/316mu0/thoughts_on_sd_gundams/)
- [Shaolin Wahnam Institute Forum - Model Building, Another Form of Meditation?](https://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/showthread.php?9613-Model-building-another-Form-of-Meditation)
### Music / Sound
- ["Conjuring a New Enemy"](http://teknoaxe.com/Link_Code_3.php?q=1067) by TeknoAXE used under [CC BY 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
- All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!