The Mobile Suit world
domination tour has landed in Singapore, choosing Serangoon NEX as their base of operations. Why a mall in the North-Eastern heartland and not the bustling city centre? Good question. I don’t have an answer either but I’ll bet it’s because launching an invasion would be way easier from the North than it would be from the South.
I got there on a Thursday afternoon and already a sizeable crowd was thronging the area, snapping away at the models on display and doing a myriad of activities curious locals do – including, but not limited to, looking on from a distance. Aside from a handful of Gundam and Gunpla fans, most in attendance that day were kids accompanied by their parents, no doubt part of a clever marketing strategy making good use of the week-long September school holidays.
I am by no means a Gundam fan. My experience is limited mostly to the older titles like The 08th MS Team and Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, with the hobby-side consisting solely of 1/44 scale models from the latter. A majority of the series has never really managed to hold my fascination, but as a mech fan in general, I can appreciate the designs and models. Of models, the exhibition has many: from beautifully painted specimens to brand-new ones (on discount!) which you’d get to throw your money at.
There’s even the presence of a Gunpla Workshop, where you’d receive tips and help on assembling your model kit. Personally I would suggest giving it a miss, since the parts are all snap-fit and come provided with a detailed assembly manual anyway. Usually the models would require more work if you were intending to paint them but that didn’t seem to be the aim of the workshop.
Disappointingly, there were barely any dioramas on display. I’ve seen some incredibly detailed ones online from past exhibitions in China, Japan and even Singapore; but sadly, I could count the number of dioramas at this event with one hand. I figure it has to do with the limited floor-space they were working with, since dioramas usually eat up space like a hungry fat adult.
All in all I spent less than twenty minutes there, skipping the video-game section since there were too many little humans for me to get anywhere close. The exhibition does feel underwhelming, a sentiment shared by one of my more-informed companions, especially considering how the inclusion of “Expo” in the title conjured images of rows of 7” tall Mobile Suits, vast glass display cabinets, screening corners and a stage. Maybe next time.
Find out more about the activities and events over on the official Singapore page, http://www.gundam-singapore.com/. The Gunpla Expo World Tour 2012 Singapore can be found at Level 1 of Serangoon NEX and will be there til 9th September.
Note: Photos from a mobile phone. Forgot to charge my camera since STGCC (photos of which are on FB).