Earlier this summer, amid an incoming typhoon, Game Informer visited the Bandai Hobby Center Shinkan, the 132,000-square-foot factory where the entertainment company manufactures its iconic Gundam model kits. If you purchase a new Gundam model kit at your local store today, it originated in this facility in Shizuoka, Japan. The factory contains 35 plastic color-molding machines – 25 electric and 10 hydraulic – all helping produce millions of models yearly.
Bandai Spirits employee Miyuki Nakagiri, the subject matter expert on how exactly the factory operates, escorts us through the building. Our translator during this tour is Atsuo Yoshimura, a video game production manager who’s worked at Bandai Namco for the last 17 years. Notably, Yoshimura worked on last year’s Elden Ring – Game Informer’s 2022 Game of the Year, and most recently, Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon. Additionally, Yoshimura was instrumental in helping to coordinate Game Informer’s recent Armored Core VI cover story trip.