She's Only Eight Years Old!

The stereotype is that Gundam is for males. That it's only men in their forties and thirties who build Gundam models. The stereotype is wrong. Don't believe me?

The recent "Gunpla Builders World Cup 2011", the first international competition devoted to Gunpla, or Gundam model building featured a junior division for modellers under 14 years-old, as part of a larger effort to get kids away from digital entertainment and back to making fiddly models.

A finalist was selected from each country. Japan's junior division winner (above) showed just how the stereotypes are incorrect. Second grader Mei Hata, 8, proved that, yes, little Japanese girls are into giant mecha, too.

"I was so surprised that I won," Mei told the Mainichi. "My mum started crying, she was so happy."

The model was actually a summer school project (best project ever?), and Mei entered it, not thinking she was going to win. Mei decided to make the diorama after seeing her father make one that he also entered in the Gunpla Builders World Cup.

"It looked like so much fun, I decided to start on my own," said Mei, who's a big Gundam UC fan. Does that mean her father was a finalist in the adult division? "Dad," said Mei, "didn't make the cut."

"It was really tricky building this," she said, "but I was happy that everyone said it was so good after it was finished."

ガンプラW杯 : 日本代表は8歳の女の子 [Mantan Web]

(Top photo: Mantan Web)


    That's cool

    Both my kids, 8 and 10 at the time, entered the Brisbane leg. My daughter (8) had a somewhat weird entry that was from the SD line and pretty easy. My sone did an MG Epyon. They both won Real Grade Zaku's, which my daughter immidiately assembled when we got home. She is quite able to do RG and MG kits, we are somewhat baffled at her choice of entry into the World Cup, but if you ever met my daughter you would understand that she is very... Random :)

    I was very proud of them, though I do amit the kid who won (Who was, I think, an 8 year old boy, or somewhere between thr two) was MUCH nicer, in that he'd done painting and such. We've only been doing Gunpla 18 months or so and haven't gotten to painting yet, I'm the one who 'teaches' the hobby and I have no actual artistic talent. But I am getting an airbrush kit and learning sometime in the next few months, then I can teach them.

    It was cool that they won anything, though in her case it was mostly because only three kids entered at all so there was a prize going spare. But I'd convinced them to enter just based on 'hey, everyone who goes to Supanova can see it!' and the fun factor of being able to see their work on display somewhere so big, which was a huge happy thing for them. Winning was a big surprise and perk. :)

    But if all goes well, she'll be entering the RG she won at the Gold Coast leg of the 2012 World Cup! No idea yet what Vince will do, probably an MG of some sort, but maybe by then we'll be better about painting them! :)

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