While there’s a tactile element during the building process, once you’ve put the finishing touches on an anime robot model kit, the real payoff is how cool it looks sitting on your desk or shelf. But the newest Gundam kit doesn’t just look cool, it smells nice too.
Manufacturer Bandai Spirits is getting set to release a new Zakupla-kun kit as part of its Gunpla-kun line of super-deformed mecha kits. However, while the ”pla” part those names is short for “plastic,” the Zakupla-kun isn’t made with any simple old petroleum-based plastic. Instead, it’s made from a new material that contains tea leaves.
The material was created as part of a joint project between Bandai and Ito En, one of Japan’s largest teamakers and the company behind the popular Oi Ocha brand of bottled green tea. When making tea, the leaves themselves end up as waste material after they’re steeped and the resulting liquid is bottled, which means Ito En has a lot of used leaves on its hands. At the same time, Bandai is looking for ways to make its model kits more eco-friendly. Together, the two companies have figured out a way to turn used green tea leaves into a resin, which can then be used in the creation of an alternative material to traditional plastic for model kits. Limestone is another key component in the material, which is called Limex.
▼ A diagram showing the path from tea plants in the fields to bottled tea and cool robot
Because of the tea-based resin, Bandai Spirits says this new Zakupla-kun has a slight scent of green tea. That could also explain why it’s the Zaku, and not one of the hero mecha Gundams, that’s utilizing this tea-based building material, since the customary green paint job of the Zaku is evocative of a cup of Japanese green tea.
The official name of the kit is the Gundam Next Future Limited Zakupla-kun. As the name implies, it’s a limited-edition kit that’s going to be offered as part of the upcoming Gundam Next Future-East/West/Digital event that’s taking place on October 6 simultaneously in Tokyo, Osaka, and online, though Bandai has said there’s a chance it might be made available elsewhere at a later date. That limited-edition status doesn’t mean that it’s a hyper-difficult build or super expensive, though, since the Gunpla-kun line is all about accessible fun. It’ll be offered through the Gundam Next Future online shop here once the event gets underway for just 880 yen. No glue or paint is required for the Gundam Next Future Limited Zakupla-kun, just a pair of pliers/snips to remove the pieces from their runner frames, making this a relaxing kit to snap together while sipping a cup of green tea yourself.
Source: Bandai Spirits via IT Media
Insert images: Bandai Spirits
Read more stories from SoraNews24.
- External Link