Gundam.  The simple six-letter word that most people will learn soon after becoming interested in anime. 

Since the first series of Gundam in 1979, the franchise still remains the benchmark for the mecha genre and it's popularity remains as high as ever thanks to several new incarnations reinventing the original series.  From the super-deformed mechs of SD Gundam right through to the recent remake  SEED, Gundam has always remained just as popular with fans ever since the first series. 


Fans in the UK though have only seen a fraction of the main anime incarnations of Gundam, as only very few of the series have been officially released here.  Despite this Gundam has still become popular in the UK and this is largely thanks to snap-fit mech models.  These models also garnered a cult following amongst fans of more popular robot series, such as Transformers, for which merchandise had declined.  The popular snap-fit models also proved popular with newcomers due to their simplicity (no glue! just snap the bit together) and the hardcore due to the arduous detailing process (smoothing down the snapped bits and using specialist makers for detail). 

These models proved more popular then anyone could have managed.  When Gundam Wing was being shown on cable TV the models were available in high-street retailers such as Toys R Us and The Entertainer which was very unusual for an obscure anime product such as Gundam.  Although it was apparent that people who had never seen the series were starting to take an interest the models starting to fade from the high-street and even from specialist retailers such as Forbidden Planet.  This was a great shame since only models from the series Gundam Wing had been available in the UK and there was so much more that could have been imported from Japan.  Fans could have been treated to a near-endless choice of models had this had happened but sadly nothing more came.  Most models and accessories, such as the specialist markers, could now only be obtained by lucky eBay bids since no major UK retailers were stocking them. 


That was until Gundam Mad came along in March 2004 - an internet-based UK retailer specialising in all things Gundam.  We spoke to Nigel Prescott at Gundam Mad who told us that he got the idea for the business in 2003 when his purchased a MISA Gundam.  Then on a trip to Taiwan he purchased a huge 1/60 scale Freedom Gundam and then buying as many kits and watching all the Gundam series available in the UK.  Realising that the amount of merchandise available here was very limited so, in order to help fellow fans as well as themselves, Gundam Mad was born. 

On the next page you will find an interview with Nigel as we talk to him about the past, present and future of Gundam Mad