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 mom 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)