Gundam models are called "Gunpla" (ガンプラ) in Japanese. And at this year's Gunpla Expo, there were plenty of them. The event, which runs until November 25 in Tokyo's Akihabara, not only showcases upcoming models, but also the work of master Gunpla builders and famous fans. Let's have a look.

Some of these are actually entries hoping to be selected to represent Japan in the 2012 Gunpla Builders World Cup, which is like the World Cup of Gundam Models. Countries from all over the world square off to see who has made the best Gunpla.

Many of the other, more colorful and customized ones in the above gallery were designed by Japanese celebs, including pop group 9nine, members of idol group SKE48, musician Taku Takahashi of m-flo fame, DJ Love, and more. These models are Bandai's way of saying, "Hey, Gunpla isn't only for old dudes!" Though, it does often seem that way. Events like this, however, can help change the perception of Gunpla. (So can eight year-old girls who build amazing Gundam models!)

Websites AmiAmi Blog and Akiba Hobby were on hand to soak up the plastic and document the models on display.

Click the lower corner of each image to expand to full size.

「ガンプラEXPO2012」開催! [あみあみ]
「ガンプラEXPOワールドツアージャパン2012 [アキバHOBBY]

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