The State of the Gunpla Union: 2010 in review

Happy New Year!  Hope everyone had a good and happy holiday season.  Having stuffed myself curtesy of relatives during the day, while playing Black Ops with GaiGun and Lupes at night, I didn’t have much time for sleep or writing.  But, since I never got around to doing this last year, but let’s knock out that last State of the Gunpla Union for 2010, big review style.  Looking back at the year 2010 and I realize that it was a milestone year for me in a big way.  It had ups and downs, both in my private life, and my Gundam life, but thankfully, I felt like I ended the year on a positive note with both.  To be honest, if you would have told me I’d be where I am now at the beginning of 2010, well, suffice to say, I wouldn’t have believed you, and probably would have expressed that in not so polite wording. 

Honestly, looking back at the last 12 months, the biggest ups and downs happened in my private life.  While I kept most of it out of the blog, as you all know, I parted ways with my previous employer in April.  While I was honestly contemplating leaving anyways if I had found a better job at the beginning of the year, when it came down to me actually leaving (and with no job lined up) there was certainly a lot of hesitation and worry on my part… Still, I wasn’t at rock bottom, thanks to savings and an understanding wife, so there was nowhere to go but up..  I will have to admit, there were some things that pleasantly surprised me at that point, including the willingness of my wife to work while I looked for that next paying gig.  Things happened much sooner than I was expecting, and I received offers for jobs (including my new current job) that really made me say wow, as well as realize all that hard work with Japanese, and sticking it out in HR paid off. 

I will say this, not bragging or anything, but simply.  If you want it and work hard enough, you can do anything. That’s simply it.  I wanted to learn Japanese, and stuck with it, and stuck with Japan, that got me to a job that I’m proud of, working with a company that I’m proud of, and in a unique position where I’m in the forefront of globalizing the Japanese HQ with its global affiliates.  It’s exciting, it’s great, and this is what has made the year go from down to up in a matter of a few months.  And so I say the same to anyone out there.  cheesy I know, but it’s true.

But, as I said, I tend to keep most of my private life out off the blog, and so I’ll leave the private ups and downs at that.  Suffice it to say however, that the first half and second half of 2010 were two totally different beasts.

So how about the year in Gundam?  Writing this post I realized that I need to keep better track of what I’ve finished, as unfortunately, I can’t recall!  Most of my built plamo kits are still packed away from the move, so I can’t go back and count.  So I’m going to hit my personal highs and lows of the year month by month, somewhat similar to Buster’s write up.

January – Nothing really happens Gunpla wise as I’m in America for part of the month.  I do write a rant that gets some attention.  Looking back at the rant, it still stands, although Bandai is still sometimes releasing the token cheap Gunpla kit. (MG Wing Gundam, for example).

February – Things pick up with the release of the first Unicorn OVA, which is only marred by the fact that there are 6 month waits between episodes.  Also a big high of the month was the start of the ASM/GaiGun Victory Gundam Collaboration

MarchGaiGun and I finish our Victory Gundam Collaboration, and top it off with photoshoots at the HLJ Studio.  A damn good time, and perhaps we need to come up with a 2011 collaboration as well?  I also initiate the 2nd GAF Group Build with the Unicorn Gundam.  While some people complete this, it eventually implodes with along with GAF’s original server….

April – Not much happened in April due to the work situation…

May – But if I’m going to be a bum, I might as well build Gunpla, and I knock out the MG Wing Gundam.  This ended up being a great kit, and surprisingly not overpriced like a majority of kits released in 2010.

June – Managed to hit the Gundam Café in Akiba.  The blog underwent an update in style which coincided with the start of HLJ’s first Gunpla Contest.

July – The highlight of this month was the MG Full Armor Gundam.  My first time to actually build the 2.0 Gundam and color me impressed with the articulation.

August – It goes without saying the highlight was the meeting of the 4 bloggers of the apocalypse at the 1/1 Gundam in Shizoka.  The Gundam Super Expo was good, but didn’t back the punch that the 2009 Gundam Big Expo had.

September – Not much happened this month due to family visiting from the states, and work starting to pick up.

October – Started working on a gentei version of the MG Z’Gok, along with various non Gundam kits.  In Gundam blog news, Ngee Khiong closes shop, and people cry about it for a week, and then he’s promptly forgotten thanks to other sources such as Gundam Guy and GunJapGaiGun throws down the gauntlet at the new and improved GAF forums and the MG ReZel Group Build starts.

November – Finish up the Z’Gok, while also knocking out several HGUC kits, including the Sinanju, 00 Gundam Seven Swords, and three Ecopla kits.  Unfortunately, I’ve still not finished taking pictures of said kits.  Also start on the RG Char Zaku II.

December – We finish the year with the PG Strike Freedom dropping.  I start on this while finishing up the MG ReZel for the group build.

Which brings me to the here and now.  Looking back, I realize that I did a bit more than I thought I did, but I still come back to the fact that I’ve not followed up so much on the blog.  Another thing is I didn’t do much to increase my overall Gunplar skill.  One thing to do this year is to get back to the photoshoots, and get those going.  That alone is a month or two of content depending on how I space it out.  But overall, 2010 was a decent year Gundam wise.  Particular stands are the ASM/GaiGun collaboration, MG Wing Gundam, the 1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka, the (bi)monthly drinking sessions with GaiGun, and year ending with the PG Strike Freedom.

And so what to look forward to in 2011?  At this point, aside from a passing interest in the Deathscythe Hell Custom, there isn’t much coming out in the near future that screams “build me!”  And thats good, because my goal is to continue to whittle down my backlog, work on those photoshoots, and slowly but surely work on increasing my skill set.  Still, i have high hopes for more UC Gundam love, and I’m pretty sure March will see some exciting news of upcoming Gunpla kits to coincide with the 3rd episode of Unicorn Gundam. 

So that my (long) year  in review and my (short) list of things to do in the new year.  How was 2010 for you all, and what has got your fired up in 2011?

Finally, althought I’m not concerned with numbers and what not, here are the cold hard stats from wordpress directly.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 87,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 64 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 230 posts. There were 740 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 246mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was October 14th with 509 views. The most popular post that day was 50th Plamodel Hobby Show Gundam News!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were gunpla-inochi.com, gundamguy.blogspot.com, gaijingunpla.blogspot.com, en.wordpress.com, and chubbybots.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for sinanju, gundam sinanju, pg 00 raiser, geara zulu, and sinanju gundam.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

50th Plamodel Hobby Show Gundam News! October 2010
11 comments

2

SGB WiP – Sinanju #8 October 2009
7 comments

3

Gunpla Construction: PG Gundam Astray Part 1 March 2009
2 comments

4

SGB WiP – Sinanju #7 October 2009
6 comments

5

WiP: PG 00 Raiser #07 December 2009
3 comments

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4 thoughts on “The State of the Gunpla Union: 2010 in review

  1. Happy new year mate! A thorough and interesting wrapup. A couple of things I wish to comment on: I am a firm believer in a person’s ability to accomplish using desire, a firm belief, and hard work. All people that achieve success both come to understand this and put it into practice, or moreover those that don’t, do not.

    Secondly I think your photography has improved dramatically. Look at a photos of Twilight Terror along side your ReZEL pics. Huge difference.

    The two major events for me this year were the explosion and collapse of the Gundam Australia Forum, and the launch of GAF 2.0. Polar opposites in how they made me feel. I’m very encouraged with the amount of loyal members that have supported us and followed us to the new server and also by the amount of new users we have gained. Both of which I’m very thankful for. I kinda feel like the dynamic changed a bit between Lupes, ASM, GaiGun, Bb, and GAF in the interim. It would seem that everybody grew a bit, and each in a different direction. Positive growth no less. Merely an observation.

    I hope that 2011 continues to be an exciting year for gunpla and I look forward to sharing it with ASMblog. =)

  2. @Tom: Unfortunately the economy here is just as bad as the states, or worse they would say depending on your industry. With Japan being primarily an export oriented country, they’ve been hit pretty hard by the strong yen. Nobody wants to buy a PG Strike freedom when it’s $330 now when you could have bought it for $265 before the Lehman crash… Still, when it comes to a job, it simply comes down to perseverance, and making sure you have the skills people want. I guess in the long run the bad economy has made people realize that you have to work just a little harder at life than we all thought…. But I digress…

    @Sonar; Very true whawt you say about putting desire and hard work into use. Where there is a will, there is a way, right? I think this ties in very closely with what I said above, and the economy over the last couple of years has really helped divide people pretty clearly into the “will do” and “can’t be bothered to do” groups.

    As for GAF, I think you do bring up a good point on the dynamic, it’s something I’ve felt myself, and I’m pretty sure Gaigun as well. It seems that we won’t have that innocent camaraderie that we had with GAF 1.0, but it’s like you said, not that anything bad happened, we all just have continued on in our own paths, and some are closer than others. I’m just thankful for the fellow Gunplar friends I’ve made through this hobby, and from there I’ve made some really good friends who connect on other levels than Gunpla. And we’re happy to have GAF 2.0 back, harder, better, faster, stronger.

  3. yeah i havent gotten fully back into any of the forums i used to go to, GAF included. but you know what a disaster zone my life has been recently haha that and the fact that im not really part of any of the GB’s recently.

    i really take the words you mentioned in the beginning of this post to heart. i really hope things will turn around for me as they did for you this year and that i’ll be able to finish strong so to speak. i mean not that i really feeling down or anything but you know… changes.. i know the details of whats happened with you and its awesome to see where you’re at now compared to where you were. we’ve all grown in our own ways and it was quite an eventful year for both of us personally. i wish you continued success in 2011 my friend.

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