Kunio Okawara (大河原邦男) is a legendary mecha designer, illustrator, and animator, renowned for his iconic work on Mobile Suit Gundam, Armored Trooper VOTOMS, Getter Robo, and much more. I had the privilege of meeting Okawara-sensei a while back when he designed a car for our beloved Smart Doll mascot, Mirai.
Recently, we teamed up with Okawara-sensei again to create something truly special for Smart Doll: their very own mecha to pilot. I’ve always been a fan of Okawara-sensei’s retro designs, and he didn’t disappoint with these designs - I love the meow ears he added! The mecha design features the rounded retro look of Guncannon and the size of the Armored Troopers from VOTOMS.
We’re currently in the middle of prototyping the build and production methods. As you can imagine, creating something on this scale has many challenges, with many complicated production obstacles to overcome. But we’re determined to bring this mecha to life, which will stand at 1.5 meters (59 inches) tall.
The mecha boasts a chest that opens upwards, with various panels on the front that open outwards, allowing a Smart Doll to enter the cockpit. At first, I thought the mecha was too big to make as a pilotable version for Smart Doll and was going to scale it down to 60cm (23 inches). But that would have defeated the purpose of sensei designing it in the first place.
Our next step is to complete a first draft of the mecha and then tweak the design to ensure it’s manufacturable. We can’t wait to bring this mecha to life and watch our Smart Dolls take on the entitled in style.
Okawara-sensei also worked on the original G-Force and Battle of the Planets (Gatchaman) cartoon that I used to watch as a kid - it’s surreal to be able to work with the legend on our very own products.
But! We don’t have a name for the mecha yet? Any ideas? Entitled Buster?
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