Yongsan, once known for its electronics market, also had a reputation for unfriendly service. However, Yongsan is gradually transforming into a space for adult hobbies.
“Yongsan Transforming into an Adult Hobby Space”
This transformation bears resemblance to Tokyo’s Akihabara district. Akihabara, which also started as a fruit and vegetable market, later evolved into an electronics market, and now is famous for selling products related to animation. Yongsan seems to be undergoing a similar evolution.
Yongsan is home to “I’Park Mall,” connected to Yongsan Station. This large shopping mall offers various stores. What sets it apart is the availability of spaces for adult hobbies, something not easily found in other malls.
“Gundam Base on the 6th Floor of I’Park Mall Living Park”
You can find the Gundam Base on the 6th floor of I’Park Mall. As you explore the mall, you’ll come across large Gundam figures displayed, and this is indeed the Gundam Base.
The name “Gundam Base” suggests a place akin to a Gundam headquarters, and true to its name, you’ll find a diverse array of Gundam models showcased here. It’s a store where you can explore figures and models of various sizes.
“A Space of Nostalgia for Middle-aged Fans”
Gundam Base is a space that evokes the memories of middle-aged fans who grew up watching Gundam animations.
In Korea, hobbies like figure collecting are not as open as they are in other countries. However, this atmosphere is gradually changing. With Korea’s birthrate hitting one of the lowest in the world, and the rapid increase in average age due to advancements in medical technology, the generation that cherishes childhood memories has now become an economically empowered group.
Thanks to this, spaces catering to adult hobbies that tap into childhood nostalgia are gradually emerging. It makes one wonder if more spaces like this will continue to appear.
In neighboring Japan, this hobby is much more openly embraced. When you visit Akihabara in Tokyo, you’ll encounter a wide variety of figures.
Additionally, in the case of Gundam, they even set up life-sized Gundam models in places like Odaiba and Yokohama. These models, which can even move to some extent, represent a robot-like structure.
While Korea may need more time to catch up compared to neighboring Japan in this field, it’s both bittersweet and exciting to see spaces for adult hobbies emerging, considering the aging population and the increase in single-person households in Korea.
“Seoul Yongsan Gundam Base I’Park Branch”
- Address: 6th Floor, 55 Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04377, South Korea
- Phone: 02-2012-2700
- Website: https://kr.gundam.info/main.gun
- Operating Hours: (Mon-Fri) 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM, (Sat-Sun) 10:30 AM – 9:00 PM