How Much Would You Pay to Go Eye-to-eye With Gundam?

The full-size Gundam statue that was unveiled in a Tokyo park last week has attracted thousands of people already, many of whom have snapped pictures and stared in awe at the 18-meter-high robot. On Friday one lucky -- and likely wealthy -- fan earned the chance to inspect the giant robot eye-to-eye.

That encounter was put up for auction to raise money for the Tokyo Bid Committee for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. The auction ended on Friday at 5 p.m. local time (8 a.m. GMT) with a winning bid of ¥2.6 million (US$27,742) to go up to the top of the Gundam statue in a cherry-picker.

Gundam is a series of Japanese anime featuring giant robots and is popular with kids of all ages in Japan and other countries.

Bidding to meet the statue started last Friday at just ¥101 but has been climbing all week. By the end of the auction a total of 504 bids had been made with several in the last few hours. The full identity of the winning bidder was not revealed, although it appears it was their first bid in the auction.

The chance to view the statue close up was being offered as part of a ceremony on Aug. 1 that will see the logo of Tokyo's bid for the 2016 Olympics added to the statue. The prize includes several souvenir pictures taken by a cameraman of the winner atop Gundam. Those who are afraid of heights were warned not to bid, as were those who are shy -- the ceremony will likely result in their picture being published in newspapers and on TV.

The statue was officially unveiled last week in Tokyo's Shiokaze Park in the Daiba district. It's on show through the end of August as part of events to mark the 30th anniversary of the Gundam series' creation.

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