Gundam is a Japanese military fiction media franchise/media mix. Created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise, the franchise features giant robots, or mecha, with the name "Gundam". The franchise began on April 7, 1979 with Mobile Suit Gundam, a TV series that defined the "real robot" mecha anime genre by featuring giant robots called mobile suits in a militaristic setting. The popularity of the series and its merchandise spawned a franchise that includes 50 TV series, films and OVAs as well as manga, novels and video games, along with a whole industry of plastic model kits known as Gunpla which makes up 90 percent of the Japanese character plastic-model market.
Academics in Japan have viewed the series as inspiration; in 2008, the virtual Gundam Academy was planned as the first academic institution based on an animated TV series.
As of March 2020, the franchise is fully owned by Bandai Namco Holdings through subsidiaries Sotsu and Sunrise. The Gundam franchise had grossed over $5 billion in retail sales by 2000. By 2014, annual revenue of the Gundam franchise reached ¥80 billion per year, ¥18.4 billion of which was retail sales of toys and hobby items.