These have been teased by sneaker types for months now, but over the last few days Nike has finally come out and made them official: over the next few weeks we’re getting not one but two pairs of Dunk Highs paying homage to Gundam.
There are two pairs of these Dunks coming, each of them based on the RX-0 Unicorn. They’ve got a Unicorn logo at the base, mech-style detailing across the toebox, and a large swoosh that has the same touches as the Unicorn’s “fins”. Those swoosh marks are also attached with velcro, so can be torn off and/or realigned.
Here’s Nike’s summary of the shoes:
In the late 1970s, Gundam re-defined anime culture and launched the Tokyo, Japan-based brand’s futuristic vision across the globe. Defined by a synergy between compelling storytelling and expert design, Gundam’s work with animation and toy design shaped collector culture for decades and continues to inspire and innovate.
The “Gundam” SB Dunk High is a testament to imagination and work ethic, and brings DIY inspiration and science-fiction fashion to an iconic line of eccentric SB Dunks. With a removable Swoosh—each stylised to dramatically alter the silhouette, depending on if you want to go bright or tactically clean—this sneaker is ready to suit up and go mobile. The “Gundam” Dunk honours tradition and the synergy between Nike SB and Gundam collector culture—from the toe box detailing, flashes of colour and the accompanying decal sheet that’s recognisably real robotic.
The white pair is simply called “Gundam”, while the darker ones are called “Banshee.” Both will be out later this month. Below you can find some of Nike’s official photos, which will give you a better look at some of the detailing.
• Smart cooking programs
• Digital touch screen
• 14% Discount!
Nike’s ‘Star Wars’ Sneakers Look Fantastic
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Official Animal Crossing Sneakers Look Very Cozy
So Puma has had the Nintendo license for a little while now, and where their first Mario shoes were a miss, their second attempts were an improvement. These next ones though, with an Animal Crossing theme, are easily the best yet.
Updated: 9/14/21, 10:23 p.m. ET: Nike’s product listing has shown these are actually officially-licensed shoes, so the post has been updated to reflect this.
I have a hard time getting behind these.
Not because they don’t look good, because they absolutely do. But because you have a $250B company making shoes ‘inspired by’ other IPs, going as close to crossing the line as they can without having to actually pay to license anything.
And they’re not some small company trying to get noticed or anything. It’s not like they couldn’t afford the license if they wanted it. It’s Nike. And you know they’d go after anyone that dared get too close to using any of their IP, from the swish to ‘Just Do It.’ In fact I think I feel their lawyers breathing down my neck right now.
Especially being fans of video games, we talk all the time about making sure creators get what they’re due. We don’t like it when people rip art out of other games. We don’t like it when developers run contests to farm out asset creation for their games. But here we are celebrating a $250 billion dollar company dropping shoes ‘inspired by’ others’ work without paying a cent.
Of course, the reason they look so good is probably because they’re just ‘inspired by’ other things, so the look is subtle and not beat-you-over-the-head obnoxious, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to say anything positive about them in a comment meant to criticize them. I think that goes against the rules of the Internet.