Gundam Models refers to plastic and non-plastic model kits depicting the mechas, vehicles and characters of the fictional Mobile Suit Gundam universe by Bandai. These kits have become popular among anime fans and model enthusiasts, especially in Japan and in other nearby Asian countries since the 1980s. The popularity of Gundam models increased in the 1990s with North America and Europe being exposed to Gundam through television, video and manga. These Gundam Models are also called Gunpla (ガンプラ Ganpura?), a portmanteau of "Gundam plastic model". "Gunpla" more commonly refers to the practice of building Gundam models, rather than the models themselves.