'Meka' [mecha] is the Japanese word for mechanical, tech, or otherwise neat-O equipment. No anime hero would be caught dead without his or her evil-kersplattering prototype armour/robot/fighter. Of course the forces of Evil likewise regularly build fantastic devices for their own terrifying purposes.

While giant robots have a tradition of being the definitive mecha (see Giant Robo), any large peice of cool technical equipment with a correspondingly large destructive capacity qualifies. The SDF-1 from Macross, for instance, or any such space-faring battle cruiser with a suitably impressive Main Gun. My first and fondly remembered exposure to mecha was in Battle of the Planets, the english version of Gatchaman. Every episode the baddies would produce another innovative embodyment of robotic hyper-destruction, and every episode the G-force team would blow it to smithereens... Oh, Bliss!

Mecha-based anime like Dougram, Gundam, and Macross have great marketing possibilities from the sale of scale models, millions of which are sold in Japan every year. Some models are made of plastic and are assembled and painted just like a model plane or car, while others, like this 1:48 scale Dougram mech are beautifully made, fully articulated metal/plastic sets. This one came with removable armour plating, and and even working foot damping struts!

The scans in this page are mostly from FASA's Battletech game. Since FASA ripped off the designs from the Japanese artists without asking, I don't have a big problem reproducing them here.

The BLR-1g 'Battlemaster' is a nicely articulated (and well armed!) mech. Its origins are unknown.
The GRF-1n 'Griffon' is from an anime series called Combat Armour Dougram, which featured well thought out designs of the 'walking tank' school.
Robotech fans might remember this MAD-3r 'Marauder' as the battlepod piloted by Chiron, reckless (but cool) Zentradi alien.
The RFL-3n 'Rifleman' is also from Macross/Robotech, where is was featured as cannon fodder for attacking Zentradi forces. It blew up so well, though!.
Likewise the WHM-6r 'Warhammer' which by being equally hopeless in combat, despite it's looks, served to show just how good our hero Hikaru Ichido/Rick Hunter and the rest of Skull Squadron were in there transformable Valkyrie/Veritech fighters, seen here in a loose interpretation of 'Walker' mode.
Editor's note: There was no caption for this image in the original document. I have no idea what it is. If anyone has any information, please let me know.

Check out these awesome machines from The Five Star Stories!

The Mirage Knight
The Golden Knight

Not all mecha are robots. These are two nicely designed space-fighters, from an unknown anime.