Chinese Fans Build Army of Transformers from Scrap MetalMar 22nd, 2011 | By Roy Rasmussen | Category: Art and Entertainment
Jiang Chen and Yang Junlin of the Wing Wah ironworks factory in China have taken Transformers fandom to a new level by creating life-sized robots out of scrap metal. After previously attracting international attention by building a 5-ton model of Megatron in tank form, which earned them the nickname “Steel Legend,” they have now expanded production to include a full army of Autobots and Decepticons.
The Transformers are giant alien robots from the planet Cybertron, who possess the ability to transform from humanoid form into the shape of vehicles, machines, weapons, animals, and humans. The robots are divided into two warring camps: the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime; and the villainous Decepticons, led by Megatron. In the original storyline, the Autobots and Decepticons crash on prehistoric Earth, to awake in the year 1984, where they fight for the energy resources they need to return home. Over the years, the Transformers storyline has expanded considerably, frequently crossing over with the Marvel Comics universe and the universe of G.I. Joe, also produced by Hasbro.
Based on the Japanese toy lines Microman and Diaclone, the Transformers were introduced to the US in 1984 by the Hasbro toy company, with creative input from Marvel Comics. Marvel helped Hasbro publicize its new toy line through a comic book, which overlapped with a concurrent cartoon. Since 1984 the Transformers saga has developed through several generations of interpretation via comic books, cartoons, animated films, and most recently live-action movies produced by Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg’s 2009 movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen inspired Jiang and Yang’s recent 5-ton Megatron tank. The tank measures 15.0 feet by 10.5 feet by 8.2 feet.
Why do Jiang and Yang spend their time building armies of Transformers? Why do their employers let them? How much does it cost? Who pays for it? What will they do with the machines now that they’re built? No one in the English-speaking world seems to be sure. However the international consensus is that it’s pretty cool. Hollywood, give these guys a job.
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon is due in US theaters July 1, 2011.