PICTURES

Chinese farmers make 'Transformers' out of used cars

A man standing by a life-sized Transformer model on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man standing by a life-sized Transformer model on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A woman looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A woman looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A woman looking at a life-sized Transformer model in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A woman looking at a life-sized Transformer model in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
People looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
People looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man looking at a life-sized Transformer model on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man looking at a life-sized Transformer model on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
 A man looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
 A man looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A life-sized Transformer model on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A life-sized Transformer model on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A man looking at several life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A group of life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A group of life-sized Transformer models on display in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A life-sized "Transformer" model in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A life-sized "Transformer" model in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A woman looking at several life-sized Transformer models in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
A woman looking at several life-sized Transformer models in a yard in Jinan, east China's Shandong province on March 21, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - A group of farmers in rural China have brought to life the "Transformers" films, toys and TV series by building giant robots out of old car parts.

The Transformers toys, which were a huge hit with children in the 1980s, could be turned from cars into robots and back again. Their popularity spawned a hit television show, and more recently, the movie franchise.

In Shandong province, the toys have inspired farmers to come up with a range of towering creations, including some in the red and blue colours of Optimus Prime, the leader of the benevolent Autobots.

Others are in bright yellow - like the famous Bumblebee character adored by young fans. Some of the robots are crafted from the grey metal of the evil Decepticons.

"It's a personal hobby; I watched the movie and learnt the models online, so I wanted to make it on my own," Mr Wang Shizun, one of the farmers, told AFP by phone on Thursday from Zhangqiu in Shandong province.

"We've installed lights in their eyes, and some of their arms and legs can move," he said.

He and his partner oversee a staff of 11 farmers, reports said, and OFweek, a website covering China's high-tech industry, said the models fetch from 10,000 to 100,000 yuan (S$2,041 to S$20,410) apiece.

The tallest of the creations are 12 metres high, but flight and the ability to convert them into cars remain elusive.

"We're thinking about making them transform," Mr Wang said, "but it's hard to make them transform into cars at this stage."

The group have also made other models which seem to take inspiration from various movies and characters, including Alien, Predator, and Star Wars' C-3PO.

With some, the makers have exercised more creative licence, adding their own designs or traditional Chinese elements such as a mask.

Register here to get free digital access to The Straits Times until Aug 9, 2015.
Comments