Zhejiang Homemade Chinese Transformers21/10/2008
Mr. Zhu, who apparently didn't care enough about publicity to give China Car Times more than his surname, swiped car and bike parts from his business until he could crib together a mufflers-and-rims Optimus Prime. We did notice a slight continuity error: The E32 BMW he used was built well after the first-generation Transformers was filmed. While Mr. Zhu might be referencing Transformers: Generation 2, we think he just couldn't find any older Bimmers he could chop up and weld into a fake robot.
At least Zhu can stow Ratbat in the in-dash cassette deck. More pictures of the Autobots and Decepticons after the jump. While a pile of older-than-Kup car parts might seem more Red Green than Red China, one must remember that scrap metal is serious money in a country where raw material feeds the factory beast. Zhu sacrificed more than time to fulfill his dream — he sacrificed valuable recyclables. In addition to the 7-series, there's a Muppet-faced motorcycle and a creepy, gangly Giacommetti-esque figure all made from salable scrap.
Even bigger than scrap metal is the Transformers franchise, the first foreign cartoon broadcast in China. Although American kids loved Transformers and the action figures it spawned changed the way we play, the show was even bigger in China. Every night at six, Chinese youngsters would rush home to watch the cartoon and pester their parents to buy the action figures from Hasbro. More than $661 million worth of Transformer toys have been sold since 1987, according to China.org.cn, though we suspect a majority of sales are to now-wealthy thirty-somethings who can finally afford to buy the toys they dreamed of as a kid.
Source: Wired Blog Network