A group of enterprising employees at a scrapyard in Jinan City, China are using salvaged materials from their own facility to create an awesome army of giant Transformers. It all started back in 2010 when one ambitious part-time employee at the scrapyard created a towering recycled replica of Optimus Prime (previously featured here):
"The PR and marketing student said he wanted to make something ‘eye-catching’ using discarded parts. “I thought if people could see something spectacular made from junk, it would highlight what we do here and we could get more customers,” he said. Li was right. The robot became immensely popular, winning a lot of praise from locals."
That first scrap metal Autobot received so much press and attention from passers-by that Li decided to build a second one. After that other workers decided to get involved and keep the effort going. In the space of just 4 months they’d built over 40 Transformers whatever materials they could get their hands on at work, such as parts from old cars and motorcycles. And they aren’t simply stationary figures - all of the mechanical limbs are posable.
They start off by downloading an animated image from the internet. “Before starting the robot manufacturing, we do not delineate our drawings,” said Guojun Long, one of the craftsmen. A large amount of what we do depends on our imagination, because each robot looks different and the same parts cannot be used.”
Each recycled robot is for sale, priced around 100,000 yuan ($16,000 USD). And just in case you’re worried that the yard might sell out of giant scrap-bots before you can get over there yourself, don’t worry, they workers are still making more.