There are only two good things people could ever do with scrap metal: recycle it or repurpose it by building geeky Transformers sculptures that bring in tons of cash each year for you and yours.
Chinese farmer Yu Zhilin and his son Lu Yingyun went for the second options, for obvious reasons. For the past three years, the two have turned scrap car parts into beautiful Optimus Prime and Bumblebee sculptures that don’t only look good, but also generate quite a lot of profit.
Needless to say, getting from a pile of metal as the one seen in the above picture to an enormous sculpture takes a lot of time and effort, but the results are worth every penny, especially since Yu Zhilin has been selling these for 1 million yuan (north of $160,000) a year.
If the Transformers franchise wasn’t so successful in China, maybe the sculptures wouldn’t have attracted such big profits, but it looks like people in that country have great love for Optimus Prime and his metallic gang. Even though I’d like to think that’s because of the cartoons and the comics, the truth is that Transformers sell like hot donuts there, regardless of the media, and that schlep Michael Bay‘s movies are probably playing a big part, too. After all, when it comes to blowing up, no director is his equal.
What’s interesting about the creator of these sculptures is that Yu Zhilin, despite currently being a farmer, has a background in fine arts. The Optimus Prime and Bumblebee sculptures are built in his spare time, which means that he still dedicates most of his time to his main job.
Ironically, these sculptures are made of scrap car parts, whereas the Transformers disguise themselves as cars and trucks. In this Universe or in a parallel one, the Transformers and Yu Zhilin’s sculptures surely share the same origins.
It will be interesting to see how the copyright holders will react as soon as they get wind of this. In my humble opinion, they should mind their own business, as this something made by fans of the franchise for other fans, but chances are they might want a slice of this metallic pie. Well, the copyright holders launch miniature action toys, whereas these modern artists are selling gigantic sculptures that make the former green with envy.