If you're sick of sitting through Michael Bay's CGI schlock fests and, like me, demand a little more reality out of your Autobots and Decepticons, then you might want to consider taking a trip to east China's Zhejiang Province.
Once your plane touches down, hail a cab to the city of Jiaxing. There you'll find Mr. Iron Robot, a Transformers-themed amusement park on 556 acres of what used to be an abandoned factory. The park, which features 600 Transformer-esque sculptures made from salvaged vehicles and machine tools, is the brainchild of 49-year old Zhu Kefeng.
The park features old favorites likes Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee and Megatron, as well as dragons and cartoon figures. Just to dwarf your shrimpy human form, some of the sculptures are over ten feet tall.
The park "has been very popular with the kids," Zhu told Xinhuanet. "I feel very glad when the children visit my park and enjoy the happiness here. I still remember the joy when I played with "iron toys in my childhood…" Joy shared with others, he said, is "more enjoyed."
If that last line isn't enough to convince you of Zhu's lotus-like aura, then get a load of this photo. But don't let his satorial demeanor fool you. Zhu is certainly down for letting sparks fly to build wicked tough sculptures like this one.
Zhu began building his theme park in 2010 with money used from selling commissioned sculptures on the side. Him and his team spent ten years making the theme park's sculptures after distributing large recycling bins to collect iron and steel scraps.
Mr. Iron Robot was officially granted status as a tourist attraction on March 20, making it China's first theme park to feature artworks made of recycled iron and steel.
If anyone is interested in carpooling to Jiaxing, give me a holler. Trust me, you're going to welcome my monetary pitch-ins. It's a long drive and keeping the tank full of gas is going to be brutally expensive.
Credit: Xinhua/Yu Yu