It was only a few weeks ago that we learned about Wang Liansheng, a father in China who built a life-sized statue of Bumblebee out of scrap metal after his son saw the Transformers movie and decided he wanted a Transformer of his own. It was a fun story and a cool thing to see, but I will admit that national pride got me wondering if we could step up and close the Transformer gap here in the good ol' US of A. And it turns out, we can --- mostly, anyway.

For proof, you need look no further than Stillwater, Oklahoma's G&M Body Shop, whose two locations are now protected by Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

 

Photo via Facebook

 

Before we start waving the flags, though, there's a caveat: It turns out that the basic statues were imported from Thailand, although the folks at the shop did a whole lot of work to get them up to standards. They posted about the custom job on Facebook (coming to us via Robot 6), where they also provided pictures of Oklahoma's newest defenders:

 

The statue was built in Thailand. Initially we thought we could erect after receiving. After arriving it wasn't up to our standard of quality when you are up close. From a distance it is hard to tell. The owner made the decision to completely overhaul the statue. After apart it was structurally reinforced, soda blasted, and completely repainted. Fabricated new lower legs and different pieces throughout. All together it took almost a full year to restore. Something to compare it to is restoring a old car. The statue is permanently installed. None the less there was a lot of hard work put into this and we at G&M are very happy that it's up for Stillwater to enjoy.

 

Still, it's pretty neat --- even if I still think Ratchet would make a better fit for a body shop.