8 Best Homemade Transformers Costumes on Earth
Transforming Transformer costumes that turn into cars, roll-out, and even light up.
Yes, the title is a bit dramatic, but we’re talking galaxy-saving robots here, so you’ll forgive my excitement.
Since the first live-action Transformers movie* came out in 2007, costumers have been struggling to emulate the finer details of the Autobots and Decepticons. Hey, something wonderful and creative has to come out of those films. With all of the pistons, lights, and even sweet rims, it’s a tough costume to build- much less wear. The following incredible Transformers costumes have been graded in transforming ability, craftsmanship, and special effects.
*For the purpose of this article, we’ll consider those things to have been movies.
[wptab name=”#8: Artemis”]
#8: Artemis, World’s First Driving Transformer Costume [Video Below]
First uploaded to YouTube in 2009, this ‘Artemis’ transforming costume was billed as the ‘World’s First Driving Transformer Costume’. Drive it does, but the transformation needs work. The first step is a doozy, folks. From the details on the video, this is actually the first generation in a design of driveable suits from DriveSuits.com. Maybe they’ve improved that noticeable gap in subsequent designs.
The transformation is fairly quick, but the wheels are held in the hand when in robot form, like a strange motorized purse. They might do better to dress this piece up like a boom box. The gap between the car and the wheels leaves much ‘robot in disguise’ to be desired. Seeing this roll down the street would instead beg the question, ‘what happened to that man?’
Points for going with a Mustang convertible on the design, and hatch in the hood for the head. The grille of the car piece looks nicely molded, with realistic headlights and badge.
Special Effects: 7
The ability to drive on its own is pretty cool, but we’ve also seen that trick in a design below that rolls faster and smoother. While I can’t confirm that this was the first powered transformer costume, 2009 was a fairly early time to come up with this effect.
[wptab name=”#7: Welsh Blokes”]
#7: Non-Transforming, But Fun and Educational Nonetheless [Video Below]
These Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet and Megatron costumes were created by ‘Autobots Welsh Blokes in Disguise‘ for the 2013 Red Bull Soapbox Race in London. Now, these don’t transform at all, but bear with me, here. I had to include this one on the list because we not only see the guys having the time of their lives in photo shoots, but they’re also going to show you exactly how to make these amazing costumes. Sometimes an awesome non-transforming costume is much better than a sorta-transforming-hard-to-party-in costume. I want to see these guys make Ninja Turtles.
These were never intended to transform, so no points off, there. The real transformation probably happens as the Autobots Welsh Blokes in Disguise enjoy spirits at the Redbull derby.
The Autobots came up with some ingenious ways to recycle shin guards and shampoo bottles alike to create their robotic masterpieces.
Special Effects: 6
Points for swagger, because these robots have it in spades. the best effect is their photography skills, which range all the way from a sweet garden encounter to rolling black mountains (in the background, guys, not the foreground).
[wptab name=”#6: Motorcycle”]
#6: Motorcycle Transformer Costume [Video Below]
Many of the homemade Transformer costumes that we’ve seen use the bulk of a car to hide the creamy human center. Creating a transforming motorcycle costume presents a special challenge, then, as the wearer would only have scarce motorcycle parts to cover a lot of skin. On top of that, he’s only got two wheels to work with. this one was created by YouTuber, ‘Hermogino’ in 2011. Can he pull this off?
Not only does he transform, but he does it while moving, which is something that I have yet to see in another Transformers costume.
The parts on this costume were well thought-out and look good on the final costume. However, the exterior pieces are made of cardboard, which takes away texture and dimension. I also have to wonder how well they’d hold up if he crashed.
Special Effects: 7
With the wheels strapped to the legs, this one travels smoother and looks more natural than a lot of the driveable Transformers costumes.
[wptab name=”#5: Best Evaaaar”]
#5: Eh, Is It? [Video Below]
This costume is touted in the YouTube title as being the ‘2009 Best Halloween Costume EVER! CRAZY!‘ But I can’t help but notice that his back tire is about to spin out into the freeway.
This is another crouching Transformers costume, where the wearer basically lays down and gets covered with a car shell. This costume seems rather bulky, so it must be hard to get a sense of where your legs are when crouching. He had trouble figuring out where the back leg went, and the transformation took some time.
This appears to be commercially made, or created with some kind of vacuformed plastic. It is the spitting image of a Chevy Camaro, and I like the way that the head uses a hatch on the hood which looks natural when slightly detached.
Special Effects: 2
Other than strutting around the dealership, this costume does not appear to have any impressive effects, like robotic lights or driving ability.
[wptab name=”#4: Bumblebee”]
#4: ‘The Most Amazing Bumblebee Costume’ [Video Below]
… and it just might be. This costume is similar to the one above, but wins over in transformation and design. The designers actually started making these commercially, under the apt name, ‘Robot Costumes USA, LLC’. Now that’s a specialty shop.
Here is another guy-in-black-crouching-under-car costume, but it has been done in a way that offers a quick and seamless transformation. Maybe he just has a lot of practice.
Again, this costume looks like it has specially molded pieces. Notice the plastic on the headlamps and the chrome finish on the wheels. When transformed, this actually looks like a little Power Wheels car.
Special Effects: 4
While this one doesn’t have electronics or the ability to drive, you can’t deny those sweet, sweet sound effects in the video.
[wptab name=”#3: Kelly”]
#3: Kelly’s Optimus Prime Costume [Video Below]
In 2012, Mom and Kelly created an Optimus Prime costume that actually transforms. Aside from being incredibly adorable, we have to give credit for not making a Bumblebee costume. Because of the shape of the truck cab, an Optimus Prime transforming costume isn’t something we see very often. Kelly was actually inspired by doing what I just did for three hours… watching YouTube videos of people creating and wearing their own transforming Transformers costumes.
Kelly takes a bit of time, but he was 7 years old, so no points off. When he gets into his transformed position, his little legs are just long enough to create the perfect illusion of a semi-truck. I can see his little fingers in the wheel well, but again, people… 7 years old.
While our previous costumes had industrial molded pieces, Kelly and his mom pulled off an impressive Optimus Prime with just cardboard and their local craft store supplies. Yes, Optimus seems to be pink, but this is a Halloween costume, so I’m going to assume the day-glo colors are for street safety. Even more bonus points for mom. The wheels are fully developed with chrome paint, and the flame details are just, well, awesome.
Special Effects: 4
Kelly has a certain amount of on-camera charisma, and there are bonus sketches of how he and his incredibly crafty mom developed their transforming Optimus Prime. Knowing that he’s going to commit to a night of trick-or-treating around the neighborhood in this get-up is almost enough to inspire me to start working out.
[wptab name=”#2: Street Performer”]
#2: Transforming Street Performer [Video Below]
Captured by an unsuspecting pedestrian in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this street performer not only seamlessly transforms, but proceeds to run circles around the competition. This one is topping off our list due to high scores in transformation and effects.
Perhaps this is a later version of the Artemis design above. The two front wheels appear to be attached to the arm of the performer, which later power the vehicle. They don’t line up to the wheel well very well when transformed, but you can’t see much of the human inside, either.
The vehicle portion of the costume is more like a covering that flops over the performer when he gets into ‘car mode’. The cloth top of… what are we looking at, here, a Jeep? Well, it leaves something to be desired. The doors looked to have been designed to better hide the seam created by the arm pieces, this time placed just under the ‘windows’. Chrome trim and plastic lamps were added, which makes it seem a bit more real.
Special Effects: 8
This costume is easily the fastest four-wheeled transforming costume that we’ve seen so far. While he loses major points in craftsmanship and transformation, it can’t be denied that his catches at least every overall note of a transforming Transformers costume.
[wptab name=”#1: The Winner”]
#1: Non-Transforming, but Somehow Still the Best Transformer [Video Below]
Okay, okay, so it may not be fair that a completely non-transforming costume should top my list for ‘Best Homemade Transformers Costumes on Earth’, but I am a sucker for good craftsmanship and attention to detail. Go make your own list, the internet is full of them. What you’re looking at below is the talented Marc De Repentigny, strapped into his amazing Silverbolt Transformers costume.
This one wasn’t designed to transform, unless you’re counting the complete transformation of man to robot.
With jutting shoulder spikes and well-placed wires and pistons, this costume has it all. The paint job is incredible, and all of the tiny details harken back to those glimmering and rotating pieces of machinery that the movie robots flaunt with each transformation. Marc has successfully created a full-body costume that looks like a real robot, with the distinct style of the Transformers. The length of the arms and strategically-placed bulk could easily lead to you believe that there is not a man inside this suit.
Special Effects: 9
Watch the video below to see Silverbolt come to life with working lights and robotic effects.
Rain Blanken is an author who specializes in covering art, travel and the automotive industry. With three kids and a lot of road trips ahead of her, she is always excited to review the latest models and to check out classic car shows. Rain has written for The New York Times, Barnes & Noble and Running Press. She currently lives in the land of cornfields and airfields; Dayton, Ohio. See more articles by Rain.