Last week, after stumbling on a few posts featuring what can only be described as the coolest real-life Transformers costume I’ve ever seen, I started doing a little research on its creator. I found ex-machinist, ex-network admin, father of four, and soon to be method agent Marc Derepentigny. Then I realized that he lives about 5 minutes away from me, so instead of just using the info that everyone had, I decided to call Marc, who agreed to meet me right away.
When I arrived to his home, Marc greeted me with a few of his friends, who were there to help him put the costume on. That thing is about 7-feet tall, and even though it is not that heavy, some helping hands are required to put it on.
Marc has been building costumes as far as he can remember, even dating back to his early childhood. It first started with cardboard and hot glue, eventually evolving into styrene plastic and Crazy Glue, which is what the robot is made of. He estimates the time it took him to build it at two years, with around two hours of work per day, and a total cost of about $2000. It could have taken him a little less time, but several aspects of the costume changed as Marc was working on it.
Naturally, while I was there, I had to shoot some footage of the masterpiece. Pictures just don’t do it justice.
And like most geeks, Marc did not draw any schematics for how the robot would be built, he had it all in his mind, exactly like his upcoming project: a self-transforming Mazda Furai costume which will go from car to robot automatically. Unfortunately, Marc explained to me that the inverse transformation from robot to car will not be possible and that the costume will have to be reset manually so that it can take back its initial form.
Derepentigny has also created plenty of custom transformable toys as well as a few other costumes, and was featured on TV shows such has The Screen Savers (TechTV) and a few others. Be sure to check out some of his other creations in the picture gallery below.
As I was about to leave Marc to go back home to my wife and kids, he shared one last story with me: The time when his son asked him to go to school with him and share what he was doing in life with the rest of his class. As Marc walked in the classroom, fully dressed as a robot, students just stood there, mouths wide open in awe. What was supposed to be a 10-minute speech quickly turned into an hour-long presentation.