A LEGO fan has built a 50cm Optimus Prime that can switch back and forth between his robot and vehicle modes.
As we've stated in the past, when it comes to custom LEGO builds, the focus of many of builders is to construct the most gigantic and awe-inspiring dioramas they possibly can. That being the case, there's more than way to impress. Flickr user Ralph "The Mad Physicist" S, for instance, eschewed "bigger is better" for a "more than meets the eye" approach.
A physicist by day and LEGO builder by night, he recently completed a brick replica of the Autobot leader Optimus Prime that not only looks the part, but also transforms just like the deal. The model itself was based on the Revenge of the Fallen Voyager Class Battle Blades toy and measures about 45-50cm tall while in robot mode. The only hitch, according to Ralph, is that the transformation process, while functional, is still "horrendously complicated and awkward." He hopes to "revisit this at some point" to improve its structure with Technic pieces.
Even if the transformation process might be headache inducing, we're going to go ahead and say that it's impressive he was able to make it work at all. Building an accurate looking Optimus Prime, especially based on the complex movie version, would be challenging enough for enough for most people. Creating one that can actually shift back and forth between the character's vehicle and robot forms though? That's an accomplishment even if the transforming part is a pain in the ass. Check out Ralph's model for yourself and then hop over to his Flickr page to check out some of his other LEGO work.