`Transformers’ toys live up to big-screen robots


Walter Mueller knows his Transformers.

The 32-year-old has been collecting the robot toys for more than 20 years. He even has one of the brand's main characters, Optimus Prime, tattooed in full color on his leg.

The owner of a meat-processing plant, Mueller recently traveled from his native Ontario, Canada, to Southern California to attend BotCon, the 15th annual Transformers convention, in hopes of adding to his arsenal of more than 1,000 toys.

The "Transformers" movie and its forthcoming sequel have spawned dozens of new characters, while also having the effect of making the shape-shifting robots infinitely more complex than the toys that were first introduced in 1984, the year Mueller became a fan. This self-perpetuating cycle — toys inspiring a film that inspired more sophisticated toys — has also made the miniaturized versions "cool again for a younger generation," Mueller said.


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