Man Continues to Fight to Keep Transformers Statues Outside His Home

Everyone has some type of movie or book character that they love. For one man, that is Autobots Bumblebee and Optimus Prime from the Transformers franchise, which he has as giant statues outside of his home.

Since the statues were placed outside of the Washington, D.C., resident’s house, his neighbors have been trying to get rid of them. Newton Howard, a renowned brain scientist, commissioned an artist to create the huge statues from old car parts back in January 2021.

The installation quickly became a talking point for neighbors as they don’t believe the statues match the neighborhood’s aesthetic. They also complained that they represent a safety hazard due to drawing in a steady stream of visitors seeking photos with the Autobots.

The statues were a subject of discussion at the District’s monthly Public Safety Committee meeting, where Howard brought along actors Peter Cullen and Dan Gilvezan to speak in favor of the art. Cullen has previously voiced Optimus Prime in numerous animated and live-action Transformers projects, and Gilvezan voiced Bumblebee in the original 1984-87 Transformers animated series.

“I understand that some people think these statues don’t fit the character of the neighborhood, that they stand out like a sore thumb,” Gilvezan said. “First I resent being compared to a sore thumb. A healthy well-functioning thumb — maybe. But a sore thumb — never.”

The Public Safety Committee ruled in favor of the neighbors, saying the statues should be removed. Howard said he will continue to fight to keep the Autobots in place and is even prepared to take the case to court to get a ruling in his favor.