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Chatterbox Megatron Offends Visitors at Universal Studios Beijing

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Though Universal Studios Beijing only officially opened to the public on September 20, its Megatron mecha has caused a firestorm on Chinese social media over the past few weeks. Heck, some visitors have gone to the amusement park with the sole desire to encounter the popular Transformers character.

According to tech media outlet PingWest, the villainous Decepticon is not an actual robot and is more of a suit that resort staffers operate.

Here’s how it works: One person wears stilts inside the mechanical armored body, one person remotely controls the body, and another speaks with a voice-changing microphone. 

The PingWest article notes that the theme park has to rotate the staffer inside the mecha as the metal armor can be rather heavy and stuffy, especially on warm days.

universal beijing megatron

The Megatron is performed by staff members at Universal Beijing. Image via Weibo

Universal’s Megatron has made quite the impression on netizens, primarily due to its talkativeness and sharp tone. It chats with — and regularly mocks — almost every visitor who tries to take a picture with it.

Netizens are using trending hashtags on Chinese social media to share videos and pictures of their interactions with the robot. At the time of writing, the hashtag for Universal’s Megatron had garnered 240 million views on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.

“The Megatron at Beijing Universal Studios is hilarious! It possibly has social invincibility. I’ve never seen a Megatron so chatty,” reads a comment from someone who has presumably met a few Megatrons in their lifetime. The commenter uses the Chinese slang term shejiao niubi zheng 社交牛逼症, which is the opposite of a ‘social phobia and roughly translates to ‘social butterfly’ in English.

Comically, the fake robot sometimes gets offended and reacts angrily, as demonstrated when it refused to take a picture with a visitor who gave it the middle finger last week.

“Your gesture is too impolite. Haven’t your parents taught you [to behave yourself]? Foolish guy, foul human! Go away; I don’t want to take a picture with him.”

However, the Megatron performer’s ‘offensive’ lines, such as “stupid human beings” or “come and serve me you idiots,” have also upset some tourists. Some have taken the jokes personally and formally complained to the park. The resort has yet to issue a response.

Cover photo: Chinese soccer player Wang Tong poses with the charismatic Megatron. Image via Weibo

Lu Zhao
Lu Zhao is a bilingual and multimedia journalist with a focus on human interest and social issues. Her work has appeared in USA Today, UPI, SupChina, Pandaily, Chicago Reporter, and other publications.