McNiven as Megatron. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

WATCH: Okanagan creator transforms into Megatron

Vernon’s Darren McNiven lives in car and creates Transformer replicas, art in former storage bin

There might have been some sore necks along 25th Avenue in Vernon Wednesday afternoon.

Motorists either did a double-take or strained to see the six-foot tall Transformer known as Megatron plundering slowly on the grass and sidewalk across from the Vernon Water Reclamation Centre property.

The Megatron suit is the creation of Darrin McNiven, 52, owner, operator and actor who slips into the giant outfit made mostly of sheet plastic and electronics, and rents himself out to birthday parties or other occasions.

“I was the Kelowna Expo Fan Fest greeter in this costume,” said McNiven, 52, five-foot-11, who takes about 10 minutes to don the costume.

McNiven owns McRobo Creations, and has been creating Transformers, space ships and other such things since 1995, though his first shop, he said, he had when he was 16 and living in Kelowna.

“Most of the stuff I make is from sheet plastic, it’s plastic fabrication,” he said. “I make six-foot tall robots and six-foot spaceships.”

And where he makes his art is even more remarkable.

It’s an old storage bin located on the property of Vernon’s Elephant Storage Centre, where he also does a little security for the company. On this day, his thermometer in the shop reads 30 degrees C, and outside, it’s at least 20 degrees. He lives right beside the shop in his “UFO Response Unit,” which is a former Saturn automobile.

Yes, McNiven is homeless.

“Things went to s—t for me about three or four years ago, when my mom died,” he said. “But I love what I do. I do it 24-7.”

Much to the delight of young Kane Merlo, nine, who was able to not only get his picture taken with McNiven as Megatron, but Merlo helped him with the costume.

“I plugged in the cord that gave him his (Transformer) voice,” said Merlo. “His costume is so awesome.”

The front of his Megatron costume has a donation box. One lady was so smitten by his work and wanted pictures of the costume, but when she saw the box, she went back to her vehicle and came back with a deposit, much to McNiven’s appreciation.

McNiven can be reached at mcrobocreations@live.com for information about his company.

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the original version to include Mr. McNiven’s contact information.)



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Luke Skywalker makes an appearance in Penticton court

KVR Middle Schoolers get firsthand experience at the Penticton Courthouse

Keremeos council members plant tree to celebrate local government

It is the 100th anniversary of the Local Government Management Association of B.C.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: weekend rain

Environment Canada forecasts continuing bad weather for the start of the weekend

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

PPC leader wants to appeal to voters’ intelligence

Maxine Bernier says his right-wing populist political movement differs from that of U.S. President Donald Trump and other similar European leaders

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friend of accused Kelowna murderer takes the stand

Elrich Dyck’s testimony continued Friday with details from the night Chris Ausman was killed

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read