Fireworks Superstore guarded by 16-foot metal Transformers, and more inside

This 16-foot Transformer, Bumblebee, is on one side of the entrance of the Fireworks Superstore, while Optimus Prime is on the other side.

HANNIBAL, Mo. — When coming into Hannibal from South U.S. 61, it could appear that a Transformers invasion is underway.

Standing on each side of the entrance guarding the Fireworks Superstore, which is located a few miles from Hannibal city limits, and standing approximately 16-feet high are Bumblebee and Optimus Prime — both are good guys in the Transformers universe. 

Scattered inside the building are nine more approximately 7-8 foot creations —not all Transformers— that can be found by wandering around the spacious store, which is the biggest fireworks store in the United States. From another Bumblebee beside the inside entrance to Alien and Predator farther back in the store, these one-of-a-kind creations are made in Indonesia. 

The newest creations that can found inside the store is Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper.

The metal artwork is made of used automobile and motorcycle parts. While many of the same characters are made over again, no two are alike because they are all made of a different combination of parts. 

Owner of the Fireworks Superstore and of the metal art is Tom Marx. His favorite piece is Alien.

Marx said the creations come in pieces and are made to be put together upon arrival. For the 16-foot Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, they used a crane, fork lift and scissor lift to assemble it. The whole process of putting them together took about an hour for each. 

The Indonesian artwork isn’t very common in the United States.

“They are not exactly on every street corner,” said Marx. “There are some in Las Vegas but I haven’t seen them really anywhere else at all.”

Marx was introduced to the artwork about three years ago from a friend in Las Vegas who imports them, and with the high ceilings and spacing inside the building, he thought it would be a good experience for the customers and children who come into the store.

And he was right.

Many come in and browse the store just to see the creations or just stop by to take a picture with the big ones out front. Marx welcomes anyone to come to the store and take picture and enjoy the pieces of art. He does prefer the pieces not be touched.

“I have a gotten a great reaction,” he said. “A lot of picture taking and people staring at them, trying to think how they were put together. It’s really mind-boggling how detailed they are.”

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Muddy River TV+

Current Weather

Trending Stories