There are a number of people like DrawerDemon who want to know why the film's Transformer designs don't look like anything we've seen before. While I don't pretend to have any real answers, I would like to share my theories. We largely consider Masterpiece Optimus Prime as the utopia of G1 design, and feel that the movie designs would be largely successful if they followed suit. I'd like to share several reasons why I believe putting Masterpiece Prime on the bigscreen would not be as good as ILM's new design for Prime. 1. The Wow factor. While we hardcore Transformers fans believe we would greatly enjoy seeing Masterpiece Prime in live action, for general audiences it would not be that impressive. Masterpiece Prime's design could be accomplished on screen by putting a guy in a suit. G1 Prime, with his boxy limbs and body, is far too simplistic. You can look at him and take it all in within seconds. ILM's Prime is something you could stare at for an hour and still not fully understand it. It captures the imagination in a way that the traditional/G1 designs cannot. Moreover, if you're looking for blocky G1 designs with no exposed mechanics or wiring, what you essentially end up with is this: Does that wow you? Because to general audiences, that is what Masterpiece Prime would look like in a live-action film. 2. The Budget When you're spending over 100 million on a film, you've got to deliver something no one has seen before in order for your film to be financially successful. Look at this year's Superman Returns. They stayed very true to the original look of the character and environment, which left general audiences with a reaction of, "meh". Superman Returns cost $270 million and has only made $195 million in the United States (only another $173m foreign). Audiences could take or leave Superman Returns, largely because it's just a rehash of the same thing but with today's CGI. For Transformers to be successful with the blocky simplistic G1 designs, the film's budget would have to be capped at no more than $60 million. For that money, you'd get your traditional designs, but you'd lose mind-blowing action scenes and ground-breaking special effects. The trade-off for the spectacle that $150-200m can deliver is that the character designs have to blow the minds of general audiences. See Megazord image posted above once again, and tell me if that looks like $150m-$200m film material to you. 3. The Concept Transformers are aliens. That is something we all accept, as it's at the very core of the mythos. While that doesn't mean they have to have cliché tentacles and bug eyes, it means they have to be beyond our comprehension. When the first designs leaked, I saw a lot of people becoming genuinely upset because they couldn't look at the robots and figure out how they could possibly turn into their alt modes. The fact is we shouldn't be able to visually disect them; if we could, then the designers would have failed in delivering us something that is alien to our understanding. What we have here is the most mind-blowing transformations ever created, and free of any cheats. It's a far cry from pulling out the legs and arms and flipping the head up, but it should be. Even Masterpiece Starscream, who unlike Masterpiece Prime has a realistic alt mode, is more or less just standing the plane up and pulling the limbs and head out; it's not a far stretch of the imagination to look at Masterpiece Starscream's robot mode and see an airplane. Now, I am by no means in love with all of ILM's Designs. I think Prime and Blackout are their best work that I've seen so far. Megatron and Starscream I an not nuts about, and none of my above points justify those characters lack of tribute to the originals. It is obvious ILM did not intend for Megatron or Starscream to pay tribute to their original designs in any way, and I'm not going to pretend to know why that would be. But I hope what I've said here helps people think about why Masterpiece Optimus Prime is not suitable live action material for a $150-200m film.