Transformers Animated Lugnut Review

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: June 2008
Price Point: $19.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Mace weapon

Images:

*Image from Hasbrotoyshop.com

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
LUGNUT has absolute faith in MEGATRON, and that makes him one of the most dangerous DECEPTICONS. He is a fanatic in his support of the DECEPTICON cause, and unquestioning in following the orders of his commander. His dedication is backed up by incredible strength, and fighting skills that led to him being feared and respected across CYBERTRON. Each punch from his powerful hands carries the force of a small bomb, so the only way to survive a fight with him is to avoid ever letting him hit you. Unfortunately, he’s almost as fast as he is strong.

Convert this DECEPTICON thug from robot mode to bomber plane vehicle mode and back again. Mechanized auto-conversion features help ease the transition. Vehicle mode features posable cannon turrets and bombs that open to reveal turbolasers! The plane’s rear stabilizers become the robot’s power mace weapon – slam its base to auto convert! Blue, black and metallic deco makes him one sleek DECEPTICON warrior for your collection.

Fanatical characters are awesome in stories. They represent a wonderful extreme that creates a wonderful foil for other characters to react off of. In "Animated", Lugnut definitely serves this role. As a warrior dedicated utterly to the Decepticon cause and Megatron, he is a refreshing "true believer" with a slight bit of insanity, qualities that remind this writer of a certain fire ant from "Beast Wars". In the early waves of Transformers Animated figures, Lugnut was released as a Voyager Class figure.

Vehicle Mode:
The design for Lugnut's vehicle mode is an interesting amalgam of ideas. It uses classic bombers from the World War II era and then adds features that give him a very modern appearance. Add in some exaggerated proportions and detail and you have a really nice looking vehicle.

Classic touches to the vehicle include its overall shape, with a thick middle section, wide wings and a cockpit section with a series of segmented, rectangular windows. He has gun ports mounted both on the sides of the cockpit section and the top of the vehicle. He has large "bombs" mounted under each wing, which resemble weapons of mass destruction and some stabilizers mounted onto his rear engines. I'm especially fond of the gun port in the center. You can almost imagine a human gunner sitting inside of the dome and firing away at enemies while someone else in the cockpit targets the other dual blasters independently. The bombs under his wings are a fantastic touch, complete with banded "warning sign" patterns. It is these touches that give the vehicle a very powerful appearance. In my mind, just looking at Lugnut puts sounds and images of classic World War II footage and films of bombers in action.

The more futuristic touches to this plane are more in the details than the overall shape. While the wings are wide for instance, the sweep back and end on points. He has air intakes mounted onto the middle of each wing that angle down to the middle and then back out again as they connect to the wing. The rear stabilizers each have angled, sharp designs that give the impression of speed. There are four of these stabilizers, and they are set at angles on the rear engines, giving them a more "scifi" appearance. Add in some exaggerated proportions such as the air intakes and "bombs" under his wings and Lugnut has one nicely designed vehicle mode.

"Animated" figures try to replicate the look of the character on the television show, and in "Animated", a lot of characters have very smooth surfaces and very little detail. However, in toy form a lot of details can be worked in that may not appear in the cartoon. Here, the biggest detail you'll find is the front cockpit section, where each window is set within a web of raised lines. Each of the small guns has many sections to the barrel and circular details on the base. On the "bombs", not only does Lugnut have the safety stripes, but they're actually sculpted into the figure. Other requisite details such as vents and armor lines can be found as well and at the back of the plane there are two thrusters with vent details in the mid-section. This is plenty of detail and more than I think most people expected from a figure in this line.

Lugnut has two pieces of landing gear, one towards the front and the other in the middle of the vehicle, both of which have rolling wheels. Each of his gun turrets can turn as well.

Lugnut is cast in trhee shades of plastic: purple, metallic green and translucent grey. Paint applications are done in gold, metallic green (matching the plastic), yellow, black and red. The red is found on the rear engine section facing front, and it really adds a nice splash of color that gives the feel of energy eminating from the engines. The metallic green is used on parts of the wings to break the purple monotony as well as the outlines around the windows on the cockpit. The yellow and black are used for the safety bands round each bomb and finally the gold is used for the Decepticon symbols on his wings. It's a really nice color scheme an the metallic color adds a lot. I do find it curious however that gold is used for the Decepticon symbols in stead of some other color. To me, gold doesn't look particularly nice on top of metallic green, but maybe that's just me. Using purple as Lugnut's primary color is a wonderful choice since it is a wonderful visual reference to his fanatical psychological state. Overall this is one nice looking plane!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the rear engines and swing out the folded tube to form Lugnut's weapon.
  2. Towards the rear, swing out the two small panels right behind the wings on the central body of the plane.
  3. Swing down each robot leg.
  4. Swing out his toe and heel pieces on each leg.
  5. Rotate the waist section around and swing it up to attach to the underside of the plane.
  6. Swing the top panel of the plane's middle section down on the back and Lugnut's head will rotate out while the cockpit halves split and swing to the sides.
  7. Swing up the ends of the wings.
  8. Detach the bombs from the underside of the wings and swing them down to form the robot arms.
  9. Push the purple fins on his arms forward to open up his claw hands.
  10. Attach the weapon via the horizontal peg to either claw hand.

Robot Mode:
When I write reviews of Transformers characters who have on screen counterparts, I often do so while looking at the toy in comparison to screen captures of the character's on screen appearance. As I look at Lugnut's cartoon model, I'm rather awestruck by how accurate this toy on my desk is to the cartoon. Usually there is a fair bit of "cheating" necessary when you go from TV to toy (or vice versa), but in this case the designers got it about 95% right, and that is an extraordinary thing.

Lugnut has all the primary features of his animated counterpart, including a huge upper body on small, "claw feet" legs. His shoulders are huge vents connected two small elbows and gigantic claw hands. His central body is thick and has the guns and cockpit halves on the sides and his face his a solitary eye with a large mouth and chin piece. He also has many of the smaller details, including some horizontal lines etched into his lower arms, small circles on the sides of his head and vertical lines on the sides of his waist.

The primary differences between the animation model and toy are minor. First, the animation model has his shoulders pressed right up against his body whereas here the shoulders connect to parts of the wings from the vehicle mode, forming a bridge to the body. The width of this section is small enough that it works well and doesn't look bad at all. The other difference are the claws on his hands, which are on the sides as opposed to being on the top and bottom of his lower arms. You can rotate his arms around so the claws are on the top and bottom, but then his elbow articulation will only go from side to side. I consider these small differences and they hardly detract from the figure's overall appearance.

Color-wise, the designers also got things about 95% correct. The same plastic colors from the vehicle mode come into play here, but they get distributed across the figure in alternating patterns. The feet are green which lead to purple lower legs, which then lead to green thighs and so on. Even inside his claw hands are purple posts/holes (more on those in a bit). The only two places where Lugnut differs from the animation model are the wings on his shoulders, which are purple and green here, but all green on the TV show and the Decepticon symbol on his chest. I continue to be perplexed with the use of gold for the Decepticon symbols on this figure when a tampographed white and purple symbol would have stood out so much better, and been show accurate. However, it doesn't look bad at all, just different than the animation model.

Lugnut has twenty points of articulation. Due to his transformation scheme and rather unique head design, he does not have articulation in the head or waist. This is made up for by his arms having an amazing range of motion including a ratchet joint at the shoulder, two hinges for the elbows and the ability to swing and swivel in and out. If you include the gun ports on his torso, he gets another two points of articulation counted since they move just fine in this mode.

Lugnut's primary weapon is his "Power Mace", which is formed from the top, rear section of the vehicle. It looks more like a bladed staff to me, but whatever you call it, it's definitely not a weapon you want to be hit with! There is a peg on the staff that connects to the aforementioned post/hole in between the claws. Push it in and the claws close in around the weapon and then you can push the bottom of the staff against the ground. This pushes in the purple piece at the bottom and causes the green engine covers to slide outward along with the blades, essentially transforming the weapon itself! He can then swing the weapon around and smash enemies at will. It's a fun weapon which matches the brute force that Lugnut's robot form implies.

Final Thoughts:
Lugnut is a fantastic figure. He has all the features you want in a figure from this line including great sculpting, articulation, a great (and appropriate) color scheme and a fun weapon. The only thing that works against this figure is its size. It's pretty small for a Voyager, even though it does have some bulk. This may deter those that are big into scale. Personally, I think "Transformers scale" is an abstract term except with lines like the Alternators, so while it is distracting, Lugnut's size is not enough to make me not want to recommend this figure. Recommended.