Cliffbee.com: Lugnut Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Lugnut
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Bomber Plane

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Lugnut for this review



PLANE MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 20.5cm Width: 20cm

   A grape purple plane with extensive teal highlights and compound black windows on his cockpit, Lugnut has silver Decepticon logos on either wingtip. He sports teal on the massive bombs under his wings, the wingtips, the jets at the back, the guns and the lattice of the cockpit windows. There are black and yellow "danger" stripes around the bombs. Purple and teal generally offset each other quite well and this is the case here. The combination works well since the designer has kept the colour scheme clean with a minimum of supporting colours.

   This is very much a cartoony bomber plane, especially in these colours. He's quite rounded while the nose is unusually flat rather than pointed and the missiles are oversized for effect. Having said that, Lugnut has an elegance about him that many of the more deformed Animated toys lack - the fact is that this plane looks like it _could_ exist, if not in these colours. The lines are simple but there are still seams here and here, in fact Lugnut has more detail on his sculpt than many Animated toys - I guess with an elegant shape like his he doesn't need to dumb down to have an animated look about him.

   There's some play value here, and I'm glad that it doesn't rely on silly gimmicks. The front and rear wheels can retract - both are twin wheels on an axle, with the rear pair having a wider axle. Both sets are teal, by the way. There are three teal twin-barrelled guns - one on the roof and one on either side of the cockpit, and all three can rotate through 360. The only real flaw here is that the nose section can spring open (either side springs out to the sides in transformation), and I believe this is a common flaw. From what I understand, there is an internal screw loose from the factory which can be fixed with a little work, although I'm not going to see for myself with a borrowed toy. The bombs are fixed in place.

   A good plane mode and probably the most elegant cartoony vehicle mode in this line, Lugnut relies on simple visual aspects like the flat nose, oversized bombs and unusual yet simple colours to achieve this look, rather than ridiculous deformation or unbalanced proportions. The play value is simple but works well for this toy while the sculpt and paint job are well considered. The only drawback here is the loose nose, but even that's not enough to prevent Lugnut from being a good toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the top of the tail. Unclip the underside of the tail and fold out as his legs. Rotate the waist and flip out the feet and heelspurs (there's actually two parts to each heelspur). Flip up the wingtips, swing the bombs down to form his forearms. Fold what's left of the tail down to form his back, which will cause the panel supporting the topside gun to flip over and reveal the robot head, as well as causing the cockpit halves to spring out to the sides, forming his chest. Slide the side fins on the bombs forward to form his hands (well, claws). Fold out the base of the his staff and place it in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 14cm

   A grape purple robot with teal highlights again, while the danger stripes are now on his wrists and the black windows on either side of his chest. The feet, thighs, forearms and head are teal while his face is a single transparent red cyclops-style eye. There's meant to be a lightpipe, since the back of his head has a red patch, but as far as I can tell it doesn't actually work. Again the two main colours work well and the supporting colours are minimal - although the red is an addition. The Decepticon logos on his wings are hidden now, but there's a gold Decepticon logo visible on his chest.

   Lugnut of course has a rather cartoonish bodyshape, with the the bombs for forearms and the cyclops face, this suits. The shoulders are ridiculously wide, the face simple with a giant chin-like protrusion (although it's more of a collar in truth) and the legs curved. The simple face, bomb arms, claw hands and wide shoulders all give him feeling of brute force. The claws are essentially the front of the bomb opened up, with prongs on either side. The proportions here are heavily stylised but the overall look is unified, so I have no complaints.

   Lugnut's play value is fairly simple yet well thought out. The weapon (which the packaging calls a "turbo mace") plugs into either hand, and doing so will activate a live hardpoint built into the handle (yes, you can plug a MiniCon in). This activates a slamming gimmick. While he's holding the staff, tapping it on the desk (or pressing on the bottom) will cause the tailfins at the top to open out and reveal more danger stripes. You can't open this one up without the handle plugged into his hand (or MiniCon), trying to force it will do nothing, except maybe break the mechanism. Either way, it's a nice action feature with a very satisfying mechanism. The packaging calls the powerlinx ports inside his claws "turbolasers", so I guess they double as ranged weapons. I'm not sure what turbo technology (forcing gas through) will do for either a mace or a laser. It sounds powerful, I guess. You can open the claws in plane mode, if you want to give him lasers (sorry, turbolasers) in that mode, although they're really intended for the robot mode. The side mounted cannons from plane mode are now on his chest, and can be aimed.

   Poseability is good here, although as with any top-heavy toy posing can take a little work. The head and waist are fixed while the shoulders swing and lift out 45 to the sides. His elbows are hinged while the claws can open and close. Lugnut's hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators. Thanks to the double heelspurs in either foot, the range of stable poses is well above what you'd expect of a top heavy toy like Lugnut - it makes up for the fixed waist and neck in my book.

   A good robot mode that doesn't suffer from that loose spring anymore. The colours work and the unusual shape is in proportion with himself. His weapon feels more ceremonial than dangerous, but with the guns on his sides and the "turbolasers", Lugnut isn't short of firepower. The dud lightpipe in his cyclops eye - which works well otherwise - is the only real flaw here, but it's far from a dealbreaker.

VARIATIONS

   None as such although he was repainted as Atomic Lugnut.

OVERALL

   One of the better efforts from Animated, Lugnut has a good colour scheme, great engineering and a cartoon feel which doesn't cause proportion problems nor rely on a lack of detail. The weapon is unusual and not especially threatening, but it's very well engineered, so it's still fun. The poseability is well and truly above what you might expect, thanks to the clever design of his heelspurs. The loose panel on bomber mode is a shortcoming, as is the dud lightpipe, albeit to a lesser extent. If you fix the cockpit panel, this is an excellent toy for anyone who likes the Animated theme, and is still a damn good toy for those who don't - 9.5/10

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