Posted January 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Man, y'know what I like? Animated-original characters getting toys in other lines! You may remember that I was super in love with Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown and his Animated-inspired rivalry with live-action Ratchet. I also adore that Bulkhead is one of the main Autobots in Transformers: Prime. And, hey now, look, it's Reveal the Shield Lugnut, everyone's favorite five-eyed sycophant, in Generation 1 style!
Did you know that Lugnut was in the 1986 animated Transformers film? Well, he was. Sort of. According to the comic book that comes with the Rodimus/Cyclonus "Battle in Space" set, which retroactively places him at the Battle of Autobot City, anyway. That's the kind of stuff I like, the new additions that are presented as if they'd been there all along.
Frankly, after getting your hands on this guy, you'd be happy for him to be in every continuity possible. Out of the huge box of swag I got on Friday, I'd rank his toy as the winner in all respects. There's just so much going on with him. Let's work our way through them.
First of all, I am super digging his alternate mode. It's a giant war bomber. Folks tend to describe it as a "WWII bomber," but I can't really agree so long as he has jet engines instead of propellers. The second best thing about this mode is the amazing wingspan. Usually, Transformer plane wings are stubby so that they fit into the packaging in vehicle mode or a conservation of plastic mass is attained. But Lugnut gets around that by being packaged in robot mode and by having his wings transform into his arms. Often wings just get thrown onto the back of a robot mode as kibble, but Lugnut uses the wings to add to his robot mode mass. The FIRST best thing about his vehicle mode is the missile that launches out of the back of the tail, which calls back to those World War II-era bombers. You flip up the little gunpod at the very tip of the tail, and underneath is the missile launcher. In robot mode, this launcher can point over the shoulder. ...Or up under the crotch, if you're crude.
How Lugnut gets massive arms out of his wings is inspiring. His hands transform out of the jet intakes(?) on the wings, the wingtips fold over onto the backs of the hands, and then the wings articulate like arms. Each hand has two articulated fingers and a thumb. (He can go grabby grabby.) It's a feat of engineering we haven't seen before. Animated Lugnut had a "Punch Of Kill Everything" attack where he'd punch the ground and create a massive crater, and this version of Lugnut tries to borrow that as well. Both of his fists have spring-loaded punch gimmicks. You could use this to make his wings even longer, but I don't think it's necessary, and it leaves a few gaps.
(Oh, and his mouth can open and close.)
In my reviews for the past several toys, I've talked about the new, shared "C joint" gimmick, where toys come with clip-on weapons and a number of rungs for those weapons to attach. Well, Lugnut is the holy mother of this. He doesn't come with any weapons, but he has rungs hidden all over his body that can accommodate 15 clip-ons. There's one on the missile launcher. There's four spread across his shoulder jet engines. There's two on each of his shins. There's two each more on the backs of his wrists, hidden under the wingtips. And there's one more on both of his wingtips. I wouldn't be surprised if I found even more later, but at that point I'd be put out, 'cuz I'm out of weapons to attach to him. (I think the next time I get more is whenever Wheeljack comes out.)
To sum up, you have to get this guy. He's an amazing toy that can do buttloads of stuff and he's an appealing character with a memorable visual design. Any toy with giant articulated fingers is already going to be near the top of my list, but Lugnut gives me that and so much more. If you see him, snatch him up.