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Transformers Animated
by yo go re

Every good group of villains needs a few things: a maniacal leader, a self-serving kiss-up, a spy, an actual threat to the heroes, and one big serving of dumb muscle. In the case of the Decepticons on Transformers Animated, the giant mook is Lugnut.

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. Unfortun-ately, he's almost as fast as he is strong.

During the planning phases, Lugnut was going to be more of a Frankenstein's monster, complete with big bolts sticking out of his neck - thus the name. Seems that was a pretty popular jumping-off point. Anyway, the idea changed, but the name stayed the same, giving us a real rarity among Transformers: a character with a name that's never been used before.

Lugnut's altmode is some sort of unidentified construction vehicle. I mean, it has to be, right? He's green and purple, and everybody knows green and purple are reserved for TF construction vehicles. I suppose if you think he's teal instead of green, then he'd be easily recognizable as an airplane, a futuristic heavy bomber type, but that's just crazy talk! Seriously, this must be some kind of space bulldozer or something.

We kid, we kid! The plane is 8½" from end to end, stands 2¾" tall and has an 8" wingspan. The landing gear retracts and the guns on the roof and near the nose can rotate. The cockpit is what realy makes this look like a bomber, with the old-fashioned glass dome instead of a traditional nose cone. Think Enola Gay. The (jet) engines are on top of the wing, to allow room for the gigantic bombs underneath, and there's a flash of red on the tail.

Transforming Converting Lugnut from plane to robot isn't terribly difficult. Remove the tail, raise some flaps on the side, unfold the legs, bend up the wing tips, lower the arms and, to activate the toy's Automorph features, slap down the rear fuselage. Doing so will not only rotate his head up into position, but also split the cockpit and wrap it around his chest. It's actually kind of fun.

As a robot, Lugnut looks like, well, a big dumb lug. He's got tiny little legs and a huge upper body. He has the apearance of wearing shoulder pads, and his hands are basically just bombs, waiting to blow up. He doesn't have a proper "face," just a mouth (and a chin, of course) and a single red eye, like Shockwave. He also has smaller red dots on the sides of his head that could be mistaken for eyes, but then his actual eye would have to be a nose or something. The eye is lightpiped, but the plastic is too dark to really let any light through.

The plane's tail section becomes a weapon for Lugnut to wield. It unfolds to a good 6" tall, and is apparently some sort of mace. Powered by a star core, if you believe the box chatter. When it's held in the figure's hand, you can slam it agaist the ground to make the sides pop open and raise ¾". The mace wasn't part of Lugnut's original plan - the show's designers were surprised when they learned Hasbro had added the feature, and eventually wrote it into the show - the weapon makes its first appearance in Season 2's "Garbage In, Garbage Out."

One fault with Lugnut is his size. This is a Voyager class toy, which means he retails for about $20 and is meant to be fairly big. However, the robot mode isn't even 6" tall, and is barely bigger than the Animated Bumblebee. He's easily one of the puniest Voyagers ever, which doesn't suit a character of his massive size and bulk.

Despite that, Lugnutis a fun toy. Yes, he really would have been served by being a larger size, but that would also have meant a bigger pricetag. Just think of him as being in-scale with the Animated Activators. Some folks have apparently had problems with the Automorph head and cockpit, but nothing major. Lugnut is a nice TF, and will be more than happy to beat up on your Autobots.


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