Transformers Animated Toy Reviews: Atomic Lugnut

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: January 2009
Price Point: $19.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Mace weapon


*Images from

Text from
Exposed to malfunctioning experimental power reactors at a remote Sumdac factory, LUGNUT absorbs more power than he can handle. Now, atomic energy spills from the cracks in his armor, and shines from his eye. His poer[sic] mace thunders with the might of an exploding sun, while nuclear fire crackles along the edges of the footprints he leaves behind. He’s not just a danger to the AUTOBOTS - he’s a threat to Earth itself!

Awesome quick-change figure converts from robot mode to atomic bomber vehicle mode and back again! Start in robot mode and keep the enemy in site! Aim the auto-convert power mace weapon at your target. Change to bomber mode for poseable cannon turrets and bombs that open to reveal turbolasers!

It's getting to the end of the "Animated" toy line, and that of course means redecos rapidly become the mainstay of the line. In this case, Megatron's ultra loyal and slightly kooky warrior, Lugnut gets a new deco after a massive power up into Atomic Lugnut. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a more detailed look at the figure's mechanics and sculpt, check out the original "Animated" Lugnut review.

Vehicle Mode:
While his bio indicates that his new colors are "radiation" inspired, Atomic Lugnut actually takes inspiration from classic military colors, but then uses brighter variants. The purple plastic on the first Lugnut has been replaced with a light metallic green plastic. The green plastic on the first Lugnut has been swapped for black plastic while the translucent plastic is still a smokey color. The metallic green is a nice riff on the idea of a military bomber, but the designers took it a step further by adding a fun "shark mouth" detail onto the sides of the front section. This was a classic look used during the days of the P-40 fighters and it's neat to see such a detail carried over into a "futuristic" plane. Here, the "shark mouth" has a row of uneven, jagged teeth on top with a red line on the bottom indicating a tongue. Very cool. An olive green color is used to paint the raised sections of the nosecone and the tail fins are cast in the same color.

Additional paint decos add to his "atomic" monicker including bright yellow used on the caution lines on the "bombs" under the wings and a yellow and black radioactive symbol on the tail of the figure. Black is used to deco the ends of his wings where a Decepticon symbol in gold outline can be found. Red lines are used for designs on the ends of his wings and on the rear engine section.

I like how different this deco looks than Lugnut's previous colors. It's different enough that they could have easily made this figure a whole new character. I also enjoy the military connection with the shark mouth and use of greens in the color scheme.

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:
The color swapping continues over into the robot mode where you get to see the black colors spread out more on parts such as his feet and the area around his head. The face is painted the same green color as the cockpit, with orange replacing red on his eyes and the circles on either side of his head. The Decepticon symbol on his chest is an interesting color combination of black and gold, with black filling out the inner details and gold forming the outline.

All of Lugnut's joints are still tight. The only problem I had with mine is that his mace weapon doesn't function quite as smoothly as it should. By that I mean that it activates fine, with the blades deploying outwards when you "stomp" it down. However, when you try to return them to their original position, the panels kind of hang much more loose than they should. I have not heard a lot of complaints about this with Atomic Lugnut, so it may just be mine or it could be an early shipment Q/A issue.

Final Thoughts:
I really like the way this figure looks, and it works for the character who is dangerous and powerful. The "shark mouth" deco helps enhance this feeling (coupled with his guns and bombs of course!). I also like seeing redecos use different patterns than the figures they're based on, and Atomic Lugnut does this well. The weapon issue is a bit disconcerting however, and it's something I'd caution any buyer about.