Cliffbee.com: Movie Longarm Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Longarm
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Ford F-350 Tow Truck (thanks to Fit For Natalie for the model)



TOW TRUCK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 17cm Width: 7cm

   A white two truck with blue flames at the front, similar to the tow truck driven by Mikaela in the film, and it's a deliberate homage. Longarm has colourless windows, silver headlights, black wheels and tyres along with a black on his bumpers, sides and grille. There's a silver lattices floor in the tray, along with a white towing assembly mounted on a black base. Longarm sports a transparent orange stroberack on the roof and small transparent orange indicators on the headlights. There are small red Autobot logos on the sides of the tray and the words "ORSON'S TOWING" on the doors in red lettering. It's a sensible and realistic enough colour scheme, and while the colours are unremarkable, they allude to the truck seen in the film, which gives them great significance.

   This is probably the most impressive Transformers tow truck we've seen, and not just because it's only the third one to appear in the media in some form. What makes this truck so impressive is the complex towing rig on the back, which is more than just a static hook on a generic arm. There's a hook on the end of a hanging arm, which attaches to a supporting arm. The hook sits on a hinge while the hanging arm is also on a hinge. Perhaps most impressively, the supporting arm can lift up and down, and there's a false-piston below it which slides back and forth as the arm moves. So Longarm can drop the hook, clip underneath and lift other vehicles. I just tried it with Swindle, and Longarm is able to lower, hook underneath and tow Swindle! There are even six spinning wheels (Swindle's rear wheels are elevated off the table).

   If there's a shortcoming here it'd be the moulded detail. While it's not poor, it's not quite at the same level of some other movie line Transformers. We do have the diamond grip on the tray, doorhandles and rear vision mirrors, unpainted taillights and some hatches on the sides. Even with the lowish level of detail, he's still far and away the best tow truck we've seen thanks to the rig on the back. The detailing inside the cabin is limited, we have seat backs and that's about it. I'm not complaining, although it is fairly easy to see this since the windows are colourless.

   A good tow truck mode, thanks to the well thought out towing mechanism on the back. There are some other details which are also quite nice, including the sides of the tray (which look very tow truck like), the diamond grip in that tray and the movie-tribute colour scheme. The detailing is slightly below par as the movie line toys go, but Longarm's truck mode is still quite satisfying.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the hook up and into the support arm, fold down the support arm. Lift up the strobes, fold the rack down over the now folded up hook assembly. Open the rear bumper and swing out the missile launcher. Lift up the doors, extend the front to form his feet. The hood actually lifts up the become feet and there are black heelspurs which flip out. Fold the rear down and out to the sides to form his arms, revealing his head. Fold back the silver tray panels behind his head. Swing down the arms, fold the side panels up forming shoulderpads of sorts outside his upper arms. Rotate the silver panels on his forearms out to reveal his hands. It's a complex transformation, although not a difficult one. The reverse can be tricky, since there's some panel messaging needed sometimes to get his hood into place.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm

   A white, blue and silver robot. Longarm has a silver torso, blue arms, thighs and feet, white boots and a white head with orange lightpiped eyes. There's some orange paint on his knees and black interspersed throughout. There's a small Autobot logo stamped on his forearm. The colour map is quite complex although it's still essentially the same mixture of colours as in truck mode, which fairly similar levels of each colour.

   The towing assembly is permanently attached to his right hand, and now forms a surprisingly good weapon. There's a transparent orange missile at the end, and the folded op stroberack sits on top. The rig has folded up well, so it actually looks like a powerful launcher rather than just a lump which is a weapon because Hasbro Said So. The panelling on his shoulders is fairly obviously folded kibble, but still looks reasonable. The chest is moulded with diamond grip - a nifty touch, and it matches the silver blast panels on the outsides of his forearms. The lower torso is rather slight, but this doesn't impact on his overall look. There's surprisingly little truck here - just the feet and the gun.

   I do wish the weapon detached, simply because it overwhelms his right hand - both hands are moulded open, but the right one is sort of tucked away underneath. The kibbly pieces on his arms are otherwise well placed, I have to admit, and the launcher is quite effective. The poseability is good, with ball joints in his neck, waist, shoulders, wrists and hips. The elbows and ankles are doubler hinged while the knees and heelspurs are on single hinges. While there's no rotation in his knees, the proliferation of joints in the limbs makes him quite poseable and the footprints are big enough to anchor some cool poses. The gun is fairly heavy, the right arm sags in some poses.

   A good robot mode with some great visual aspects such as the head, chest and hood-feet. Longarm's poseability and clever gun design also make for a good robot mode. The kibble stays out of the way for the most part, although the gun can be intrusive at times. The sculpt here is slightly better than in the truck mode, with the diamond grip on his chest a really nice feature. Whilst the truck mode is better in terms of engineering, this robot mode wins out visually.

VARIATIONS

   The Longarm that came packaged as part of a diorama featured "Mike's Towing with 800-555-0199" instead of the usual "Orson's Towing". There's also Mikaela moulded inside the cabin (thanks to christalcase for this info).

OVERALL

   A toy for the fans, Longarm is a nice extension of the tow truck which played a major role in the film's climatic battle. The tow truck mode is fun, and I'm really impressed with the towing rig - and how well it collapses for the robot mode. The robot mode is visually spectacular and quite poseable while the transformation is rewarding and clever. I do wish the gun could detach without the aid of a screwdriver, but this isn't a huge issue. If you're collecting movie toys, this is one I'd recommend getting - 9/10

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