Transformers Movie (2007) Longarm Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action<br />

Longarm Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: September 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missile x 1


Tech Specs:
LONGARM just wants to help. Whether it's hauling a stuck car out of a ditch or providing covering fire for a flanking action, as long as he's providing assistance to others you'll see a big grin on his face. That is, after all, what being an AUTOBOT is all about – helping, saving, protecting. He just doesn't get the DECEPTICONS. They all seem so selfish. It doesn't make sense to him why anyone would want to live like that. It would be so tiring to be such a jerk all the time.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 9
Rank: 4  Courage: 8  Firepower: 8  Skill: 6

Longarm is packaged on the standard type of Transformers movie carded packaging with the edges of the plastic bubble wrapping around to the back of the card. He is packaged in vehicle mode. The curved tech detail section at the top of the bubble says "As seen in the Transformers video game.". On the back both modes are pictured. His cosells are Arcee, Final Battle Jazz, Bumblebee ('08), Payload and Dreadwind.figures from the earlier wave are being re-released is uncertain as I have not yet seen a full case opened.

Vehicle Mode:
At a critical point in the Transformers Movie, Bumblebee is severely injured, his legs torn off during the final battle with the Decepticons. Rather than leave him on the battlefield to die, Mikaela steals a tow truck to tow him to safety (and later to battle). It is this truck that serves as the inspiration for Longarm's vehicle mode. While that truck was a GMC truck, this one is generic to avoid licensing issues. Still, it manages to look enough like the one from the movie that it works as a good toy substitute for the real thing.

Tow trucks are not exactly a form you would normally guess a Transformer would take. It's not the "coolest" or sleekest form, yet in the "real world" setting of the movie, it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense from a functional standpoint. With so many Autobots taking on ground vehicle modes, it stands to reason that one member of the team would become a vehicle that could tow them out of the battlefield if they're in trouble.

Longarm has a very wide vehicle mode. While he is a tow truck, the designers still managed to make him look somewhat sleek by curving the front end, having it slop down slightly to the front. This leads to the middle where you'll find a pair of emergency lights that are actually connected to the rear crane mechanism, but look like they are on top of the truck. The back is rather rectangular, with thin side panels and small tracks inside where a car would be stored. Its the width of the vehicle that really gives it the look of being powerful enough to tow other vehicles. The crane is at the back, and it can be moved up and down (on a piston no less) and the hook swings out at the rear.

Small details count for a lot nowadays, and Longarm definitely has them in spades. The front grille has a good horizontal design somewhat reminscent of the GMC truck he (sort of) represents. Each headlight to the side of the grille is wide and curves a bit towards the side of the vehicle. Two seats are sculpted into the interior of the truck, but there is no steering wheel. On the sides are tiny raised detals that represent handles, such as those on the truck doors. On the rear section, you'll find a ton of cross hatching details on the tracks on the back of the truck. All these small details help give off more of the "real world" feel the figure is meant to evoke.

In this form, you mostly see Longarm's white, black, silver and translucent plastic. The vehicle is mostly white, keeping in tune with the movie vehicle it is based on. The front end, the wheels and the lower part of the crane mechanism are cast in black. The tracks on the back are silver and the windows are cast in clear plastic. The headlights and the sirens mounted on top are cast in translucent orange. Paint applications are done in silver, red and blue. The paint pattern is based on the pattern seen on the aforementioned tow truck in the movie. A wave like pattern with sharp ends is painted in blue on the front of the vehicle. Silver is used on the headlights, leaving only the lower corners translucent. On each door in red lettering are the words "Orson's Towing". In the movie, it was "Mike's Towing", but supposedly a redeco of this figure is due out later with those words. "Orson" for those curious actually is an indirect reference to Orson Welles, the actor who voiced the planet gobbling Unicron in the 1986 animated movie. For a time, one of the Hasbro designers used "Orson" as his screen name when posting online, and so this is really a dual reference. Towards the middle of each side issd a small Autobot symbol inside an oval, also painted in red.

The crane arm is functional and can move up and down. The end with the hook can then swing out and the hook itself can move back and forth.

I'm a fan of unconventional Transformers vehicle modes, and Longarm definitely counts as that. It's also cool to have a toy that can both serve as a video game character and as a toy that kids can use to re-enact part of the movie.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Make sure the crane is collapsed into the arm.
  2. Swing up each truck door.
  3. Swing the black rear bumper panels out.
  4. Flip the vehicle over and swing the missile launcher back.
  5. Pull down each half of the vehicle's front end.
  6. Swing the hood panels forward to form the front of the feet, and swing back the small back heel pieces.
  7. Swing each robot arm down, then out to the sides.
  8. Swing the silver panels behind the head back.
  9. Swing each half of the side truck panels with the wheels back, then swing the fender halves in.
  10. Swing the silver panels on the arms to the sides.
  11. Swing the section of the crane arm with the emergency lights on it forward, then fold the halves of the lights together and swing them forward.

Robot Mode:
Longarm's robot mode is an interesting compromise between the "panel on machinery" look of the movie robots and more traditional Transformers design. For the most part, it leans towards the latter with touches of the former. He has a form that is both bulky and thin depending on where you look. On the top of half of the body, he has folded panels on his shoulders, his arms and even his chest looks like a panel overlapping internal mechanics. The waist comes down really thin before widening out to the wide legs and relatively huge feet. It's a cool look that differentiates him from most other Transformers that tend to be either bulky or thin, not necesarily both.

One of the things I found really striking about Longarm is his head design. After year after year of looking at Transformers head designs, they all start to kind of blur after a while. This one manages to take classic Transformers elements such as a mouthplate and "helmet" design but it ramps up the detail level quite a bit. The outer edges look like vents that come to a point at the top. The top "cap" part comes to a point in the middle leading your eyes to his eyes split by a nose piece in the middle. His mouthpalte looks almost more like a cold weather mask of some sort rather than just being a flat plate. Each part of his head design has tiny details such as vertical and horizontal lines. It's a brilliant bit of sculpting.

Other small details can be found as well. His cross hatch details from the vehicle mode carry over to this mode on his chest. If you look at his hands, they are actually three fingered and are open palmed, with tiny details down to the circles on the sides of each finger joint. The center of his chest has a large circle that (in this fan's mind) resembles his Spark chamber - of course having it out there like that doesn't make a whole lot of sense! His leg design also use a bit of the "panel on mechanics" design on the upper legs, where panels on the outer parts of the legs overlap the inner legs where some intricate sculpting is found. His lower legs are extra wide with small notches in the middle. Perhaps one of the most intricately sculpted parts of this guy is the cannon he wields. The missile inside has small holes in it like the end of a machine gun. Following the barrel you'll find line details going vertical and horizontal along with small circles and wire-like details. It's quite simply a fantastic looking weapon.

The plastic colors from the vehicle mode all carry over to this form with the addition of blue plastic. The blue makes up his arms and parts of his legs. White makes up some of the upper body and the lower legs. His waist and part of his chest are silver and the arm joints in his chest are cast in black. The cannon he holds is mostly black, white and translucent orange.

The same paint colors found in the vehicle mode carry over here with the addition of orange. His head is cast in translucent orange, so the head is painted black and white with a tiny Autobot symbol tampographed onto the center of the top of the head. Orange paint apps can be found on the middle of the lower legs, contrasting nicely against the white.

Longarm has twenty points of articulation in this form. This includes four points of articulation in each arm since the hands are on ball joints and can move around and in. Unfortunately, one of these articulation points is a weak one. His upper chest is connected to the rest of the body by a large ball joint. Unfortunately, this ball joint is extremely loose on my Longarm figure (no telling if this is across the line or just mine). As a result, the upper half of his torso tends to flop around. This is compounded by the cannon on his right arm being heavy, so if you put his arms down to the side, the figure leans that way. The saving grace of this figure is that all the other joints such as his legs are really tight, so they can compensate to a large degree. This problem can be resolved by popping the joint and putting a thin layer of clear nail polish and then popping the joint back on, but this isn't something I recommend doing often as it could just break the joint altogether.

It is interesting to note that because of its sheer heft compared to the rest of the figure, his cannon is screwed into his right hand. It's a good thing the cannon looks great and works well in this position because I am generally not a fan of permanently attaching a weapon to a figures' hand. My conjecture is that at one point it may have been conceived as a separate piece, but the peg on it just wouldn't stay in the hand due to its weight. Pressing a small white button in the middle of the launcher fires the orange missile.

Final thoughts:
Longarm is a fantastic figure, no doubt. The sad part is the one flaw in the chest ball joint. If it weren't for that, this guy would be a total winner. However, the strength of his sculpt, fun vehicle mode and the sheer awesomeness of his weapon do help keep him in the recommended status.