Transformers Longarm
Transformers Longarm
Transformers Longarm
Transformers Longarm
Transformers Longarm
Transformers Longarm

Yeh, you remember, good ol' Longarm. Actually, you might not remember Longarm as he isn't a real Transformer. The sales for the tie-in figures from the film were so stellar that the line was actually able to shift vast quantities of anything in Movie packaging (except those god-awful Ratchet G1-inspired recolours). So we got Longarm. To be fair, he was probably planned from pretty early on to round out the line as he's in the video game of the film. He looks completely different of course but apparently both designers were thinking of the same guy. In the game incidentally Longarm is a complete bastard. I'll try not to let this colour my views on the figure too much.

The final colour scheme for the toy is actually based on the tow-truck used by Mikaela and Bumblebee in the Mission City battle during the film itself. It's a little different in design apparently but the shape is near enough to fool real people. It does differ a little due to having some fanboy who works for Hasbro's name written on it. A few particularly sad cases maintain that this tow-truck was bought to life by the All Spark, becoming Longarm - who then presumably runs off and hides, completely unseen and undetected for the rest of the live action franchise. It might have been IDW who did this, actually. If it was, Longarm was probably a big, gruff but brave Autobot (truck, see - this is how IDW work) who then got butchered as soon as he came up against a proper Movie character. I can't really remember - I started reviewing the IDW stuff, but the comics were so soul-destroyingly awful I just plain gave up. Still put in more effort than the writers, though.


Longarm's tow truck mode is flat. It's a very wide design, but then these things aren't designed to be easy on the eye I suppose. It certainly does look beefy enough. The back end is a little bit of a mess sadly - there's lovely work on the 'metal' panels either side of the jib, spoilt by the silly strut for the lightbar and the primitive hook itself. There are some really nasty join lines on the front as well, exacerbated by the blue pattern on the front.

Where Longarm really falls down is the colour scheme. The thing looks functional onscreen but in toy form the lack of paint applications really lets it down. The majority is bright white, and it looks like it's just rolled out of a showroom when a more worn look would have worked wonders. I mean, the jib is all white plastic too. I realise that this is something slung out to round out a wave or something, but it's a pain in the arse to see so many corners cut. They had the money to name-drop Aaron Archer after all. Priorities, people, priorities. Is it worth making this thing look so bland so a few fanboys can masturbate to yet another dull in-joke being burnt onto a toy for children?

Reprolabels' comprehensive sticker sheet goes a long way towards making the towtruck mode more visually appealing. A lot of the sparse white areas have some sort of text or pattern added to them, while more screen-accurate 'MIKE'S TOWING' branding successfully obscures the Archer references and the stickers generally distract from the freaky cleanliness of the thing.


Transforming Longarm is generally straightforward, though the front end/leg bits can be a little annoying as they have to be folded/unfolded in a specific order (though this is more pronounced when returning him to vehicle mode). One peculiar aspect is that the jib (which transforms into a giant handgun) is actually screwed to Longarm's hand. I can only guess that this is to make it part of the transformation rather than an accessory and maybe more in line with other weapons in the line, but that doesn't make any sense. Still, it can be unscrewed easily without affecting the toy negatively.

The robot mode itself is just ill-fitting. Not bad exactly, but this looks like it parachuted in from another Transformers line. I'm not talking the cheap design work of Barricade or the intentional chunkiness of Long Haul, I'm talking the entire design ethos. Despite the stories to the contrary, it very much looks like this was something designed for Classics or Cybertron only for someone to go "Hey, Michael Bay's used a tow-truck, get me some marker pens!". It looks close to literally nothing like the computer game model (which is something of a shame, as that was quite interesting visually). Still, I guess this isn't a problem for those who don't like the look of the Movie toys, but he does make a rather incongruous sight alongside the rest of the range. Longarm is also a bit of a Shellformer - from the front of the robot there's next to no tow-truck visible, and he looks a little bit like a generic robot with a few plates of armour bolted on. The colour scheme is improved, however, while articulation and balance (thanks to his big feet) are very good too.


Longarm is tricky to evaluate. He's not a bad figure at all on his own terms despite the usual corner-cutting, but the robot doesn't feel like a Movie toy (and not just because he isn't in the Movie). I bought him mainly on impulse (which is why I didn't do the clever thing and get the Screen Battles boxed set, which includes a crippled Bumblebee figurine, a little Mikaela in the driver's seat and screen-accurate fanboy-free branding) to display in truck mode, and he does that well enough. If those who prefer more old school-styled robots want to get a Movie figure but don't like the spiky film aesthetic he's recommended, but then that area's covered nicely enough by Universe/Classics, so Longarm tends to fall between two stools.