Among the very few places on the Jungle Planet not firmly under the control of Scourge are the fetid swamps in the valleys at the foot of the Steel Shard Mountains. Here, Repugnus rules. His subjects rejoice in the sinking slime they call home. He protects their freedom fiercely, using his intimate knowledge of the swamps to isolate and destroy any invaders. So dedicated is he to freedom that he even exiled his own brother - Undermine - for being in league with Scourge.
Prelude: Two things are important when a toyline has been running for some time and you need to figure out what figures you can use in the last few waves: one, use repaints wherever possible and two, make sure to recycle some familiar names from the past (preferably Generation 1). Case in point, Repugnus, wave 7 Cybertron Scout-Class figure, named after the G1 Monsterbot. But hey, we can always use more dinosaur Transformers, the kids love them. So let’s say go!
Robot Mode: Repugnus is a straight-up repaint of Cybertron Undermine, whom I have previously reviewed. But that was way back in 2007, so I think we can give this figure another go. Repugnus is a Scout-Class figure and replaces Undermine’s mostly green colors with black, yellow, and red, somewhat a homage to the original G1 Repugnus figure. Roughly one third of his body is head. His head is the spinal fin of his alternate mode, a Spinosaur, and gives him a nice, weirdly alien look. His face is really just a pair of eyes and something that is probably meant to be a mouthguard, but could also be some kind of beak.
Technically speaking Repugnus has four arms, two “normal” robot arms and two smaller ones on his chest. The smaller ones are his dinosaur arms, but the way they sit on the chest allow him to use them in robot mode as well. Articulation is standard for a Cybertron figure, meaning quite good, and he even has double knee joints, so you can either make him stand normally or give him “chicken legs” by bending one set of knees backward. Your choice.
Repugnus is armed with a mace that can clip into either of his hands, which are the halves of his dinosaur head. He also has a Cyberkey gimmick, of course. Inserting his Jungle Planet key into the back of his head causes a blade to snap out of his fin / forehead. It’s one of the worse Cyberkey gimmicks, to be honest, because the blade stands out at a weird angle, pointing slightly upward, so Repugnus had to lower his head quite a bit in order to charge someone with it. It works slightly better in beast mode (see below), but still: definitely among the worst of the Cyberkey gimmicks.
Finally, Repugnus has the dubious honor of being one of the last figures ever made to suffer from the dreaded gold plastic syndrome. His arms and hands are made from gold plastic with the outsides painted black. Which is a really weird design choice, to be honest, as doing it the other way around would have made much more sense to me. So far the arms on my Repugnus are in good shape and show no sign of stress or breaking, but apparently quite a few copies have already broken their arms.
So bottom line: Repugnus is a weird little robot. In most ways he is an average Cybertron figure and while the gimmick is bad, you can safely ignore it without the figure being impacted in a negative way.
Alternate Mode: Repugnus transforms into the same sort of techno-organic Spinosaur that Undermine did, naturally. Be careful when transforming him, as the two gold-plastic arms of the robot mode come together to form the neck and head of the dinosaur. The resulting dinosaur looks pretty good, though. The sculpt has plenty of techno-organic details and the colors bring them out somewhat better than on Undermine in my opinion. While still a weird design choice, the gold inside the dino’s mouth as opposed to the black outside is an interesting effect.
The dinosaur legs are the robot legs and retain their full articulation. The shorter dino arms can only swivel up and down, but that suffices, I think. The mace becomes the tail, the triple joints allowing for many different poses. The Cyberkey gimmick works in this mode as well, of course, and is a bit less stupid here than in robot mode. While Repugnus cannot really lower his head much, you can still improvise a sort-of charging pose where he attempts to run his enemies through with his snap-out blade.
So bottom line for the dinosaur mode: good. Not spectacular, but good.
Remarks: Like any toyline, Cybertron, too, brought out quite a few figures that were never part of the TV series, many of them repaints. Unlike some other toylines, though, Cybertron went the extra mile of at least giving many of these toys rather interesting backstories via their profiles. In the case of Repugnus, he was cast as the brother of Undermine, who did show up in the TV series, and ruler of his own small portion of the Jungle Planet. Interestingly enough the character was originally intended to be a Decepticon until the designers remembered that the original Repugnus was an Autobot, so a last-minute faction switch was implemented before the figure was released.
As mentioned above, Repugnus is a repaint. Nothing more, nothing less. Back in 2007 I described Undermine as a thoroughly average Cybertron figure with a bad Cyberkey gimmick. Repugnus has done little to change that impression. Now keep in mind, an average Cybertron figure is still pretty good in comparison with some other toylines and while the gimmick is bad, it doesn’t really hurt the figure, either. I like Repugnus’ colors better than Undermine’s, though, and for some reason I have some nostalgic connection to the name, despite never having owned the original G1 figure. So bottom line: still an average Cybertron figure with a bad gimmick, but the new colors, interesting profile text and nostalgic call-back warrant a slight edge over the original (as long as the gold plastic holds, at least).