I’m really getting down to the bottom of the barrel on the current Transformers line. With so few new figures turning up I’ve found myself picking up ones that I’ve passed on a bunch of times just so I can get my fix. That’s not to say these are bad, its just that back when this line first came out I swore to myself I would be very selective, and now I own about 90 percent of the main line. So while out doing my weekly grocery run at Walmart the pickings in the toy aisle were so slim, I decided to pick up Dune Runner here, one of the last few figures I still don’t have. Let’s see what this little Scout Class Autobot is all about…
Dune Runner is a military-style dune buggy. I think I passed on him before because he reminded me so much of that Deluxe class dune buggy that was released at the tail end of the first movie line. If I wasn’t motivated enough to get that guy, why buy this one? I want to say his name was Armorhide, but some of this movie stuff is just a big blurr to me. Either way, Dune Runner’s vehicle form looks like a cross between something out of GI JOE and Halo. But, like all of ROTF’s Scout classes, he’s packaged in robot form, so we’ll start there.
Dune Runner has a pretty nice, complex and, super detailed robot form for a Scout Class figure. In fact, I think this guy could have been upscaled to a Deluxe and he would have gotten by just fine without any additional work. He has a nice clean, humanoid profile with the front of the vehicle becoming his feet, the roof forming his chest plate and the sides forming his arms. He has a slender gatling guns mounted on each shoulder and they’re mounted on double hinged arms so you can aim them all over the place. I absolutely love his little head sculpt. Its a great mix of classic and new design, complete with a blue visor for eyes and a cool helmet. The head seems like a Beachcomber homage. I don’t know if that was intentional, but it certainly fits since they’re both dune buggies.
I really dig the coloring on this figure too. The buggy parts are all green, his inner parts and limbs are black and he’s got some pale blue, metalic blue, silver, gold and yellow trim. There’s just a ton of color on this figure, albeit mostly subdued military tones. He has military style ID numbers painted on his doors, a silver Autobot symbol on his chest and a NEST insignia. You know how a lot of times Hasbro will release preview photos of figures with all sorts of great paint apps that are ultimately cut from the final release to save cost? (*cough* Long Haul *cough*) Well, Dune Runner looks like all the initial paintwork was kept in for the final release.
Articulation includes balljointed neck, shoulders and upper legs, double-hinged elbows and hinged knees, and as I already mentioned those arms that hold his gatling guns have three friggin points of articulation allowing for all sorts of great firing positions. Dune Runner can just as easily target Decepticons in the air as he can on the ground in front of him.
His transformation is pretty straightforward, although his dune buggy mode isn’t entirely solid. Sometimes, I do have some trouble getting the doors locked in tight and other times it all comes together just fine. The detail and paint apps in his buggy mode are just as amazing as his robot mode. There are spotlights molded on the front bumper and above the windshield, tiny rivets everywhere and the gatling guns on the back are still poseable in lots of positions. Hasbro has even detailed it with molded shocks on the front and back wheels and tiny vents and exhaust pipes on the back. It’s incredible work for such a tiny vehicle.
It just goes to show you, you never really know about a toy until you have it in your hand. I passed on this guy lots of times, and now that I own it, I have to say he’s probably the best Scout that Hasbro has turned out in years. I’m almost tempted to say he’s wasted on this small scale, but then there’s something so impressive about having a Scout class figure with this much detail, paint quality and articulation. Being a Scout also probably puts him in better scale with the Deluxe cars. If I was still a kid, I’d probably have this figure in my pocket all the time, he’s just that much fun. Great job on this one, Hasbro!