Ever since I first laid eyes on The Stunticons in the old Sunbow Transformers cartoon, I have been fascinated with Decepticon cars. I can’t tell you why, maybe it’s just because they went against the grain. Maybe it’s because they were able to take the battle to the roads, and I loved getting my G1 Transformers into demolition derby style skirmishes. And all in all, considering some of the crazy shit I’ve seen on the internet, having a Decepticon car fetish is nothing to be ashamed of.
Enter The Battlechargers, Runabout and Runamuck! These Decpticon twins transformed into black (Runabout) and white (Runamuck) sportscars and looked damn sexy doing it. The original G1 toys actually auto-transformed from car to robot when you pulled them back and let them go. C’mon sing it with me! “Nobody jumps into action faster than Battlechargers!” YEAH!!! This made for fun toys but, as often was the case with the G1 toys, not terribly great action figures. As a result, I’m really excited to see these guys get modern Deluxe Class updates. Runamuck released first, so let’s check him out.
Runamuck’s alt mode is a white sports sedan with some gold trim and smoked translucent windows. It’s got a lot of seams, and sometimes it’s tough to keep them all locked in tight, but I think he still manages to look pretty good. I like the rather sharp angles on this car, and the white plastic Hasbro used isn’t that cheap swirly stuff. It actually looks and feels great in hand. The roof is actually painted over the clear plastic, but it matches fairly well and there’s a bold Decepticon emblem proudly emblazoned on top. Other than that and the gold trim, you don’t get a lot more in the way of paint apps. There are some red taillights, but that’s about it. It would have been nice to see some more painted detail on the front, but I still like what we got.
Runamuck has very low clearance in his undercarriage, so it’s important to get him all buttoned down right if you want him to roll smoothly, but he’s definitely capable of it. There’s a peg hole on the roof so you can plug Runamuck’s gun into it and weaponize his car mode. I’m never a huge fan of doing this, but it’s not so bad here. All in all, I’d say this car does a great job of updating the original toy, while still being fairly true to it. Runamuck has a pretty interesting transformation, and taking him from car to robot goes really quick once you know what you’re doing. Although not as quick as the original spring-loaded figure!
The robot design loosely follows the old toy, with the hood becoming his feet and lower legs, but mostly Hasbro looked to the Sunbow design for inspiration, and that’s a very good thing, although I only remember him appearing in one or two episodes. And I’ve got to say, this Earthrise version is a thing of beauty! He’s got a stocky and rugged appearance for a bot that comes out of a sportscar. The hood on the lower legs, the spoilers on the forearms, and the tail of the car rising up behind his head make him look well armored. And yes, the car roof chest piece is faked out. From an engineering standpoint, I don’t mind this at all, but it would be more impressive if the real car windshield wasn’t peeking out the bottom of his backpack. Yeah, I’m nitpicking… it’s fine!
Runamuck maintains the deco of his alt mode, that is to say he’s still white with a little gold trim and smoked translucent plastic. Some gold around his shoulders to mimic the IDW look would have been cool, but I still dig the uniformity of the white. And once again, this plastic feels great and has a dense, almost chalky look that screams quality. Is he perfect? Not quite. He’s got some serious hollow leg syndrome going on from the back, and the hinges that peg into the lower legs don’t always stay put. But these are minor complaints.
The head sculpt is certainly distinctive with his rather simple “helmet” and his protruding mouth plate. The fact that his entire head is white to match his body makes his narrow blue eyes stand out quite a bit.
We’ve already seen Runamuck weapon plugged into his car mode, but here it is once again. It’s a compact little blaster that he can hold in either hand, mounted on his forearms, or even worn as a shoulder cannon. Runamuck actually has several useful ports if you want to load him up with Weaponizer parts or Targetmasters or whatever you got lying around.
It may seem odd, but I’m not kidding when I say that Runamuck is contender for one of my Transformers of the Year. And that sure is saying something, because we got a ton of fantastic convertorobots from Hasbro this year. My only gripe is that I would have preferred Hasbro released Runamuck in a two-pack with Runabout so that I wouldn’t have to suffer having one without the other. Then again, that would have probably made it an exclusive, and I’ve had enough with chasing exclusives this year. Hopefully the wait for Runabout won’t be too long!