Alternate Mode: Modified Sports Car
Height: 4.5cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 6.5cm
A charcoal two door sports car with light grey bumpers and skirting, Runamuck has transparent red windows and orange flames rising from the skirting on either side. There are quite a few other paint applications including headlights, taillights, front indicators and a silver Decepticon logo outline on the rear window. It's a good colour scheme that certainly works for a Battlecharger tribute. While these colours fit Runabout better than they do Runamuck, I believe Hasbro were unable to use Runabout as a name for legal reasons.
This toy is a repaint and remould of Armada Sideswipe, who I do not own. That toy had a panel on the hood which is now replaced by a protruding light grey engineblock. Combined with the very low ground clearance, gold mag wheels and flame motif, this is very much a street rod - which seems fitting for Runamuck.
While I doubt this is a real car, it certainly looks like it could be. It reminds me of Nissan's skyline, and has lots of car elements moulded, including the lights, grille, rear vision mirrors and even a fuel cap on the left side. The engineblock is quiet detailed, although there are no obvious pistons. He has four doorhandles and there are ridges moulded into the taillights and indicators.
There are two spring loaded gimmicks in this mode. Inserting his blue Planet Key (code: dw3e) into the front of the engineblock will release the front, which will split in two and they fly out and forward, clamping together about an inch in front of their "home" position. The panel on Sideswipe activated the same gimmick, and while it's not a terribly impressive gimmick, it has been well adapted. The second gimmick is unchanged - there's a small blue button on the left taillight, pressing it will cause the Decepticon logo on his rear window to flip over, revealing a grey twin barrelled gun, which is styled to fit the hot rod theme, and does well. This gun replaces the (rather poor) Minicon that came with Sideswipe, and looks good when deployed.
This is a surprisingly good colour scheme for a modern repaint, mainly because they've managed to stay focused on the idea behind the repaint (it's also a Takara idea). The engineblock and gun are good modifications that suit the repaint. The car itself is detailed and fairly realistic (which is unusual for an Armada mould). The red windows, flames and Decepticon symbol all work well, while the low wheel base just seems perfect for a Battlecharger tribute.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold the front down, swing the doors back flush against the rear wheels (which will reveal the gun). Detach the gun, flip out the dark grey handle underneath, and set aside. Extend the legs by folding the boots out up to the sides then folding them down again. Flip out the feet, split the front, swing into place as the arms, rotate the elbows so that the fists are visible. Fold down the engineblock to form his chestplate, slide the head forward and place the gun in either hand.
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm
Again mainly charcoal, although the supporting colours are as well mapped this time. The grey engineblock is his chestplate, there are some orange and yellow paint applications on his boots, some red on his head and the upper arms and thighs are dark blue. The face is dark and brooding, and has been remoulded to match Runabout's face. While the overall colour scheme is similar to Runabout's, the red is mainly attained through kibble, which I'll come to in a moment.
While the vehicle mode is well designed with realism and two spring loaded gimmicks, this robot mode pays a heavy price for it. The door-roof shell halves hang on the outside of his large boots while the forearms are chunky, being the front half of the car. The torso is too small for the forearms, which well and truly overwhelm it. The shoulders are designed so that the arms point down and out, giving the giant forearms some room, which makes sense but looks silly.
The Decepticon logo that flips over in car mode is visible between his legs - adding to Runamuck's considerable kibble. What annoys me about this is that it's the only allegiance symbol in this mode and the damn thing is upside down. Being upside down really highlights that this panel is purely kibble, too.
The gun is still nice, but it's one of the few positives to this robot mode. The flipout gimmick is no longer functional - or relevant, and there was an arm swinging gimmick in Sideswipe's chest that has been neutered on Runamuck. The clamping gimmick still works, thanks to small blue buttons on his forearms. If you press them, the underside of the forearms (the shell of the car) springs forward, packing a punch but not really adding much play value. Sideswipe had some weaponry that attached to these casings, giving this gimmick some purpose. I don't really mind that this gimmick doesn't do much now - he hardly needs longer arms, and he gains a rather nice handgun anyway. For some reason, Hasbro's pictures of the robot mode show these casings deployed.
In truth this is a very weak robot mode. They've made some changes to maintain the Runabout tribute and the gun is an addition, but this robot mode sucks just as Sideswipe's does. The colours don't gel, the kibble is overwhelming and other than restricted shoulder and elbows joints, there's not much poseability.
Released by Takara in a two pack with Longrack (an Armada Hoist retooling), then released on his own by Hasbro.
A tale of two moulds, really. The vehicle mode is great, and makes a great Battlecharger tribute even if they had to muddle the name for legal reasons. The robot mode is quite frankly a disaster, although effort was put into maintaining the tribute in robot mode - including facial retooling that's uncommon for repaint tributes. Unless you really like the car mode or liked the Battlecharger characters (as I do), you can safely skip this toy - 4/10