Cliffbee.com: Collector Club Runabout Toy Review

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Name: Runabout (Over-Run for legal reasons)
Series: Collectors Club Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A dark charcoal sports car of indeterminate model, Runabout has red racing stripes on the hood and rear spoiler along with red rear windows. His windshield and side windows are transparent red while his tyres are black with white hubcaps. There's a large stamped purple Decepticon logo on his hood, silver headlights & red taillights. There's a rubsign on his roof rounding out a simple colour scheme which closely matches that of his G1 version & the black with red colouration here is both striking and attractive. The colours work so well for Runabout that it's easy to miss that the mould was designed with a Wheeljack and Tracks in mind.

   As this mould was developed to work for two Autobots, it's not any particular sports car (although there are some Corvette lines here). The particular style of this car is Wheeljack (with extended air dam & rear spoiler) but it works well enough for Runabout despite his G1 form being a fairly no frills shape. The sculpt is pretty good, with door seams, door handles, side mirrors, air vents on the hood & even a fuel cap on the left rear fender.

   There's not a lot of play value here - well, you can cheat and use Tracks' flying car mode, but that doesn't really count. The wheels roll and that's really it.

   A very good vehicle mode & an excellent colour scheme which both catches the eye & essence of Runabout perfectly. This car does a good job of not looking like a Wheeljack repaint, which I'm very happy about.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach & set aside his missiles. Extend the front and split to form legs, swing out his feet. Fold the doors down to the sides, fold the back down to reveal his hands and head. Slide the roof back to form his chest, this will also cause his head to push out & the arms to push out to the sides. Swing the arms down to his sides and swing the rear tyres around onto the front of his shoulders. Extend the wings, swing out the wingtips and deploy above his shoulders. Unclip the gun stowed under the back, swing out the grey panel the gun attached to, plug in behind his head. Plug the gun into either hand & place the missiles onto the section behind his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 11cm

   A dark charcoal robot with silver thighs and red wings. His face is black with a mouth plate & red eyes. The gun black with red painted at the front and he sports two red shoulder cannons. There's a lot of silver plastic visible, most of which is internal connecting bits - not unlike the pullback mechanism on the Battlecharger version. The rubsign is now centre on his chest while the purple Decepticon logo is split on his shins. The red wings kind of feel out of place as Runabout used red sparingly in G1, but they still work nicely in their own right.

   The "standard" transformation of both Runabout and Runamuck is to extend the wings in the same manner as Tracks (although the wing sculpt comes from Wheeljack). But you've got options. I actually prefer to leave them behind the arms - essentially undeployed - to both emphasise the black here and differentiate him from Runamuck (whose gold wings enhance the tribute on that toy). You get the option, though, which is nice. The gun can clip above the shoulders if you prefer - like the shoulder mounted gun of the original toy.

   Visually the layout of this robot mode carries a lot of Wheeljack but the basic transformation also matches the Battlechargers so this does feel like an upgraded Runabout. It's a popular style of transformation (Throttlebots, Minobots & Technobots all used a variation on the theme). The head absolutely nails the Battlechargers and even the rubsign on the chest helps in this respect.

   We have some weapons options. The gun can deploy as a shoulder cannon - as the G1 toy featured. But you can also use the twin cannons if you want a more heavily armed Runabout. The gun can be held in hand, and he can hold the missiles as clubs - not out of character for the mayhem-loving Battlechargers. One aspect of this robot mode that really impresses me is that they've included little pegs behind the shins for you to stow the silver missiles if you want to use the gun as a shoulder cannon and don't want to use clubs.

   Runabout has good poseability. The neck, shoulders, ankles & hips are all ball jointed while the missiles are targetable and his waist rotates. The elbows are double hinged with rotators while the wrists also rotate. The knees are hinged with rotators while his heelspurs sit on restricted ball joints. The heelspurs are big enough to allow a wide range of poses (they're essentially Tracks' feet), and the poseability itself allows a similarly wide range of poses.

   A great robot mode which is easily adaptable to the Battlecharger concept, with a retooled head that nails that tribute. The black & red is again striking and there;s just enough silver to match that seen in G1 without detracting from the aposematic black & red. Thanks to the colours & excellent head resculpt this toy is all Runabout - and it's nice to see this character getting a good toy. He has good weaponry options & useful poseability.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As a Collector's Club exclusive, Runabout was available for order only by club members. He came with a box designed to fit both himself & Runamuck.

OVERALL

   A great mould and a really well done tribute. The black & red colour theme is striking (especially in vehicle mode) while really making this tribute work well - they've also used just enough silver in robot mode. The mould chosen just _fits_ the Battlechargers so well to begin with as well. It's a shame that Runabout is limited - because he would have made for an excellent Generations figure & deserves to be more widely accessible. Assuming you're willing to pay secondary market prices he's a great toy, and makes a great addition to a Classicsverse collection, especially with his partner Runamuck alongside - 10/10

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