Cybertron Toy Reviews: Runamuck

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Cybertron, Decepticon, Earth Planet, Galaxy Force

Runamuck package art
General Information:
Release Year: December 2005
Retailer: General Release (Target, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Gun


Tech Specs:
For most of his life, Runamuck served as a spy and courier for Megatron, carrying messages to Decepticon warriors behind enemy lines. Since his
leader's disappearance, though, Runamuck has been pretty bored. Too many Autobots around meant he couldn't get away with much. But now, with the
Autobots forced into hiding on Earth, he's having the time of his life tormenting them by striking at vulnerable targets in front of a lot of human
witnesses, where the Autobots can't counterattack.

Strength: 6 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 8 Endurance: 8 Rank: 6 Courage: 6 Firepower: 8 Skill: 8

Each Transformer from the basic sized figure and up comes with a Cyber Planet Key. Brushguard comes with the standard "Earth" Planet Key. Unlike the Japanese Galaxy Force "Force Chips", these have codes printed on them that you can use on the official Transformers web site to unlock extra content. In Runamuck's case his code is dw3e and his unlocked material reveals the following text:

Similar to the Transformers: Cybertron toy Blurr, Runamuck is a throw-back design to a Transformer character from Generation One. Runamuck, back when he was introduced in 1986, was known as a Battle Charger. His original toy had a pull-back motor feature that when activated, would send his vehicle mode scooting across a flat surface. When he was transformed into robot mode, he could also roll across a floor by pulling back on his wheels. He had a near-identical Battle Charger partner named Runabout too and in the old Transformer comics, these two were hooligans and trouble makers— going so far as to spray paint graffiti on the Statue of Liberty!

Runamuck is one of four deluxe figures released in Cybertron that are all retools and redecos of previous figures. Each was intended as a homage to a character from a previous Transformers series. For Runamuck, the base sculpt used was Armada Sideswipe. This sculpt was later used for Universe Oil Slick and Universe Treadshot. It's worth looking over those reviews to familiarize yourself with this sculpt's origins.

Vehicle Mode:
Runamuck is a street tuner car in vehicle mode. I've always felt that for a car whose purpose is to race, this vehicle form is pretty bulky. However, its lines are fairly sleek, starting low from the front of the vehicle and slowly sloping up towards the back. The rear section has a spoiler sculpted onto the back. The front section has smaller details as well. The front section has grille designs on the upper and lower sections. The headlights have angled lights on the sides with vertical lines that add detail. other small details include indentations for door handles and a gas tank cover on the left side.

To fit into the Cybertron line properly, the designers modified the vehicle mode's gimmick. In the original version, you would press the faction logo in the front and the front halves of the car would extend forward. The section where the faction symbol would be has been replaced by a new piece that is a nicely detailed engine. Insert the Planet Key into it and the front halves extend forward.

On the rear section, the panel on the back of the vehicle still flips open by pressing the button on the left side rear light. The inside section has not been resculpted. However, there is no Mini-Con included with the figure. Instead, a newly sculpted weapon is in it's place. The weapon is shaped a lot like exhaust pipes with fins, almost like a secondary engine.

When this figure was first released as part of Galaxy Force, its name was Runabout. As noted above, Runamuck and Runabout were two G1 Transformers with near-identical designs. The name change is most likely due to trademark issues. However, the deco scheme here is very much a homage to Runabout, though one could argue some "Runamuck-esque" details exist as well.

The primary plastic colors used are dark grey, light grey, black and translucent red. The dark grey makes up most of the vehicle mode. Smaller parts such as the engine and gun are light grey. Black is of course, used for the tires while the translucent red is used for the windows. The dark grey and translucent red colors pay homage to the original black and red colors of G1 Runabout. Grey paint applications run along the lower edge of the vehicle as well as the spoiler. A tiny bit of orange and light blue can be found on the engine. Perhaps the most striking part of the deco are orange flames running along each side of the vehicle. These really add an awesome touch to the vehicle that previous incarnations of this figure had lacked. This "hell raising" type deco is also rather characteristic of the Battlechargers, who were always protrayed as unruly Transformers - even by Decepticon standards.

One of my early complaints about this vehicle mode was the rather dull deco. This version has no such problem. Not only is it a cool deco on its own, but it also pays homage well to the G1 character(s) it is based on.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Flip open the rear panel and remove the gun. Flip the grey handle out on the gun.
  2. Flip the vehicle over and flip the robot feet out.
  3. Swing each car door out and back.
  4. Swing the rear sections of the vehicle out to the sides then down to form the robot legs.
  5. Split the front of the car in half and swing each half out to the side.
  6. Swing the chest section forward and flip the engine down.
  7. Place the gun in the robot hand.

Robot Mode:
Runamuck's sculpt is rather uneven. While there are some very nicely sculpted parts of this robot form, overall the legs just wind up really hurting the design visually. For this form, the head has been replaced with an all new one. With its central crest, small eyes and distinctive mouthplate, the head is a direct homage to the G1 Battlecharger head design, with some additions. On either side of the crest is a tube like detail and vent detailing. A very nice job. The car engine becomes the chest here, and rather than just being a faction symbol, the detail of the engine adds a lot to the visual appeal of the figure.

Other small details worth mentioning are the upper legs, which feature three pistons sculpted into each. The forearms are vig and bulky with tube and rectangular details that look fantastic.

The color scheme in this form is definitely more G1 Runabout than Runamuck. The head is dark grey with red eyes. The chest to waist section is black. the upper arms and legs are dark blue. Dark grey makes up most of the other parts such as the head, lower arms and legs. Paint decos are focused on the legs, where you will find orange and yellow highlighting sculpted details.

Runamuck has ten points of articulation in this form. This includes most of the major points such as arms and legs. However, it is a shame the designers didn't find a way to get the head to turn side to side, it would have been a neat touch.

One thing that really disappointed me involves the Mini-Con Powerlinx point on the back of the figure. The hole in the center of the Powerlinx point has been filled in, so you can no longer attach Mini-Cons there. You can put Energon weapons there, but that's about it. This also means the "fist punching" gimmick no longer works. I was very surprised by this as I don't believe the Planet Key gimmick has anything to do with the Mini-Con gimmick. A strange and unfortunate choice.

Final Thoughts:
I still have lots of reservations about this sculpt. The whole "saddlebag" thing still bothers me, and I am not happy that the Mini-Con gimmick was removed. However, as a homage to the G1 character this is very well done. If you're just looking for a fun deluxe Transformer, there are plenty of others to go with. The new vehicle mode deco is much stronger than previous incarnations of this figure, which elevates it quite a bit. If you want to get a cool G1 homage from Cybertron, this guy is worth borrowing before buying. Very mildly recommended.