The Reverend's review: Runamuck
"The road is my playpen, cars are my toys."
Cackling like a mechanical wildman, this Battlecharger is a twirling, tumbling two-lane terror. Spreading fear is his favorite pastime. Admires junkyards like humans admire art museums. Maximum speed: 180 mph. Range: 600 miles. Uses friction rifle that increases kinetic energy of its target's molecules for 5 minutes. Even the slightest movement results in tremendous friction, causing flames and melting. Afraid of heights.
Runamuck (and his near-twin, Runabout) debuted in 1986 as low-price-point Decepticon offerings, similar to the Autobot Jumpstarters. They had relatively low profiles in the US cartoon, but had some gleeful moments of vandalism in the Marvel comic (it was they who spray painted "Humans Are Wimps" on the Statue of Liberty, as shown on the cover of issue #23). They are extremely similar in appearance with the obvious exception of their colors, although they are not strictly different-colored versions of the exact same mold.
Runamuck is a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, relatively typical of the era (the 80s, not 2006), and does a pretty good job looking the part aside from the painfully obvious joint right across his hood. He's rendered in clean white with black windows, black rubber tires and gold-foil strips at the underside of the front and sides of the car mode, and bears a large Decepticon symbol on his hood. The car itself is a relatively good size - roughly the size of G1 Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen. There's a rub sign on its roof. Detailing in the plastic itself is mainly limited to the hood., with a slight bit of concave beveling in the middle, the hidden headlights of the model, and part of the front bumper picked out. The rear has only the the bumper shape molded in, no taillights. (I infer Runamuck sees no reason for brake lights.)
Runamuck is a Battlecharger, so transformation is achieved by pulling the car back along a surface for some distance and letting it move forward until it suddenly uprights into robot mode (mostly). This is achieved by a spring-loaded mechanism near the rear wheels that forces the car's chassis into the upright position when spring tension is released by the pullback motor. It would be much easier to show than describe, so I won't get into the uber-specifics here. Runamuck's robot mode, having so few moving parts in transformation, is essentially the car mode standing nose-down (the hood forms the feet) with the top of the car now making his chest, the side panels becoming his arms and the rear of the car folding back to reveal his head. The head is surrounded by an orange plastic piece that fits in nicely with all the white, and his helmeted, masked face has a grey visor. The rear end of the car's wheelbase hangs down from his back (it's part of the transformation trick), so he does stand well with it propping him up, although it does make him appear to be leaning back a little. In most aspects, you can think of him as a taller Throttlebot - he's slightly more complex due to the automatic transformation, but his design is still very similar. Unlike the Throttlebots, though, Runamuck comes with a "friction rifle". He can't hold it in his hands, but each shoulder has a notch at the top into which the rifle can be fitted, so at least it points forward. (Okay, it's disappointing, but is it any worse than Flywheels' "toe blaster"??) His pullback motor does not work in robot mode.
1. You don't actually handle the transformation, the spring and pullback motor do it for you.
9. Actually not so bad. His arms get loose, but that's not a big deal.
5 - I'll say that much because some people like pullback motors more than others. The gimmick is cute, the toy is, well, excellent cannon fodder. But his vehicle mode looks really good, and having another maniacal Decepticon up to dirty deeds is well, always fun.
7 - You can find Runamuck for cheap. Mine was $6 US at a comic shop, rifle included.
4 - Certainly not the greatest TF, gimmick or no. But if you're really attached to car-mode TFs this is a nice (and cheap) addition to get.