Tuesday, 6 September 2011
R is for Rapid Run
The Winning Toy
Generation: Unicron Trilogy
Size Class: Deluxe
Rapid Run's robot mode is pretty simple compared to most figures from the Energon line (since he's a pure repaint of an Armada figure) and actually invokes the feel of one of the classics 80's figures (boxy physique, non-articulate hands, lack of ball joints etc). His main colour-scheme is yellow with black stripes and details, brown upper legs and joints. Rapid Run's colour-scheme seems to be designed to emulate the Beast Wars toy Buzzsaw (a Waspinator repaint) it's unknown why this is however.
Rapid Run's torso is yellow and black with red headlights on his chest. The central part of his chest is a translucent green colour which holds his two faction insignias (activated by inserting his Mini-Con heads into the slots on either side of his head). Rapid Run's head is sculpted with a mouth, forehead markings and a red visor optic. His vehicle mode handlebars are used as antlers in this mode. Rapid Run can move his head forwards and backwards by a small amount. Rapid Run's motorcycle wheels are left on his back as kibble (folded in on themselves).
Rapid Run's upper arms are connected to his torso by a knob and indent combination (able to be removed for Transformation). The actual upper arm is actually able to move on a pivot joint, allowing it to rotate 360 degrees and also uses a hinge point to allow the arms to be raised outwards by 90 degrees. His lower arms are connected to his upper arm by a pivot joint that can allow it to rotate fully (but not bend forwards). Rapid Run's hands are connected to the lower arm by a small hinge that enables it to bend forwards by 90 degrees. Rapid Run's hands are sculpted with fingers, and cannot hold any other weapons. He has a missile on both arms that clips into a small hole on his wrists which can be launched by plugging a Mini-Con into the hard-points on his lower arms and pulling them downwards.
Rapid Run's upper legs are connected to his lower torso by a pivot and hinge joint combination that gives it fully mobility (barring any obstructions). The lower leg is connected to the upper leg by a sliding joint, but cannot actually bend or rotate. The feet are connected to the lower legs by a small pivot that enables the feet to be repositioned to compensate for uneven surfaces if needed. His lower legs have a non-functional Mini-Con hard-point near each foot (maybe you can add some fast Mini-Cons to it to give him a speed boost?)
Rapid Run's vehicle mode is a bulky Cybertronian Motorcycle with a yellow and black striped colour-scheme, making him resemble a hornet. His red painted headlights even look like eyes.
Due to the shape of his undercarriage he doesn't need a kick stand and can basically stand up in vehicle mode quite easily, however this undercarriage doesn't hinder his movement in this mode
Rapid Run's robot mode arm weapons are used as exhaust pipes in this mode, which of course can also be used as missiles here as well, just plug a Mini-Con into his active hard-points and open fire on whoever's behind him!! Rapid Run also has 2 non-active hard-points at the very rear of this mode, which are just to extra storage space.
Rapid Run has two small rectangular holes on his vehicle mode seat, which enables you to either place the two small Mini-Cons on there as a rider and passenger, or the combined Mini-Con as a solo rider (the larger combined Mini-Con actually has small grooves on this mode's arms to enable him to hold the handlebars.
Nightscream is quite a simple Transformer (to be expected from a Mini-Con however). His upper arms are connected to his torso by a small pivot that enables it to rotate fully, and even raise outwards by a small amount as well (possibly not by intention). His arms and hands are otherwise lacking any articulation. His legs are connected to his lower torso by a small hinge-connector-ball joint combination and has the same type of connector for his knees, this enables him to raise his legs outwards, backwards and forwards almost fully, and even bend at the knees as well (quite rare for a Mini-Con!)
Nightscream can transform into the Autobot head of Rapid Run by turning his arms upwards (to be parallel to his head, repositioning his legs into dreads (like my one shows) or antlers. You then slide down the lower torso panel to reveal his eyes, flip him upside down, and insert him into Rapid Run's head's slot (after pushing his true head down first of course)
By inserting Nightscream's hands, you push down both of the buttons, which reveals the Autobot Insignia, making him look like a happy friendly chappie!
Nightscream's colour scheme is mostly black with purple and yellow highlights. His Mini-Con face has a sculpted visor optic and mouth-plate (neither are painted however) Nightscream's Mini-Con socket is found on his lower back.
Nightcruz is about as complex as Nightscream in terms of his design, and as such is pretty similar in his design.. His arms are connected on a screw enabling it to rotate fully, nut not move outwards like Nightscream's does. His legs are connected to the lower torso by a ball joint which enables it to move forwards, backwards and sideways as far as he can. Nightcruz's lower legs are connected to the upper legs by a hinge-connector-ball joint combination like on Nightscream's, which enables him to sit down with bended knees as well.
His transformation to his Decepticon head mode is very similar to Nightscream's, you rotate his arms upwards, split his legs, manoeuvre the legs into horns or antlers (dreads aren't really an option with this one). Slide his lower torso panel down to reveal his red eyes.
Now you plug Nightcruz into Rapid Run's head socket, which reveals his Decepticon insignia (his hands are smaller than Nightscream's so he only removed one panel rather than two)
Nightcruz has a purple, grey and black colour scheme with yellow eyes and mouth. His Mini-Con socket is found dead center on his back.
Nightscream and Nightcruz are able to combine into one rider component (who's name isn't known by me). He is formed by turning Nightscream into his head mode, but pushing his head inwards, revealing his larger gestalt head, and then pushing his arms backwards. Turn Nightcruz backwards, lift up his torso panel and rotate his legs around fully, next plug Nightcruz's head into the empty socket where Nightscream's head was before and reposition to look nice. He has articulated shoulders, upper leg joints, knees and elbows.
The rider's look is meant to emulate a motorcycle rider with full body leather, gloves, boots and even helmet. He works quite well in this function, especially since he can ride Rapid Run quite effectively. As he's the combined form of the two Mini-Cons he retains their Mini-Con sockets which are now found on his upper back and groin (I hope this isn't a female character....).
Rapid Run never appeared in the Energon TV series or comics, so he has no fictional appearances (as with his Mini-Cons as well. However since this character is a straight repaint of the Armada figure Sideways (plus Mini-Cons) it has been speculated that this could be the robot whom Unicron abducted before and turned into his loyal minion. Sideways himself has been shown to be nigh-invincible and able to give himself a new body to suit his needs for various continuities (like the Robot Masters universe (as Double Face) and Animated, as well as the in continuity with Armada Cybertron series, where he is revealed to have originated from Planet X and has a new Alternate mode of a space jet.
Rapid Run was also shown to be a last minute new character made by Hasbro, due to his toy card backing showing him in Sideways' colour scheme, possibly meaning that he WAS originally meant as a simple repaint/reissue of the Sideways character for the Energon line.
The name Rapid Run has been used in two other cases as one of the Bullet Train Autobots from Robots in Disguise and one of the Micromaster Railbots from the first Universe line. Interestingly, both of these characters turn into trains, making this incarnation a bit out of place.
An interesting point (that I mentioned earlier) is that he appears to be an homage to the Beast Era character Buzzsaw for no real reason (other than Waspinator, a mold mate of Buzzsaw, turning into Thrust in Beast Machines, who was also a motorcycle, though that seems a bit roundabout for such an obscure homage, I mean why not just paint him green and black to make him a Waspinator homage??)
The name Nightscream has of course been used before for the Beast Machines character, and later for many...many Mini-Cons from various lines. Nightcruz however has only had one re-usage of his name, which was in the Robots in Disguise line, for a repaint of the Beast Machines figure Spy Streak. Incidentally, most uses for both of these names have been for robots with aerial alternate modes, despite neither of these two having aerial modes, just like how Rapid Run himself has only been used for trains other than this incarnation.
Is he Cool?
Rapid Run is a Marmite figure, you love him, hate him or are just "meh" for him. Personally, I like him, he's a pretty strong figure for using an Armada toy mold, which had a few weak toys in it, and his interactions with the Mini-Con's, as well at the Mini-Con's being able to combine with themselves really make him a fun toy to play with, as well as making him pretty screen accurate (if you imagine Sideways' character model in these colours) even to the extent with his arm missiles are present in his character model! (this is almost unheard of normally).
On the flip side however, I can see why people wouldn't want Rapid Run, he has absolutely no fiction for you to recreate, and no real back-story from which to create a story from making him a blank slate (which some people don't want for some reason). Also due to him being a very last minute repaint he was only made in limited numbers (about 10,000) he's probably quite hard to find fully intact or at a reasonable price nowadays.
So my general overall thoughts? I like him, but don't get him unless you really want to. You may as well just get the more available Sideways figure as he has more fiction and back-story to back him up. However if you DO like him then by all means get him, but he's not really worth spending a large amount of money on when there's a cheaper alternative in his Armada repaint. The Buzzsaw repaint isn't really worth a notable price-hike.