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Monday, 28 May 2012

Rare Toys - The Battlechargers

"As part of a warped game, Runamuck cruises highways at top speed and rejoices in the chaos he creates. The other vehicles and Cybertronians on the road are merely obstacles  between which Runamuck darts, hoping to see them slam on the brakes and twirl out of control. His maniacal laughter can be heard as he races away from the smoking wrecks. Some might believe he plays these games to spread fear. In reality it's just so that he can watch the resulting collisions and explosions as they fill the streets with such beautiful disaster.
It fascinates him. However such appreciation is short lived as his partner, Over-Run, sets it upon himself to enhance its beauty. Which usually means even more awesome explosions and mayhem!"
Function: Decepticon Car
Quote: "The road is my playpen, cars are my toys."
Strength: 7
Intelligence: 5
Speed: 8
Endurance: 7
Rank: 6
Courage: 7
Fireblast: 7
Skill: 8
Over-Run "Runabout"
"Over-Run tries to pass himself off as a suave connoisseur of fine things. It's not a facade he can really maintain for long, less because of his generally low intelligence and more because his interest in beautiful objects starts and ends with "blow them up!" His drive to seem sophisticated is in direct conflict with his enthusiastic love of explosions and action. The former is almost always on the losing side of that battle. He's not interested in the Decepticon plan for conquest; he's just with them because of the greater opportunities for his kind of fun. He's always on the move, looking to create a bigger fireball, a larger bomb crater, and generally cram ever microsecond with action!"
Function: Decepticon Car
Quote: "Beauty is fleeting. Especially when I'm around."
Strength: 7
Intelligence: 6
Speed: 8
Endurance: 7
Rank: 6
Courage: 7
Fireblast: 7
Skill: 7
Robot Modes
Runamuck and Over-Run use the same toy mold and thus share their robot modes with one-another. This dynamic duo share a masculine bi-pedal winged robot mode, and feature strategically placed components from their vehicle modes.

The torso for the robot mode is mostly formed from the roof of thee vehicle mode as well as some of the internal components otherwise unseen in vehicle mode. His backpack is made from the boot of his car mode that is clipped into his regular back, and holds his missiles on two bars via clips. The rub sign insignia's are present on their chests.
The head is connected via a ball joint connection the the top of the torso. The head's design is composed of a helmet with mouth plate, but leaves the upper face exposed, showing the nose and eyes. The helmets also feature some chevrons and other minor details that add to the design aesthetically.
The Battlechargers come with a gun that is hidden in their car boots in vehicle mode, and can be folded out and held in their hands. As these toys use the Wheeljack version of this mold they have his spanner/missiles, which can also be held in their hands as weapons (I guess).

The upper arms/shoulders are connected to the top of the torsos by a hinge/ball joint combination that allows them to move in almost any direction needed (unless obstructed by things like the wings). The wheels from the rear of the vehicle mode give the shoulders some shaping and detail that would otherwise be completely absent The upper arm also features a pivot joint about half way down that allows it to rotate as needed for poses. The lower arm is connected via a hinge-made elbow allowing the arms to bend inwards and flex as needed. The hands are connected by another pivot joint that allows them to rotate by 360 degrees if wanted. They are also sculpted with fingers that are open, but also sculpted to allow a standard weapon to be held in a peg-hole style.

The upper legs are connected to the groin by a ball joint connector, which leads to a pivot/hinge joint combination for the knee connecting the lower legs to the upper. These joints give the legs a great amount of positioning. The bulk of the lower legs are made of the car mode hoods (with the Decepticon insignia's split in half as a result). The feet are connected to the lower legs by a hinge joint and two ball joints that allow them to be re-posed as needed depending on the surface.
Runamuck's colourscheme is mostly white with gold trim and orange internal parts (such as parts of his legs). His wings are gold, and his missiles are black, compared to Over-Run's mostly black colourscheme with grey internal parts and red trims (and wings and missiles).

Vehicle Modes
The Battlechargers both convert into a sleek sports car with an extended hood and very noticeable wheel arches for the front wheels, large rear spoilers, side windows and tinted windows. The vehicles also feature a full set of moving wheels with star shaped hubcaps, and due to their ground clearance they can roll without obstruction. The sports cars also feature some detailing such as headlights, grills, rear lights and other such usual features on car vehicle modes in modern toys.
Both figures feature a large Decepticon insignia on the hood, and a much smaller Decepticon heat sensitive rub insignia on the roof.
Runamuck's colourscheme is mostly white with gold trim down the sides and on the spoiler, very nicely dispersing the otherwise stark white of his base colour. His windows are tinted black and show his internal orange legs, that could easily be mistaken for seats.
Over-Run's car mode is mostly made up of his black base colour and the red paint work going down the middle of his hood and spoiler, as well as taking up most of the rear of the vehicle, but avoids the roof. His windows are tinted red, and show his grey legs, though due to the tinting, they look red as well.
Both toys can take on a flight mode (as shown in the instructions) and are formed by opening his doors and extending/flattening them, folding out the ends of his wings and re-attaching the missiles (which have to be removed to open the doors), thus giving him and aerial mode weapon as well.
Interestingly in Runamuck's comic profile it says that he thinks he can fly, but he actually can't...uh oh...

My Final Thoughts
The Battlechargers are a great combination, Runamuck was shipped out to members of the club that were active in the first quarter of 2012, whilst Over-Run was released in 2012 in the club store (with his new name of course). It's annoying that the Battlechargers were made available in this manner as most people would only want one if they can get the other as well (this is further accented by Over-Run's box coming with a foam insert designed to hold Runamuck in!)
These two figures are over-all very beautiful and I would highly recommend them to any collector, especially those who are trying to get updates of classic G1 characters. However due to both being very limited releases and most likely being very expensive now, it would be unlikely for someone to buy these figures in the secondary market for a reasonable price. As I mentioned before, these figures are best shown as a pair, and just having one or the other seems pointless to me honestly.
If you can find both of them at a convention or an online sales site, then buy them (if the price is reasonable enough) but only as a pair, as you may get depressed when seeing one on it's own with the knowledge that he'll never have his brother.

Also, I am aware of the fan-made "G1-accurate" mode for these toys, but I don't like them, so I'm not showcasing them here.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Rare Toy - Drift

Shattered Glass Drift
"Even amongst the villainous hordes of the Evil Autobots, Drift is considered the most ruthless. Laws and morality have no stay with him, only money and profit...and occasionally thrills. He'd blast his own batch initiators if he were paid for the job. Or if he thought it might be fun. Typically given free rein by the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, to complete his objectives, Drift's methods of taking out his targets are only limited by his imagination. In other words, they are almost boundless. The mercenary relishes dreaming of new ways of taking out his marks, and logging them when he reboots in the morning. Regardless of the elaborate traps he might set, he always ensures that he is there at the final move, with his finger on the trigger or hide hand on the blade."
Function: Dimensional Fragment Eliminator (Fancy-talk for hunting invaders from over universes)
Quote: "Blast 'em again to make sure they stay offline!"
Strength: 7
Intelligence: 7
Speed: 9
Endurance: 6
Rank: 6
Courage: 7
Fireblast: 9
Skill: 10
Robot Mode
Drift's robot mode is a red and black number with some white highlights in select places. He has a bi-pedal masculine robot form and of course shows traces of his vehicle mode in select places on this mode.

Drift's torso is made of a detailed black chunk of plastic with the red roof of his vehicle mode, and front windscreen attached via a hinged joint. His groin features a red cover that gives in extra colours. Drift features a pair of sword sheathes attached to his waist on either side that can be re-positioned any way on the ball point that attaches it. The sheathes hold his two smaller swords, which will be gone into in the accessories section later. Drift's back also features an extending clip that allows him to clip his larger "ancient sword" into it for storage.
Drift's head is attached to the top of his torso by a pivoting neck joint allowing him to shake his head slightly either way (until his chin hits the nodules on either side of his head. Drift's head features a silver face surrounded by a red horned helmet that also features his nose, a black chevron and other small pieces of detailing. His face also features a red chin/van dyke beard under his small sculpted mouth. Drift's eyes are painted white with black mascara, which negates the light piping gimmick from the source on the top of his head.

Drift's shoulder pads are connected to his torso by a ball joint and bar connector combination that allows them to move as much as needed, until obstructed by anything. His shoulders feature his purple Autobot insignias. His upper arms are connected to the shoulders by a pivoting joint that allows them to rotate 360 degrees either way. His elbows are created by a double joint that allows him to bend his arms in fully, and his hand is connected by a ball joint to the bottom of his lower arms. All of these joints allow Drift incredible articulation, which helps a lot when dealing with a character with swordsman traits like Drift does.
Drift's hands are sculpted with fingers and a thumb and are posed around a standard sized peg hole that allows him to hold any regular weapon, including any of the ones supplied with his toy.

Drift's upper legs are connected to his groin by a ball joint on either side that allows them to raise and rotate as needed, his upper legs also feature a rotating pivot joint  about a third of the way down that allows them to rotate 360 degrees to help him pose as required. His knees are able to bend back by about 90 degrees. The entire lower leg is made of a few connected pieces of his vehicle mode, from the rear of the vehicle and part of the roof too. This makes his legs very stable and has good weight dispersion.

Vehicle Mode
Drift's vehicle mode is a mostly red drifting race car with black tinted windows, wheels and some paint markings. He features a white Japanese style sunrise effect coming out from his front wheels and sprawling across the sides of the vehicle. He also has the Japanese symbol for "Decided" on his front to frighten his enemies (somehow).
Drift features black wheels with red inner wheels and silver tri-spoked hubcaps, black tinted headlights, several aerodynamic slits and lines etc. He has exhaust pipes at the rear, a large spolier at the back, a sculpted area for a non-existent licence plate. 
Drift's ground clearance is enough to allow him to freely roll along the floor without obstruction.
Drift, as with most toys (and good mercenaries too) comes with several accessories...MOST of which can be stored within his body in both modes if needed!
Drift's guns are small pistols sculpted with lots of small markings all across them. These guns can be clipped into his hands by their handles. Due to these guns being originally part of the Blurr retool of the Drift figure, they can't be stored in the side sheathes and have no where else to go in vehicle mode.
Drift's smaller broadswords are silver blades with a sculpted sharp edge made of a rubberized plastic substance. The blades also feature a set of markings towards the bottom of the blade made of 6 downward arrows, three of which with the points removed. The handles are made of black plastic with a grip and hilt sculpted into them. The blades can be folded inwards, which is only really used for when he is turned to vehicle mode. The swords are stored in his side sheathes (with a specific one for each blade).
Drift's long "ancient sword" is mostly grey with a black sculpted grip as the only other colour. The sword features several sculpted details such as the "jewel" on the top of his hilt and the markings on the sword itself (the marks are the same as on the original Drift mold). This sword can be held in the extendable clip on his back, and can be help in either hand for lots of play fun!

My Final Thoughts
Oh Drift....I love you so much, I know most people hate you and anything to do with you, but I'll always love you. This figure is a repaint of his Generations counterpart with Blurr's guns added in for extra play value. He is made to resemble the Marvel comics character Deadpool somewhat (hence the extra guns). This toy was made available in 2012 as one of the Club Store exclusives, and has not as of yet appeared in any fiction (despite the 2012 Botcon story featuring several Shattered Glass characters)

I'd have to say, that I actually prefer this colourscheme for Drift over his tradition version (maybe because I like Deadpool as well) his accessories are more detailed in general that the Generations counterpart. The colours on the body itself are much bolder and brighter.

My only real complaint about Drift however is the pistols, and how they can't be stored anywhere in vehicle mode. Also related to this it has been reported that several Drift's had the wrong guns sent to them (ie they had 2 left guns instead of one of each) but since they can't be stored away, or combine with the larger gun from Blurr anyway, it doesn't matter.

Normally I'd recommend people to buy a copy of this figure, but sadly he's been sold out for a long time now, but maybe you can find him on Ebay or at a convention this summer instead?