Transformers: Generation 1
|Motto||"A pretty car makes an even prettier wreck."|
|Alternate Modes||Lotus Esprit|
|Series|| Transformers: Generation 1|
|Japanese voice actor||Yoku Shioya|
|Japanese voice actor||Roger Behr|
The first Runabout formed one half of the Battlecharger duo with Runamuck. Runabout is not the brains of the Battlechargers, but he is much calmer and certainly more articulate than Runamuck, and his presence helps keep the latter's cross-wired mind on task. That said, Runabout usually joins in with whatever mad ideas Runamuck comes up with, just to keep from being bored. Runabout is very susceptible to boredom. 
Runabout and Runamuck first appeared in the U.S. Marvel Transformers comics in issue 23 where they responded to Megatron's request to announce a challenge to Optimus Prime in a dramatic fashion. Taking him up on this, the two Battlechargers caused random mayhem, until witnessing a young boy scrawling graffiti. Inspired by the youngster, they followed him and his family throughout America, graffiting Mount Rushmore and the Washington Monument on the way. They would then encounter the Transformer hating Circuit Breaker, who attacked them and nearly killed the family the two Battlechargers had been following. Stripped of her command in RAAT, she turned to a group of Autobots she had captured led by Blaster, who agreed to let her combine them into a super-Autobot if she would let them go afterwards. They caught up with the Battlechargers as they defaced the Statue of Liberty and defeated them both, dropping their broken bodies into New York Harbor.
They would not show up again until much later in the series, when they appeared as part of a group of rogue Decepticons recruited by Shockwave to fight Scorponok in the Decepticon Civil War, attacking the Decepticon base in New Jersey, before all involved were transported to Cybertron, where both later took part in the climactic battle with Unicron. A wreck that appears to be Runamuck in vehicle mode was shown among the casualties of the battle, while Runabout was killed soon after by a cannibalistic race of primitive mechanoids who emerged from under Cybertron's surface. While Runabout was indeed not seen again, Runamuck does later reappear, fighting and dying among Megatron's forces in battle against Jhiaxus's second-generation Cybertronians.
Both also appeared in the U.K. comics divergent continuity Earthforce tales, as part of the Decepticon forces under Megatron and Shockwave.
Runabout's presence in the Transformers television series is limited to one episode - where he was among the Decepticon forces in the third season episode "Ghost in the Machine". During this episode he was one of the Decepticons who were guarding Trypticon, when Scourge (who was thought a traitor by the Decepticons for his possessed actions earlier) and the ghost of Starscream arrived to steal one of the battle station's eyes, as part of a deal with Unicron to get Starscream's body back. Starscream possessed Runabout and had him shoot Runamuck . Runamuck was able to send for reinforcements, but the two traitors escaped after Starscream took over Astrotrain. Starscream later returned to Trypticon to connect Unicron's head to Cybertron and make it his new body, but was stopped by Dirge, Thrust and the Battlechargers, who sabotaged Trypticon, before Autobot planted explosives blasted Unicron's head into orbit. Runabout did not appear again.
Runabout's Dreamwave bio indicated that he simply lived to commit one evil deed after the other, especially targeting attractive structures, even on the battlefield. This has led to him being classed as a serial killer by the Autobots. He is slightly smarter than the average Decepticon.
Runabout was recruited as a Decepticon under the leadership of Megatron in his war against the Autobots on the planet Cybertron. When Megatron and Autobot leader Optimus Prime disappeared in an accident with a space bridge, the Autobot and Decepticon forces splintered into smaller factions. Runabout joined up with the Predacons under the leadership of Starscream.
After the Great Shutdown on Cybertron ended, Runabout was reformatted in the form of an Earth sports car and served under Shockwave. Later he would be responsible for killing Broadside, before himself being seemingly killed by a Sharkticon. Wounded and looking to recharge, Runabout and Runamuck broke into Shockwave's abandoned lab where they accidentally released Sunstorm.
In issue #2 of the third Generation One series, titled "Black Sunshine", the Protectabots were ordered by Prowl to inventigate the energy anomaly created by Sunstorm escaping Shockwave's abandoned secret lab. When they arrived they discovered the hole left in the roof by Sunstorm and the deactivated Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck. Streetwise reported back to Prowl as First Aid repaired the Decepticons.
After Dreamwave's closure, the rights to the Transformers comics were taken up by IDW Publishing. They have begun to publish their own new material, including a miniseries called Infiltration featuring some of the Generation One Transformers. In Infiltration, Starscream is in command of a small group of Decepticons on Earth consisting of Skywarp, Thundercracker, Astrotrain, Blitzwing, and the Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck. Starscream had discovered an ore on Earth that was the Transformer equivalent of steroids, making him bold enough to advance their infiltration phase ahead of schedule. However, it seems that humans have somehow obtained evidence of the Transformers' existence, which would derail Starscream's plans. Runabout has thus far appeared as part of Starscream's elimination squad along with Runamuck, disposing of any evidence of their operation on Earth. The two, with aid from Thundercracker, pursued Ratchet, who was harbouring three humans who had discovered evidence of the Decepticon presence on Earth. They failed. However, with the arrival of Megatron on Earth, they suddenly had more important things to worry about. Powered up by Ore-13, they, along with Thundercracker and Astrotrain, were sent to confront Megatron as he arrived looking for Starscream. In spite of their powered up status they surrendered without a fight in the face of Megatron's wrath. In the sequel series The Transformers: Escalation it was revealed Runabout had acquired an unscrupulous senator for the Decepticons' purposes. He and Runamuck were seen being ordered to manipulate the facsimiles.
In The Coming Storm Nexus Prime and Aquarius Quintesson arrive on the Wings of Honor Cybertron where they are attacked by Jetstorm, Deluge, Runabout and Runamuck. Nexus Prime quickly trounces the four Decepticons and leaves that dimension with his traveling companion.
- Generation 1 Battlecharger Runabout (1986)
- Runabout transforms into a Lotus Turbo Esprit sports car. An auto-transformer, he uses a pull-back motor to propel him forward in both car and robot modes, though starting in car mode triggers his transformation to robot after he rolls forward a short distance. His mold is very similar to his partner Runamuck, who transforms into a white Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am. As with nearly all Transformers toys released in 1986, Runabout was an all-new mold and not a reissue from a previous toy line.
- Timelines Deluxe Runabout (not yet released)
- A Transformers Collectors Club exclusive redeco of Generations Wheeljack, to be released in 2012.
Transformers: Galaxy Force
Runabout is the Japanese name for the Decepticon called Runamuck in the U.S. He came packaged with the Autobot Longrack. He was created to be an intentional homage to the original character.