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Combined form of Team Bullet-Train: Midnight Express, Railspike & Rapid Run)

Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Combiner
Year: 2001

Robot Modes: The three members of Team Bullet-Train manage the interesting feat of turning from three very similar looking vehicles into three very different looking robots. The leader of the team is Railspike, in my opinion the best-looking figure of the three. His proportions are sound, his detailling is very good (especially the added weapons in his shoulder-wings) and his posability is excellent. The only complaint I have about him is that, with the head of the combiner robot Rail Racer serving as his chest, he would have some trouble seeing things that are straight in front of him. Bit of a blind spot there. Apart from that, though, no complaints about Railspike.

Rapid Run is a bit of the odd man out in the team, having a very different looking paint job (gray and black instead of white and blue), the only head of the three that doesn't look streamlined, and being the only one without shoulder wings. It makes him look a bit the outsider. That doesn't mean he's a bad robot, far from it, but he's probably the worst of the three. His weapon is a bit strange, too, being actually the roof and sides of his train mode. Still, excellent posability and good detailing make for a good, if slightly out-of-place robot.

The third and final team member is Midnight Express, the tallest of the three. He suffers a bit from having to form the lower body of the combiner robot Rail Racer, meaning that he is mostly legs. They make up about two thirds of his height. He still manages to look very good, though, if slightly deformed. Like Railspike he has big shoulder wings and a streamlined head, and while his arms are a bit slender you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of him kicking you. I'd say he's the middle one of the team in terms of good looks and play value in robot mode.

Alternate Modes: All three members of Team Bullet-Train transform into ... (drumbeat) ... bullet trains. What a surprise, eh? Anyway, like I said before it's amazing that three very different-looking robots manage to transform into three very similar trains. There isn't that much you can do with the three (except roll them across the floor), but they manage to look the part quite well. Their various weapons become parts of the trains and also function as intercouplings, so you can link the three trains together in whatever order you feel like. It doesn't look that good, seeing as all three of them are train engines and not waggons, but it's nice fun feature regardless. As far as trains go, excellent modes.

Combiner Mode: Team Bullet-Train combine into the gestalt robot Rail Racer (or JRX in Japan). Rail Racer's colour scheme mirrors those of Midnight Express and Railspike, being mostly blue and white with some touches of black and yellow. Railspike forms the head, arms, and shoulders. Rapid Run forms the midsection and back, meaning his gray paintjob is almost unnoticeable from the front. Finally, Midnight Express forms the hips and legs. This combination is more stable than it looks and quite posable, though the very long forearms and lower legs take a little getting used to.

Rail Racer's head is very cool-looking, streamlined and dynamic, looking similar if not quite identical to Railspike's. Rapid Run's relegation to the back of the robot offers some advantages, as his legs can either function as rocket boosters for Rail Racer or extend into wings. Rail Racer can use any of the three team members' weapons for himself. I usually use Rapid Run's weapon as a shield and either of the other two as a handgun. All in all one fine-looking combiner.

Remarks: Team Bullet-Train weren't among the big movers and shakers in the RID cartoon, but they do make for very good toys and I'm a sucker for combiners anyway. All three robots are fine on their own and while the train thing doesn't particularly appeal to me, the gestalt robot Rail Racer is what sealed it for me. I had to have these three. All that, plus I got them for a very good price considering how much they originally cost in the store.

Rating: B+


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