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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Rollbar

Name: Rollbar
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Promoting Red Bull
Subgroup: ROTF Scouts

With the dawn of a new toyline, it is inevitable that many of the toys would never make it into the TV series, or, in this case, the movie. Therefore, some toys are used as homages. Unused designs. Molds supposedly used for an earlier line. Fiction-only characters from earlier lines. Homages to earlier characters. Et cetera. ROTF Rollbar is an unique homage. Rollbar homages an early, very early design for movie Optimus Prime, before Michael Bay and his CGI artists presented us with the more complex Movie Optimus Prime. Unused designs evolved into this toy. Or so say some people.

Regardless, we got ourselves a new mold for the Scout class department. G1 Rollbar was the leader of the Throttlebot team (or Goldbug's second-in-command in some continuities), and transformed into a green jeep. By some miracle, Hasbro decided to dust off Rollbar and gave him an Alternators toy. A repaint, but still, it's beautiful for a Throttlebot. The next character to take up the mantle of Rollbar was in RiD, part of the Decepticon Commandos. A repaint of Swindle. The third Rollbar is the Mini-Con partner to the Autobot Scavenger in the Armada line. An alternate universe of Rollbar, partner of Decepticon Treadshot, was introduced in the Universe toyline. Then, Rollbar went silent until now. Unlike his brash G1 counterpart, ROTF Rollbar's profile describes him as a soldier that obeys orders, and is unsure what to do if he doesn't get any. Definitely not G1 Rollbar.

ROBOT MODE

Rollbar's robot mode is a far departure from his G1's near-solid-green paint job. The main colour is gray, with dark blue thrown into the mix, and some Allspark blue. You know, baby blue. I just can't stand the Allspark power sub-line's unifying gimmick--colour. So I poke fun at it whenever possible.

Rollbar's face is somewhat based on an early concept art for Movie Optimus Prime's face. Imagine G1 Optimus Prime, minus the ears, add a scuba mask (kinda like Animated Longarm Prime) and you sort of get his face. His chest is very similar to Prime's window-chest.

Also, as Clay pointed out, Rollbar is based on Cybertron Primus. Other than the head, the resemblance is uncanny. The paintjob and overall impact resembles the planet-god.

Rollbar has numerous joints and is rather posable. The hands are nicely posable, though slightly too short and oddly proportioned. The leg joints are a bit tight and make posing slightly hard. Rollbar's robot mode is very generic. Nothing that makes him too special other than his resemblance to Optimus Prime.

ALTERNATE MODE

Rollbar turns into some sort of security van, similar to Payload from the first movie, only this one is gray, has six wheels... and a Red Bull insignia. This is hilarious. Of course the Red Bull isn't accurate to avoid lawsuits, but, hey, it's cute!

Rollbar's transformation uses something resembling automorph. Pushing the hood up also pulls the chest plate and the hips into position and vice versa. In vehicle mode his primary colour is gray and a bit of blue. Well, there's not much to say about the alternate mode. Moving on...

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 2/10 Way too easy, mostly due to the automorph.
Durability 8/10 A solid little thing, but some joints may get loose.
Fun 5/10 Not a really unique toy. He really feels like a generic. Now generics usually have weaponry (i.e. the Omnicons and Terrorcons from Energon). This guy doesn't have anything that even resembles weaponry. Also, his alternate mode and colour scheme is bland.
Price 3/10 Seeing many other Scout class toys, this one needs much more work. Or at least more posability.
Overall 4/10 Dirt Boss I would recommend for his unique alternate mode. Not Rollbar, though. The Red Bull is cute, but a truck that transforms into a non-entity with a bland colour scheme just isn't worth it. Unless you have a specific intention for buying him (i.e. kitbashing) or you're a completest, there's no reason to buy him. There are better molds down the line.
 
 
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