"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer Rollbar Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, One Step Changer, Robots in Disguise (2001)

Age of Extinction

Rollbar General Information:
Release Date: November 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Roll bar is back and he's tougher than ever! This Roll bar changer fights his Deception enemies every time he can and he converts so fast they'll never be able to keep up. Flip him to convert him from mighty robot mode to speedy sports car mode in just 1 step, then convert him back again when the battle calls for it! The Deceptions will never be able to handle your fast-changing Roll bar figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

As part of its drive to appeal to different segments of the toy buying audience, Hasbro has introduced different sub-lines of "Transformers" figures for the "Age of Extinction" toy line. One of these are the "One Step Changers". As the name suggests, the idea behind these figures is the ability to transform the figure in one step, keeping them in spirit with G1 toys like Jumpstarters and Battlechargers. One of the late 2014 additions to this line is a character who did not appear in the "Age of Extinction" film (or did he?!): Rollbar! This is one of two announced figures of this character, with the other being a redeco of Generations Skids to be released as part of the Breakout Battle set.

Vehicle Mode:
Rollbar's vehicle mode is a Chevrolet Sonic RS, making him a licensed vehicle (despite not being an "on screen" character). This isn't the first time a Transformer has had a form like this. The "Transformers Universe" Swerve figure had the vehicle form of an "Aveo", the car that the Sonic RS is descended from. This subcompact car was featured in the scene where Shane Dyson helped rescue the Yeager family from the forces of Cemetery Wind, but the vehicle was seemingly destroyed in the film (or at the very least, disabled).

This figure has the basic shape of the RS including the downward sloping front end, the "hatchback" look in the rear section and the curved spoiler at the rear. The Chevrolet logo is prominently sculpted into the front and back of the vehicle. The vehicle also has some small details taken from the real life vehicle including dual headlights in the front section and a raised vent on the roof of the vehicle. Overall he looks great and I was very happy to see the actual vehicle from the movie reproduced in toy form.

Rollbar is cast in white, black and purple plastic. the white makes up most of the vehicle with black used for the wheels. Purple is found on the interior and front. These colors are roughly based off of Shane's vehicle from he movie. However the deco pattern is not the same as the vehicle in the film, but it does use it as inspiration. Purple paint is used on the sides in a checkerboard pattern leading to solid lines up to the spoiler section. A white Chevrolet symbol is found on the sides. Silver paint is used on the headlights while gold is used on the Chevrolet symbol in the front. The rear Chevrolet symbol is painted yellow. The windows are painted metallic grey. On each door is a large Autobot symbol in red. Overall I think it looks great. Sure it's not the sponsor covered deco of the movie vehicle, but I suspect licensing issues got in the way of replicating the deco exactly. This is a good enough approximation for me.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Rollbar uses the same transformation mechanism as Drift. However, his joints are tighter than Drift's, so he doesn't totally "swing" into robot mode. Instead you swing the figure and it mostly opens up but you'll have to push one leg down all the way to complete the transformation. You'll also have to reposition the arms as they wind up out to the sides by default. I personally don't mind this, and unlike my Drift figure no parts went flying during the transformation of this figure, much to my relief!

Robot Mode:
Since the character of Rollbar never actually appeared in the film, the designers were free to give him a robot mode that looked like whatever they darn well pleased. For this the designers went back in time to 2001 and based the robot mode on Car Robots Wildride (aka "Robots in Disguise" X-Brawn)! While this may seem like an odd choice, Wildride/X-Brawn transformed into a similarly shaped vehicle so it's not that much of a stretch. Several of the details on this figure match up with ones on Wildride/X-Brawn including:

  • The head sculpt features a round head, mouthplate and a distinctive "scope" over the right brow area.
  • On the back of the figure are two "wing" like structures resembling the parts created by accessories on X-Brawn's back.
  • The entire torso section is based off of X-Brawn's design. This includes a circle on the right side of the chest, two raised parallelogram shapes on the left side of the chest. The lower part of the torso also has angled shapes that look similar to those on X-Brawn.

I really like the homage designs here. He does have the "bulky" look that this design brings in by default, so if you don't like your Transformers a bit pudgy looking you may want to skip this figure.

In this mode Rollbar uses all the same colors as the vehicle mode, but there is a lot more metallic purple thanks to the arms and head. Purple paint is used on the torso and foot pieces. Silver is used on the blades on the arms, chest and head. The "wings" on his back are black. A bit of white paint is used for the waist area on the torso panel. Overall his look is consistent with the vehicle mode while looking distinctive at the same time.

There are four points of articulation in this form, both centered around the shoulders. The arms can swing out to the sides and swing forward. These are two distinct joints, not a ball joint but the result is the same, arms that can be positioned however you'd like with a ratchet joint to boot, helping to lock them in place. On the bottom of the right foot is a metal circle. This is used by "Stomp & Chomp" Grimlock (and the upcoming Japanese exclusive Optimus Prime with trailer set) to activate specific lights and sounds. Being on the right side the circle indicates this is an Autobot whereas Decepticon One Step Changers have this circle on the left.

Final Thoughts:
I'll admit half the reason I like this figure is the X-Brawn homage, but I also love the idea that it represents the vehicle Shane drove and we could have had a "hidden Autobot" in the movie (just my theory, not official). I do enjoy this gimmick and I'm glad it works so much better than my Drift did (read: no parts flying off). Recommended if you are into the One Step Changers!