Energon Toy Reviews: Treadbolt

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot, Energon

Energon

General Information:
Release Year: November 2003
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Missile, Rollbar Mini-Con figure

Images:

If there's one thing that Armada taught us between 2002 and 2003, Hasbro loves to make redecos of its toys. And why not? They're cheaper than coming up with an all new toy and they generally sell well. One of the first Armada toys to get the redeco treatment in Energon is Scavenger, now known as Treadbolt. This review will cover the changes made to the toy for this release. For a more detailed review of the toy itself, please read Scavenger's review.

Rollbar

Vehicle Mode:
While the name of Scavenger's redeco is different, the Mini-Con he came with gets to keep his identity. What's cool is that Hasbro took the time to turn this Mini-Con into a homage to a G1 character. Rollbar's new deco is based off of the deco used for the G1 character Hound. He's mostly dark green with silver used for the back portion. The four wheels are brown, which gives them the appearance of wheels caked with mud. The seats are also brown (but hopefully not caked with mud). What really drives this homage home is the big white star painted on the hood of the jeep, one of Hound's defining features.

Robot Mode:
Rollbar's main body and head are cast in blue plastic, which kind of surprised me until I realized that Treadbolt has a bit of blue plastic. It just seemed like an odd color to throw in with dark green. However, the homage is still very much appreciated and looks good.

Treadbolt

Vehicle Mode:
Treadbolt's new deco is a much darker mix than his previous incarnation. His primary color is a flat yellow, similar to the one used for the Generation 2 Constructicons. Blue gray plastic makes up other pieces such as his shovel and driver's area. There are two really nice paint touches on Treadbolt. One is on the shovel, which has a nice, dark spray op at the front of the shovel. It really gives the impression of a machine that has been used for construction. The other is on the sides of the treads. The parts are dark blue, but a nice white wash has been applied on them that gives them a more "gritty" and "used" look.

For those wondering, Treadbolt uses all the same sound effects as Scavenger. So putting Rollbar in the driver's seat still works, as does the engine noise as you roll the toy along.

Robot Mode:
While his new color scheme is quite different from the original, it doesn't make Treadbolt look any less imposing than Scavenger did. In this form a lot of the blue gray shows up thanks to the lower legs being comprised of the shovel parts and the mid body and upper legs being made of plastic in the same
color. His chest plate is brown with the Autobot symbol painted red. What's really nicely done is a silver wash on the plate, which just looks awesome.

Treadbolt's face is cast in brown plastic and painted gray with blue for the mouth area. The targetting laser on his head has been painted red, which contrasts really nicely against the rest of the face (on Scavenger, it wasn't painted at all).

The same sound effects that Scavenger had are used here. In particular, I noticed that the "punching" side effect activated by moving the figure side to side works much better on Treadbolt than it did on my Scavenger, but this could be a simple luck of the draw.

Treadbolt can launch a missile when a Mini-Con is attached, just like Scavenger. The sound effect has been kept intact there as well.

I won't say that I like Treadbolt more than Scavenger. Each has their own particular "look" that works. My only reservation about Treadbolt is that he is a redeco of a toy for a "new" Transformers line while the toy he was based on sits on shelves right next to him. I understand the financial reasons for reusing a mold, especially to bolster your assortments, but it still feels a bit like the mold is being milked a bit early.

On the other hand, rumor has it (and assortments seem to agree) that Treadbolt is a fairly limited release. He is in wave one only, and shipped with Ironhide. It seems that wave 1.5 substitutes Jetfire for Treadbolt, so for hard core collectors, this may be a factor in whether your not you purchase this figure.

At the end of the day, this figure is a very nice redeco, and the Mini-Con G1 homage is a very pleasant surprise. If you don't have Scavenger, and can't find him, this is a fine substitute. If you already have Scavenger, you may want to take the info above into account before deciding on your purchase.