Release Year: February 2006
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Motto: "Front wheel drive is for sissies."
With the Binaltech Transformers line in a state of flux, Alternators forges on with new releases in 2006 that are not part of the Binaltech line. One of these figures is Rollbar. While he shares the name (and sort of the form) of the G1 Throttlebot of the same name, he does not appear to really be a homage to that character in any way whatsoever other than being a jeep.
Rollbar is a redeco of Swindle with no sculpt changes. Check out that review and the one for Binaltech Swindle for details on this figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The official Jeep web site lists the orange color used for Rollbar as "Impact Orange". Indeed the color lives up to its name. Although the color is a dark shade of orange, it is a bit intense. There are plenty of breaks in the color including black on the wheels, silver on the grille and rims. The seats inside the passenger area are beige, which go along with the gold color used for the engine underneath the hood.
The license plate has been given a deco, setting it apart from Swindle (whose license plate was not painted). Rollbar's has a mountain range pattern painted in white, with the name Rollbar in black letters. This small touch is perhaps the nicest paint application on the vehicle mode. On the front license plate is an Autobot symbol on top of a white background.
I was surprised to find the door handles and edges were not painted black as Swindle's were. There really is not a whole lot of detail that can be added without making this vehicle less accurate to its real life counterpart, so I was surprised to find such a detail omitted. Perhaps adding dirt splatter or some wear would have improved the appearance of the vehicle but thus far no Alternators or Binaltech have had such a look, perhaps an indicator that the car manufacturers prefer the representations of their vehicles be as "clean" as possible.
It could just be my particular figure, but I was surprised to find that the front grille and the left door 9but not the right) popped off very easily from my Rollbar figure. This could just be a one off error or an indicator that the tooling needs adjustment before (if) it is ever used again.
All the parts that were black on Swindle are black here as well. For the most part the orange replaces the yellow parts on Swindle. The exception to this is found on the arms. Each arm is mostly painted gold with black detailing. This same gold color is used on the waist section. The visor eyes are painted metallic gold and his face is silver.
An Autobot symbol is tampographed on the small panel that reveals itself in front of the head in this form.
The sculpt that is behind this figure is definitely a fun one and worthy of the Binaltech/Alternators title. However, this is the second time this sculpt has been used in this line, and if you count Hound, the third. When this head sculpt was originally created, it was actually intended to be a Binaltech/Alternators version of the G1 character Trailbreaker. The Jeep web site lists a "Black Clear Coat" color that would have made this release a perfect candidate for being Trailbreaker.
Even as a new representation of the Throttlebot Rollbar this figure fails. Rollbar was green, and although making another green jeep may have been silly, an alternative use of the name would have been to use the "Flame Red" color for the Jeep and make it a homage to the Robots in Disguise Rollbar instead.
If you missed out on the previous two versions of this figure, then this is worth picking up. Otherwise this one is strictly for completists. It's not the toy that's bad, it's the idea behind it.