Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Gun/Engine, Nightstick weapon
Prowl was one of the original Autobots introduced in the Generation One toy line in 1984. He was one of the Ark's crew and was featured prominantly in both the G1 cartoon and comic books. The name Prowl has carried through many incarnations of the Transformers brand, and in recent years there have been about a dozen different Transformers figures using the name. Alternators Prowl is the Generation One character reborn in a new form (although if you follow the Binaltech story that is somewhat questionable. For all intents and purposes however, this is G1 Prowl in physical form. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
It is important to keep in mind that sometimes a basic vehicle will be marketed differently in different countries. In Japan, Honda marketed this vehicle as the Integra Type-R and branded it as such with the "Type-R" logo and using the Honda logo. However, in the US Honda differentiates the vehicle from their core brand under the "Acura" label. In the US, the Integra Type-R is known as the "Acura RSX", complete with a different logo.
Alternators Prowl is not just a simple redeco of the Binaltech prowl. He has several sculpt changes:
- The front of Binaltech Prowl had the Japanese police equipment emblem, a gold circular design. Alternators Prowl is missing this, and instead has the Acura logo in its place.
- The interior has been switched so the steering wheel is on the left.
- The spoiler in the rear is much lower than the one on Binaltech Prowl.
- The hubcaps are of a different design than Binaltech Prowl's. Binaltech Prowl's have five spokes with gaps in the middle. Alternator Prowl has five spokes but they have no gap in the middle.
Prowl's exterior is primarily cast in black plastic. The top half of the vehicle is then painted white. In this way his deco mirrors his Binaltech counterpart. However, that is where the similarities end. To make Prowl a "US" vehicle, there are no Japanese characters anywhere on the vehicle. Instead, the Hasbro designers decided to pay homage to the original Generation One Prowl. The front hood has the shield/star logo used on the G1 Prowl along with an Autobot symbol. The doors say "High Patrol" and "Police" along with the shield/star, just like his G1 counterpart. On the front you can still see the sculpted part where the "Type R" logo would have been painted in on Binaltech Prowl, here it has just been painted black and for the most part you wouldn't notice it unless you stared at the front for a while. The siren on top is painted silver in the middle whereas Binaltech Prowl's was left completely translucent red.
The rear of the vehicle features deco changes as well. The center logo is now an Acura logo instead of a Honda logo. The alternate branding is also seen on the left and right where the word "Acura" replaces "Integra" and "RSX-S" replaces "Type-R". The license plate deco remains the same hwoever, with an Autobot symbol on the left and the word "Prowl" on the right against a metallic silver background.
The interior of the vehicle shows another big difference between BT and Alt. Prowl. The interior is cast in a grey blue color as opposed to a regular grey on the Binaltech version. The details on the dashboard are painted metallic silver. The engine is also cast in the same color plastic. However what I found odd is that the "V-Tec" logo was not painted onto the engine, a detail that Binaltech Prowl did have.
Alternators Prowl does share one problem with his Binaltech predecessor. The sideview mirrors are simply not secured very well in this sculpt. Unlike the Binaltech Prowl, the sideview mirrors did not come off during the course of transformation. Rather they came off when I tugged (very gently) on them to see how secure they were.
In robot mode the biggest difference between Binaltech and Alternators Prowl comes from the blue grey plastic replacing the grey. Aside from the tampograph/deco differences from the robot mode, the two look mostly alike. All the various paint apps such as the red/orange vents and the silver on the feet remain the same.
All the joints are just as tight as the previous version.
I personally like this deco better than the Binaltech version. While more accurate to a real life Integra in vehicle mode, the chest on Binaltech Prowl winds up looking rather plain compared to Alternators Prowl. I am also very fond of the G1 homage details.
Whether or not you prefer Binaltech Prowl or Alternators Prowl largely depends on your preference when it comes to the Alternators/Binaltech line. If you want a vehicle that looks as close to the real life vehicle as possible, then the Binaltech Prowl (especially the blue version) is probably the one you'll want to go with. However, if you want a real life vehicle replica that also pays homage to G1 Prowl, then Alternators Prowl is the better option. It is a shame the sideview mirror problem is an inherent issue with the sculpt, but even with that I still recommend this vehicle to collectors.