Cliffbee.com: Alternator Rollbar Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Rollbar
Series: Alternators
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Droptop Jeep Wrangler

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Rollbar for this review



JEEP MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 12cm

   A deep orange (almost ochre) Jeep Wrangler with an open roof, Rollbar is a repaint of BT/Alt Swindle. He sports a rollcage in place of his roof, and while there's no tarp, it's a safe bet that this Jeep would have a cloth roof stowed somewhere. The rollcage is black while the truck body orange with black details such as fenders and bumpers. He has a plastic black spare tyre case on the back, and black plastic front and rear bumpers. Being an open cabin, all the details are there - the front and back seats are grey plastic, as is the dashboard. The steering wheel is on the left side, and is a soft black plastic, along with the rear vision mirrors, which have chrome mirrors painted onto them. The colour scheme is pretty similar to that of Swindle, really - the main difference is the switch from yellow to orange. While I don't have the plastic Alt Swindle (I have the metal BT version), I would assume the plastics are fairly similar as well. I'm not really sure an orange repaint is called Rollbar (the G1 character is green), but the name suits this vehicle well.

   Being an Alternator there's a lot of detail on this toy. As mentioned, he has a steering wheel - as well as a park brake, radio and A/C vents, glove box and gearstick, which is the same soft black plastic as the mirrors. He's a manual, BTW. If you open the doors, you'll notice they're lined with black plastic, that features moulded doorhandles (there are also black doorhandles on the outsides of these doors). The front windshield is clear plastic, save for the wipers which are painted black. The tyres are rubber and the wheels chromed silver, along with his bull-bar. Incidentally, this bull-bar is removable, but shouldn't fall out on it's own.

   The ridiculous level of detail of the Alternator toys is present here, and the details are carried over from Swindle. On either side, just in front of the doors, are the words "Jeep WRANGLER" (no "SPORT" this time) - the Jeep is raised, and also appears on the front bumper, and on the spare tyre. The front headlights are transparent plastic, and the front indicators are transparent orange, the rear lights transparent red. Also, at the rear on the left side is a moulded and painted petrol cap. He has an Autobot logo on a white background as a license plate on the front and a silver muffler on the back. Rollbar gains a rear license plate, with his name on a Colorado plate.

   When compared to Hound, Rollbar has a few changes, including the addition of the bull-bar, bigger tyres with different tread and wider, chromed hubcaps. The most apparent of these is the bull-bar. Incidentally the spare tyre is the same size - and ends up being smaller than the tyres on Rollbar. While I appreciate that the existence of Hound made a second green version of this mould unlikely, I still don't quite get the point of this orange repaint.

   This is one of the more playable Binaltech vehicles. His doors open and close and his wheels roll, just like the others. I suspect the soft plastic on the rear vision mirrors is a lesson learned from the rigid mirrors of early Binaltechs, which stick out quite a bit. This makes the toy more durable, no doubt, and combined with the rollcage, make this a fairly sturdy Jeep. As with the other toys in this line, the hood lifts to reveal an engine block.

   The other cool feature they've added for vehicle mode play value is suspension. Both the front and rear wheels are on springs - so if you're rolling him over terrain he'll cushion himself (and anything in the cabin)! This feature works really well - if you push down on the Jeep it'll collapse and then spring back into place.

   An ambitious Binaltech mould with excellent detailing, and I'm quite impressed with the quality on this Alternator - who doesn't feel cheaper than my two BT toys. There aren't many changes here compared to Swindle, which is probably the main negative here - it's just hard for me to see this repaint as compelling.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Too complex to describe in detail, so I'll summarise. The hood becomes the chest, the arms fold out from inside the hood (they're the engine block). The rollcage comes apart, parts folds into his legs and back. The rear becomes his legs, the head pops out from within the hood and the spare tyres opens up revealing his hidden handgun. This is not a difficult transformation, although it's quite involved and the knees have to be done right.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 14.5cm

   Again mainly deep orange, Rollbar has a black head, black thighs, hands and feet while his groin is champagne gold as are his arms. The chromed bull-bar forms a centrepiece in his chest, which is the front of the jeep. Rollbar now has wings in the form of his Jeep mode doors. His face is silver with yellow eyes and while it's quite well detailed, doesn't really remind me of anyone in particular. The colours are work well and are clearly different from those of Swindle, although again I don't quite see the point.

   The small Autobot logo on his front license plate is visible on his chest - as well as the "Jeep" just above it - and now he also sports a large Autobot symbol on the hood, just in front of his head, thanks to a clever little flip-over panel. You can actually display this in vehicle mode, and while you're not really supposed to, I get the feeling the designers made sure it's possible to do so. His handgun is a small black plastic affair, more of a pistol than a rifle.

   The head was remoulded for Swindle, although it doesn't scream Swindle, so it works well enough here. The front wheels of the Jeep are stowed just behind the hips, and can get in the way of the waist's poseability, but only because the suspension can be activated. The spare tyre sits on the side of the lower left leg, and is somewhat kibbly there. This bugs me a little because it sticks out somewhat, but it doesn't get in the way of anything. Parts of the rollcage hang off his back, and the windshield is also on his back.

   Rollbar has very complex legs. The rear of the truck is heavily transformed now - the rollcage and seats have folded in, the bumper is now the toes, with the outsides of the bumper being on the insides of the feet. Incidentally, if there are ridges just below the knee joints, you've mistransformed the knees and your Rollbar is probably back heavy. This fooled me initially on Hound - those ridges should be under the knee joints.

   Another hallmark of the Binaltech/Alternator line is good articulation. His head is on a ball joint, his shoulders and hips are also ball joints. The elbows and knees are hinged, the wrists rotate, the thumbs are opposed and the index fingers can open and close, while the other fingers open and close as one. The ankles have three hinges each, meaning he has full motion in the ankles - something unusual even for Binaltech toys. The ankles and big, flat feet make Rollbar very versatile, since he's stable in many poses, although he can be a little back heavy - although this is less of an issue on this plastic toy than on my BT versions.

   Considering what they had to do with the Jeep mode, this is a great robot mode. The poseability is superb, the colour scheme is good if a little generic and meaningless. The only real flaws in this mode are the kibble, namely the hip wheels and the spare tyre, but the issues they create are minor.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Swindle as mentioned. No actual variants that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   This is a very ambitious mould that works very well, but if you're not keen on repaints you might want to skip him. This colour scheme is good but he's just too generic - Hound & Swindle are more compelling. If you're purely after the line for the engineering and care not for character, Rollbar is equal to Alt Hound & Swindle, and his colours do look nice. The changes made to the mould for Swindle are subtle and clever, which is a plus. If you're interested in this figure I'd certainly not dissuade you - 8.5/10

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