Hasbro Transformers Age of Extinction Rollbar Hasbro, 2014
Day #1,436: May 5, 2016
Rollbar One Step!
Transformers Age of Extinction One-Step Changer
Item No.: Asst. A6151 No. A8125 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:n/a Action Feature:Transforms from Chevrolet Sonic RS to robot Retail:$9.99 Availability: Fall 2014 Other: Not bad at all
For a movie line, Age of Extinction featured many Transfomers from elsewhere and had an amazingly poor Autobot/Decepticon balance. Delightful but also confounding, Rollbar is a one-step toy with a unique mold based on a real-world car and the character does not appear on screen. Also, he's an Autobot in traditionally Decepticon colors. To make things even more fun, he's a dead ringer for Robots in Disguise X-Brawn in everything but color. And the knives in his fists, of course. I assume this is the adamantium claw version. I picked up this toy for two reasons: one, the aforementioned X-Brawn similarity. Two, $3.50 clearance price tag.
It ain't bad. Standing 5-inches tall, the robot mode is actually pretty substantial - he's a hair shorter than current deluxe toys and lacks meaningful articulation beyond his shoulders and his transformation. This little guy stands great, and you can rotate his shoulders. That's about as far as he'll go.
The detailing in his robot mode is unmistakably X-Brawn-esque. His head has the faceplate and the little scope over his right eye. The chest has the familiar silver pattern, and there's a circle with a line through it on the right side. A couple of horizontal bars are sculpted on the left side of his chest. The arms and legs are a little different, but it's not like every Optimus Prime is exactly the same. My only real question is why they didn't go the extra mile and just give us a new X-Brawn redeco of this mold, too. New features include big ol' knives coming out of each fist, painted silver and in no way making you think of any Canadian mutants.
Transformation is a total snap - just move the arms up, and fold the legs back in. Presto, now it's a car. It'd say "It doesn't get much easier than that!" but from my experience in this line, it actually does. It's simple, but there's no such thing as too simple in this kind of a toy. The packaging's "flip to change!" call-out is a bit of a misdirection, as you're going to need to use both hands to put him together or to pry him apart. Going from car to robot should take you about the same amount of time as a slightly hesitant sneeze.
Car is smaller than a deluxe, measuring roughly four inches between each bumper. A nifty checker pattern and a Chevy marking make it distinctive, with an Autobot symbol to let kids know that disguises don't have to be perfect. Its wheels roll nicely and the windows are painted - or rolled down. While there's not a ton of paint here, they really make it count with 4 Chevy symbols and a nice big purple spoiler.
I love the fact that some of the movie guys in Age of Extinction's 1-step series were designed to fit in more than just the movie continuity. I'm sure the car license will prevent them from appearing elsewhere, but it's a heck of a nice design if somewhat simple. Given what we get with toy inflation these days, $10 isn't awful - but the reality of price drops in movie years mean that the deluxe Generations toys were probably $10 at the same store on a given day. Now that it's marked down when you can find it, I can happily recommend Rollbar as fun desk candy. It's small, cute, and makes references to other toys. It's also not so awesome that people will want to steal it. For $5ish, get one.
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