Review by Optimal III
In 2008, third-party company TFC Toys released Battle Rollar, a pretty unique hybrid action figure/accessory made to be paired with Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-04) and Revenge of the Fallen (leader class) Optimus Prime. He was pretty popular at the time and demand was high, so in 2010 they released a minor repaint/retool called Shadow Rollar. I've already reviewed Battle Rollar here, so this is a look at what makes Shadow Rollar different.
First off, the packaging is exactly the same. So besides opening the box flap to see which version is inside, the one unique identifier is this paper banner taped around the bottom, which shows some pics and the new number designation.
In vehicle mode 1, we easily see the overall change in tone TFC went with. His headlights have gone from a pastel blue to pastel green, and his body/frame has shifted from blue to dark metal grey. When I think of shadows, I think of darker colors than this, but he still looks good and it's a nice contrast. Also, "Shadow" Rollar sounds cooler than a lot of names they could have went with.
Anyway, he looks like he's ready to play demolition derby with a couple of Stunticons. Being in vehicle mode 2 means he's got way less glass to break.
Now in vehicle mode 3, it looks like he's winning. And I confirmed that even with weapons mounted, he still fits inside MP-04's trailer. I find the new color scheme still works, even when flipped over. The "cockpits" on his arms and legs being dark colors now makes this mode look like more of a combat vehicle rather than an explorer or transport machine and thus, more threatening.
Now the Stunticons are just running away like a couple of stooges. Maybe they're not scared of the artillery unit pointed their way, but because AM Optimus is holding that mysterious gold weapon (which is totally not from a cuticle set).
In robot mode, Shadow Rollar looks nice. Compared to Battle Rollar, his color layout is a bit more diverse and sharp. He has a kind of shiny quality, which is always impressive when metal, metallic paint or sparkly paint isn't present. I've read more than once that Shadow Rollar is a remold, but looking at them side by side, I don't see any differences in sculpt. Besides coloring, Shadow Rollar's chest crystal is still intact, and his eyes aren't light-piped because they've been painted. As such, tt looks like he's either crying or has war paint on.
His hand guns are still the same.
But his blades, like his hands, are now solid gray.
The one other change that lends to his more aggressive appearance is the translucent plastic in his laser rifle going from blue to red. This one actually came with good batteries, but they died before I took these pics.
In that first picture, Dragstrip is shaking so hard he's out of focus. But on a more serious note, I realized here that Rollar's shoulder kibble makes it a perfect place to mount the laser rifle. That and the wheels all over the back are giving me a Cyclone vibe, which isn't a bad thing.
I like Shadow Rollar just as much as Battle Rollar, so that's a positive. Physically, everything is the same, so picking one over the other is up to aesthetic preferences. I got him to go with my MP-04S because I think he makes a great companion and guardian to Prime's tomb. But like Battle Rollar, while he originally went for $50+, he tends to go for $100+ now, and I don't think he's strong enough standalone to justify that. So as before, I recommend him only to third-party enthusiasts and anyone who wants a more "complete" Optimus Prime.
|Posted 19 May, 2015 - 07:09 by Optimal III|