Saturday, April 16, 2011

Transformers: Battle Rollar TFC EX-002 The Prime Scout

Presenting Transformers: Battle Rollar, AKA the Prime Scout AKA TFC EX-002. Battle Rollar is a "Fansproject" from TFC Toys (Which unfortunately has one of the worst toy-web-sites I've ever seen). In a nut-shell, Battle Rollar is that cute little buggy that comes out of Optimus Prime's trailer in the cartoons.

The comic book included in the package hints - and I say hints because... well it's not much of a comic book - at Battle Rollar once being a small Transformer in the service of (And with a severe man-crush on) Orion Pax (Who would later become Optimus prime). When the war started, the Decepticons raided the warehouse where he worked and Battle Rollar ran - making him the only survivor. It isn't clear after that how he became a buggy (Just plain Roller) in the service of Optimus Prime or why he never transformed prior to this.

Probably because he was a coward.

A few thousand (?) years later, Optimus Prime finds himself surrounded by Decepticons, wounded and out of ammunition. Optimus Prime's matrix activates and calls Battle Rollar's spirit  for a little chit-chat. In exchange for saving Prime, Battle Rollar would be given that much needed second chance and a new, more powerful body. The result is Battle Rollar!

Battle Rollar's credo is "I know there's only one way to make up for my guilt. I will never run... not again." hinting at his once having been a coward.

 The comics ends abruptly after that. All we know is that Battle Rollar got his power upgrade and moved in to rescue Optimus Prime. Whether or not he succeeds or runs again is left hanging.

Now on to the good stuff!

I like Battle Rollar because I always thought that the buggy was a waste of space - hell it's not like any other Transformer can ride it. Below you can see what Battle Rollar looks like in comparison to another Fansproject Roller designed for the Master Piece series Optimus Primes and based upon the more classic look of Roller - note the "e" instead of a letter "a". Further it always bothered me that Optimus Prime had a manservant.

If you buy this particular Battle Rollar you will note that the wheel base is a bit wider than that of the original Roller. So if you put him in Optimus Prime's MP (Official Trailer) his wheels tend to ram into the support struts on the side walls. I'm not sure how well he would fit into one of the Masterpiece 4 (MP-4) trucks - the one where Prime's trailer opens up. Battle Rollar fits better into Optimus Prime's trailer in his alternate - yes he has more than one mode (Not sure why) - buggy mode which you can see below

Battle Rollar comes with three hand changes - two to hold his weapons; two that are just open (See right); and two in a strange anime inspired pose (See opening picture).

Battle Rollar's articulation is actually pretty good. Most of his joints are ball joints which easily pop in-and-out if stressed too much - hence protecting the joint. He comes with two pistols and two swords all of which come with pegs and slots that allow you to mount them almost everywhere as Battle Rollar is practically covered with pegs, holes and thins trips where these weapons may be attached. 

Further, those red plates in buggy mode can be combined to form a - quite awkward - energy shield. I say it's awkward because you have to move one of Battle Rollar's wheels out of the way just to mount it. Though it looks good in certain poses. Check out below just how flexible Battle Rollar can be!

Battle Rollar's weapons can be combined:

At this point, we'd like to point out that Battle Rollar TFC EX-002 is an "accessory" of the Masterpiece series Optimus Primes. This particular Transformer was first mentioned when I discussed the Transformers Gears of War 2 pack in December of last year because Battle Rollar comes with an ion- cannon rifle found in the Gears of War 2 pack AND the extensions necessary for the Masterpiece series Optimus Primes to wield the his favorite weapon. The rifle can be seen clearly in this picture as the "lit"  rifle wielded by my 25th Anniversary Optimus Prime.

 Battle Rollar can also become a jet-pack for the Masterpiece Optimus Primes. Unfortunately, my 25th Anniversary Optimus Prime is in Greenhills being re-painted. Fortunately, Battle Rollar can also attach itself to the Classics/Henkei Optimus Primes. 

Now on to the bad news:

Battle Rollar's plastic sucks. It feels like cheap plastic and almost all the joints are loose. If you purchase him, be prepared for  him toppling over almost every time - I don't know if you've noticed that he's leaning against the wall in most of these pictures. The plastic is soo bad that I'm starting to see stress marks/cracks on his hands just from interchanging his weapons for this shoot. His plastic is soo bad he sometimes feels like a fake toy.... well come to think of it, I do suppose he technially is a fake.

Also, during the shoot half his head fell off during transformation and it took a lot of cajoling just for the piece that was left inside to pop out again so that I could slide the part that fell off back into place and so that he could transform.
And lastly, he's an awkward figure. While highly articulated more often than not you're going to have those huge arm plates or those huge wheels running into each other.
So it can't be played with, it doesn't fit into Optimus Prime's trailer, he doesn't look anything like the original Roller, doesn't appear in any other literature (cartoons and comics) and it'll probably give you lead poisoning. So why buy it? I suppose this is one of those "because I can" answers. Personally I purchased this for the Optimus Prime Ion Cannon that came along. My Battle Rollar remains in buggy mode stored in Optimus Prime's trailer.

Battle Rollar - if you can find him retails on the black-market for as low as US$25 and as high as US$ 110. Be careful though, you might get the Battle Rollar version that does not come with the Ion Cannon. Also several variants of Battle Rollar were released in the market to match the variants of the MP Optimus Primes - so, yes, there is a Shadow variant of Battle Rollar somewhere out there.

When my 25th anniversary Optimus Prime returns, I'll show you the final transformation of Battle Rollar as he becomes an augment for Optimus Prime's Ion Cannon.


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