The Throttlebots were basically 1987's answer to the Minibots. Cheap, pocket money toys, with a nice gimmick and simple transformation. Not spectacular toys, but then, they didn't need to be. That was for Christmases and birthdays (unless you were unlucky and had a birthday so near Christmas that you go the dreaded combined present. Poor kids.).
I got Rollbar on a shopping trip to Doncaster in South Yorkshire in July 1987. It had been raining all day, and was still raining on the coach back home to York. I actually had quite a good haul that day, not only did I come away with what I thought was a sweet looking toy, but I also had a set of those velvet art sets which you only ever see at car boot sales and markets of dubious nature (take a bow, Clydach market. I saw a glittered Doctor Who one there recently), which had velveteen-rendered pictures of Divebomb and Galvatron. Add to this the 100+ felt tip pen set, and you can imagine I was one happy 10 year old. In fact, give me that now and I'd be happy.
Let's face it though, the toy wasn't, and isn't sweet. It's bloody terrible. But then, it was cheap. Like I said, pocket money toys. Like the Minibots before, and the Sparkabots and Firecons to come, these are toys with a simple gimmick that are meant to be bought by the kids themselves. And for that alone, I salute them.
Another reason to salute Rollbar in particular is that he looks like Hulk Hogan. Even his Tech Specs suggest that he's overly macho, to the point of being made fun of by his team mates. Overly macho and cheesy cliches aside, he's agile and strong. You wouldn't think so from his fictional appearances though, having been battered in "The Rebirth" and being destroyed in the Underbase Saga.
It's good that Rollbar seems to be getting another toy, even if it is by a third party company. He desreves it, as do all the Throttlebots. I just hope one day that they all get a fictional appearance that doesn't involve having the energon beaten out of them.