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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Sidestreaker's review of: Hound

Name: Hound
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Scout
Sub-Group: NA
"Observe everything, remember even more."

Hound loves the natural wonders of Earth, prefers it to Cybertron. Brave, fearless, loyal. Secretly desires to be human. Uses turret gun as radar scope, infrared radiation collector. Tracks machines as well as humans. Hologram gun projects 3-dimensional grid laser-light topographical maps. Vulnerable to thermal and electromagnetic interference.

The arrival of Takara reissue of Hound is much anticipated as this is the first release from Takara/Hasbro since the last in 1985 (I think, correct me if i'm wrong). This makes the toy rather rare among collectors. With so many parts that comes with it, it's even harder to find a original set which is total complete.

The packaging done by Takara is worth mentioning here. Well designed with great colors, it comes in code of blue and greyish beige text on a white background. Hound comes in a booklet box like previous releases by Takara with complete accessories i.e. rocket launcher, a machine gun (jeep mode), a holographic gun (robot mode), a spare tire, a gas tank and a runner with 3 missiles. Also included are decals, a fold up instruction manual and a data card (which you can't expect in a Hasbro box). Cover illustration is great thanks to artwork by Dreamwave Productions. Pages on the booklet consist of 2 pages of description of the first 9 episodes of the Season 3 cartoon, 4 pages of 2 character's data (Hound and Ultra Magnus) and a fold-up poster / catalogue. All the text are in Japanese, so I could only guess what's its saying....

Vehicle Mode:
Hound is a Mitsubishi J59 military jeep and coming out from the box seems to look good already even without the decals. Its seats are foldable (as part of the transformation) and after being equipped with the machine-gun, spare tire and gas tank at its rear, it looks good enough to be displayed on any shelf. The die-cast metal parts are mainly at the feet of the robot, leaving the rest plastic. Hound's detailing is among the best I 've seen so far in all the G1 series. The use of chrome on the rear view mirror, the headlights and the wheel rims is just nice and goes with the rest of the colors (mainly green with golden stripes on the sides and on the hood). However there is a gap between the seats (which also forms the thighs of the robot) that makes the jeep looking rather incomplete (other autobot cars like Jazz or Prowl has a hood over this area which gives a more complete outline). Extra care when transforming as repeated movement may break this fragile component (a common problem).

Robot Mode:
Hound's transformation is relatively easy. Joints are tight and good. Extra attention should be given to the front wheels when folded to the back to allow the shoulder and arms to protrude out from the engine block. The head pops up when the hood is folded to the front (neat!). The robot stands up to a height of about 9 cm (without the missile launcher), which makes his height somewhere in between Jazz and Bumblebee! Though he may be among the shortest Autobot Car, he stands pretty firm and steady, thanks to the diecast metal feet. Placing the decals is another fun session. I find that hound's design of decals are the best done so far. They match the surface its meant to be pasted on. The arms are surprisingly short though, just enough for the holographic gun to be placed in the fist but hardly enough space to point the gun ahead. There not much room of playability here due to the limited movement (and length) of the arms. After placing the shoulder mounted rocket launcher (made specifically for the right shoulder, after studying the shape of the niche), soon you will realize, Hound in robot form is quite a stiff toy made mainly for posing rather than playing.

Transformation: 6 - Not exactly difficult, hence not very sophisticated either. But the articulation points snaps well in place and almost zero hassle to put together.
Durability: 7 - Overall, well constructed. However, some plastic parts such as the windshield and rear view mirror may snap easily.
Fun: 6 - His lack of arms movement compared to other Autobot cars should have earn him a 5, but an extra grade on the great details and looks to marvel at.
Price: 9 - The Takara boxes generally cost higher than hasbro's. However, maintaining the originality, extra packages and stuffs and comes with it made it all worthwhile. If Hasbro plans to reissue Hound later, I hope they won't modify the size of the missile and its launcher like what it did to Jazz (or changing it from chrome to black ). The least they can do is maintain the looks and design of the missiles and its launcher (non-functional, just for display, like Skid). But then again why wait just to save a few bucks?
Summary: 8 - A very nice figure to have, whether your a G1 fan or a collector. Hound has always been an interesting character being an earth lover in the cartoons. One of the more solid built G1 toys and its simplicity is appealing. Great details and construction too. Recommended

 
 
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