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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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ganon578's review: Hound

Name: Hound
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Tracker & Scout
Group: Universe G1 Series

ďObserve everything, remember even more.Ē

Chief tracker and scout for Optimus Prime, Autobot Hound packs some of the most sophisticated sensing technology of any of the Autobots. He is capable of tracking even the most stealthy and light-footed Decepticon Ė namely Ravage through rivers, across bare rock, and even through the air by the spare whisper of electromagnetic radiation the robot panther leaves behind. Though Ravage can hide almost perfectly in even the slightest shadow, no amount of skill can prevent Autobot Hound from finding him.

Hound is a character that takes an active role in the first few episodes of the Generation 1 cartoon, and has had some decent story lines in Marvel and DW comic continuities. As far as I know, he didnít have any real presence, if at all, in the Beast Wars, Armada, Energon, or Cybertron series. According to TFWiki he was one of the first Autobots to be on Earth when awakened on the Ark in 1984. Heís also had a few toy iterations over the years, seeing a G1 release, a Takara Reissue, an Alternators release, and now a release in Legends class form under the Universe line, and most recently the deluxe version, which this review is about, packaged with Ravage in the Universe line. The Ravage packaging is a great homage to a Generation 1 episode where Hound tracks down and captures Ravage with the help of his holographic projector (which is coincidentally Houndís weapon in this toy). I donít know how dangerous holographic projectors can be, but if I had my choice, Iíd take a straight up laser pistol. Anyways, hereís the review!!!

Alternate Mode: In G1, Hound transformed into a military style Jeep, and in the Universe line, heís faithfully recreated with a similar, but updated Jeep vehicle mode. It represents his spiritual predecessor well, and is a fantastic update as well. The main color of this mode (and the robot mode too) is green. Itís not a military green like many people would prefer for Hound, but it works well enough. It actually makes him stand out on the shelf a little more too, since itís not as dark as his previous incarnations. Thereís a lot of nice detail in the Jeep mode, although there isnít much detail in the mold itself, but cars typically donít have detailed panels or anything anyways, so it works just fine. The seats are white; a good contrast to the comparatively darker colors of the rest of the Jeep, and the back end of the Jeep has a small section with traction for carting around objects, namely, Ravage. Two little bars flip up on the back so you can connect the tape mode of Ravage (more on him later) to the back. Another cool trick is the holographic projector (that dangerous one I mentioned earlier) clips to the back of the seat rest. Itís a nice little addition since most the Universe Transformers hide their weapon out of sight in some shape or form. Hound also has a brush guard on the front of the Jeep for running over Decepticons (ones that he isnít tracking) and also some giant off-road wheels which fit the design nicely and allow Hound to roll around on rocky terrain. Itís a well packaged deal, and all of the robot parts are sufficiently tucked away and out of sight.

Robot Mode: After a very nifty transformation, Houndís robot mode is on display. The transformation is seriously one of the most fun ones Iíve experienced lately, and itís well done. Thereís some interesting little tricks to be found as you go through it; the seats fold down on the thighs and are hidden nicely, the seat rests also fold and are out of place, and everything rotates smoothly and there arenít any wonky moves that pieces fly off during. Anyways, robot mode is stellar. Hound has great articulation; shoulders, his head, and hips are on ball joints, the upper arms swivel, elbows, ankles, and knees bend, and he actually has some movable feet. These movable feet are great for positioning in that if his legs are moved the feet stay flat on the floor. His feet are huge (and you know what they say about Transformers with large feetÖ wink wink, nudge nudge) so heís got a great deal of balance. Paint apps are pretty good here too, the only problem I have is with the glossy green they slapped on this forearms. Everything else is more of a matte green, so the color choice is a little odd (but what Transformer isn't somewhat odd?). I will say this; the light piping on in his head is great. Hasbroís engineering of glowing eyes sans LEDs has gotten better over the years, and it works fantastically on Hound. I think it works just as well as the red eyes on Cyclonus. Another cool feature is the front wheels that flip around to be on Houndís back when in robot mode. Itís a subtle part, but cool. Makes him look beefy. The only complaint I have with robot mode is the holographic projector/gun. Hound can hold it in his hand, sure, but itís meant to be clipped on the shoulder. However, the plastic is such that it doesnít fit well, and on mine I had to pin it there with the wheel. Some people say that you can file the plastic a bit to get it to fit properly, but I personally donít think my filing skills are that great, so I make due by pinning it there. A minor complaint, but itís still a complaint. Anyways, great robot mode!

Ravage: Ravage has two modes, tape mode and panther/beast mode. Both work OK, but neither is great. The tape mode is serviceable, and from what I understand, it actually fits inside the tape deck on some versions of Soundwave. Pretty neat. For the most part it is only needed when stored on Houndís back. Beast mode is OK too; his back is a little crazy, looking broken and all, and the tail seems to come from the back more than his rear. Some people say the back is reference to Hound stepping on his back in a cartoon episode or such, but I think itís just because the transformation was designed in such a way that it comes out crooked. Overall though, Ravage by himself is just mediocre, but throwing him in with a deluxe sized figure at the normal price point is a great bonus.

Marks out of 10:

Transformation: 7. Itís not difficult, but it sure is fun! Thereís some neat tricks here, like the seats that fold down on top of his thighs. Everything is well hidden and well thought out.
Durability: 9. Itís the same as everything else in the Universe line. Quality is good, and breakage of any parts is minimal.
Fun: 10. Small weapon and all, Hound is good fun. Huge feet allow for a variety of poses, off-road wheels allow him to roll easily, and he comes with Ravage.
Price: 10. Itís only $10 US in most cases, which for two Transformers of this quality, is a phenomenal deal.
Overall: 10. In my opinion, heís right up there with Cyclonus. Heís well engineered, a blast to transform, and has two great modes. Plus, he comes with Ravage as a bonus. Get him. Get him now.
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