Cliffbee.com: Hound Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hound
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Scout
Alternate Mode: Army Jeep



JEEP MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 11cm Width: 5.5cm

   An army green Jeep with black rubber tyres, a black plastic spare tyre on the back and extensive chrome. The cab is wide open, with a colourless front windshield the only protection. Hound is far from minimal though - the wheels, tray-mounted gun, rear vision mirrors, headlights and the winch on his front bumper are all silver chrome, which is impressive even for a Diaclone car based Transformer. There are gold pinstripes on the hood and sides, a few white stars here and there and an Autobot logo on the left side of the hood with a rubsign on the right side. There are two black seats inside the cabin rounding out a simple yet realistic and detailed colour scheme.

   Hound would be smaller than most of the Diaclone cars - only Mirage would be around the same size in reality, and he is smaller than many of them, although at a larger scale than most. The detailing is quite impressive, since everything gets to be slighter bigger. The trademark Jeep grille is there, while the headlights have diffusion lines and the winch is quite intricate (considering it's only for show). There are ridges in the tray and a gas can mounted on the back. There are license plate holders on the left of both bumpers. He has bucket seats and some dashboard detailing (although there's no steering wheel). Hound's rear section is die cast metal and the tyres are ridged - he shares this style with Grapple and Inferno.

   There's not really a lot of play value here, which is to be expected, but the wheels roll fairly well for a car without axles and the rear gun lifts about 30 and swivels at the base. I'm quite happy with the gun motion - it's more play value than we see of many earlier Transformers vehicles. The main flaw of this Jeep mode is the number of detachable pieces you're able to lose - the gun, gas can and spare tyre all detach. Rougher play can also break off the mirrors, although I've never managed to snap them off.

   His small size doesn't really count against Hound since it makes sense and is offset by a sackful of chrome and some nifty detailing. The gun is cool, and not just because it's adorned on chrome like so much of this Jeep - Hound is the only Autobot from 1984 that's armed in vehicle mode, and unlike a lot of G1 vehicle mode guns, his is targetable.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the addons, all of which set aside for robot mode. Fold the back down to form his feet, fold away the seats to form his heels. Stand him up, pull the front of the Jeep up, unlocking the sides of the jeep, which rotate down. Fold the front forward to form his chest, which will cause the head to rise out of the hood. Fold the windshield back, swing back the front wheels which will cause the arms to pop out to the sides. Fold the arms down, give Hound his handgun, attach his missile launcher behind on of the shoulders and you're done.

   I like the two auto-transform mechanisms here - neither really takes away from the challenge and both are fairly sturdy. The head rising out of his chest is a great effect, which always reminds me of Voltron.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   Again based on army green, and again Hound has enough chrome to rival Puff Daddy. The front of the Jeep forms his chest, the rear his toes. The chest, head and toes are green while the feet, boots, groin and arms are black. His thighs are chrome silver along with his weapons. The headlights, winch and rear vision mirrors are all visible chrome elements on the chest. Both the rubsign and Autobot logo are prominent on top of his chest, and there's another Autobot logo sticker on his groin. Hound has a silver (non-chrome) face.

   Hound now stands alone as the smallest of the Diaclone cars - standing alongside the two smaller Omnibots. While he's only slightly shorter than Prowl etc, he lacks the wings and has small arms. His thighs are shorter than they should be, although the legs as a whole are ok since he has fairly big shins, but the arms are noticeably short. The head is also quite small, but his face is detailed enough to look good above the details on the front of his chest. The taillights and tyre mount are on his toes, adding to the already impressive array of Jeep elements visible here.

   Hound isn't very poseable - the arms swing 90 and that's it. The missile launcher on his shoulder is quite weak - the norm for Diaclone cars. The short arms have to hide underneath the front fenders, which is why they're small and unposeable. While there's an explanation, I'm still not really happy with the arms. The Takara reissue has a much better launcher.

   While the arms are a notable flaw, Hound is still a nice robot. The Jeep elements make for a visually appealing robot, the detailed face and extensive chrome look good while the launcher adds something to the look (aside from much needed height!). While he's small, the sheer amount of chrome on this guy makes up for that - chrome doesn't come cheap. The size will bother some, mind you - so whilst this robot mode is nice, it's not fantastic.

VARIATIONS

   Originally released in 1984, Takara reissued Hound in 2004 with painted pinstripes rather than stickers. Following on from the reissue, eHobby released Detritus, a limited repaint of Hound.

OVERALL

   A great Jeep mode and a solid robot mode make this a worthwhile toy despite the small size. Hound's Jeep mode is probably the most detailed we saw until the same character was done in Binaltech, and is easily the most accurate military Jeep Transformer. The weaponry is good, although Hound has more pieces that can be lost than most G1 toys. There's a whole bunch of chrome on Hound, which really helps him look good - but can make buying a decent second hand Hound tricky. I'd definitely recommend Hound - and if at all possible I'd go for the reissue, which should be complete with nice chrome, and a better missile launcher - 7/10

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