"Transformers Universe 2.0" Hound (Legends) Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: August 2008
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Get ready to roll out with this mighty AUTOBOT figure! Convert the detailed AUTOBOT HOUND figure from raging robot to reveal a military truck in vehicle mode!

The Legends line continues in 2008, utilizing a combination of old sculpts in new decos and brand new sculpts. One of the newest sculpts is based on a very classic character that goes back to the beginnings of the Transformers: Hound. While this character was neglected for years, recent time has seen him reissued in Japan, given an Alternator/Binaltech figure, a Robot Hero and now he appears as a Legends Class figure in the "Transformers Universe" line. Due later in the line is a deluxe figure including Decepticon Cassette Ravage.

Robot Mode:
Hound makes a great choice for the "Legends" treatment since his form is quite simple. Once upon a time, most Autobots transformed by having the front of the vehicle form their chest and the back unfold into legs as opposed to having the undercarriage of the car form the main body or some other variation on the transformation. Hound's basic form was "car front becomes chest sticking out forward and back becomes legs", and that's what the Legends figure delivers. The result is a faithful representation of the G1 character in a tiny form.

Most of Hound's G1 details carry through well here. His robot head is sculpted with the simple, blocky form from the G1 animated model. The chest has mostly jeep mode detail including engine components, his front bumper and headlights. His waist, arms and upper legs are the parts that are most "robotic" with a variety of line details and sections separating the shoulders from elbows and hands etc. It does amaze me how minute details can get such as those in his hands and the lines on his engine. The legs differ a bit from the animated model or the original figure from the knees down. They are much wider and are obviously the rear section of the vehicle mode (whereas the original animated model presented them more as rectangular extensions that magically appeared out of nowhere). However, between the robotic upper legs and feet, that minor detail can be easily ignored.

Hound is cast in two shades of green plastic, one regular and one dark, alluding to his military jeep mode. The chest, head and lower legs are all the regular green color while the arms, waist, upper legs, feet and tires are all darker green. Paint applications are done in black, white and silver colors. Silver is used on his face, the engine on his chest and the lower legs. Black is used on the front fender and white is used for the headlights. Surprisingly, an extra paint application can be found on his face, where the eyes are painted blue. On such a small figure it is nice to see an extra deco app being pulled out to make the toy look better. On the right hand side of his chest, there is a yellow star stamped on the section over the wheel. Yellow can also be found on his waist area where it is used to color some nice sculpted line details.

There are eight points of articulation in this form. The wheels on his chest get a tiny bit in the way of the arms being able to move up. You have to move his arms out to the side at slight angles and then swing them up. Due to the way he transforms his legs have three points of articulation each, allowing you to pose them very well.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the robot chest up over the head.
  2. Swing the robot arms back and then down into the sides.
  3. Connect the two lower legs together and swing them back.
  4. Attach the robot feet to the pegs on the mid-section to form the jeep's seats.

Vehicle Mode:
Despite most of the vehicle mode's parts being easily seen in robot mode, there are some nice details to be found in Hound's vehicle mode. On the hood of the car, the back of Hound's head piece becomes an air intake complete with grille details. There are sideview mirrors sculpted into either side of the front of the vehicle as well. The windshield is nicely sculpted with an inset "window" piece and wipers on the top. Turn the car around and you'll find a steering wheel sculpted in front of the driver's seat. I'm rather fond of the way the robot feet were used to become the seats and lock down the rear half of the vehicle to the middle. Finally, a look in the back reveals two small raised, rectangular rear light details.

Most of the deco from the robot mode simply carries over into this form, but one detail that is much more prominant in vehicle mode is a red and white tampographed Autobot symbol in the center of the hood. Also, the windshield is painted black. Combined with the previously seen details, Hound is one good looking jeep.

Final Thoughts:
I always liked Hound as a toy. In G1, he was one of the only sculpts not to get redeco'd into another character. Indeed, it wasn't until over twenty years later that the sculpt was re-released and redeco'd into Detritus as a Japanese E-Hobby exclusive. Something about the unique nature of the figure appealed to me and still does. This figure is a simple, well-engineered figure and an excellent representation of the character. Highly recommended!

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