Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Autobot Hound (Retro Series)

Reissues of older Transformers toys are nothing new. However when Walmart started selling them, it was a lot of fun as the availability got a better as did the pricing. Neatly enough, the 'Retro Series' over the past year had changed up the game a little. Instead of being close approximations of the original toys (there's a little difference here and there) in retro packaging. The newer 'old' toys are in a neat Transformers The Movie inspired line with cool movie versions of the retro packaging and the classic toys in cartoon colors. They've done 'anime' edition reissues before, but these are really close to the characters on the screen. Unfortunately distribution on these has been less than ideal as I'd love to get them all. Fortunately this lead to a few being marked down heavily recently. A special version of a G1 toy for $9? Sure! 

I've made my love for Hound known before. Obviously this was something I was wanting. This version uses the 2004 reissue mold sets. Which used repaired and recast toolings from the original Diaclone molds. There's some noticeable differences if you compare a 1984 Hound to this one aside from the colors. This one does have Official Jeep copyrights on it that prior versions didn't as does the box. G1 Hound's an Officially Licensed Jeep now! Neat. While it's not super noticeable to the naked eye, the cartoon accurate deco is miles apart from the toy version. The chrome, something I normally love, is gone. Green's are also softer. There's a really close match to the colors from the cartoon on robot bits that I'm really impressed by. Usually these are a sorta clay gray on toys. This really feels like a more premium edition of G1 Hound that I would expect to pay a lot more for. 

Hound also has all of his accessories from the G1 release. They're in matching cartoon colors, though it's worth noting his missile launcher does not fire. This is a holdover from those early 2000's reissues. Several Child Safety Laws had changed from the 80's and still are in place today. This lead for the American versions to either have extra long missiles or neutered ones like in this case. Frankly, I'd rather a kid not accidentally choke on a toy and would take a non-firing version over the longer missiles. In cases like Starscream's Null Rays, it looks fine. In other toys... not so much. Hound has a good bit of extra accessories from vehicle mode you'll take off to transform. Those older Diaclone toys were just full of features. I am kinda surprised there's no official Jeep branding on his spare tire. Speaking of, Hound has no stickers. They've all been replaced with tampographed on details. It really adds to the overall look... and I don't mind their absence. They look great when properly applied, but can be a hassle. The tampographs really blend into the overall cartoon accuracy better too. 

I am completely happy with this Hound toy. Admittedly I'm a fan of his, but this special edition is really nice. I'm sure his stubby arms would be a turn off for some and mine's front section doesn't want to lock in place well when not on the ground... but this is overall a great little figure. The die cast legs give this little toy some nice heft and it's just overall a great looking figure. Like I've said, the cartoon accurate colors really pop. I'd been happy paying full price, but glad to pay only $9. 

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