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with Ravage

Series: Universe 2.0
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2009

Chief tracker and scout for Optimus Prime, 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 - 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 Hound from finding him.

Robot Mode: What we have here is, simply put, an excellent toy version of the cartoon character we knew and loved in the days of G1. It's that simple. The Deluxe class often offers the best figures of any given line and so far Universe/Classics has outdone itself with but very few exceptions. Hound is no such exception. He's an excellent figure, very posable, highly detailed, and very nicely captures the look of that old 80s cartoon that we all love so much (at least I do).

The only slight flaw Hound has is his weapon. It looks great when he holds it in his hand, but putting it on his shoulder doesn't quite work the way it should. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but it's either very loose or stands at a weird angle. Still, given that that's pretty much his only downside, I hardly dare complain. I especially like Hound's head, which is a near-perfect match to the cartoon bot, and while his feet are a tad big, they don't obstruct him in any way and give him a solid base for all sorts of dynamic poses. So to sum it up: A superb figure.

Alternate Mode: As he did in days gone by Hound transformers into an Army-style jeep. All in all the vehicle looks pretty good, though I'd have wished for a few more details such as General's stars or such (one gets the feeling that this isn't supposed to be a military vehicle after all). Also, the white seats look a bit out of place here, but that's pretty much it as far as flaws are concerned.

Unlike in the robot mode Hound's cannon fits on quite well here, too, and you can fasten the Ravage cassette to the back with the aid of two small clamps that flip out there. The detailing on the front of the vehicle is done pretty well with a big front bumper and a molded-in wench. So to sum it up, a very nice-looking vehicle mode, no complaints.

Partner / Add-On: For reasons that I'm still not quite clear on Hound comes with the Decepticon cassette jaguar Ravage. Ravage is a straight homage to the original G1 Ravage and to get the most obvious question out of the way first: Yes, Universe Ravage does fit into G1 Soundwave's tapedeck. It takes a bit of wiggling, but it works. Also, Ravage is finally three-dimensional, not flat like he was in G1 days.

That's pretty much it for the positive aspects, though. Though more three-dimensional, Universe Ravage is not very posable compared to his G1 forefather. And quite frankly: His head doesn't look feline to me. It looks more like the head of a gargoyle or something like that. Finally, the G1 tapes pulled off the cassette look better than he does. We've seen quite a few Ravage toys over the years and this one here is definitely nowhere near the top of the list.

Remarks: Hound and Ravage only had one scene together that's worth remembering, going back all the way to the original three-part "More Than Meets the Eye" episode that started off the whole Transformers franchise. Hound captured Ravage and then allowed him to escape as part of a (failed) plan to lure the Decepticons into a trap. Why Ravage and Hound were paired up as toy figures for the Universe line? Not sure. And quite frankly, Hound would have done well enough on his own. Ravage is just a little add-on and not a particularly good one at that, which is why I've decided to split my final rating between the two figures.

As far as Hound is concerned, we haven't really seen much of him since the G1 days (I think the Alternators/Binaltech version was his sole toy appearance since), but he's coming on strong in the Universe line, appearing as a Legends figure, a Robot Hero and now a Deluxe figure. Now I'm not sure where this Hound enthusiasm is coming from, but it doesn't change the fact that he makes for an excellent Deluxe figure. Go get it if you can.

Rating: A- (Hound) and C- (Ravage)

Update: November 16, 2009

Fansproject included a weapon set with its G3 Trailer, which included a machine gun for Hound. 
Toy DB Link

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