Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dawg

[Classic Autobots: Rodimus & Hound]
Written by GL

Ok, I agree that this is probably one of the crappiest titled blog entries I've ever produced. But there no judgement on quality. I chose to do this character focus purely because of the sheer coolest of this Autobot character represents and because a good and dear and very married friend of mine has this Autobot in his mini-Robot Heroes collection (which I managed to have a gander at over the weekend).

[Robot Heroes: cute as Hound]

The toy piece that was to become the Autobot known as Hound was originally released as part of the Japanese Diaclone series by Takara (one of the first robot lines that contributed to the birth of the Transformers as a line).

What makes Hound a classic is that he was a pure first generation Transformer. He was released in 1984 and was one of the smallest of the Autobot cars. Hound's alternate mode is that of a 4X4 military jeep, and comes with three different weapons - a missile launcher, a machine gun and a hologram gun. All this artillery more than makes up for his size. Message: midgets should just buy guns.

[Animated Hound: small but strong]

Fact to dazzle your girlfriend with: Hound is known as Dépisteur in Québec and Canguro in Italy.

As a 'person', Hound is known for his love of the planet Earth, his tracking skills, and the ability to project highly realistic holograms.

During the first season of the cartoon, Hound served as the Autobots' primary scout and reconnaissance soldier - this appeared to suit him well because he quickly grew to love the natural landscapes of planet Earth. Hound was also integral in the creation of the original 3 Dinobots, as he was the fella that captured holographic images which served as rough blueprints for construction of Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge.

[Animated Hound: loves football too]

After a spurt of early appearances, Hound became more and more absent from the show, showing up only when his holographic powers were needed. Autobots = petty? We'll never know.

He first appeared in 'More Than Meets the Eye', the three episode pilot that launched the toyline onto television. Funnily enough, for the earlier parts of the show Hound was Spike's prime companion before Bumblebee came along. Hound was the first to introduce Spike to the concept of transforming and also gave Spike a tour of the nearby desert while telling him tales of Cybertron. Hound would also end up being rescued by Spike once when this friendly Autobot was almost drowning. Hound was in the main cast of the pilot, almost playing as large of a role as Optimus Prime himself.

This changed however when the show moved into its regular season. Bumblebee became Spike's companion, and Hound took a backseat. However he still did have some notable appearances.

[Animated Hound: no one messes with you when you have a gun on your shoulder]

Hound made a brief cameo appearance in the Transformers: The Movie where he, along with Sunstreaker, stood next to Optimus Prime before Prime confronted the Decepticon forces. We can assume that Hound did not survive the two attacks on Autobot city, as he did not make any further movie appearances. This might have been due in part to the fact that they were discontinuing the 1984 toyline and thus needed to kill off some characters to move along.

[G1 Hound: stubby as he was]

When Hound was released in 1984, he came with a hologram gun, a machine gun, a missile launcher, 3 missiles, a spare tire (!) as well as a gas can (!). He was a practical yet deadly fella.

As mentioned, Hound was released as part of the initial Autobot assortment in, transforming into a Mitsubishi J59 Jeep. Mounted on the back of the vehicle mode is a large, silver machine gun turret.

[Vintage Package: all the accessories were true]

In robot mode, Hound is armed with a large, silver holographic rifle and a shoulder-mounted, spring-loaded, firing rocket launcher with three silver projectiles. The US version of this launcher had severely weakened springs for safety reasons.

He was reissued in 2004 by Takara in their collection reissue series, and this mold was used to make the e-Hobby exclusive Detritus figure (whom is a Junkion, if you didn't know) during that same year.

Hound was yet another greatly designed and personalized character that just didn't pull through into the modern age. But, he will alway be remembered. Just like Wheeljack. Let us bow our heads.