Age of Extinction Power Attacker Autobot Hound Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Movie (2007), Power Attacker

Age of Extinction

Autobot Hound General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $12.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
Gear up for power-punching action with the Power Attackers! This mighty Autobot Hound Power Attacker figure converts from robot mode to vehicle mode, just like Autobot Hound always has. But when he's in robot mode, his arm snaps out in a quick draw so he can blast any Decepticon into scrap! When he needs mobility more than strength, he converts in 8 easy steps to fast-charging truck mode! Convert, punch and pound with your Autobot Hound Power Attacker!

  • Includes figure.
  • Autobot Hound Power Attacker converts from robot mode to vehicle mode.
  • Truck mode.
  • Power Attacker figure has a quick draw for his blaster.
  • Changes in 8 steps.
  • Ages 6 and up.

As part of its drive to appeal to different segments of the toy buying audience, Hasbro has introduced different sub-lines of "Transformers" figures for the "Age of Extinction" toy line. One of these are the "Power Attackers", a set of figures that feature relatively simple transformations and some type of action feature. This varies from figure to figure, but for the most part they rely on some type of spring mechanism. One of the first figures in this wave is Autobot Hound, a new character in the live action movie universe.

Robot Mode:
If there's one thing you can say about Autobot Hound, it's that he has a very distinct design in the live action universe. Modeled after an older (and perhaps retired) soldier, Hound has a head design that sports a military style helmet (like something out of World War II) and a beard that covers most of his face. His torso section is curved, basically featuring a "beer belly" and the rest of him looks thick and powerful. The initial impression of this guy is that he may not be the prime of his life, but he's a battle hardened veteran who could show any younger Autobot a thing or two (which lines him more up with characters like Ironhide and Kup from other continuities).

Despite this being a simpler figure, there is a ton of sculpted detail. The face is very intricate, especially where the helmet and beard are concerned. The helmet isn't just smooth, it has a crest in the center and some deep line details on top. The beard isn't just a bunch of lines sculpted into a rectangle or something, they look like individual tubes going in various directions. Other cool details include chains of artillery strapped around his arms and some complicated looking machinery on the sides of his legs including tubes, wires and what look like mini-turbines. Perhaps my favorite sculpted detail are what appear to be shotguns in holsters on the side of each leg. They're not removable, but they look great. Another fun and impressive detail is his weapon, a four barreled shotgun that looks like it could do some serious damage!

Hound is cast in light grey and metallic green plastic. The green in particular is a nice callback to G1 Hound, who was mostly green as well. Here the green and grey balance out nicely, with each color taking up just enough space so as not to overwhelm the other. Paint details are done in green, black, silver, blue and orange. The green is mostly found on the top of the head and in the center of the torso. Black is used on smaller details such as his hands, beard and the "ammunition" on his arms. Black is also used for an Autobot symbol in the center of his chest. The face (what little of it is visible) is painted silver and his eyes are blue. The orange is a bit of a surprising color in this mix. It's used on parts of the weapon in his right hand. Overall the color scheme is really nice. It evokes the original Hound while being distinctive and fits with the "retired military guy" theme of this character.

There are five points of articulation on this figure not counting his right arm (more on that in a second). Three of these points are on the left arm which have traditional hinge joints. The legs can rotate in and out, which I'm counting but I recognize I'm being very generous with (most people wouldn't count them). This isn't a lot of posability, nor is that the intent of the figure. It's mean to be centered around two play gimmicks: transformation and a "quick draw" action. This is where the right arm comes into play. On the top of the right shoulder there's a black tab. Swing it up, then push back on it. The arm moves up quickly and the spring loaded mechanism straightens out the arm and flips the shotgun up to point forward. It's a fun and dynamic action that I have to admit is fun to do.

Structurally, Hound is very reminiscent of a G1 figure. Back then, many "sub-groups" were created centered around one particular gimmick such as Jumpstarters (with spring loaded transformations) and Sparkabots (with sparks that fired out of the vehicle modes). This figure very much represents a modern day version of this thinking. The sculpting on the figure is fantastic, but clearly it's a simpler transformation with much of the vehicle mode showing in the front, especially the wheels. I personally have no problem with this simplified design given the purpose of this figure, but it's worth noting for older and perhaps more discriminating collectors.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Rotate the barrel of the shotgun around.
  2. Swing up the forearm on the left arm.
  3. Swing the panels with the arms attached to them out to the sides.
  4. Swing the robot head back to begin forming the front of the vehicle.
  5. Now swing the side panels fully down to complete forming the front of the vehicle.
  6. Swivel each of the leg panels in, connecting them to the tabs on the weapon.
  7. Swing the torso panel down to complete the vehicle mode.

Vehicle Mode:
Traditionally Hound was a military vehicle. In "Generation One" he was a jeep, and this mode would later carry over to other incarnations of the character including a Legends Class and Deluxe Class figure. This time out, Hound transforms into a customized Osh Kosh Defense P-19R truck. Among its more distinctive features are an angled front end, one wheel in front with two in the rear and a long rear section allowing for a variety of attachments. In this case, Hound has several tubes and smokestacks added to the front section. There's also a rounded off section on top of the cabin which looks like it could be used for a turret of some sort. Other nice details include the side view mirrors on the front section and long tubes running along the sides. It's a very distinct looking vehicle and it looks very cool.

This mode heavily features the metallic green color with some grey paint used for details on the sides such as his smokestacks and the spare tanks. Silver is used for the windshield and you'll find a small OshKosh logo in white on the front.

In terms of functionality, this figure mostly just winds up rolling on its six wheels - but be careful. On the copy of the figure I purchased, one of the rear wheels (specifically the left side rear wheel) popped off during transformation. It's only held in by tabs so it snapped back in, but this happened twice so be warned.

From a construction point of view, I did find myself wishing the fists and robot head collapsed in more in this mode. The head just kind of peeks out from under the cabin section (a bit comically I might add) and the hands show a bit as well. This doesn't affect the functionality at all, but it looks a little odd when you view the vehicle from certain angles.

Final Thoughts:
I do like this figure and in many ways it feels like going back in time. Once upon a time, a figure such as this would've been part of the "main" Transformers toy line, not a sub-group of toys aimed at younger kids. From that perspective, I get what the designers were going for with this figure and for the most part it works. This is not for everyone. I think many readers will most likely prefer the more complex "Generations" version of Hound due later in the summer. However, for a simpler, gimmick oriented figure I did enjoy this toy. Recommended if what you want is a fun, gimmicky toy with a very G1 style transformation.