"The Last Knight" Voyager Class Autobot Hound Toy Review
Release Date: June 2017
Price Point: $29.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Cannons x 2, Blasters x 2
Official images and text in italics below are from Amazon.com:
Transformers: The Last Knight Premier Edition Voyager Class figures feature fan-favorite characters with movie-inspired details. This Premier Voyager Autobot Hound figure converts from robot to 4x4 vehicle in 21 steps and includes 5 weapon accessories.
In the explosive Transformers: The Last Knight movie, new heroes rise to forge a future for all. Autobot Hound is a munitions expert who charges toward Decepticons, whether they’re ready or not. A rowdy commando on the battlefield, his enemies can hear the explosions of his nonstop firepower from miles away.
Includes Transformers: The Last Knight Premier Edition Voyager Class Autobot Hound figure, 5 accessories, and instructions.
Hound is packaged in a window box. The design feels like an evolution of the "Age of Extinction" packaging design. If you are facing the package the right hand side has a vertical "Transformers" logo against a light grey background with some metallic looking finish on it and the "Premier Edition" logo above it. Under the "Premier Edition" logo is a Cybertronian glyph which some fans online have figured out is the letter "V", which makes sense since "The Last Knight" is the fifth movie in the series. The figure sits in a plastic tray inside the packaging against a background printed on cardboard. The background has an Decepticon symbol and some ancient looking designs (alluding to some of the iconography of the movie itself). Set in front of the figure is artwork of Hound from the movie. In a nice touch, this artwork actually wraps around to the side of the packaging where there is another vertical "Transformers" logo.
The back of the box has photos of Hound in both modes with the 30 step transformation called out between them. To the side is the cosell of the wave: Voyager Class Megatron. Sadly there is zero bio information on the back, which is a shame. If you are going to call a figure "Premium" you may as well go all out on the packaging and provide some type of write up as well. Overall the packaging looks great, but this was a disappointment.
Hound includes two large cannons and two smaller blasters. Interestingly, in the film he still wields his giant machine gun from the last movie. However this figure has two cannons that look more like something out of a science fiction movie. These are pretty cool looking weapons with rectangular barrels and two openings at the end. The sides of the weapons have additional barrels in the back. Each one features a 5mm peg and three 5mm ports. He also has two smaller blasters with triangular barrels. Each weapon has a 5mm peg on the bottom and two on the sides. There is also a 5mm port on top. Included with this figure is a central mount with a 5mm peg on the bottom and two on the sides. This allows you to connect all the weapons to it, forming a super weapon for Hound to hold. While this assortment of weapons is not quite as impressive as the arsenal included with "Age of Extinction" Hound, they are still cool accessories.
Autobot Hound was one of the many returning characters from previous films who appeared in "The Last Knight". The CG model used for his robot form in "Age of Extinction" was recycled for this film while his vehicle mode was new (more on that below). This presented the designers with both an opportunity and a challenge. This figure was an opportunity since it allowed the designers to improve upon their previous attempt at the figure but it also was a challenge since the same robot mode from the last movie had to transform into a whole new vehicle form. For the record Hound never actually fully transforms on screen in "The Last Knight" so the toy designers had more of a challenge than the animators!
I liked the original Voyager Class Hound figure. However it did have some challenges that it did not quite overcome. The arms were a bit odd in design, he was a bit too tall and not as bulky around the torso as he should have been and the proportions of the head to the rest of the body were not ideal. On the other hand he had nice detailing and came with a crazy arsenal of weapons so there was plenty to love. This time out the designers did a much better job with the proportions of the figure. The head is fairly large, thanks in part to his signature "beard". The body looks nice and chunky with a hint of the belly seen on the CG model. He also has a ton of the details seen on the CG model. This includes a pair of bars that curve over the shoulder area down to the chest, vest-like details on the chest area, some bullets sculpted near the left shoulder, pouches and grenades sculpted onto his waist area and really intricate machinery details on the forearms and legs. There is a lot of eye candy on this figure and I was very happy to see how great the sculpt is.
Hound is mostly cast in an olive green plastic. Some smaller bits are cast in silver and gunmetal grey. To my eyes the green color used on this figure is a lighter than the CG model seen in the movie. I will also tell you having seen the vehicle that Hound transforms into up close, that vehicle was slightly darker in color than this figure. I think the lighter color may be in part to emulate the "dustiness" of the character in the movie (which made his colors a bit lighter in certain lighting). There are some nice paint details done up in gunmetal grey, silver, copper and blue on the eyes. Some light grey is found on the chest as well. This deco is a nice starting point, but the success of the sculpt actually works against the deco because there is so much detail that a lot of it is left unpainted (such as the pouches on his waist and the bullets on his shoulder). Given the restrictions of the price point, the designers clearly tried their best. That said, if you consider this is meant to be a "Premier Edition" figure that costs $5 more than a "Generations" Voyager Class figure, it would have been nice to see a bit more deco on the figure.
There are twenty points of articulation on this figure. This includes five on each arm and four on each leg. He also has waist articulation, which was an unexpected bonus. In a nice little character touch, you can remove Hound's helmet, something he can do in the films. There are some nice details underneath too. However, some copies of this figure allow the helmet to come off easily, other copies (such as mine) have the helmet really stuck on and I had to pull with a bit of force to remove it. Hound has two 5mm ports in his fists, allowing him to hold his weapons separately or combined. He also has five 5mm ports on his back, allowing you to attach all his weapons. Now, here is the really fun part. If you have "Age of Extinction" Hound, you can give his entire arsenal to this figure! Here are the attachment points for these weapons:
- Five 5mm ports on the back.
- Two 5mm ports on each of the rear wheel well parts behind the shoulders.
- Three smaller ports on the sides of each leg for the smaller weapons.
Thanks to all the ports on this figure you can actually attach all of "Age of Extinction" Hound's weapons and the weapons included with this figure. I absolutely love the fact that the designers thought of including such backward compatibility. Hound also happens to look insanely cool with all the weapons attached.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the "toes" on each foot in.
- Swing the bottom of each forearm out.
- Swing each fist into the forearms.
- Holding the legs, pull the top half of the figure up.
- Push the robot head down.
- Swing the panel behind the robot head down.
- On the sides of each lower leg, swing the curved wheel well panels up.
- Swing the lower legs back, then swing the wheels so they face outward.
- Swing the halves of the vehicle mode's front cage down.
- Swing the halves of the vehicle's fron tend down then push the legs together to form the front half of the vehicle.
- Rotate the arms up, then bend them at the elbows.
- Swing the panels that the arms are attached to out then forward. The arms tuck into the gap between the back and front of the vehicle.
- The panels from the bottom of the forearms wind up becoming the top of the cabin section in front.
- The weapons can attach to the 5mm ports on the back of the vehicle.
In "The Last Knight" Hound transforms into a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, a truck that can be converted for various uses. In this case Hound's more battle oriented mode from "Age of Extinction" is now a military medical truck. I was fortunate enough to see this truck up close when I visited the set of "The Last Knight" last year and I am very impressed by how much this sculpt looks like its real life counterpart. Here are some of the design elements that are found on the real life vehicle and this figure:
- The front half of the vehicle has a tall cabin section with a very boxy look.
- The front grille has the Mercedes-Benz Star in the center.
- Mounted on top of the grille is a cage with six lights mounted onto it.
- The top of the cabin section has three lights in the middle with a cylinder on the right side and a rectanglular piece on the left.
- A cage with vertical, pointed sections protect the front end of the vehicle.
- On the sides of the cabin section, right near the hood are circular designs with a horizontal line in the middle.
- There are two small rails running along the sides of the vehicle.
- The rear of the vehicle has a winch in the middle (though there is no visible hook, just a cylinder).
All that said, there are some differences between this figure and the vehicle used in the movie. The biggest difference involves the back of the vehicle. Unimogs can come in a configuration with a flat truck bed in the back. In the case of the Unimog used in the movie, there is a section attached to the back that (presumably) provides storage capability. This is completely absent on this figure (though the Takara Tomy release for the "Movie the Best" line version will include this piece). There are also some smaller details absent from this figure such as the sideview mirrors and covers over the rear lights. The missing "back pack" is a shame, but from a play value point of view I think the weapons are more fun than just having a "box" mounted on the back so I can understand the choice. I would also not be surprised if the preliminary drawings of the character provided by Paramount didn't have the back pack and that wound up being what Hasbro used to design the figure. This is just speculation on my part however.
The green color dominates this form. Several parts are dark grey or black including the rails that are attached to the sides of the cabin section and the wheels. The lights in the front are painted yellow. The windows are painted blue. There is green paint used on the cabin section and the wheels. A detail borrowed from the real life vehicle are tiny Decepticon symbols with strikes through them on the doors. The real life vehicle had Red Cross symbols on the sides, but for legal reasons they do not appear here. Sadly that is about it for the deco. I say "sadly" because the real life vehicle had a ton of fun details on it including a bunch of bumper stickers (including one that said "My Way or the Highway" and another that said "Takin' Out the Garbage"). Short of being a Masterpiece level figure, it would be unlikely to get that level of detail on a Voyager Class figure. Still, it is a bit sad that there are so few details from the middle to the back.
Using the central mount, you can attach all the weapons to the back of the vehicle, making Hound a mobile artillery platform. Thanks to 5mm port compatibility, you can also attach weapons from the "Age of Extinction" version to the back section. He also has 5mm ports on the sides behind the rear wheel wells, allowing for even more weapon attachment points.
Voyager Class Hound is a really cool figure. The robot mode looks great and the vehicle mode has lots of potential fun play factor. I also love the sculpt in robot mode. Having backwards compatibility with "Age of Extinction" Hound's weapons was a fantastic idea. Overall I do recommend this figure, but if you can get him for a few bucks off I would recommend doing so (at the time I am writing this, Amazon has him on sale for $25.00 USD which is a fair price. Recommended!
- Sculpt looks great in both modes.
- Backwards compatibility with "Age of Extinction" Hound's weapons is an inspired idea.
- Fun, intuitive and unique transformation.
- Needs more deco, especially in vehicle mode.
- No "back pack"/trailer piece in vehicle form.