I have to invoke "just different enough to make you mad" for Walmart's exclusive Netflix-inspired Autobot Hound. The figure is technically impressive with new battle-damage accents, tons of green paint over a primer grey plastic body to look weathered, and a slightly different Autobot symbol when compared to Siege Autobot Hound [FOTD #2,052] - itself a great toy that may still be available in a store near you or online.
Taken by itself, it's a thoroughly impressive piece with a lot of hard work and tons of paint going in to making it look worn, old, and weathered. A few paint operations were lost in the process, like all of the weapon deco, the red brake lights, and the round lights on the chest. If you never knew there was an alternate version, you'd probably be incredibly impressed. For what Hasbro did here, I am impressed - but the simpler Hound from 2018 does the job just as well, and with some extra painted spots that make it look better overall. The new one is different with gold accents closer to the classic toy than 2018's copper ones, but does that make it better? Well, take a look. That's why we have pictures.
If you liked the old robot, you'll probably like the new robot. Some of the details on the face are a tiny bit sharper, the stars on the shoulders are worn a bit, and the battle-damage and worn-out parts make a lot more sense. 2018's silver scuffs on the chest and shins are gone, replaced by subtle fades from grey to green to indicate some sort of decay over time. Maybe it's acid, maybe it's paint rub, or perhaps there was an accident at the Trader Joe's parking lot. We can never know. What we do know is that the eyes are still blue, the Autobot symbol has a white border rather than a silver one, and it looks a lot more faded. I'd say your taste is the most important thing here, because it wouldn't stun me if the Netflix version's less saturated colors will appeal more to some older fans.
One quality quibble I should bring up are the shoulders - I didn't notice this the first time, but neither Hound's shoulders lock in place very well. The Hot Shot [FOTD #2,151] remold click nicely - but other than that, things work pretty well. Transformation is fun enough with some unfolding elements in the legs to make the military vehicle. The arms are a little goofy as the undercarriage, but they had to go somewhere and I give them points for trying something different.
The green vehicle mode is fine. The reduction in paint is more pronounced here, thanks to the missing lights. I miss them. I also miss the silver accents on the weapons and spare tire/ammo drum, but I'm glad they kept the silver wheel covers. This is not a disappointing vehicle, or a disappointing figure, it's just that you may have had a crack at a slightly better version and you probably already bought it if you wanted it.
Unless you want the Teletraan-1 piece, I'd recommend the 2018 version. It's probably cheaper and available more easily, and I prefer the more saturated green with the robust copper and rich red lights. The accessories look great with silver and black (or green), but if you had both you could probably display one as a robot and another as the vehicle. Or just get Hot Shot. We'll probably get more new takes on Hound in the next decade, but I can't imagine Cybertron Hot Shot is going to get a lot more love in the future.
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