TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)
“Kup fights for his spark as a giant robot squid tears him apart.”
One of the main focuses of Transformers: The Movie was introducing a new cast of characters, and by extension, a new selection of toys for the audience to buy. After disposing of the original cast in relatively quick fashion, the movie shifts its focus to the new cast, generally made up of younger ‘bots, but not entirely, as is the case with good ol’ Kup here, the cast’s perpetual old guy, defined equally by his old-ness and his guy-ness. The split between the cast for the two plot-lines places Kup with Hot Rod for most of the film’s mid-section, so he certainly gets a decent chunk of screen time, and that makes him decently memorable. It also makes him a good choice for inclusion in the Studio Series assortment, which I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Kup is the another part of the Deluxe-class assortment for the ’86 tie-in Studio Series stuff. He’s officially numbered 86-02, placing him just after Jazz. Kup previously got figure treatment in the Titans Return line-up, but this one is more animation accurate, as is expected for this line. In robot mode, he stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation. What’s rather curiously missing from the articulation are any sort of wrist joints; he looks like he’s got them, but it’s all a fabrication, I’m afraid. Kup’s sculpt is all-new, and while it certainly aims for screen accuracy, it doesn’t *quite* get as close as some of the others in this assortment. There are definitely parts that are really good, and I’m particularly a fan of that head sculpt. However, the body seems to be a bit too broad across the shoulders for Kup, and the limbs are comparatively kind of scrawny. On the whole, not atrocious, but not quite on the same level as the rest of the line. Given that did seem to be some shuffling as to what was going in Earthrise, Kingdom, or Studio Series, I’d say it’s a definite possibility that Kup may have been intended for one of the other two lines, and just wound up in this line instead. Whatever the case, the sculpt’s still pretty decent, and there are some pretty fun touches. Most notably, the limbs are all mounted on 5mm ports, so Kup can be dismantled and put back together, just like in the movie.
Kup’s alt-mode, like many of the main characters in Transformers: The Movie, doesn’t have an actual real-world equivalent. It’s instead a sci-fi, future-esque pick-up truck sort of thing. It’s never been one of the more visually interesting vehicles, but I bet it sure was easy to animate! The transformation to get him into the truck is a little bit on the fiddly side, and if you have a tendency to actually follow the directions (which I still do), they might slightly mislead you on a few spots. I definitely had a little bit of back tracking. That said, it still isn’t too much, and the end result ends up being pretty faithful both to what’s on screen and to his original toy’s alt-mode. Kup is packed with a rifle and the little Energon dispenser he and Hot Rod use to calm the Quintessons. Points for the very scene specific extra!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Transformers: The Movie is kind of my go-to G1 representation for Transformers, owing a lot to its very distinctive visuals and soundtrack. As such, my collecting now that I’m actually into Transformers tends to center around stuff from that movie. I’ve been hoping for a nice Kup to help round out the film’s cast for a while. Prior versions aren’t terrible, but I’m not much for the headmasters gimmick, and was definitely looking for one of him without. This one has his own set of things going on, and I can’t say he’s the particular stand-out of the set or anything, but he’s a solid rendition of the character, and I’m glad to have him for the shelf.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.